One may wonder why I refer to accessories as punctuation marks of style. Before I tell you why, let us examine why not.
Fashion accessories are items used to complete an outfit and chosen to specifically complement the wearer's look. Generally, fashion accessories come in various forms, colours, length, weight, price tag etc. The characteristics of the accessories determine their style personality be it sexy, elegant, glamorous or classy among others and when they can ideally be used.
Fashion accessories can be loosely classified into two categories based on their functionality: i.e. either carried or worn. Traditionally carried accessories include handbags, umbrellas etc. Accessories that are worn may include makeup and fragrance, hair wigs, jackets, shoes, ties, hats, belts and suspenders, jewellery, watches, shawls, scarves, socks, etc
I believe we all know the effect of a wrongly placed comma or semi colon in a statement. Right, apply the same principle here. The first rule is; your choice of accessories should always compliment your bodyline and surely, don’t underestimate the importance of something as seemingly insignificant as a belt buckle or length of your hair. What should strongly influence your choice apart from quality is appropriateness.
Appropriateness refers to complimenting your personality and matching the characteristics of the accessory to an outfit and ultimately your personality/lifestyle. Smooth fabric works well with shiny metal, matt fabrics with dull/matt metal. Also, be sure to match metal tones throughout your outfit. For example, if you are wearing a metallic watch, a ring and a belt, match the metals by wearing all silver, all gold or all two-tone. The blending of metal tones isn't exactly a mistake, but it also isn't ideal.
Why would you decide to wear red shoes with a particular outfit to an event? If the purpose is to cover your feet, note that the red shoes will do more than that. If you don’t have another stunning focal point either at or above your waistline to redirect the focus, your entire look will be remembered as the lady in the red shoe. This reminds me of a woman I met a few days ago. Note I remember her because I made a mental note of her complex display of accessories. i vividly remember her eye makeup (bright eye shadow, eyelashes, and bold lipstick) hiding behind her long Brazilian hair. Beneath the hair was an overly crowed motif in her attire. Don’t think beyond this point. A look at her bag, shoes etc. I definitely forgot to say hello as the details that welcomed me were overwhelming.
If you are reading this, take note, understatement is always better than overstating. If in doubt, don’t wear it; fewer accessories of higher quality will always create a better impression. Even though she might look “good” the question remains, what role is each accessories playing in her entire look. In other words which punctuation marks has she used? Keep in mind that, formal occasions call for formal accessories and this is not determined by price tag. It is quite simpler than that; it only means don't wear a sports watch with a suit or dress. Nothing is quite as impressive or looks quite as sleek as a Rolex or Omega strapped on your wrist. If your budget does not allow for such luxury, settle for something less expensive -- but still formal looking – better still don’t wear athletic shoes with suits.
The next time you get an opportunity to dress up, think of the process as making a statement. Naturally, begin with a word that starts with an upper case. Continue with a comma where you need a pause. Be precise and creatively distribute them evenly and don’t forget to finish your look with a bold full stop or exclamation mark which ever the occasion calls for. Ladies, decide which hairstyle to compliment you and by you I mean your style personality and lifestyle.
Some colours and hair lengths are inappropriate for some situations. Use accessories to set the tone of your look. Select pieces that have the same mood as your garments: classic, romantic, town & county, chic, dramatic or elegant. For bold hairstyles, compliment it with a bold lip or eye colour never combine the two. For men a well-trimmed hair complements a clean or well-groomed facial hair. Any leather accessory (be it polished or unpolished) must compliment each other in style (detail, colour and quality) etc. I will entreat you to finish your ‘statement’ with a fragrance that distinctively spells your agenda. Remember personal branding is an art of creating a memorable first impression; I dare say accessories can greatly personalize your lasting impression, well that is if they are used as a punctuation mark of personal style. Go on indulge your personal style.