Accessorizing With Color

Accessorizing With ColorImagine a world where you could wear the same outfit to countless different occasions.  Think about how great it would be to come up with tons of stylish looks at the drop of a hat.  And how would you feel about updating your entire wardrobe for a fraction of the cost of new clothes?

Well, we’ve got some good news for you!  By incorporating accessories into your wardrobe, you’ll be able to do so much more with the clothes you already own.  Colorful, fashionable accessories give you the power to show off your signature style in a variety of flattering silhouettes.  And if you’re an informed accessory shopper, you’ll be able to accomplish all of this without breaking the bank.

The majority of women opt to buy a few basic accessories in neutral shades, and then wear those pieces with every outfit they own.  From a budgetary standpoint, it actually makes more sense to purchase a variety of vibrant outfit “side dishes” that you can mix and match with the clothes in your closet.  Simple, understated, neutral-hued pieces work well with some looks; but they can be downright boring if worn everyday.  Instead, select colorful pieces that suit your personality and enhance your image.  Think about your different moods, your most flattering colors, and consider the messages you want to convey.  Versatility is a central part of the accessory selection process, but it’s much more important to integrate color, texture, and a unique sense of flair into your outfit extras.

Rather than buying into every accessory fad, opt for pieces that are an extension of your signature style.  It’s ideal to purchase a few up-to-the-minute accessories, but going overboard with super-trendy accents can leave you looking like a cartoon character.  Also, make sure that your accessories don’t distract from your natural beauty or clash with what you like to wear.  If you’re a fashionista who prefers garments with classic tailoring and subtle embellishments, you might consider a coat with trendy buttons or a skirt with bold-colored lining.  If you’re a woman with a fearless penchant for cutting-edge fashion, you’ll probably feel more comfortable wearing trends liberally.  Whichever way you look at it, the season’s hottest colors always have something to offer everyone.

Bold contrasts, exotic animal prints, gleaming metallic finishes, and shiny patent leather are just a few of the up-and-coming fashions for spring.  With accessory trends being fiercer than ever, it’s possible to achieve a dazzling designer look with just a few key pieces.  Of course, there are a few rules to remember when working these trends into your outfits.  The first guideline is to utilize accessories in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.

“An accent color should be used in no more than three places on your body,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of More Alive with Color, “or the look will become spotty and distracting.”

Leatrice also talks about how accessories can alter the appearance of your figure and highlight certain parts of your body.  Accessories are designed to catch the eye, so it’s important to ensure their placement and colors are complimentary.

“A thick, boldly-colored belt will draw attention to your waist, and overly-bright or shiny shoes can make your feet look bigger,” says Leatrice.

Similar guidelines also apply to a woman’s height. If you’re petite, it’s best to stay away from chunky, platform shoes or oversized handbags.  Remember to pick accessories that are to scale with your body type.

Jewelry is a great way for a woman to express herself and draw attention to her best features.  But all too often, women fail to coordinate their jewelry items and/or wear them with the wrong outfits.  Jewelry looks best when it mirrors your personal style and compliments your color palette.

“Since there are warm and cool colors in all palettes, silver and gold have a place in each Colortime,” says Leatrice. “The type of finish determines where it looks best.”

A general rule of thumb is to match cool-toned metal (like shiny platinum and silver) with cool jewel tones.  Likewise, warm-toned metal (like copper and Florentine gold) make a perfect match with warmer hues. Precious stones and gems are more versatile because of their light-reflecting capacity, so they can usually be worn with anything.

While accessories are commonly used to “finish” an outfit, they can also be a fantastic place to start.  If you find a piece that you are in love with, don’t hesitate to get it! You’ll be amazed at how you come up with different ideas and new clothing combinations because of one fabulous accessory.

It might seem strange that something as small as an accessory could have such a big impact on your overall look, but it’s true.  Belts, bags, shoes, jewelry, and even pantyhose should be carefully coordinated and worn in a way that compliments your best features.  To get some ideas for accessories, flip through your favorite fashion magazines, become familiar with your Colortime palette, and do some serious people-watching.  By drawing inspiration from others and combining it with your signature style, you’re sure to come up with a slew of colorful accessories that are stylish, flattering, and perfectly you!

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