Accessories are a great way to show your style spirit and take any look one step further. “Fashion is instant language”, as Miuccia Prada said, and accessories are great tools to use to enhance your style. But, at times, accessories can seem overwhelming and this can become annoying. To avoid this kind of situation, we have put together a guide that will go through the main things you should consider when you are choosing your accessories.
Jewelry and accessories are one of the best ways to add dynamism to an outfit, but you can only bring true style to an outfit if you wear great pieces. At times, finding good accessories can be hard, which is why you should know where to look for great items. If you are not sure how to go about purchasing great accessories that will go with each other, it is recommended to buy from a brand that offers a large variety of accessories. A great example of such a brand is Alice Made This, which is a British brand that offers everything from belts and bracelets to exquisite lapel pins and shirt studs that will take your outfits to a whole different level. Their aesthetic is very refined and the accessories they create are elegant and versatile, which means that you can count on them to elevate your looks, regardless of your style.
When you are buying and wearing accessories, you should always have a few things under your radar in order to make sure that you will have amazing sartorial results. Here are five crucial questions you need to consider if you want to accessorize wisely:
How many accessories?
When it comes to choosing the number of accessories one should wear, the answer is “it depends”. The thing on which “it depends” is the type of accessories you want to wear. Accessories can be split into two categories. We like to call these categories “subtle accessories” and “bold accessories”.
Subtle accessories are accessories that we normally don’t perceive as being “added” to an outfit, as they integrate in the look in a very organic manner. These accessories usually have a practical function as well. Subtle accessories are for example cufflinks, which hold your cuffs together or belts which hold your pants up.
Bold accessories are accessories that don’t necessarily fulfill a practical function and are worn just for adornment. Bracelets, chains and earrings are examples of items that fall in this category.
If we look at accessories from this point of view, the “why does it depend” question answers itself. You can wear as many accessories that fall in the subtle category as you want, as there is absolutely no way of overdoing it or being overdressed (you can’t wear multiple pairs of cufflinks at a time); while with bold accessories you should be more careful and try to keep it to a maximum of three (although we encourage you to break the rule if you do it in an affirmed and cohesive way). Therefore, our recommendation is to wear as many subtle accessories you want and up to three bold ones.
Note: Some accessories don’t fall in one category or the other. Ties, watches and shoes can’t be classified by default as “subtle” or “bold”, it all depends on how subtle or how bold they are.
How to distribute them?
When it comes to distributing accessories, there are many ways in which you can go, as there is no exact rule. However, there is one essential thing you should consider, and that is balance. If you want to wear just three accessories such as a watch, a tie and cufflinks, the distribution is quite obvious. However, if you want to add many accessories to the mix and wear many bracelets, chains, etc., you should make sure that you distribute them on your outfit in a way that is harmonious. For example, if you wear many bracelets on one arm, you can balance them out by wearing them with one bigger chain.
If you wear many accessories in your upper half, such as a few bold chains or earrings, you can balance them out with a bold belt or with a pair of colorful shoes.
Can you mix metals?
One of the biggest dilemmas men have when wearing accessories is whether they can mix metals or not. All metals (gold, silver, copper, etc.) are neutral and therefore can be worn with each other. The idea that you should only wear gold or silver at a time is outdated – metals can be mixed with each other and worn with any color. There is nothing wrong with wearing a golden watch and a silver bracelet at once.
How to balance it out?
The key to any great outfit is for it to be balanced. Therefore, when you wear accessories, you should always make sure that you balance them out with your outfit and with each other in an effective manner. For example, if you are wearing things that are really shiny and that reflect the light very strongly, they will most likely go best against matte, deep materials. Unless you are making a statement and want to go full bling (in which case we need to warn you that you might end up looking like a disco ball), you should wear shiny accessories with clothes that will balance them out and that will catch light as opposed to reflecting it. On the other hand, if you wear accessories that are very rough such as wooden bow ties for example, you can wear them with clothes that have a bit of shine or sheer to them.
How big to go?
Whatever accessories you want to wear, there is an essential rule that you should always remember: Your accessories need to be proportionate to your body. Therefore, bigger men should wear larger accessories (wide ties, wide belts), while men with smaller body frames should opt for smaller accessories (skinny ties, slim watch straps, etc.). Otherwise, you will looks out of balance and disproportionate, which is not a harmonious look. Big men wearing big accessories will only appear bigger, big men wearing too small accessories will seem strangled by them. On the other hand, smaller men wearing big accessories will look overwhelmed by them and smaller men wearing accessories that are too small for them will look really out of place, as the accessories won’t be visible enough.
Note: If you want to wear more accessories, especially from the bold category, remember that the biggest one is the one that will attract the eye the most. Therefore, consider that one as your main accessory and make sure that the others support it well. What this means is that depending on the shape, color and style of your main accessory, the others should complement it, balance it out, etc. For example, a very big, round pendant can be either balanced out by accessories that feature rough angles (but not only, as keeping it too different will make your overall look lose its cohesion), or it can be complimented by mixing it with other round, smaller accessories. The same rule applies to color and material.
Consider these rules the next time you accessorize an outfit and you are all set. The main thing you should put on when accessorizing a look is confidence; as the main rule in fashion is to never put on anything that you don’t feel comfortable wearing. This does not mean, however, that you should not try things at home and become comfortable in them. We can promise you that styling up your outfits with things that make you feel more you will change not only the way you look, but also the way you feel and your attitude towards yourself, everyone else and the world.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! What are your rules for wearing accessories? How many accessories do you wear? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!