Coco Chanel said take one thing off, Iris Apfel said put one more thing on. I say, it depends!
I say you have to know who you are, what you’re wearing, and what you want to say. You could go out with a dress, shoes, a bag, and absolutely nothing else, maybe just a wedding ring. Although I’ve seen some women come close to that, the look is very rare, and I think we can agree, probably boring.
You can add a sprinkling of jewelry, perhaps earrings and a couple of nice big bracelets, or small earrings and a nice big necklace, perhaps with it patterned tights. This less is more look is my taste. I think if you own nice pieces of jewelry, they need not be expensive, but you want people to be able to see them individually not as some cascade of tinsel.
Unless of course, you’re Iris Apfel. But note, when she piles on the bracelets, all of the bracelets become one accessory on her arm, all of the necklaces become like one piece. That’s skillful accessorizing.
I’ve chosen three fashion icons of today to illustrate three different styles and attitudes towards accessorizing.
Like the designers she loves, when it comes to accesssories, Lyn is a minimalist.
The minimalist styles and designers she wears would be ruined by one thing too many. Lyn does earrings, big earrings, then she pops on her signature sunglasses, and that’s it. I defy you to tell me why she might need more: a necklace, rings? No way, not necessary.
Lyn tells the story of clothes, her approach to dressing is as much about culture and history as it is about fashion. If you read Lyn’s blog on a regular basis, you will get a fashion education. Do you want to know who Dogstar is? Want to see what a Yohji Yamamoto design looks like? Lyn can show and she can tell you.
Sarah Jane Adams
When you look like Sarah, why would you want to hang all kinds of stuff on yourself?
Sarah very rarely wears jewelry. A jewelry dealer herself, she feels that jewelry tells personal stories; but Sarah has chosen to tell stories in a different way.
Like Lyn, her clothes do the talking; but unlike Lyn, her clothes aren’t minimalist. They are what I might call urban ornate. Unless of course she’s wearing a Victorian style blouse, or a heavily embroidered jacket, which she does equally as well as the urban. A scarf in her fantastic hair, a red lipstick, or a heavy leather belt—that’s all Sarah needs.
Tziporah does what I think of as seamless design.
She starts with a hat, and then she carefully pieces together a look that is self-contained perfection. From the top down, her look just flows. Tziporah travels the world teaching women how to do the same.
Tziporah loves old, good things. She knows exceptional tailoring and fine fabrics. Her father was a tailor and her mother a seamstress. But it’s not just the clothing that’s in Tziporah’s blood: it’s dressing, the art of dressing.
All three of these women have great personality, looks, and style; but besides that, what do they have in common when it comes to accessorizing? This is it, pay attention:
All three let their clothes do the talking, know and are comfortable with themselves, and are not afraid to use their imaginations.
Those are things we can all learn to do.
P.S. You can follow Lyn, Sarah, Tziporah, and me, on Instagram. Photos of Tziporah Salamon by Natasha Estelle.