We often plan our outfits around occasions and accentuate these outfits with our favorite statement pieces. This year, why not switch the games and give your accessories a taste of the limelight by building your looks around them?
We all have that moment — It’s two hours before the start of the biggest event of the season, and there you are, lost, staring intensely into our closets and realizing we have absolutely nothing to wear.
Maybe you’ve had your outfit picked out for months, but when you actually put the whole ensemble together, it just feels blasé.
It could be that on closer inspection that new skirt that you bought doesn’t fit as well as it did in the dressing room, maybe the top doesn’t actually match as well as you hoped.
Whatever the reason, we’ve all been there. At that moment, it feels like there is only one option, scrap the whole thing and run out and buy a little black dress to wear just to make it through the night.
We don’t always have the time to go shopping, and with the clock ticking, will you have to settle for something equally as treacherous, the LBD bandaid?
We are here to tell you it does not have to be that way. Take a step back from the closet and turn your attention to your accessories.
When caught in the never-ending loop of nothing works and nothing fits. We turn to our favorite accessories to pull us out of a bind.
How To Build An Outfit Around Accessories You Already Have
Typically, we put together our outfit by matching the top to the bottoms or the bottoms to the top. Next, we grab our shoes and then accessorize from there. But what if you let your accessories inspire the outfit?
Now, what is considered an accessory? The modern-day woman has a lot of accessories in her arsenal—something for every occasion. For some, a belt is rarely thought of as an accessory. However, it is an excellent accessory for tying an outfit together or adding a waist-cinching statement piece.
Here are some of the most basic examples of accessories that you probably already have in your wardrobe:
- Shoes — We’ve all drooled over designer shoes and have hopefully been able to invest in various versatile and quality footwear over the years. A statement shoe can easily take a dress from no-way to “hey!”
- Bags— We love our bag collections. We care for our bags like they are our family. Want an easy way to build an outfit? Use your bag as inspiration.
- Earrings — A bold earring frames your face and draws the attention towards your eyes and other lovely facial features.
- Bracelets — A single statement can be a game-changer for any outfit. It can elevate jeans and a t-shirt in seconds flat.
- Necklaces — We’ve all enjoyed the statement necklace trend that started popping up around 2013. A statement necklace is the absolute most straightforward way to dress up any outfit.
- Phone case — Believe it or not, your phone case is actually an excellent statement accessory. Swapping out your case for something funky or chic can take the ordinary to the extraordinary.
- Rings — Not feeling the larger, heavier jewelry on your neck or wrists? Sometimes it’s just not sensible for the task at hand. However, a bold statement ring works just as hard, if not harder, than a statement necklace. If you keep the rest of your accessories simple, a statement ring will transform your outfit with just a touch of regality, like a tiara that sits upon your finger.
- Scarf — A colorful, well-made scarf and turn coordinating a tracksuit into an evening outfit. That may be stretching it a little too far, but we’ve seen it done and done well.
- Glasses or Sunglasses — A pair of stylish glasses or sunglasses can change your entire look in an instant.
- Belt — This practical tool is also a great way to add a little something to your outfit. You can easily add shape or a contrasting color to a skirt, dress, or blouse by belting.
Now, sometimes a belt is simply a tool for holding up your pants, but one of the keys to accessorizing an outfit well is not letting your accessories become an afterthought. Bring these accessories to the forefront and let them shine.
In this post, we cover the do’s and don’ts of pulling an outfit together, and it starts by choosing an accessory from your collection that speaks to you.
First, it’s time to take stock by asking yourself some of the following questions:
- Is there a funky piece of statement jewelry that you love?
- Have you always wanted to find an occasion to show off that silk top you picked up on your travels abroad last spring?
- Or how about finally having a night where you could actually carry that new clutch you splurged on in a #treatyoself moment?
If you still can’t decide on the perfect accessory, we can break it down even further.
One of our favorite ways to find instant outfit inspiration — using the Pantone color of the year. Did you know that people study colors, trends in color, and the science behind colors as their career?
Using the Pantone color of the year instead of working off your favorite color works well because Pantone color is definite. With a quick google search, you are sure to find inspiration from already preconceived coordinating outfits or color schemes built around that color. It speeds up the process and gives you a system and a set of directions for your look.
Now, before we get into 2020’s color of the year, let’s go over Pantone’s brief history, what it is, and how these colors are chosen.
What Is Pantone?
Pantone is a color standardization system most commonly used in the design and printing world. However, the Pantone Color System is now used in everything from print to home decor, fashion, and even makeup palettes that you can find at your local Sephora.
But Pantone didn’t start that way. Pantone used to be just a printing company. In 1963 Lawrence Herbert, an employee of Pantone, designed a system to identify and match an exact color of ink needed to make color matching from project to project more accurate.
This system was set up in a flipbook catalog lined with swatches of color printed on six by two-inch board sheets that show similar and associated colors.
In the past 80 years, it has become the industry standard for color across the board. Since the year 2000, Pantone has released the color of the year. These colors are chosen using trend-forecasting research from the Pantone Color Institute, and they almost always find their way into fashion trends for that season.
What’s The Pantone Color Of The Year?
For 2020 it’s PANTONE 19-4052. These seemingly random numbers make up the color of Classic Blue. Classic Blue is sophisticated yet casual. It is not quite navy and is incredibly reminiscent of iconic nautical hues with its calming, relaxing vibe of the vast open ocean.
Using the Pantone color of the year as your inspiration and jumping-off point ensures that you are precisely on-trend. No matter the season, you can tailor your outfit to compliment this color.
Start by asking yourself: What colors do you immediately associate when looking at Classic Blue?
Remember that whole nautical vibe we spoke of above? Classic Blue and stark white are a match made in color heaven. The blue pops the white, and the white pops the blue. You’ve definitely got a great white cotton dress or blouse in your closet, and now is the time to pull it out and put it to work.
But what if it’s too late in the season and not quite winter, so stark white isn’t an option?
Now it’s time to look at complementary colors. What is blues complementary color? Orange. Maybe you have a pair of lovely orange pumps or a rust-colored statement blazer? Or perhaps the opposite is true, and you have a well made blue suit.
The trick to wearing bold colors is to commit. Try wearing orange head to toe and only adding in the blue as a bracelet, a hat, or a pair of lovely bright orange pumps that you almost never get to wear.
Not feeling like you can commit to something so bold? Try pairing this trendsetting color with its analogous colors. Analogous colors are colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel.
For a color like Classic Blue, its analogous colors are teal blues leading into leafy greens. Going in the opposite direction on the color wheel, its analogous colors could also include deep plums that fade into scarlet reds.
Once you’ve decided how to blend your neighboring colors, color blocking with your outfit is a quick, stylish, and gorgeous way to marry those beautiful analogous colors into one well thought out outfit.
Start with the blue blazer again, but this time pair it with a bright red blouse and a deep purple pencil skirt.
Next, grab that classic blue accessory that started it all. To tie it all together, keep the rest of your accessories simple. Choose your favorite metal and accent with solid silver or gold to bring a brightness and a polished look to the whole ensemble.
What to do when it comes to picking out the right purse for the job? You pretty much have two things to consider when making your choice. One, is this an evening event, and two, what do you actually need to carry with you in your purse?
What Is The Simplest Answer?
For evening, make a statement by grabbing a clutch in the brightest analogous color and call it a night. A small bag in a bright color goes a very long way, and in the evenings, you can afford to be a bit flashy.
For a daytime event, keep things a little more casual by using a larger bag in the same Classic Blue as your main accessory. By choosing a blue purse, you are able to relax any harsh lines created by your bold color choices and bring the outfit full circle for a harmonized look.
Still Not Sold On A Bright Color Scheme?
Other Way to Pop This Trend Setting Blue:
- You can cool down the entire outfit by pairing the Classic Blue accessory with complimenting grays. Make sure the undertones of the grays are blue and not yellow, or else you’ll end up washing yourself out, and your pop of color won’t be in the same tonal family.
- Why not go for the ombré look and start with the Classic Blue at the top of the outfit for a more formal look. Darker colors are more slimming and will draw the silhouette’s eye with the color blend’s slow fade.
- If you don't need a quite so formal look, you can start your ombré with the lightest color on top and fade down into the blue. This opens up the chest and the shoulder while slimming the hips, giving an authoritative look that is more suitable for daytime applications.
- A super fun and bold choice that will really make your accessory pop is to pretend that animal print is a neutral and try pairing your bright bracelet or necklace with a simple lined animal print dress or suit.
- The ultimate choice is just to coordinate a solid color outfit. This means that your blouse, your jacket, your pants or skirt, and your shoes are all the same complementary or analogous colors. This allows your Classic Blue accessory to really pop as a statement piece.
- If none of the above pairings are really working for you, you can book a personal styling session to create that absolutely perfect look with your favorite accessory.
Starting with a bold accessory opens up so many possibilities and can easily take the guesswork out of planning and replanning your outfit. You can show off your style and create a memorable impression with any of these creative approaches that complete your look.
Color Creates Coordination
It’s no secret that color coordinates create cohesive looks. Color is the easiest jumping-off point for building upon an outfit. Using color as your theme, you can efficiently create several different looks based on a single bold accessory choice.
In conclusion, if you can’t find anything to wear and don’t have the time to run out and purchase an emergency little black dress, color is going to take you exactly where you need to go.
The great thing about color is it’s not fussy. By sticking to complementary or analogous colors, like the big guys at Pantone, you can quickly build a color scheme from the wardrobe you have, and this can help you pick your most stylish outfits, especially when you choose to complement them with the right accessories.