Oct 082008

Brenda Kinsel's Fashion Makeover cover“Accessories are also the infrastructure of a well-designed outfit.  If you don’t have it, your outfit will crumble.”

Brenda Kinsel, from the book Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover

In the course of focusing on my own comeback, I have finally come to the place in my wardrobe life where I recognize my need for a basic assortment of accessories.  Serendipitously, I am also reading this book.  Allow me to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you, like me, are an accessory retard, this book could change that.  The author does a fabulous job keeping accessories in their proper role, suggesting pieces which support your personal coloring and relate to the scale of your facial features.

She also suggests, after going through what you have and deciding what to keep, but before shopping, that you play with your accessories, grouping them by color (including metals).  Take photos.

Without even doing the project I know what I need:  necklaces.

  • silver to support my hair color (I already have pearls),
  • pink to add color near my face when wearing a neutral outfit, and
  • brown to enhance my eyes and complete the infrastructure effect of brown buttons and belt.

Often when getting dressed, I know I need a third color near my face.  Without a necklace (or scarf, but I don’t like them) my options are limited

Knowing that I don’t like to spend money AND I my stamina for accessory shopping is limited, where would you recommend I look for accessories and costume jewelry?  Have you found any good deals lately?

  17 Responses to “Accessories: Embellishments or Infrastructure?”

  1. My best and cheapest jewellery comes from markets – whenever there is a market around I love to go and look because you usually find a local artist making jewellery that they sell pretty cheaply – I will photograph some of my collection to give you an idea.

    Other colours that you could look for include a DUSKY RED which will also bring life to your face, and a TEAL which is acomplementary colour to your skin plus a BLUE which is a hair intensifier.

    Accessories can really make an outfit – and I’m never without them.

  2. The majority of my jewelry collection has come from Avon. Their pieces are relatively low in cost (if you catch them on sale) and they have a decent variety, with most of their pieces coming in 2 different color or metal collections.

    Target has also been a good source, depending on what I have been looking for. I’ve never had much luck at consignment or thrift stores since most of that jewelry is from an older generation and there is a lack of variety.

  3. I’m pretty haphazard about accessories — I have three handbags: dk pink faux ostrich leather, silver faux snakeskin, bright pink/white/multi — I rotate among these three depending on my outfit.

    Jewelry: I wear the same four small silver hoop earrings every day and actually never take them out — ever– just too much fuss to worry about matching/remembering earrings every day! Necklaces; nearly all of them found on vacations to Thailand, Japan, Bali, Singapore, etc. and Korea where I now live — I agree, markets are a great place for jewelry — nearly all are silver, plus four strands of real pearls (each one is a different colour, size, etc) — and one gold orchid necklace/pendant from Singapore. Since i seem to have so much colour / stuff going on I like delicate, dainty necklaces — small glittery CZ stuff in white and various pinks.

    The one thing I LOVE to play w/ is hair accessories: clips, bows, bands, flowers, etc. — so my hair plus the hair accessories is enough, I think — and keep the rest to a minimum! I would like to expand my belt collection though — so far I have two, but I’ve been finding they can add a lot to an outfit.

    As for shoes, I match them to my skirt or my skin (cafe latte brown!) — sometimes match them to my top if the contrast isn’t too jarring.

    Don’t forget — the best and loveliest accessories are a cheerful smile and good posture, I;m never without those!

  4. I also have let my accessory wardrobe lapse, although I’ve been making efforts recently. I have found tremendous deals at Macy’s on costume jewelry. They have a huge selection and are always having sales.

  5. And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY lovely Rebecca!!! (I wanted to be first so I snuck it in a few hours early)

  6. Anybody know what a “market” is in the Great Northwest vernacular?

  7. Farmer’s market, craft fair, holiday market… we had them all the time in PT. It’s an opportunity for local and regional artisans to sell their wares. They have a whole “circuit” they follow — Farmer’s Markets, summer festivals, then the holidays.

  8. Don’t discount your ‘older’ friends/relatives completely. Many times they have inhereited accessories from even older eras that might be perfect for you, but that they can’t/don’t wear any longer. I found a charming topaz drop necklace last week among the items my mother left me – which includes items from her older sister. The necklace matches my topaz earrings perfectly and fits with a little blue shirt with an open collar just great. And the several different pearl necklaces they had never go out of style.

    Who knows, Rebecca, you might even get some accessories for your Birthday. Have a great day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  9. Okay, I think in Spokane that event is called Art Fest, although there may be others. Definitely worth going to — I got my coral cotton summer hat there a couple of years ago. 🙂

  10. Well, this is probably downright shameful, but the cutest earrings I got recently were from the dollar store. They had some adorable bracelet/necklace sets too. I think it’s my new favorite costume jewelry store. It’s 30 seconds from my house, it’s cheap, and my kids love to go there. I get a lot of home decor stuff there too, and honestly, it’s no poorer quality than Target or Wal-Mart as far as I can tell.

  11. That will have to go on the “things I forgot when packing for college.” I probably wouldn’t wear jewelry until the formal events near the end of the semester, but it would admittedly make looking presentable easier.

  12. Happy Birthday Rebecca!

    I didn’t realise that you don’t have ‘markets’ we have them all the time here, where people get a stall at anywhere from a school fair/fete to regular local markets, craft markets, to other sorts of general goods.

    I’ve bought bits of jewellery all over the world at markets – some of the best were in Prague.

    I always buy jewellery when I travel because it’s small and portable, doesn’t take up room in my luggage, and doesn’t go out of style in the same way as clothes – but reminds me more than a fridge magnet of where I’ve been!

  13. *chortle*

    Imogen, the first thing that popped to my mind when you said “market” is that scene from Disney’s Aladdin …

    But, obviously, there are markets here – my sister knew exactly what you meant. It probably depends on exactly where you are and also your lifestyle. Markets aren’t on my “regular loop”. But I will make a more concentrated effort to go to those I hear about. 🙂

    We do have the best resale shops here. And on the block next to my hero’s office is one that specializes in jewelry. Perhaps I will take my birthday $$ down there and have a look around.

    And I have been lamenting the necklace that got away when I was in Venice. If I told you why I didn’t end up getting it, the reason would sound very lame. However, I remembered this morning that it was primarily black, so I can cheerfully say, “oh well”.

    And back to the colors: I was thinking about your other suggestions – not certain I am picturing the red you mean, but not opposed to it – but thinking about the teal, I wasn’t seeing the need. I mean, I’m okay with the idea that it would look good on, but I was feeling like it would be too “other colorful” (as if THAT makes sense). But then, as I was thinking through some other things, I realized that it would be perfect with a dressy tank I have – navy with sequin trim – so I just need to look for a dressier application than what I was originally thinking. That works!

  14. (cough cough) Well… you could always get a jewelry designer to make you some original stuff…. cough cough…. Especially since she knows you from blogland and would give you a good price…

    hee hee hee

  15. Rebecca,

    You should definately check out TJ Maxx. They have an amazing jewelry collection that ranges from simple to more ornate. And the prices are reasonable. My Mom is known to spend most of her time at the jewelry counter and always walks away with a fantastic piece. Today she found the prettiest pearls, and I got a cute necklace as well. Good luck on your quest. 🙂

  16. Thanks Sarah! I still have $$ on a g/c at TJMaxx too! 🙂

  17. […] posted, in Accessories:  Embellishments or Infrastructure: Without even doing the project I know what I need:  […]

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