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How to Accessorize and Complete Your Outfit (for Beginners)

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Mastering the art of accessorizing can be tricky for beginners. There are different types of accessories for different body types, personal styles, and looks. It’s only natural to feel lost! The good news is that there are easy ways to learn how to accessorize and complete your outfit. Fashion stylists know all the tricks to bring new life into a basic outfit with the right accessories. Now it is your turn to learn how to accessorize like a fashion expert!

But before you learn how to make your next outfit look chic with different accessories, consider these things first:

Personal Style

Wearing accessories that do not match your fashion taste won’t do your outfit or aesthetic any favors. The first step to learning how to accessorize is by choosing jewelry that suits your style!

If you are a minimalist, busy prints and bright colors might not be the right choice for you.

If you have Coco Chanel on your style mood board, then you are definitely a lover of classic styles.

If you have a timeless aesthetic, incorporating the latest accessory trends in your looks might not be a good idea.

Knowing what accessories work well with your personal style will help you get rid of any irrelevant accessories. Cleaning out what doesn’t belong and shopping thoughtfully is the best quick tip that can make styling your outfit a breeze! After doing this step, you will be left with only accessories that have a purpose.

Lifestyle

A good starting point to learning how to accessorize is by understanding how the accessories you have will be relevant to your lifestyle.

Whether you are a corporate woman, a stay-at-home mom, or a lover of nature, you will need accessories that are beneficial to your lifestyle.

For example, if you find yourself in your home office most of the time, you wouldn’t want to accessorize your blazer with a straw hat for your Zoom calls!

Additionally, if you work in an office or corporate setting, then your wardrobe would benefit from simple, classy jewelry pieces instead of loud costume jewelry.

If you need a refresher (or total overhaul) of your personal style, then check out this resource!

Now that you have established what your personal style is and your lifestyle needs, it’s time for even more useful accessorizing tips.

Accessorize for your body shape- Oval

An oval is sometimes also called circular, round, or apple. You may be this body type if your waist is undefined, all 4 measurements are fairly uniform (with your midsection being slightly bigger), and you tend to carry weight in your middle.

If you feel that you have an oval-shaped body, the best way to accessorize it is by highlighting your waist and drawing the attention up, away from your midsection.

If you want to draw attention up to your chest, neck, and face, and away from your midsection, then a statement necklace is a great way to do that.

As an oval shape, v-neck shirts look great on you as they break up your middle and open up your chest. A quick style tip to keep in mind is that usually, the best necklace for your shirt mimics the neckline.

Meaning, if you wear a v-neck shirt, then pair it with a v-neck necklace. The right pairing means that the necklace has the same shape as the neckline.

Wearing a belt is a great way of creating an illusion of a cinched waist for oval-shaped bodies. Wear it over a dress for the best look!

Accessorize for your body shape- Triangle

If you have hips that are wider than your bust, you most likely have a triangle-shaped body.

The right way to accessorize a triangle body shape is to avoid adding more volume to your lower half, such as accessorizing with bags or purses that right hit at your hips, adding more volume to this area.

For your body type, you’d want to bring balance to your shoulder and chest area. You can do this with jewelry that adds volume to your upper half, such as chandelier earrings or chunky necklaces, if that fits in with your personal style.

A great way to accentuate your focal points (for example, your small waist) is to wear a skinny belt that shows off your beautiful curves.

Accessorize for your body shape- Hourglass

This voluptuous body shape is usually defined by having a small, defined waist, and uniform shoulders and hips. The best way to accessorize and highlight this unique body type is by showcasing your waist with a belt as this emphasizes and flatters your curves.

When it comes to handbags, a lot of styles can work well with hourglass shapes. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that the size of your bag should be proportional to your hourglass figure.

Accessorize for your body shape- Inverted Triangle

As an inverted triangle, you are already top half heavy, so you’d want to avoid adding more volume to this area such as with statement necklaces. If you like to wear necklaces, just look for simple, thin, lightweight pieces that don’t add a lot of fuss to your upper half.

Accessorize for your body shape- Rectangle

With fairly uniform measurements, a rectangle doesn’t have a lot of definition in its body type and could benefit from wearing belts to define the waist and adding more interest by wearing necklaces and earrings.

How to accessorize your face shape

On top of learning how to accessorize your figure, another tip to becoming an expert at accessorizing is knowing what piece of jewelry flatters your face shape!

Round face

If you are looking for a signature accessory for your round face shape, avoid wide earrings. This includes hoop earrings and large button earrings because they can potentially make your face appear more round.

Instead, the ideal earrings for this face shape are drop earrings. These will help elongate your face by giving it a slim appearance.

A simple way to make a round face shape more angular, slimmer, and structured is by wearing square sunglasses. Try not to go for small or round glasses as they can exaggerate your already round facial features.

Heart face

Earrings that balance the jawline are the best match for you, such as teardrop earrings.

The best way to complement your heart face shape is by accessorizing with glasses that mirror your facial features. It means that you should go for styles that taper at the bottom and round at the top.

Square face shape

If you have a jawline that is strong and beautiful, that means you have a square-shaped face.

You can use accessories like flowy-shaped earrings to soften up and offset your strong facial features. If you go for earrings that are too angular, they will potentially not balance out the face properly.

Avoid picking square sunglasses for this head shape because it can exaggerate the face shape.

How to accessorize style tips

Just in case you’re unsure, an accessory is something you add to your outfit to make it more interesting or attractive. These can be earrings, necklaces, headbands, hair clips, rings, bracelets, scarves, or purses, for starters.

A general rule of thumb when accessorizing: less is more. You don’t need to overwhelm a simple outfit with too much jewelry! Stick between 2 to 3 accessories for your outfit.

You can choose one statement or bigger accessory like a tote bag to go with a white t-shirt and jeans and add a smaller accessory to your look, such as a nice watch or dainty earrings.

When accessorizing, try to match the styles of your jewelry to your clothing and atmosphere, unless you’re purposefully going for a mix-matched look.

Meaning, if you are going on vacation, then you’re probably going to wear bright earrings and wooden necklaces. If you’re going to a New Year’s Eve party, then you’re probably going to wear a statement necklace, not a leather watch. If you’re headed into work, then you’re probably going to pair classic accessories with your outfit, such as a gold necklace and pearl earrings, instead of boho fringe earrings.

As a beginner, match the atmosphere to your jewelry, and the more you understand how to do this, the more you can experiment with other styles in the future!

As a reminder, beauty can be an accessory! Don’t overlook your red lips or your french tip manicure. The way your fingertips are decorated can have a major impact on your outfit.

It is also important to note that the colors of your accessories don’t always have to match. If you aren’t sure how to color coordinate your accessories, use the color wheel to help you decide what colors complement each other.

The power of accessories can add the perfect finishing touch to any look. However, not everyone can complete and accessorize an outfit like a pro. Mastering how to accessorize can take a while to learn, but you’re well on your way to accessorizing your looks like a pro in no time!

To complete your outfit, it’s helpful to know how to create a signature look too!

Up next: How to Create Your Signature Look and a Style That Supersedes Trends

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.