August 9, 2016
When we last saw this travel capsule wardrobe, it had some accessories – probably enough for a short period of time:
It would be great if I can figure out an Accessory Template, but right now I’m still pondering how that’s going to work; it might take me a few weeks, or months!But I was thinking about the role of accessories in our lives, and I was able to conclude that there are realistically very few that you actually NEED; most of them are for fun.
Of course, if you live in a warm climate, you’re not going to need gloves, nor a hat:
That said, we’re still going to add a BUNCH of accessories to this wardrobe! When I was scanning this one, the first thing that really jumped out at me was that I would want a pair of low-heeled short boots. I’ve found that since I bought mine 3 years ago, I wear them a TON, and would sorely miss them if they weren’t in my wardrobe.
Yes, the paisley ones are amazing! I’m not sure that those should be your only pair of short boots, but if you love them enough, why not?
I’m sorry, but I just can’t call these “booties.” Booties are either the things that babies wear, or it’s a very casual term for a body part…
Sunglasses are essential. I’m pretty careless about forgetting to wear mine, but avoiding cataracts makes it worth the trouble to grab them on the way out the door!
Belts are something about which I know very little; I have virtually no place on my body to put one, unless I wrapped it around my wrist a dozen times as a bracelet. But there are lovely belts in the world, and if you wear one regularly, make sure that it’s beautiful.
Why not an accent color wallet?
I haven’t lost a glove in decades – I’m charmed that way! But I can assure you that when the cold weather hits, these will be the single most important thing you’ll want to have; nothing is more painful and sadness-provoking than cold hands.
This style of boot is relatively difficult to find this year – at least so far! There are mountains of short boots, and a fair mess of over-the-knee boots (and I DO mean mess…) A word of caution before you purchase knee-high boots: make absolutely sure that all buckles lay FLAT FLAT FLAT; I have torn the hem out of more than one skirt on the top buckle of my boots! You can possibly ruin your garment – at a minimum it puts a blot on your day.
Many women could get by indefinitely with just a tote bag, but I like to provide the option of a cross-body bag for those days when you’re carrying your tote, AND groceries, AND other shopping bags.
A brooch on that gorgeous turtleneck would be a pretty touch, wouldn’t it?
There are lots of beautiful brooches sold used; you can often get iconic pieces for a fraction of what they sell for at retail. The necklaces and bracelets are for our old friend who loved all things square. Would it be foolish to buy yourself one new piece every year? Think of the collection you’d have in just a few years!
Here’s how things look now, with your additional accessories. I didn’t add in any more scarves, because we started with three, and I’m assuming that the hot pink scarf will easily work as a winter scarf. You can see how, while the accessories are small, they provide options for changing up the look and the feel of your entire wardrobe.
I can easily live with a small wardrobe, so long as I have some lovely accessories to give it my personality…
Taste of France says
Short boots can look so good with pants, especially jeans. I love them and have worn out many a pair. Even if the heel is low (and they really do look better with low heels), they add something. Formality? Even biker style.
An advantage of a really bright wallet or phone case: you can find it easily in a dark bag.
Silver based equivalents would also work well with these colours for lovers of silver. Just wondering if most people stick to one or the other or have a mix of both.
I use predominantly warm colored jewelry, but if I have a primarily warm colored outfit, I balance it with silver toned jewelry to cool things down.
I lean towards gold but have a nice collection of silver too. Recently I've been wearing less silver and instead wearing pieces that combine both gold and silver. I like the combination of warm and cool together and it's a whole lot easier to accessorize on days when I'm in a rush.
The only gold that I wear is my wedding ring (the original one) and the diamond studs my husband gave me. Everything I choose for myself is silver, although lately I have been enjoying darkened silver.
To me, the gold here is a true needle-scratch.
I am so with you re 'booties', over here they're ankle boots and just 'boots' for high ones. I love ankle boots with skirts/dresses as well as trousers/jeans so never bother with higher ones.
Yes, the paisley ones are amazing! Love paisley so I love the boots too. The accessories are great. To combat the harsh sun I have broad brim hat, cotton scarf and large long sleeved shirt. Carol S
What you have in the Frivolous category, I have come to think of as an essential part of a complete ensemble, but not all of those components at the same time, of course !
I can see that it's going to take a lot of thought, time, and trial, error and adjustments to come up with a template that works. I would add tote to the essentials list. And to me frivolous doesn't feel like the right title for the second category – after all many of these items DO serve a functional purpose other than being purely decorative. Perhaps three or more categories may be needed (Essential, Functional, Decorative, Statement, Style?). This is a tough one. Good luck Janice. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Lori @ inmykitcheninmylife.com says
You've made me realize I need a tutorial on wearing brooches. I have a couple and have no idea how to use them except on the lapel of a blazer or coat or to pin a scarf. Now I want to know where I'd put it on a turtleneck? Care to enlighten?
Janice Riggs says
You can realistically pin it anywhere you want – I had a friend who always wore it all the way up ON the neck of the turtleneck – but her neck is about a foot long… I would just park it high up on my shoulder – relatively near my neckline, and closer to my shoulder seam than to my bosom. I've seen them on the BACK of sweaters, which is just whimsical as heck…
We must, as a group, revive the brooch!
Love all the accessories, but also have trouble with a brooch. Never worn one and probably never will. Maybe the memory of my grandmother always wearing one on her ample bossom! :)) And I agree on the short boots. It took me some time to adjust my eye to wearing them with a skirt or dress, but now I wear them from September through March and prefer them over a full lenght boot.
I have found this series of posts really helpful in identifying the thought processes behind building up a workable wardrobe. I'd love it if you could do a similar series using warmer colours? I've tried to visualise it with coral instead of pink and a warm turquoise or teal instead of the pale blue, so it would be great if you could do the hard work for me (and other warm people!) Thanks!
Yes, please! Warm version for your strawberry blond admirers?
Madame Là-bas says
I really enjoy wearing ankle boots. I have several pair with good rubber soles and low heels. I haven't worn my high boots for a couple of years. Accessories really make an outfit of basic clothing.
It amazes me how different a wardrobe looks at the very end when all the accessories are included. I think that's my weak area. I can't wait to see an accessories template and how you'll approach it. My clothes planning lived by your "Starting From Scratch" spreadsheet. My life has become more casual so it may be time to try "A Common Wardrobe". I love your website Janice. Thanks for what you do.
ankle boots in tapestry are now on my must list for this fall/winter!!! Thank you for introducing them to us.
Deb from Vancouver
for people who wear scarves or people who struggle to wear scarves, consider a scarf ring under the category of "Frivolous".
Susan in WA
Michelle Delloch says
I always look forward to your posts Janice, and you haven't disappointed today! Accessories can make an outfit, and I am in love with the navy boots – all of them!
An essential accessory if you live in Scotland or Ireland is definitely an umbrella!
Janice Riggs says
Amen! I used to live in Dublin…
Some additional frivolous accessories: socks and nail polish. Although in cold climates, socks would move to the essential list. Also on the essential list is a phone case. I'm assuming that these days, everyone has a smart phone that they carry every day.
And essential one – umbrella
I need some of your glove karma. And as you know I am in complete agreement with your distaste for the term "booties" to describe an ankle boot. Love the colors in this one!
Leah from Thriftshop Chic