Accessorizing: Are You Minimal or Maximum?

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, I suspect. It depends on the day, the outfit, or the mood, but usually we have a leaning toward one extreme or the other. We prefer just a couple of accessories or we like to layer quite a few. I am usually on Team Minimal, as my style is fairly Modern/Casual/Trying-to-be-Chic.

I sometimes long to switch to the more accessorized team, because I do like that look.  My blog idols include Audi of Fashion for Nerds, who can make an outfit magical with an unexpected piece or two. A vest, a pair of tights, a scarf — and the net effect is wonderful. Others who are masterful accessorizers, IMHO, include Sally of Already Pretty and Kasmira of What I Wore 2Day.

Being somewhat less skilled in this arena, I tend to rely on a few bracelets, necklaces, and belts. I don’t wear many earrings because my curly hair obscures them. That said, I do have the mop of curly hair as a daily accessory. I am just not great with manipulating scarves, although I will use one for a belt. So I tend to favor a simple, minimal look.

I am trying to improve my accessorizing skills by studying fashion magazines, books, and other bloggers. It’s all fun, and no one will get hurt if I make a fashion faux-pas.

Here’s an example for today, open to your vote!

I started with a favorite sparkly navy skirt. I added a Breton-striped tee and some cool sandals, and a few bracelets. Here’s where I’d usually stop. Simple, pleasing to the eye, nothing too flashy.

Then, for the sake of this post, I added my fake pearls and a leather belt. What do you think? Is it too much, not enough, or just right? I like emphasizing my waist, but I don’t like messing with the pockets on the knit top.

Knit Top: Anthropologie, Skirt: Old Navy, thrifted
Shoes: White Mountain, Belt: Guess, thrifted

I eventually went with no belt, and a goldtone leaf pendant (no picture, somebody had to get to work). What would you have chosen, and which team do you play on? As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  1. I agree with you: it depends on the outfit and also where you are going and Kasmira is amazing with her accessories !
    For a moment there looking at your pictures I thought that you had changed the skirt ! that's how much a difference accessories make 🙂

  2. I'm definitely a minimalist! The second version is absolutely an improvement on the first….maybe I don't really think of a belt as an accessory….hmmmmm…it's just a part of the whole. It really accentuates your waist and just pulls it all together! The rest of the accessories are completely an individual choice. Did you feel good in the second outfit? Did you feel like a great version of yourself? OR Were you self conscious? Did you feel "Not you?" I think that's what it really comes down to. What you feel great in! Weekend hugs pretty lady! ~Serene

  3. I like the belt with the outfit! I think I'm a minimalist too, but it is mostly because I have to be able to live my life in my outfit and I don't want to have to fuss with accessories all day–earrings tend to fall out, etc.

    Maybe you should try stacking many bracelets on one arm. That seems to be the rage lately.

  4. I love both versions–if I had to take one item off in the second, it would be the pearls–I'd love a red bandana for a more casual neck accessory.

    That shirt really suits you–in both stylings!

  5. I think in terms of stars and supporting roles. The belt and/or the pearls are the star and the bracelets and sandals are the supporting roles. I would go with one star (i.e., when you look quickly at yourself the one thing that catches your eye). My eye was torn between the belt and the pearls so I would have chosen one or the other.
    That said; you rock and I love your blog! Camla

  6. Unne Femme – thank you. I agree about the pearls, I think they can go both ways.

    Tammy – thank you!

    Leslie – hmmm, good point about trying it w/o bracelets. I LOVE the rule about "7 pieces", that sounds arbitrary but fun!

    SWAW – thank you for the kind words. You *do* accessorize very well!

  7. I like the second look best, but I do love my accessories. I love belts, but they do not look good on my apple body unless it is under a jacket. You are so trim and look so good in everything you wear.

  8. I liked the belt and the pearls and wonder how they would have looked without the bracelets? I read a "rule" once that said " no more than 7 items worn at one time."

  9. I think the whole look is sophisticated and polished. You are so tiny the belt wears well on you!

  10. I love the pearls with that top, even though to my eye they're a bit dressier than the rest of the accessories. Because none of these accessories are big statement pieces, I think you are OK to have added the pendant necklace.

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