The Power of Fashion Accessories

Nothing updates a wardrobe or changes a look of an outfit more than a few chunky chains and bracelets, a hip belt, a colorful handbag or a pair of this season’s most fashionable shoes.
Instead of spending a lot of money on outfits every season, you are better off buying some classic pieces, and then setting them off with some wow fashion accessories, which will say much more about your own personal style than clothes ever will.
“In the morning I think accessories first, then clothes second, says Hollywood celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, in her book Style A To Zoe (Grand Central Publishing 2007) “You might be in your favorite jeans and flip-flops but once you throw on a great belt, you’re that much closer to looking fabulous.”
According to Zoe, accessories, far more than clothes, allow you to transform yourself and nurture your inner fashion chameleon. Our shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, belts and bags say much more about where we are in our lives – or where we’d like to be.

The Power of Stiletto Shoes

If you have never slipped on a pair of five-inch stilettos then you will be unaware of their magic powers. Whether you are a 20 or 40-something, you are never too old to experience the confidence and elegance that a pair of these tall-towers can provide. This doesn’t mean that you need to wear them on a regular basis, but donning a feminine pair of stiletto shoes can make you feel instantly elegant, and changes the look of an outfit in a blink. Take some favorite pieces from your wardrobe, team them with some high-heels and see the transformation, not only in your look but also in your self esteem.
If you don’t like the idea of teetering around in stilettos (walking in them takes some getting used to) then go for a compromise by wearing some high wedge-heels. These are easier to walk in and give you more support, but will still have the necessary effect.

The Power of the Handbag

Buying a trendy bag that is in fashion this season will update any of your favorite outfits. If you can’t afford this year’s “it” designer handbag, there are plenty of alternatives. Unless your bank account resembles Victoria Beckham’s there is no need to spend fortune on a bag which will only last a season. Just go for a purse that matches your personality, allowing you to create your sense of style.
If it’s a classic designer bag you are after, then you are better off investing in an original that lacks the fashionable buckles and statement pieces which date it more quickly. Something which will endure from season to season needs to be simple and lacking in bells and whistles. Staple colors include neutral blacks and browns but you can be more fashionable with a winter-white bag. Still practical and versatile, white has become the new black.

The Power of Sunglasses

Not only does a pair of sunnies protect you from the sun’s harmful rays and camouflage a late night, but they also make a great fashion statement. Oversized sunglasses are huge this year and donning a pair or Jackie O type or Paris Hilton style frames can instantly change your look from a plain Jane to a glamorous goddess. However, make sure that they suit your face, rather than swamp it.

Jewelry Box Basics

“Style is more about your eye than your bank account” says Zoe. “A cheap piece of costume jewelry can look ten times its cost.” Even the great Coco Chanel saw nothing wrong with mixing real and costume jewelry. It’s possible these days to pick up some great fashionable or vintage pieces for around $10 to $20 and you’ll love them just as much.
According to Zoe, all you need in your jewelry box basics is a simple chain, a dressy necklace, a statement-making cocktail ring, a bangle or cuff bracelet, a chunky (men’s) watch and a dressy one. If you wear earrings then a three pairs are essential to “ring” the changes, simple diamond studs, a pair of hoop earrings and some dangly or sparkly showstoppers that dazzle for evening.
Be right on trend with this summer's nautical theme; anchor pendants, rope bracelets and sailor belts.

Belt Up!

There has never been a better (or more fashionable) time to wear a belt. The smocked and billowy fashions of this year’s designer runways look great with a trendy cinched-waisted belt. Even if you are a bit on the large side, don’t shy away from wearing a belt. The right style belt can give you a waist, prevent you from looking larger than you are, and stop you from taking off like a hot-air balloon in this season’s diaphanous, billowing dresses.

Powerful Single-Statement Accessories

Fashion accessories on today’s runways are all about making a statement. Jewelry is chunkier, belts are bulkier and with this season’s oversized bags and embellished heels or metallics, shoes and handbags are no longer subtle. Add a cute or chic headband or mini turban to an outfit and see what effect it has. The nautical look this year is also supported by some great ship-shape accessories.
You are never too old to create your own sense of personal style. Just by adding one single wow piece, can make a difference to your both your outer look and your inner confidence. However, remember that whilst there is nothing fun and interesting in playing it subtle, also avoid "excessories". Resist the temptation to go overboard with too many look-at-me pieces. Avoid pairing oversized necklaces with huge earrings; go for simple chains which give you added length instead.
If you are not careful, wearing competing accessories will have the effect of making you look like a Christmas tree, so unless you want to resemble something akin to the festive season, remove any ornaments which are fighting for attention!