Let's Play Dress Up | Accessories - Jeanne Oliver

Also known as, your fashion bff.

“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias

Accessories are my most favorite.  I could shop all day, everyday & never tire of fun necklaces, bracelets, cocktail rings, oversized watches, sunglasses, you name it.

So here’s the thing. As much as I’d love to tell you there are no rules in the world of accessories & how to wear them, there are a few guidelines that every stylish woman follows. Let’s face it; too much of a good thing is, well, too much.

“Stylish women know how to cozy up to an accessory. Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her sunglasses.  Audrey Hepburn and her scarves.  Elizabeth Taylor and her diamonds. These women understood that you didn’t need to wear an outlandish dress if you invited your best accessories to the party.”  Nina Garcia

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” Oscar Wilde

Accessories are like a perfect spouse that loves you no matter what you weigh. That little black dress may become a little snug every now and then, but that fabulous statement necklace isn’t dependent on those 5 pounds & will always be there for you.  They allow you to update your wardrobe and give you a fresh, current look without costing you a small fortune.  Accessories are the exclamation point on your wardrobe and who doesn’t love a well-placed, never overused, exclamation mark?

Mix up your accessories. Trying to match you belt & shoes isn’t a hard and fast rule that needs to be followed.  Fun accessories add interest. They make you look youthful and polished.  Fun, bold, colorful, on trend accessories are a great way to modernize what’s already in your closet.


So let’s roll out a few guidelines shall we?

  1. Build an interesting inventory. A treasured necklace from your grandmother one day and wear sterling &turquoise statement piece from New Mexico another.  Keep your eyes open for fun new additions to what you already own. And remember, you can be all over the board in your price range here.
    1. Be tasteful yet have fun. “Take one accessory off before you leave the house.” Coco Chanel. Wiser words have never been spoken.  Try not to go overboard. Statement necklace paired with dazzling oversized chandelier earrings is too much. Sadly. So take one off. I personally don’t go with a statement necklace, earrings AND a bracelet stack. Two of the three big players at most. Or I may do a fun chunky ring and a necklace but leave the bracelets and crazy earrings at home.  Try not to showcase all your jewelry at one time.
    2. Be inspired & become a smooth copy-cat! Nothing is truly an original. Each artist or designer is inspired by something, whether it is music, art, literature, or travel. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Borrow style icons and designer look book ideas and tweak them to fit you. Remember, your style is the expression of you. It can most certainly be a collaboration of sorts from all things from which you are inspired.
    3. Become aware of what’s current & on trend with both fashion and accessories. Incorporating these styles will give a fresh update to your wardrobe.
    4. Bracelets are probably my personal favorite piece of jewelry to wear. The charm bracelet holds its position on the must have list for sure. Charm bracelets are a great first jewelry piece to start for your daughter or granddaughters. I was given a charm bracelet by one of my dearest friends the night before I married Dan. Years later, after becoming quite heavy, I began to actually take it off in the evenings. Otherwise I always wore my charm bracelet. I had one made when I lost my first husband to cancer. I had dozens of charms added that were all symbolic of him and our life together. It will be a gift to one of my girls one day. Charm bracelets are deeply personal and always a great conversation starter too….ask the stylish older woman sitting beside you at a bridal shower about her bracelet and watch her face glow as she tells you her stories. It’s a great idea to create themed bracelets. Sterling makes this an affordable option.
    5. Build a bracelet stack. I think this little topic deserves a page to itself! Personally I was thrilled to see the “arm party” and the ever so popular “stacked wrists” become all the rage as I can tend to go a little overboard in this area! The only less is more rule for this party is only one arm can party at a time. Unless of course you’re going for the super hero look or you own fabulous antique gold cuffs from France then go for it. Remember to add a watch to the group, especially a men’s watch or a larger framed watch. Thin, somewhat stretchy bracelets in various textures are great. Wraps & tie bracelets, bangles and leather cuffs all make great pieces to work with. Have fun with this. Bracelet stacks are a look that is fun, youthful and relatively easy to pull off. I love varying my style from gold & bling group to a more bo-ho style of pearls and religious medallions stack.  When it comes to wearing an arm of just bangles (another piece on the must have list) wear at least 4-6. Throw a smaller charm bracelet in and you’ve added another layer of fun. Remember if your party is a little too distracting for you then start all over. If you’re not comfortable in it, you won’t enjoy it. So go forth & rock the arm party.

“I think French women wear what they love and do not hesitate to mix different styles of jewelry in a more bohemian way.  They are not afraid of wearing multiple pieces at the same time, layering them as a means of expressing their own style.  Americans respond more to wearing statement pieces individually, like an amazing ring or necklace that stands out on its own”.  Victoire de Castellane