Here’s an Ask Design Mom Question that was emailed in early November:
Carol and I got talking last week and decided we need fashion advice, particularly in the accessorizing arena. We thought you could help. We of course don’t want to look too trendy, cause then you look like you’re trying too hard. We want to just reek of class and have it look [mostly] effortless.
Thanks in advance, Kaila

Design Mom Answer:
Excellent question, Kaila! My apologies for leaving you hanging for so long. Accessories for me seem to be a phase. I’m like six months on, six months off — and currently it’s six months off. But, from what I observe, more seems to be more right now. You can wear it all and you can wear it all at the same time. Dangly exotic earrings. A statement necklace. A watch or big bracelet or both. And a cocktail ring or 3. Still want more — finish everything off with an enormous belt.

More of a minimalist? The happy news is that there are so many awesome pieces out there, that even just one item — to add some visual interest and texture to an outfit — can be enough.

Let’s pull some samples from Anthropologie (too many to choose from!) and discuss:


Sipping Stars Necklace. Pretty with your wrap dress. Enough of a statement you don’t have to wear anything else. But maybe a ring.


Jumble Necklace. Wear it with a graphic tee under your fitted jacket. Jeans. Heels. A great belt.


Snowflake Pendant. With your delicate little blouse that opens at the neckline. Add a bracelet too.


Oakleaf Cuff. Make your 3/4 sleeve turtleneck twice as interesting with a fab cuff. And great earrings.


Thick and Thin Bangles. With pretty much anything. Plus provide endless entertainment for the baby.


Isthmus Bracelet. Not sure what I would wear it with. But am loving the delicate features.


Melissae Ring. Wear this and you probably don’t need much else. Remember things like this for days when you’re in a hurry. Too cool.


Lotus Flower Ring. Super feminine. Pretty on it’s own and pretty with lots of other gold too.


Seahorse Cresent Earrings. Um. So pretty. With everything.


Binocular Drop Earrings. So delicate. Als
o with everything.


Flowering Vine Earrings. Spice up that button-down. Or contrast these fancy, fancies with cargos.

It’s no secret that jewelry is expensive. So if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, don’t even pretend to get fine jewelry. Go for beads and texture at places like H&M; or Forever 21. Or raid your grandma’s costume jewelry.

Going for simple and refined? The women I notice as impeccably groomed never seem to leave the house without all 4 accessory elements in place. Small, understated, very high quality pieces they wear almost every day. Small diamond studs, a simple tennis bracelet, wedding ring and a good chain with something sparkly dangling from it. They also always have their nails done. They also always look just right. This is a kind of country club look that I will personally never be able to pull off — but I would recommend it to my Politician’s Wife sister and my Army Major’s Wife sister.

I hope that helps, Kaila. It occurs to me that accessories can include scarves and handbags and headbands and a dozen other things. Was I wrong to focus on jewelry?

Hey readers! How do you accessorize? How much? How little? Favorite pieces? Speak up!!