Accessories create attitude and deliver your point of view.
A grilled chicken breast is blah. But, when you layer it with parmesan, fresh basil, mozzarella, peas and a zippy marinara sauce, you've got a savory chicken parmesan meal. The same notion applies to style. The confluence of style elements is what transforms random combinations of garments into A LOOK. The key? Pulling it all together. Dramatic counterpoints are what will bring your outfit to life. My signature style -- Ali McGraw meets JLo -- is all about accessorizing. I don't have hours to get ready. Or, a gigantic wardrobe. What I do have is an impressive array of wow factor. When women have quality basics -- their uniform -- all they need are eye popping accessories like jewelry, scarves, belts, hats and shoes to elevate, say, a simple sheath dress into a Boho-fab Nicole Richie worthy ensemble. The five minutes that it takes to pop on two necklaces, a scarf and earrings is the difference between ho-hum and high wattage. And, when speaking of accessories, bigger is almost always better. Diminutive pieces are cute for children. But, they don't really succeed in elevating a garment into something fabulous. In order to be eye catching, it needs to be big enough to make a statement
MUST HAVE WOW FACTOR OUTFIT MAKERS: STATEMENT ACCESSORIES THAT ELEVATE NEUTRALS
NECKLACES: Gold chains, pendants, beads, a vintage magnifying glass dangling from a gold chain, an eye catching necklace is the easiest way to make a basic outfit pop.
BANGLES/CUFFS: Eclectic accents -- think a bunch of Indian bangles, a thick wooden cuff or some colorful enamel bracelets. These are the eye candy that add some flash to basics.
LONG EARRINGS: Whether a simple hoop or a fancy chandelier earring, a neck grazing earring acts as a tool to elongate the neck. Earrings also create a focal point and draw attention to your face by adding light.
BELTS: Emphasize a slim waist or add shape to amorphous garments with a belt ... Skinny belts feel demure. Chain belts feel sporty. Thicker belts reflect a harder edge. A macramé or leather tie belt screams Boho. Cinching a thin leather belt over a cardigan is a classic, super polished look.
SCARVES: Scarves, lightweight cottons or heavy cashmere, are the ultimate layering piece. Forget the old fart, knotted under the neck country club look. There is a vast difference between the large rectangular scarves that Granny favors and the attenuated Stevie Nicks/ Steven Tyler/Kate Moss type scarf which drips sensuously down the body.
BAGS: Every woman needs a great tote and clutch bag that marry fashion and function ... The right bag adds proportion to your look and is a great way to add a pop of color.
TEST DRIVE: INSTA-GLAMOUR
In order to experience the power of wow factor, get your hands on a gold cuff, a dangly, a long, gauzy silk scarf, big beads, oversized sunglasses, some long, gold necklaces and a colorful tote bag. Lay your basic black clothing out on the bed, place these fetching accessories on top and watch your outfit pop. That's right. Simple + cool eye catching accessories = a polished statement making glamorous look.
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