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Solutions to common accessory woes

 

Get accessor-wiser with these top tips
Get accessor-wiser with these top tips

 

We believe that how you accessorise – be it fun and flirty, stylish and sophisticated or achingly on-trend – says a lot about you. Here’s some useful hints to help you get it right:

The Truths:

The right bag, shoes, belt and jewellery will magically pull a look together.
A small, core collection of good, classic leather bags and footwear in black, brown and/or tan will see you through the years. You can update your look and ring the seasonal changes with less expensive, trendy items in the textures, colours and shapes that appeal to you.
A daytime outfit can look completely different dressed up with evening accessories, and take you through from breakfast meeting to cocktails and dinner.

Questions and Answers:

Q: Should my bag match my shoes, or is that just old-fashioned?

A: Matching two or more accessories is the foolproof way to tie your outfit together, but it’s not the only option, especially if you have a good eye for colour and texture. You could go for a contrast, for example a leather tote in one of the primary colours, or purple or yellow, worn with an all-black outfit.

Q: I love belts, but I’m straight-up-and-down and I think they draw attention to that.

A: You’re right: wide belts look best on a long waist. To draw less attention to a shorter or thicker waist, choose a belt in a low-contrast colour. Or drop it down to accentuate slim hips; try a chain belt for sex appeal.

Q: How would you accessorise a little black dress for a swish cocktail party?

A: Some classy bling is best, as discreet or as bold as you like. Diamanté drop earrings, one huge statement ring, sparkly heels, an ornately embellished evening bag – one or more of these will do the trick.

Q: What is the right amount of jewellery to wear?

A: Too much jewellery confuses the eye and looks gaudy. Here are a few pointers: * Showy earrings generally look better without a necklace. * A bold cocktail ring looks better if other fingers are bare. * To avoid “excessorising”, take Coco Chanel’s advice and take off the last piece of jewellery you put on.

Q: Is it ever all right to buy a fake Louis Vuitton bag or Tiffany bracelet from a Shanghai market?

A: Not as far as Louis Vuitton or Tiffany are concerned: it’s a criminal infringement of their international copyright. But if your bank balance won’t stretch to the genuine article and you find yourself staring at a row of “almost” Hermès Birkins try and steer clear of the obvious replicas – an LV wallet and a Gucci quilted bag. The best option is to find a similar bag from a high street brand – at least you’ll be able to return it if it breaks or stains your clothes!

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