The Secret to Making Any Outfit Amazing

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Do you ever wonder how certain girls always seem to look good no matter what they wear? They could be rocking just a tee shirt and jeans, but yet the outfit comes off as simply stylish.

While you might think it’s a designer brand name, the aid of a stylist, or a never ending closet to blame, there’s another piece to the puzzle that can make or break an outfit.

Here’s the secret to looking great in even the most basic clothes, something that the world’s most stylish girls have mastered: the art of accessorizing.

{RELATED POST: Fashion Accessories List: The 5 Pieces You Need to Accessorize Like a Pro}

Putting the right accessories together is a basic fashion skill that separates well-dressed people from those who just look boring. Once you’ve got it down, you’ll always look great in whatever you wear. The best part? You can find incredible accessories at any budget, so it’s a great way to stretch your wardrobe and save money.

Yes, it’s true. Your clothes can be totally basic and you’ll still look incredible if you add the right accessories. It’s a style trick that everyone from fashion stylists to that well-dressed girl in your English class have mastered. With a few simple tips and an eye for proportions, anyone can learn to accessorize well.

How to Accessorize Any Outfit

Any outfit can go from boring to stunning with the right accessories. You just need to learn to buy pieces that express your personality and remember not to overdo it. Here are some more tips to accessorizing like a pro:

Large earrings can be a great way to dress up a casual or formal outfit. They draw attention to your face and add sparkle. Whether 80’s door knockers are your thing, or you prefer chunky faux diamond studs, a statement earring can always add drama to an outfit.

Layered necklaces are a hot trend. Play with lengths and sizes and pair two or three necklaces together for a cute look. But beware, one chunky necklace is enough. Too many and you risk looking like you just got back from Mardi Gras – not so cute.

Be careful with proportions. If you’re wearing an outfit that is big and voluminous, scale back on the accessories. If you’re wearing something sleeker, you can go a little bigger and bolder with a chunky cocktail ring or big, bright handbag.

Add a belt. Yet another hot trend this fall, cinched waists are in. Add a wide belt over a flowy dress, or use a brightly colored belt over a black cardigan and white tank to add interest to the outfit and emphasize your curves.

The more basic the outfit, the bolder your accessories can be. Amazing outfits are all about balance. For example, pair a simple tee shirt and jeans combo with colorful sneakers, layered necklaces and a few layered bracelets in different types of metals. Accessories can add complexity and interest to a plain look, balancing everything out.

Don’t wear too many accessories at once. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and you don’t want to resemble a kid playing dress up in mom’s closet. Exercise a little bit of restraint with accessories – if you have statement earrings on, don’t add bangles, a cocktail ring, and a scarf. Keep it to one or two main pieces.

Try layering your bracelets. Stacked bracelets are a hot trend this winter. Wear a bunch on one arm to easily add sparkle to an outfit. You can buy a pack of bracelets for super cheap at any fast fashion store, so it’s definitely a budget-friendly look!

Buy accessories that convey a part of your personality. This is so important, and it’s also so much fun. When you buy accessories, go for pieces that you’re attracted to – even better if they have a personal meaning to you.

Don’t be afraid to mix materials. I know some people don’t believe this, but it’s totally okay to mix metals when it comes to jewelry. Mixing up your jewelry creates a fabulous vintage look, so don’t be afraid to throw things together and see what happens. You might come up with some amazing combos!

Add pops of color. If your outfit is plain (black and white, black and grey, etc.), create a pop of color with jewelry, a scarf, a handbag, or a bright shoe. Remember that outfits don’t have to MATCH, but they do have to GO – keep things in similar color families (warm colors or cool colors), and you’ll generally be fine.

How do you accessorize?

These are just a few of my tips for accessorizing your outfits, and there are lots of other accessories I didn’t even get into here. But now I want to hear from you – what are your favorite accessories? Are you a jewelry person, or do you prefer the basic bags and shoes approach?

Let me know how you accessorize by leaving a comment – I want to hear your tips!

38 thoughts on “The Secret to Making Any Outfit Amazing”

  1. im not a jewelry person persay.. i prefer shoes.. i’m pretty much not the extra girly person .. i love my jeans and tshirts/ blouse.. but i dont wanna look js plain ole me.. . can i get some tips on how to spice it up a bit?

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  2. i always go with the new school girl trend a bandana with your hair down a scarf or long necklace and gold studs painted silver since im allergic to plastic and silver. i always take the cheaper toms or sperrys and pair them with a cute shirt or a skirt. i have this one charm bracelet that i wear and a promise ring. if it looks good then ill try it (;

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  3. great post zephyr 🙂

    I’m a huge fan of sccessories as a way to play up an outfit. I like piling on bracelets, long necklaces, or wearing big rings. I’m very into statement pieces that kind of grab attention (a huge cocktail ring/ eiffel tower necklace/ charm bracelet).

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  4. Scarves are my new favorite! Even though I have quite a short neck, I love them. Necklaces seem to enhance the bump before my shoulder?

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  5. Jes – Thanks for the reply. 😛 Perhaps I strain my neck too much. Either way, not a fan of wearing necklaces. It’s a shame because I own many that are really very cute. 🙁

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  6. Not so much of a fan of the long necklaces either, but I LOVE big earrings, layered bracelets, and chunky bangles.
    My go-to for all my jewelry (very cute, really affordable) is http://www.shopthelook.net
    Use coupon code VP08PREVIEW and save 30% on your entire order of fashion jewelry, scarves, and hair accessories. Free shipping over order of $50

    PS– My roommate is European and the chick ALWAYS looks cute, plain white t and jeans and she looks amazing! Im obsessed with Euro style. A tip I stole from her is the need to a great, funky scarf. Throw one around your neck with a plain tee and jeans…. very Euro Chic! 🙂

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  7. I love this post and agree with it. When I’m feeling lazy I’ll just throw on a v-neck and some jeans. But then I’ll add one of my favorite pendant necklaces, and a cocktail ring. I love every kind of accessory. I’m a big accessory sort of person, haha. I have the biggest collection of scarves and earrings, though right now I’m really into rings.

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  8. Long necklaces are the best. I am loving that trend.
    And legwarmers, too. Ostentatiously colored legwarmers can add a lot of pop to an otherwise plain and dark winter outfit.

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  9. This is great! But you have to keep in mind that sometimes wearing precisely the WRONG accessory can destroy your outfit. Like, wearing something tacky and childish will only make your outfit look worse, rather than dressing it up and giving it that extra touch of sophistication we all long for.

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  10. lol AJ! I hear you about the lab hair thing, it’s hard for me to figure it out with hair just above my shoulders. Makes me want my long hair back to do cute updo’s!

    I recently went through alot of my mom’s old jewelry and even some of my grandmother’s old jewelry and I must say I found some great items! Nice and some are big, classy rings and earrings. Also, some silver or gold chains that they used for dressy belts that sit on your hips. I sometimes wear those as necklaces! Some of the best places to hit up for original, amazing jewelry are vintage stores and even some consignment shops!

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  11. I have 2 signature jewelry pieces that I always wear. I wear my pearl earrings and my promise ring. Whenever I accessorize, I cater to those 2 items and make sure everything is flattering together. I like fancy watches, necklaces and I too am a recent converted lover of scarves! Also, I have a long neck and so I love wearing turtlenecks and accessorizing with flattering layered necklaces, or I’d wear big chandelier earrings with either a bold ring or some classy bangles. It’s all about making everything work and not going over-board!

    M – The bump before your shoulder that necklaces enhance is called your collarbone! =)

    As usual, great post Zephyr

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  12. I love jewelry. I wear about 8 rings everyday, I love piling on necklaces and bracelets. I’m obsessed. I also love scarves. I’m really inspired by Keith Richards, Johnny Depp, and Mary-Kate O.

    When it comes to clothing, I’m extremey basic. My uniform is skinny jeans, plain white tee, blazer, and boots or flats. I just throw on the accessories from there, like a blank canvas.

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  13. Always have to keep it chic and trendy my fav for this time of the year vintage scarf and dangle earrings. I’ve done a lot of shopping from this online boutique they had some great prices and good deals for the hollidays…thought i’d share
    Happy holidays

    http://www.shopecbc.com

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  14. i suck at coordinating jewelry…but i think i’ll try to work on it because the looks nice. i just find myself looking too dressy at times when wearing jewelry : ( i want something low-key.
    but i am more of a bag and shoes person ! : D
    nice post!

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  15. AJ – I love the look of pearls too – they’re so classic and they really do go with everything!

    M – Scarves are great. I think they’re the best way to accessorize in the winter.

    Emma – Yaaay! Glad you like the skinny jeans – I’m sure you look fabulous 🙂

    Connie – It’s fine to wear different types of metals in jewelry, unless you’re going for a really classic look. When you’re going more formal, matching your jewelry makes sense, but if it’s a casual look, mixing up the metals can look fresh and modern. A tip here is to keep the styles similar when you’re wearing pieces of two different metals- a chunkier silver necklace can look cute with a chunky gold bracelet, for example. Don’t do a dainty gold necklace and a huge chunky silver cuff. I know it’s kinda confusing but does that make sense?

    Lyd – I love layering bracelets too, also wearing necklaces looped around as bracelets. And I hear ya about necklaces always getting mixed up – I throw all of mine in a set of plastic drawers, and sometimes it takes forever to get them untangled. There’s got to be a better way to do it.

    Amanda – That’s cute! Nice choice.

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  16. Haha, whatever it is (it’s not the sternovalicular joint, i’m “studying” for an anatomy two final), if it doesn’t hurt, it just means you skinny.

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  17. Nice post, most helpful. I usually accesorize with just a necklace and earings. I really like small chandelier earings 1928 has some cute ones(also my favoritest brand), necklace wise I love pearls, for grad I got the real thing so I am wearing those out I’m afraid, but they go with everything, just like diamond studs and pendants, but they are kind of understated pieces.

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  18. Love pashmina and necklaces. I don’t have my ears pierced so that’s out, but I really should stock up on new necklaces and rings. Forever21 is my fav for cheap accessories.

    I really love my elephant necklace I got from there. So cute. I’m glad it’s ok to mix metals – that’s not something I’ve tried before but I should.

    Also, I finally bought skinny jeans! All thanks to you – for letting us know they’d still be in fashion and that you don’t have to be super thin to pull them off. They’re so comfortable, I got two pairs, one in a dark wash and one in black. Love ’em 🙂

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  19. I’m big on belts this season, i am looking for a brown belt (preferably suede) to go with this purple dress I have. It’s a cute dress, but it needs a little something extra.

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  20. The clavicle and the collar bone are the same thing, my dear.

    “In human anatomy, the clavicle or collar bone is classified as a long bone that makes up part of the shoulder girdle (pectoral girdle).”

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  21. great post! I’ve been looking into getting some cool jewelery recently, still trying to find some necklaces that will fit into a lot of outfits, and this post has been very helpful!

    As for me, on any normal day I just like to wear a ring, keep it simple. I have a question on the mixing metals thing though… is it also okay to have like a silver ring and gold necklace, or silver earrings with gold necklace? it won’t clash?

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  22. my biggest obsession is long necklaces, and i used to throw them in a drawer and they would get tangled. since i live in a dorm room, my bed is lofted, and i came up w. the best idea to make sure my necklaces didn’t get tangled…buy a men’s tie hanger and drape them on there! it works the best under like a lofted bed, but you can hang them in your closet too. hope that helps zephyr!

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  23. The best accessory is definitely confidence… I know it sounds stupid but no matter how many chunky necklaces you pile on or how many rings you put on, you won’t look good until you believe you look good… and then you show it and knock other people off their socks 😉

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  24. excellent posts!! i like to layer bracelets (i have a few cuff like bracelets) and a few beads, and i find layering bead and pearl bracelets works for me!!!! Earrings wise, i like to go simple (i have studs and drop earrings, in which my Aunt bought overseas, real stones XD)!! Necklace i go simple as well, as i tend to get them mixed up a lot.

    I also bought dark skinny jeans and have worn it with flowy tops!! Very comfy as well!!!

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  25. pieceapie – Hm, I mean the part of the shoulder that is connected to my neck, mine is a large bump, very odd looking. Not the collarbone. 😛

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  26. The clavicle/collar bone arguement is hysterical. I’m a nursing major so silly stuff like that comes up ALL the time, along with the best ways to do hair that you can get away with in a lab.lol

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  27. I’m so glad that beaded necklaces are still in style, I thought it was out of style and stoped wearing my black beaded necklace but I’m going to wear it again. I do have one question is a long chain necklace with a heart on it really in style? If so I’m going to get one hopefully Target or Forver 21 will have it!

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  28. I totally agree with this post – I love viewing an outfit as a blank canvas just WAITING to be accessorized… but my biggest issue is, once you buy all these accessories, where do you put them? There is a serious lack of organization skills in my room because of this. I can’t seem to find enough jewelry boxes, hangers, or the like to keep them separated. Its especially difficult when you have such a wide variety.

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