I enjoy reading your blog and I’m wondering what you and your readers suggest for a woman who doesn’t wear jewelry. It’s just not my thing, but I find that my outfits sometimes look a little boring, a little young, and/or a little masculine without it. I think great shoes and a belt can help out, but was wondering if there are perhaps some great ideas I’m missing. Are there great makeup tips, silhouettes, necklines, or even hair styles that you think might compensate?
Wow — I’ve got to say, my gut impulse here is to try to talk you out of this — jewelry can add so much to an outfit. I once wore a different black dress every day to the office (just for, um, kicks) and felt like it was the accessories that made it fun and interesting. Could you *try* just picking up a few great brooches and adding them to a blazer or two? They can just “live” on the blazer, and you won’t have to do anything. Or how about just investing in a few boring, but classic pieces — a great diamond stud or a simple high-quality huggie earring, a good strand of pearls (I like 18″, but 16″ is also popular), or a few simple rings? And a watch, do you wear a watch? Or glasses — do you wear glasses? You can have multiple pairs, you know, and they make a lot of really fun glasses that have personality in them… (Pictured: Happy Rainbow Love Hand With Costume Jewelry, originally uploaded to Flickr by D Sharon Pruitt.)
OK. Forgive me — like I said, gut impulse. I’m going to take a deep breath here, and try to actually answer the question. So: if jewelry is out, how do you make your outfits unique and feminine?
First, you want to avoid looking like a female operative in one of those TV shows. For example, avoid a harsh look in your hair — don’t slick all of your hair back into a low ponytail or bun, for example. Instead, you may want to try to leave it down as often as possible, or work with your hair stylist to come up with some easy but attractive ways to put it back. Similarly with makeup, you don’t want to overdo your makeup, but you don’t want to look like you’ve just scrubbed your face, either.
Pattern and color are going to be your biggest friends, here. At all costs, I would avoid wearing solids with solids, unless you’re mixing the colors in an interesting way. For example, black suit + white blouse = waiter (or aforementioned female operative). Black pants + light yellow high quality t-shirt + dark purple cardigan = something approaching an outfit. If you often wear suits, I would stick with printed blouses — and some slightly form-fitting ones, too, if you can swing it. If you’re feeling really wild, you can try mixing print with print. (Some advice: start slow — try a pinstriped pant with a floral top, for example.) You may want to try adding a beautiful scarf or two to your repertoire — particularly if you’re tall, they can be almost better than a necklace. Belts can also be great, and if you’re open to wearing those we’d go fairly bold — think Michelle Obama.
Finally, remember — just because you’re not accessorizing with jewelry doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize with clothes (a great blazer or structured cardigan), shoes, or bags.
Those are some of our tips — readers, what are yours? Would you notice someone who isn’t wearing jewelry?