How to Power Accessorize

We’ve all heard of accessorizing, but have you heard of power accessorizing?  If not, don’t worry–"power accessorizing" is a term my friend Mary Beth and I came up with one night at dinner. It all started when I walked up to her and saw that she was wearing this awesome outfit: black jeans, a black shirt, a sweater-cardigan that went from gray to black in an ombre style, some Sperry’s and a cute statement necklace.  I commented on how much I loved her cardigan, to which she replied a smiling thank you but that she was also wondering if she was wearing too much black, hence the bright necklace.  I said that I thought the necklace was a great piece and great choice.  It just so happened that I was wearing a statement necklace over a black shirt as well, which turned us toward the topic of bold pieces and how they can really amp up an outfit.  We spontaneously uttered the words "power accessory" and the rest was history.  

So what is power accessorizing?  If accessorizing is to "provide or complement (a garment) with a fashion accessory," then power accessorizing is not to complement an outfit with an accessory, but to make the accessory itself the main feature that pulls the outfit together (Mary Beth’s necklace is a great example).  In general, accessorizing is something that many designers might call seamless (no pun intended) and completes a look without people noticing.  In other words, accessories aren’t really supposed to call attention to themselves.  But with power accessorizing, the accessory does just that–it calls attention to itself.  It does most of the talking.  It’s a power move.

How, then, does one power accessorize?  Check out these three possibilities:

1. Power accessorize with a statement scarf! 

Statement scarves are one of my favorite types of accessories.  They are big, bold and fun.  Oftentimes they are very functional, too, wrapping you up in warmth like the one below. 

2. Power accessorize with a statement bag!

Another accessory that is often functional as well as fashionable, statement bags come in all shapes, colors and sizes.  Whether you're going to a party or want to switch up your neutral-colored tote for something more vibrant, a statement bag is sure to be the center of attention.  

3. Power accessorize with a statement necklace!

A bold necklace often pairs well with neutral and/or solid tops, as seen in the looks Mary Beth and I were going for.  Like the statement bag, the statement necklace is not based off of a single form or a single style, but a spectrum.  Mary Beth's necklace from the Loft would fall more on the fashion jewelry part of the spectrum, while my necklace is a one-of-a-kind piece I purchased from an art show that happens in my hometown every summer.  Both are beautiful, both have fashionable appeal and both represent the fun in variety.

In the end, what makes power accessorizing work is the accessory’s contrast with the rest of the outfit.  For example, the green bag shown above is in contrast with the woman’s neutral-colored outfit.  The same goes for the red statement scarf.  And my favorite example–the example that inspired this article–is Mary Beth’s necklace.  Her outfit would have been ultra cute without it, but its addition emphasizes the chic strength of a classic black outfit while also drawing attention to itself because of that dark backdrop.  Whatever the outfit, whatever the occasion, power accessorizing is a fun way to experiment with new pieces and play with your personal style!      

Statement scarf picture. Statement bag picture.