The Clever Art of Accessories & Why You Should Invest
Few things have made me feel as inadequate as when an old school pal filled me in on her summer-wedding-wardrobe-strategy: she had bought one new posh frock, to be worn to six weddings – thanks to a variety of different coloured heels, handbags, fascinators and wraps.
Several things occurred to me at once: what exactly is a wardrobe strategy and why don’t I have one, why have I only been invited to three of those weddings and, for the love of god, how have I not managed to amass a rainbow of co-ordinating formal accessories in my thirty-plus years of throwing money around upon this planet?
Much like (I’d imagine) my granny felt about a well-stocked parlour, I think there is something very reassuring and grown-up about owning a wardrobe of dressy bags, wraps and scarves. You’re prepared for any occasion. Never again will a simple invite to the races fill your very heart with dread. Far from being frivolous, think of it as an investment in your future – or, at the very least, your future social life.
But as practical and sensible decisions go, there is obviously a sprinkling of fun and glamour in the pursuit of curating a wardrobe of fabulous accessories. Your choices needn’t all be classic and safe. On the contrary: as dressing for special occasions can sometimes feel a little formulaic, I’d advocate incorporating at least a couple of pieces that show off your personality, whether that’s a splash of bold colour in the form of a statement clutch, a sassy pair of earrings or some discreet fringing on your pastel pashmina.
The bulk of your investment, though, should be on those pieces you’ll have in your wardrobe for years, without fearing they’ll go out of style. Splash out on the best quality you can afford, in the knowledge that they’ll go with the bulk of your wardrobe, and you’ll wear them over and over again. Think return on investment!
Of course, the beauty of spending on your fripperies is that you can actually save elsewhere. Not for nothing do we call these essentials wardrobe ‘cover-ups’. Clever accessorising can entirely change the accent of an outfit, disguising a multitude and even moving an ensemble up through a dress code or two. For an instant update, pair a casual wardrobe staple, like a plain jersey dress, with a soft wrap in a luxe fabric – try silk in spring/summer, cashmere in autumn/winter – along with some statement jewellery and a co-ordinating headpiece and heels.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some pashminas to peruse…
Emma Henderson is the creator of the Irish beauty and lifestyle blog, Fluff and Fripperies (http://www.fluffandfripperies.com) , which she has been writing since 2010; find her on twitter or Instagram as @fluffyblog.