Ask The Bean: Do I Have to Wear Accessories?

July 29, 2006 • Magazine

Ask The Bean: Do I Have to Wear Accessories?

Ask The Bean: Do I Have to Wear Accessories?

Sun, 2006-07-30 01:00

Dear Ms. Bean,
I love fashion but can’t get excited about accessories. I know my outfit would look better with some, but I’m just not into it. Does every outfit need them?
Afraid of Flair

Dear Afraid,

Though I usually reserve black-or-white answers for very small children, my response is yes. Unless you are a nun or allergic to all metals, it is your birthright and duty to enjoy hats, scarves, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and maybe even the occasional toe ring. You don’t have to get decked out, but your wardrobe should include some basics.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. Accessories bring out the versatility in clothing. A big old cocktail ring, a sparkling necklace, and heels can transform your jeans and black tank top into an evening outfit. Conversely, a chunky wooden necklace would tone down a silk wrap dress. Having a few key accessories means buying fewer big-ticket items like jeans and jackets.

2. Accessories accentuate the lovely parts of your body. Long earrings can give normal necks a swan-like grace; certain metals make hair color pop. Just think about an ice-y platinum earring against raven-black hair or a bright gold necklace on dark skin. Gorgeous!

3. Accessories also hide the not-so lovely parts of your body — not that you have any, but if you did…A well-positioned belt can create a waist, while a necklace (in a perfect length for your body) can either distract from or, I suppose, call attention to décolletage – whatever look you’re going for.

4. Accessories (your grandmother’s ring, your boyfriend’s Kangol hat, the pendant you got on your trip to Italy…) can be reminders of people you love, people who love you back, and vacations. And who doesn’t want to think about that?

Mint Julep (Armitage) has a fantastic collection of jewelry from K.Amato, a Chicago designer who creates fun, beautiful, and affordable jewelry. This would be a good place to start. For a more industrial look, check out the goods at p45. Online, visit Bella Oro. (Check out the link on our homepage for a discount.) I also like clothing that has built-in accessorizing, like this Romeo and Juliet top.

When hunting for accessories, be selective. If an armful of bangles gets on your nerves, then don’t wear them. If a skull pendant seems weird to you, don’t do it. You get the idea. It’s ok to be picky, just don’t obsess!

A. The Southport Earring from

B. Horseshoe Necklace by Tonia Kim at

C. Eugenia Kim Alicia Hat from

D. 4 Stone Drop Earrings by Jill Italiano from

If you would like to submit a question, please send your email to:
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