When you put an outfit together, don’t just stop at the clothing itself. Yes, that’s the main point of the outfit, but it’s not the end of the story - what about the accessories? When you’re able to accessorise your outfit properly and do a great job of choosing the right items to go with your clothes, you can complete the outfit perfectly, elevating it to new heights and feeling confident in what you’re wearing. 

What’s great about being able to accessorise is that you can do it no matter what outfit you’re wearing or what occasion you’re wearing it for. From a casual day out to a professional event or even a date, the right accessories can make all the difference. 

So we keep talking about the right accessories and getting things right when it comes to what you’re choosing, and that’s because it’s not just a case of picking whatever you like the look of from your collection of jewellery and handbags and hoping for the best; there’s an art to accessorising, and if you want to know more about what it is so you can do it well, keep reading - I’ve got some useful hints and tips for you. 

Flat lay image of black jewellery and watch

Why do accessories matter?

Perhaps you’re wondering what the point of accessorising is and why it all matters in the first place - why not just get dressed and forget about everything else? Of course, you can do exactly that, and there aren’t any rules or laws that say you have to do otherwise, but the truth is that accessories aren’t just add-ons - when you think about it, you’ll see they’re essential elements of an outfit that you can’t do without because they have the amazing ability to transform your entire appearance. 

Accessories are fantastic because they also give you the opportunity to express your personal style too, which is crucial (especially if you have to dress to conform to a dress code so there’s not much chance of being your individual self in any other way). When you choose the right accessories, you can make your look much better and feel more confident and more like yourself, so they’re more important than you might think.

Types of accessories

The wonderful thing about accessorising (among many wonderful things) is that there are so many options, meaning you can be sure you’ll be able to pick something that works not just for the outfit, but that like (or, even better, love) as well. 

You can choose from jewellery, bags, shoes, belts, scarves, shawls, hats, eyewear, and watches, for example, and you can mix and match various ideas from each category if you want to. And if you think that’s not enough, don’t worry; break each category down and you’ll find there are hundreds or even thousands of options - shoes, for example, can be flats, heels, boots, trainers, or sandals, and bags could mean classic designer handbags, clutches, totes, backpacks, crossbody, and so on. The list is seemingly endless, and there’s definitely going to be enough choice when it comes to whatever it is you specifically want to enhance your outfit with.


Let’s start with jewellery because that’s what’s most likely to come to mind when you think of accessorising. A necklace is a great option because the necklace you choose can change the neckline of your outfit, and hopefully if that’s your plan, it’ll work out for the better. 

If you’re wearing a V-neck top, you’ll want a pendant of a Y-shaped necklace that follows the shape of the V and gives your outfit a little more structure. What about a round neckline? No problems - a chunky statement necklace or a short chain can work wonders there. And if you’re wearing a top that sits off the shoulders, layered necklaces can fill up the space you’re leaving, and a choker can look beautiful too. 

If you’ve got pierced ears (or you’re happy to wear clip-ons), earrings are another fantastic accessory that can make a massive positive difference to any outfit. If you want to play things quite safe, studs are probably the way to go, and these are perfect for everyday wear and for when you want to jazz up your outfit but you don’t necessarily want to be noticed too much. If you do want to get noticed, larger earrings like hoops can be fantastic, and dangling earrings are perfect for evening events and when you want to really make a statement.

Don’t just focus on your face and head area when it comes to adding jewellery to your outfit - what about your hands? You could wear a few different bracelets all at once, combining different colours and textures to make something unique and attractive, and you could even do the same with your rings - mix and match until you’ve got a look you can be happy with.


Not everyone’s into jewellery, and that’s fine - you have to wear what you’re comfortable with when it comes to accessorising - but most people are going to be fine with a bag because not only do they look good and they’ll take your outfit to the next level, but they’re also practical and functional, so you’ll probably want to wear one anyway. 

As you might have guessed by now, just picking up any old bag and assuming it’s going to work with your outfit isn’t necessarily a good idea (you might get lucky, but you probably won’t), so you’ll need to think about which type of bag you want to wear in advance and make it a complete part of your outfit. Start with the type of bag itself; you’ll need to decide whether you want a clutch, which is great for formal occasions, a tote, which is fantastic for a casual day out or perhaps work, a backpack, a purse, and so on. What do you need to carry and what look do you need to come across? 

Once you’ve chosen the style of bag you want, you’ll need to think about the colour because it’s going to depend on the rest of your outfit - the last thing you’ll want is a bag that clashes with what you’re wearing or that stands out for the wrong reasons. Neutral colours are often a good idea because you can have a few bags ready to go in black, beige, white, cream, and so on - neutrals are versatile colours that can pair with pretty much anything, so you won’t have to buy a new bag for every outfit you put together (unless you want to, obviously, and if that’s the case, enjoy!). 

Not everyone’s into neutral colours, though, even if it does make it easier to style the bag, and if you prefer bolder, brighter colours when it comes to your bag, then it’s best to pair that bold, bright bag with a neutral outfit, otherwise there’s going to be too many colours fighting for attention, and that can end up being unpleasant.


You can’t go anywhere without your shoes, so they need to be another part of your outfit, and they’re not something you can and should forget about. As with everything else on this list, there are dozens of different styles of shoes available, and they’ll vary in how they look and their comfort level, so you do need to be careful and make sure you pick wisely; you don’t want to be distracted throughout your special occasion or standard work day because your feet hurt or the shoes you’ve chosen aren’t quite right for the venue (heels in a field or other outdoor place aren’t always great, for example). 

Flats are a good call for most occasions these days because you can get them in all different styles and colours, and they can even be worn to more formal events if you want, which is exactly the right choice if you want to be comfortable and heels aren’t your thing. Speaking of heels, they could actually be your thing, and if that’s the case, it helps to narrow down your options a little (although not completely because there are lots of different styles and heights of heel, so you’ll still have some decisions to make). Or maybe you’re only interested in comfort and you’re wondering what on earth you can do if you’ve got an occasion to get dressed up for. Well, as we’ve said, flats are an option, but if they’re not going to be right for you, what about sneakers? It might sound strange, and only a few years ago it wouldn’t have worked too well), but these days it’s perfectly acceptable to wear sneakers to any kind of event, whether it’s work, an outing, or something more formal (although if that’s the case, the sneakers can’t be your ratty old running shoes; they need to be clean and smart). 

No matter what type of shoe you want to wear, you’ll still need to match it to the rest of your outfit, otherwise you might undo the work you’ve put into making it in the first place. It’s wise to work on making sure the colour works, and ideally matches another accessory, like your bag or hat, for example. If you can do that, any type of shoe will look lovely and balance your outfit in just the right way. 

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