Saturday, 12 March 2016

Accessories for your capsule wardrobe: shape, size and contrast

My previous posts on accessories have covered what I consider to be the main criteria when choosing accessories for your capsule wardrobe: colour and personality. However, as I hinted last time, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration.

If your face and your features are rounded and you choose accessories with straight, sharp lines, they might not flatter you. I'm fairly lucky in this respect as I have combination features, however I'm still better wearing necklaces, for example, that are a mixture of round and sharp shapes and handbags that aren't totally square or round. The one shown below has straight edges, so isn't ideal.

I'm petite, so large handbags tend to dominate me. If you're taller than me, or big-boned, you will probably look better if you choose larger accessories rather than delicate pieces. You can also choose bigger, bolder patterns, which would overwhelm me and other smaller women. In the photo below I'm carrying a large bag that doesn't particularly flatter me, however sometimes you have to be practical - and this bag is ideal when travelling as I can put so much into it!

In the photo above I am wearing both dark and light neutrals (with a touch of turquoise, as I love colourful accessories). This combination is flattering on me, as I have high value contrast, though low colour contrast. Just look at my pale skin and my dark hair and you can see what I mean. If your personal contrast is medium, you should be looking for medium contrast in what you wear. If I was wearing dark trousers with this top, I would need lighter accessories to provide the right contrast. What I need to avoid of course is high colour contrast, which is why neutral colours are the best choice for me, even though I can't resist a dash of colour in my accessories!

Now you can take a look at the accessories in your wardrobe with a more critical eye. Are they a flattering shape and size for you? Do they add the right contrast when worn with the items in your capsule wardrobe? If you're buying new accessories, these factors should be kept in mind, as well as making sure they suit your colouring and your personality.

If you want to find out more about accessories, you might want to join Sylvia of 40+ Style's latest course, which I'm finding really helpful. This may not be my last post on accessories because I'm learning so much more about accessories from the course, however the next post will be about adding more items of clothing to your capsule wardrobe. I've been shopping for clothes in London, looking forward to spring and summer, so I will share my latest purchases with you.


  1. Very interesting. I hadn't really thought of the shape of jewelry. I low contrast so I see why some jewelry appeals more in shape or color. I do like the color of that shirt on you as well as the one in your profile picture. I've been delving into my colors again.

  2. Thanks, Barbara. I'm finding the course very helpful.

  3. Hi Sue, I love your top in this photo - great colour and a very flattering neckline. As a fellow petite, I know what you mean about accessories - I am quite terrified of them! I am very small though and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by statement necklaces, scarves and oversized bags. Am going to try to be braver on my own blog, as no accessories can look a bit boring after a while, so really appreciate your advice here.

    1. Thanks, Astrid. I've taken a look at your blog and love it! Keep up the good work.

  4. I'm not big on accessorizing. I'm lazy. For me, my go-to is a pair of cheap hoop earrings. I'll wear my watch when I can find it. And, at times, a scarf. But always--a smile!

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