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Accessorize for Your Outfit

ImageIf balance is the name of the game in faking a (conventionally) perfect figure, harmony is what you're going for in actually having the perfect look.

Harmony involves a lot of factors, but some primary ones to consider include theme and style.

Theme can be color, texture, a unifying element or even an era. Consider pairing a gold cuff with a drapey, Grecian maxi dress, or a pair of dark green earrings with a lighter green mini skirt. A wide, '60s style headband can look chic with a day dress or Gidget-y capris. Bronze-studded, tan gladiator sandals would be perfectly pulled through with a tan leather clutch and a bronze belt.

Style is related to theme and has a lot to do with the feel of an outfit. For instance, black leather platform pumps and a slouchy hobo bag would be far too clunky with a spaghetti strap, chiffon mini dress. Strappy sandals, silver clutch and maybe a small, rhinestone hair clip would be a better style match. On the other hand, platform pumps and a large bag, maybe with a couple of buckles, would totally fit with a bold, strong-shouldered cropped blazer and wool wide-legs.

With harmony in mind, it's still crucial to remember the golden rule in accessorizing: Don't overdo it. That's when the look falls apart and "ridiculous" comes together. That means:

• Choosing a focal point (only one statement piece at a time).
• Choosing between large earrings and a large necklace, or any other pieces in close vicinity.
• Refraining from exactly matching your accessories to your outfit or to each other (the vintage owl pendant loses its charm when you pair it with an owl bracelet and owl ring).
Beyond that, have a field day. There's nothing wrong with a little fashion risk, and if you pay attention to your body shape, what works with the outfit and how much is too much, you can't go all that wrong. There's always next weekend to get it right, anyway.

Author: Julia Layton