Have you ever wondered how some women always seem to look polished, no matter what they’re wearing? They could be rocking jeans and a white tee shirt or a little black dress… either way, their outfits come off as put together and stylish. While it is possible that they have an endless closet of designer clothes or a stylist to help them choose the perfect outfits, there’s something else that can make or break an outfit.

The secret to taking even the most basic outfit to complete and polished is the art of accessorizing. Knowing how to choose the right accessories for any outfit is what separates a boring outfit from a fashionable one. Once you know how to do it, you’ll be one of those women who always looks great, no matter what she’s wearing. With a few simple tips and a good eye for balance, anyone can learn how to accessorize for a complete and polished look.

Accessories to complete and polish your look

1. Step Back and Look at Your Base Layer

Whether you’re wearing a dress or a shirt and pants, that first layer of clothes you put on is called your base layer. Although you could walk out the door in just your base layer, no one would call it complete or polished. Before you start layering on the accessories, take a step back, and consider your base layer.

Is it basic and neutral? Or, does it have a lot of color, texture, or print going on? The complexity of your base layer determines the complexity of your other layers and your accessories. If there’s already a whole lot happening, keep your accessories to a minimum. But if your base layer is more like a blank canvas, go ahead and have more fun with it.

2. Adding the Next Layer

Your next layer should be something that adds an additional element to your outfit with a bit of color, texture, or a little print. It could be a cardigan, a blazer, or a jean jacket. Or, it could be a scarf, a belt, or even a hat. Maybe it’s a statement necklace or beautiful piece of wooden jewelry by Urban Designer. This is that one additional piece that anchors your entire outfit, even if you decide not to add anything else.

wooden jewelry

3. Add the Jewelry You Always Wear

It’s time to add those personal pieces of jewelry that you always wear. For most women, that will be your wedding rings and maybe your favorite diamond earrings or a delicate chain. Once these pieces are on, back and take a critical look at your entire outfit. Depending on the complexity of your base layer, you might stop here. If you’re going to add more accessories, make sure your personal pieces are unobtrusive enough to layer over.

4. Consider Your Next Pieces Carefully

This is the most challenging part of accessorizing for many women – they tend to add too many statement accessories at once. Keep it to one statement piece per outfit, such as big, bold earrings, a choker or dangling necklace, or one big arm cuff. The rest of your accessories can be minimal or bold, depending on your base layer.

Whatever you decide to add, make sure it works well with your outfit. If you’re wearing a gauzy skirt or a maxi dress, try wearing lots of delicate pieces. If your base layer is a white button-down and a pencil skirt, complete your look with a gold chain and some big dangly earrings. If its loose pants with a fitted top, gold hoops and a cuff are a stylish choice. A bold tone sheath dress? Try some simple diamond studs with a statement necklace.

5. Add the Shoes

Much like your jewelry, your footwear must work well with the rest of your outfit, rather than compete with it. Jeweled stilettos or bright pumps can take a neutral base layer to the next level, and you may not need many…if any, other accessories at all. On the other hand, if your outfit has a bold print, lots of colors, or exquisite beading, dial things down with simple shoes.

Make sure the shoes you decide on are appropriate for the occasion, too. It doesn’t matter how fabulous they are; four-inch platform stilettos just don’t work for a walk on the beach. One of the secrets to looking polished is looking effortless, and one of the secrets to looking effortless is being comfortable in what you’re wearing.

6. Choose Your Bag and You’re Out the Door

We all love those big, beautiful bags, but just like your shoes and jewelry, your bag needs to match the feel of your outfit and the occasion. A simple clutch is perfect for evening, while a cross-body bag in the right color is the perfect complement to jeans and a white tee. Invest in one bright bag that can really make a dull outfit pop. Whatever you do, think practical and make sure the bag holds everything you need without being too bulky or too heavy. Once again, comfort is vital to a polished look.

7. It’s Okay to Switch Things Up

Once you’ve got the formula down, you can switch up the steps a bit. Maybe you’ve got that one pair of exquisitely detailed stilettos you want to wear to a dinner party. You can always start your planning with the shoes and choose your outfit and other accessories accordingly. The same rules apply, but your shoes become the statement piece.

The Takeaway

Once you’ve mastered the art of accessorizing, your outfits will always look complete and polished, no matter how basic they are. Following this formula will help you balance your accessories with your clothes to create a stunning outfit. As you get more comfortable with styling your outfits, feel free to break the rules, and create looks that reflect your personality.