In the immortal words of Clairee Belcher (played by Olympia Dukakis) in the movie Steel Magnolias,
The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.
The right accessories can make or break an outfit. That's a lot of pressure, which can lead to style paralysis, and standing in front of the mirror agonizing, can I wear really pearls with this? Is the bracelet too matchy? Which shoes look better? How much is too much? Should I cut my hair? Why does this necklace looks so great on my friend and not so great on me? Do these glasses make me look like my frequently inebriated high school typing teacher? (Umm, well maybe that last one is just me.)
Our choice of accessories is broader than ever, and there's Science as well as Art involved in utilizing accessories to our maximum advantage. Fortunately, we have Imogen Lamport's new e-book,
The Finishing Touch: Perfecting the art of accessorizing to help us sort it all out. Imogen Lamport AICI CIP is an internationally certified image consultant, who takes us step by step through the ins-and-outs of choosing the right accessories to project the image we want.
In her new book, Imogen covers every imaginable aspect of accessorizing including jewelry, scarves, belts, hats, shoes, bags, glasses, and even choosing the best hairstyle for your face shape (and how to determine your face shape).
One of the most valuable concepts I learned from the workshop that I did with Imogen a couple of years ago was the concept of Balance Points. This is crucial for determining what neckline of a top or length of necklace will look best on you.
|See what I mean about Science?|
Flattery is one (important) thing, but accessories are also a great vehicle for expression. I love this graphic especially, which shows how you can totally change up the look of a single pair of jeans just by switching out the shoes.
For those of us who are trying to hone and maintain a smaller wardrobe, this concept is so important, and illustrates how we can make a single garment work for multiple occasions. Here's the same concept with an LBD:
Imogen takes us not only through how to choose and combine accessories, but also how to store and care for them, and how to determine when it's time to retire a piece that is either worn beyond repair or looks outdated.
The very best thing about all of Imogen's e-books is that unlike some style guides that rely on simplistic drawings and vague suggestions, Imogen really provides the nuts-and-bolts information coupled with very instructive Polyvore-style illustrations and examples.
Whether you still struggle with accessorizing or just want to take it to the next level, there's something for you.
You can find The Finishing Touch here.
Also be sure to check out Never Short on Style (style guide for Petites), Travelling Light, and Your Essential Style Guide.
Imogen's blog is Inside Out Style, and her image consulting business is Bespoke Image.
Disclosure: I received a complementary copy of The Finishing Touch to review.