Fashion is one of the best ways you can nonverbally express yourself. People can get a sense of who you are, what you stand for, and what your personality is like just by seeing what you’re wearing. Every fashionista knows that there is an insurmountable difference between putting on clothes and putting on an outfit. An outfit takes style and careful thought. It needs to project something into the world. An outfit is planned and doesn’t happen by accident. And no outfit is complete without accessories. To plan your next perfect outfit, check out this guide to the most important clothing accessories to have.
Belts are the ultimate accessory because they’re both practical and cute. You can add a belt to give shape to just about anything. Put one on to cinch a waistband that is too loose, or wrap one around your waist to give some shape or style to a loose-fitting dress. Belts come in all different widths and colors and have plenty of options for buckles.
Jewelry can take an outfit from good to great. It is what truly completes a look and finishes it with style. There are many different types of jewelry, and most people like to wear multiple pieces together and match or layer the pieces. Check out the most essential jewelry pieces to have in your closet.
Necklaces are statement pieces. Some subtle necklaces enhance an outfit without overpowering it and others are meant to draw attention. The length and style of the necklace add a cohesive final touch.
Earrings are one accessory that can truly change an entire outfit. There are numerous styles of earrings to choose from, from hoops to studs and every feathery, gemstone-covered, glittery style in between, there are no limits when it comes to earrings.
Rings add style and embellish an outfit. Rings can be small and delicate or large and eye-catching. Some designs are made to be worn alone while ring sets are meant to decorate your whole hand. Rings can adorn any finger and be placed anywhere on the finger depending on the size. There are also toe rings for those who like to don sandals and open-toed shoes.
Brooches and pins
Brooches and pins had been absent from the forefront of fashion for a while but are now making a strong comeback. Jazz up any outfit with a little sparkle from a pin or a brooch. These are typically pinned to the breast or collar of a jacket or top or used to hold a delicate scarf together. However, you wear your brooch or pins, know you’ve got a complete and intentional outfit on.
Bracelets and watches
Bracelets and watches are fun touches to add to an outfit. A nice watch surrounded by cute bangles makes a statement not many other accessories can. Bracelets and watches come in different styles and materials, so there is no end to the possibilities.
Handbags, purses, wallets, and more. Whether you prefer a tote, a clutch, or the outfit calls for a crossbody envelope bag, every outfit needs a bag. Similar to belts, bags serve a purpose and complete an outfit. Bags come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. Bags can hold your personal belongings so while you’re out, showing off your stylish outfit, you don’t have to go without essentials.
Shoes are an obvious necessity to leave the house and venture out into the world, but there is a huge difference between slipping on the first pair of shoes you see and hand-picking the perfect pair to tie your outfit together. Shoes are seasonal and can change in an instant. One day you might need to pair a super-cute beach-inspired look with strappy sandals, and the next day you might want to don boots or bohemian-style shoes to round out your vintage-inspired outfit. There is truly no end to the types and styles of shoes to choose from.
An often-overlooked accessory, socks can actually add (or withdraw) a whole lot from an outfit. Even the most meticulously styled outfit can benefit from proper socks. Some socks coordinate with different shoe styles. No-show socks can be paired with loafers or sneakers while tall socks can be worn under pants.
Scarves are another underrated accessory. They can turn a plain outfit into a fun and colorful statement, or they can tone down a bright outfit. Scarves are warm and cute and come in different materials, colors, and designs. There are also so many ways to tie a scarf that even the same outfit can be worn with the same scarf and always look a little different than the previous time it was worn simply by tying it uniquely.
Tights are a fun accessory that can jazz up an outfit. They come in all sorts of colors and opacities. You can decide exactly what image you want to portray—dressy, avant-garde, casual, fun—and you can find tights that will help you complete the perfect outfit.
Hats can make or break an outfit. There are so many types of hats, you’re sure to find one for every outfit. Different materials, styles, sizes, shapes, and designs make each hat type unique. Some hats have embellishments such as feathers, gems, glitter, scarves, and pins that serve as focal points for an outfit or provide an element to define your signature style.
Certain gloves are engineered for warmth while others are designed for style and elegance. Gloves are practical accessories but can also impart a sense of regal bearing to outfits. Depending on your region, you may want to choose gloves based on climate. If you live in a warmer region, they might not be your most used accessory, but they always lend a statement to tailored outfits.
Sunglasses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from retro cat’s eye styles to modern oversize specs. For sunglasses, the bigger the lens, the more dramatic the look. Circular lenses impart a whimsical feel while aviator-style sunglasses boost your outfit’s cool quotient. Regardless of your sunglass shape and size preference, they add a sense of mystery to your outfit (and shield your eyes from harmful UV rays).
Umbrellas typically aren’t something people imagine when they think of outfit accessories, but they can add style as well as utility in inclement weather. Matching your umbrella to your raincoat or your rain boots is a sneaky little way to pull an outfit together on a rainy day.
Hair accessories are back and on the rise again. Scrunchies, hair bows, clips, and barrettes are all making a strong comeback. Adding accessories to your hair pulls together your entire style so you match from your noggin down to your toes. Hair accessories enhance not only your hairstyle but also your complete outfit and provide a pretty, feminine touch.