I love fashion accessories: scarves, belts, bags, jewelry, shoes—all of them. I prefer shopping for accessories over clothes, in part because I feel my money is usually better spent. You can make it seem like you have an expansive wardrobe by just changing up what you pair with it.
My friends are always stunned to see the amount of clothes I have, or lack thereof. For a long time, my husband had twice as many clothes in our closet than I did.
Do not get me wrong: I love clothes. But I love quality clothes, so I do not have a lot. For many, it is not economically possible to have a large wardrobe.
That is why it is all about the accessories.
Giorgio Armani explained it perfectly: “accessories are important and becoming more and more important every day. They can completely change the look of an outfit, and women like the idea of having a wardrobe that’s versatile. For instance, strong piece of jewelry can make a simple outfit look elegant.”
The great thing about the importance of accessories is, unlike good clothes, you do not have to break the bank to buy them. They do not have to be designer, just cool. Personally, I prefer not to have the typical designer brands. Call it my independent streak, but I do not want what everyone else has.
Take the traditional Hermès belt, for example. Do people get complimented on it? No, the compliments are few and far between.They wear it so people know they can have an Hermès belt.
I bought a belt from the company Old Stud Handmade out of Los Angeles over ten years ago. I wear it to death, its a fraction of the cost, and I always get a compliment on it.
The same can be said for handbags.
How many Louis Vuitton bags do I have to see? Moreover, how many fake Louis Vuitton bags do I have to see?
One of my favorite companies for handbags (and belts) is a small Italian manufacturer Campomaggi. They craft beautiful bags made from old ship sails at a reasonable price. Again, I always get a compliment when I carry one.
One line of Campomaggi bags is covered in authentic Italian military patches the company bought the rights to. My daughter has one and was once stopped in the Ronald Regan Washington National airport by a man who had served in the Italian military, in the unit that a patch on her bag represented.
It makes me feel good to support these smaller companies. They sell more than a personal and unique product, but also the experiences and stories that go along with them.
“You gotta have style,” fashion editor Diana Vreeland said. “It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”
Designer Marc Jacobs once said that he finds beauty “in things that are odd and Imperfect, they are much more interesting.”
People are intrigued by “things” that are different, yet many are still afraid of it. Break from the herd and make your own fashion statement. As Coco Chanel stated, “in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
So when you look at your closet and feel frustrated, grab your favorite belt or scarf and work around that. Finish with a great pair of shoes and strut out your door.