Do you ever walk into your closet and have what is the equivalent of writer’s block? You are just stumped. Not in the mood. You hate everything. Nothing fits. You feel uninspired. So you throw on the yoga pants or whatever your go to is for an I-didn’t-feel-like-making-an-outfit outfit. And trust me, this is more than okay. I do it way more than I care to admit. The problem with it is when I decide to leave my house. And of course these are always the days when I run into somebody I know. Or even worse that mom from your kid’s school that has those eyes that sweep you up and down silently judging your outfit. I feel bummed that I didn’t put in the slightest bit more effort. I find myself checking out everyone else’s outfits – “She looks cute and comfortable”, “Why didn’t I put that together – I have that?!” I also find myself muttering and mumbling something about “cleaning” and “working out.” Unless I looked like Heidi Klum. Then I would just be all like “Um…I’m Heidi Klum…just look at me in countless magazines if you need to know that I clean up good.”
So what to do when stumped and not in the mood? I love the old-fashioned and timeless K.I.S.S. acronym. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID! When I over think putting together an outfit, anything really, I get frustrated and give up. Rarely does spending too much time dwelling on something inspire me or lead to anything productive. But when I take things back to basics it all seems so much clearer.
When I am stumped I like to start backwards, at the end. Instead of finishing my outfit with accessories I start by picking out the accessory first. A favorite scarf or shoe. My favorite starting point is jewelry. And I ‘m not talking about Harry Winston diamonds. I mean simple colorful fun costume jewelry. When I start with the jewelry it inspires the rest of the outfit. Interior decorators suggest when decorating a room to start with a piece of furniture, rug, or fabric that you like. Then build your colors from there for the rest of the room. They know it is much easier to match paint to a piece you like than when you start with the paint color and try to find pieces to match. I love to take a fun piece of jewelry and then keep the rest simple. Think of how chic it looks when a beautiful statement necklace is paired with the simple background of a white tee and jeans. Usually it is jewelry that makes me feel finished and put together. You know that fine line between looking like you made an effort and still looking like your look was effortless? I think that is what accessories can do for an outfit. The looks below show a variety of necklaces, ranging in price from $5 – $50 dollars. All are paired back to the classic and simple white t-shirt.
Not sure where to start looking? Great, fun costume jewelry is everywhere. If you want to be overwhelmed with choices try Forever 21 – literally like stepping into a pirate’s jewel heist. And I have been known to paint the inside of the rings with clear nail polish to avoid the color coming off on to my skin. Scary, but true. Many of the smaller chain stores carry great pieces as well. Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Anthropologie all have an amazing selection. Also try second-hand and consignment stores. Don’t be picky. If you try it on and like it then buy it. We recently attended a black tie function and we all oohed and ahhed over one of our friend’s chunky gem bracelets. She sheepishly admitted she stumbled upon them in Wal-Mart while running her errands. They were the perfect complement to her dress. And at under $10 it just can’t be beat.
Conversely don’t be afraid to spend money on a truly beautiful piece. We will so easily spend money on clothing pieces or shoes but not always on jewelry. Sometimes you feel guilty or feel it can’t be justified. But a beautiful piece is something that you will have forever. Certain pieces can even become sentimental heirlooms. I was very close with my grandmother. One of my favorite memories of her is when she would get dressed up for special events she always wore her gold charm bracelet. I loved the noise it would make as she would move around the room, lift up her drink, or talk with her hands. When she passed away I was so honored to be given this same bracelet to wear. Someday it will be passed onto my daughter as well. The best part? The centerpiece of the bracelet is a gold heart with my grandparent’s initials and wedding date. The charms the profiles of each of her six children, each one engraved with their name and birthdate. It now carries the charms of grandkids and my daughter, her first great-granddaughter.
*Insider Tip – Display your jewelry. You will use what you can see. There are all sorts of ways to do this. It can be pretty or practical or both! But find a way to display it so that you will remember to use it. Jewelry cabinets and drawers are wonderful in theory but it so often leads to out of sight out of mind. Try elegant trays and dessert stands. Or even simple garage organizer storage hooks.
And the best place of all to display your jewelry? On you!