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Accessory Anxiety

I have been very open about my fear and loathing towards cooking but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to accessorize my kitchen. Hence my desire for a shiny bright red  Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I didn’t really know what I would do with it but I longed just to look at it.

Pretty…now what do I do with it?
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I got my wish as a birthday gift from my mom and my sister a couple of years ago. After feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of this beast of a machine I got up the nerve to try to make cookies. I made a mess. I broke down and called my friend Lauren. Lauren is one of those people who will bake all night long. She is crafty and creative and makes it all look effortless. But she is sweet as can be so you have to like her. Since she was kind enough to talk me through my mixer so I am happy to help her about with a little dilemma.

“My husband and I actually managed to get out for a date night (so very rare) and of course I was trying to pull something together that was a) clean and b) didn’t look like I’ve been living under a rock for the past 8 years!  Anyway – long story short – I managed – but it got me thinking that at some point you need to write some advice for those of us who feel like our 5-year-old playing dress up anytime we try to accessorize with more than a gold chain and our wedding ring.  You post all these pictures of pretty chunky necklaces or cool boots, etc – and I love the LOOK of them but I feel so silly when I put them on… almost like I’m playing dress up or trying too hard.  I can’t be the only one who suffers from this!  Anyway – just food for thought if you ever get writers block – you can just share for us your tips on not feeling ridiculous with accessories! 🙂  I love the look of a scarf or necklace or belt ON SOMEONE ELSE, but whenever I put it on me, I just feel silly :-(” – Lauren

I do know what Lauren means. When my kids were really little I almost stopped wearing any kind of jewelry. Big necklaces would be pulled on by toddler hands and dangling earrings look a toy to a baby, one that I don’t want pulled through my ears.  Once my kids got a little older I had to get back into the practice of accessorizing again.  And yes, at first it feels weird. But practice makes perfect. So here’s some tips to help you find your inner Holly Golightly.

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Start Small.

I mean this in the financial sense. There are fabulous accessories in the under $50 range. It could be as simple as a scarf in a bright color.

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The outfit below looks clean and polished. But the gold chains really pull the look together and finish the outfit. Chains like this are sold anywhere from Target to Nordstroms.

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Keep it Simple.

Want to try a big necklace? Skip the earings or go for a simple stud. And don’t worry about it matching. The less effort it looks like you put into it the more casual it will feel.

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The reason the outfit above works so well is because she kept everything else simple. Her hair is pulled up into a simple ponytail and she skipped earrings. Even her bag and shoes are understated.

Here’s another example.

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Here she has one of my favorites, the “Bubble” necklace. But she paired it with a simple button down and casual shorts and ballet flats. She looks comfy and stylish.

Mix it Up.

Use dress up jewelry but dress down your outfit. I love the look of a fancy pearl necklace with something opposite, like a broken in denim shirt.

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A glam necklace with a simple gray t-shirt.

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Or the simple elegance of this white on white combo.

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Coordinate with Color.

If the glitz and the glam is not your thing go for a pop of color.

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I love how leopard can read as a neutral and go with every color. Here’s the bubble necklace again and it looks amazing!

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This black dress goes from beautiful to beyond by adding in the orange for summer color.

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Still feeling unsure? Remember, as long as you pick out something you like you really can’t mess it up. There are no rules except to have confidence in what you are wearing. If you look like you like what you have on other people will see that in how you carry yourself. If you feel really uncomfortable accessories are easy to take off, they are not as big of a committment as a jacket or shirt. Sometimes you try something and we just know it’s not for you. I love the look of red lipstick but I end up looking like I made out with The Joker. I have no lips so it ends up everywhere, on my face, my teeth. Now I just stick to the sheer stuff.


Host or attend a jewelry party. Stella and Dot is a fabulous company and their stylists are trained to help you find out what looks good on you. My sister is now a rep for the line and we are having so much fun with their spring collection.

Go to a boutique. Bring your outfit with you! The sales staff will be happy to help you accessorize your outfit perfectly. And if they aren’t then you are in the wrong store. Personally this is one of my favorite things to do to help a customer when they come in shopping. Picking out the accessories is like putting the icing on a cake – it makes everything look perfect!

Need a specific color? Try Charming Charlies. But be warned you will be overwhelmed. They are thousands of pieces and everything is organized by color. I don’t love everything but I love the idea of when I am in a rush for a specific color I can quickly scan a particular section.

Yellow jeans meet Yellow necklace.
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Oh and remember, if anyone looks at you funny or asks you why you are “all dressed up?”

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