Do I need a necklace with this top? Can I wear this silver cuff? my bag has gold hardware. Is this too much? Maybe this is too much. In this article, I’m answering all of your most common fashion Accessories questions and sharing the only 10 pieces you actually need. So I know that many of you have frustrations around accessories, things like can I mix my metals, is this too much, do I have too many pieces on, do I have to match my earrings to my necklace, can I wear earrings and a necklace, do I have to match my belt to my shoes, does my bag hardware have to match the rest of my jewelry?
The 10 Fashion Accessories You Actually Need
So we’re gonna tackle some of those really common accessory questions in this article and I wanna break down the only 10 pieces that you actually need in your wardrobe. These are the absolute essential. So you can always have more and build on that baseline or that foundational accessory wardrobe, but I wanna talk about the absolute baseline that you would need. Accessories might be one of those things that are simple to overlook.
You’re like, “They’re not that important, they’re an afterthought.” but the reality is, if you want to level up your style game and you wanna look polished and put together, accessories are a key piece and they are those small things that make a big impact on your overall look. So you’re ready? Let’s do it.
1. Fashion Accessories: Collarbone necklace
For that foundational accessory wardrobe, the first piece that I would recommend, we’re gonna go by category, this category being necklaces, the first piece is a collarbone-length necklace. So what is your collarbone? So this is kind of a sweet spot for most women. So you want something that hits right here or even a little bit longer, like this guy. Anywhere in this zone is a beautiful placement for most women.
That’s an essential necklace that you should own because they’re gonna be great for V-neck tops and sweaters, they’re gonna be great for blazers and jackets in the fall. They just add some pop. They also draw the attention toward your face. A beautiful collarbone-length necklace. Now you don’t want something that’s super dainty where it’s hard to see.
2. Pendant necklace
I also think it’s important to have a pendant necklace. I think pendant necklaces pair so beautifully with the collarbone-length necklace and you can go for a shorter one or a longer one. We used to do a lot more longer necklaces. You’ve seen less and less in them over the last five years. So I wanted to show you this one, which is also Monica Vinader, and this is a simple kind of teardrop pendant. This one is called the Siren Fine Chain Necklace with the Engraved Pendant.
And I chose to put the word love on mine because I’m a huge believer in the power of words and I don’t think there’s a better word to put close to your heart than love. I think it’s the most powerful and important word in the English language, actually. You can engrave and put whatever you want on it, but I love this as just an impactful piece, but also very wearable, accessible, everyday piece. So I can mix and match and wear it daily. No matter whether I wear, I have a T-shirt on, T-shirt, blazer, dress.
Both of these pieces have a ton of versatility and that’s kinda the name of the game with your basics or your essentials. You wanna have, again, impactful pieces but not so much of a statement that you can’t wear them every single day. Now, if you wanted to, you could go for a pendant that was a little bit longer. If you go for a longer length, go for something that hits right here under the bust. So the common question that I get around necklaces is,
What necklace to wear with what neckline?
So this one’s kind of a no-brainer. I’ve got a V-neck, so I had the two necklaces placed above the V-neck right onto the skin. I did a whole article, it’s a little bit on the older side, but I did a whole article addressing this question specifically, what jewelry to wear with what neckline, You can read this. So that’s addressing portrait neckline, V-neck line, scoop neckline. In general, if I have a V-neck, I like to wear the necklaces on the skin. If I have a crew, I wear the necklaces on top of the shirt.
And I think sometimes we talk a lot about V-necks and scoop necks being more versatile and more flattering, but sometimes, especially if you have more of a statement piece that you wanna wear, a statement necklace, it’s almost better to have something with some fabric that goes up a little higher so it can really show off that necklace. But, again, it works beautifully with the scoop and the V-neck, too.
Read more: How to Choose the Right Jewelry for Your Neckline Fashion Guide
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3. Riva diamond cocktail large hoop Earrings
So coming in at number three, you need some earrings, some impactful earrings, some medium-sized earrings. I would say medium to large, depending on your style preference and your comfort level. Because some people are more classic and minimal and some people are a little more flashy and glam, okay? I put myself in the latter category. I’m a little more flashy glam. Obviously. These earrings are both 18 karat gold vermeil and diamond.
They are a larger hoop, but I love that they’re larger, but they’re very thin and lightweight so they still feel very accessible and wearable every single day. So these hoops are called the Riva Diamond Cocktail Large Hoop earrings. Another pair that I have that I love that I wear all the time are these and these are the Siren Muse Hoop Large earrings with the Pearl Pendant. I also can take these pearls off and put them on my necklace. But these are really pretty, too. I wear these a lot.
I wore them recently to a wedding that I went to. They’re very elegant, simple, but dressy. But again, you can wear them every single day. So you can dress them up, dress them down. Now you wanna be thinking about that pair of earrings that does feel like something that will add a little pop to your look, but also, again, wearable for every day. Common question around earrings is,
Can I wear both, necklace and earrings?
100%, yes. There’s never a no, by the way. You can do anything you want. Look at some of the biggest fashion icons out there. The one that just popped into my mind is Iris Apfel and she wears those big round glasses and tons of turquoise jewelry and in her book, more is more, more is better. So it just depends on what your style is, what your comfort level is. If you’re feeling doubt, leave it out, just in general. So if you’re like, “I’m not sure, I don’t know.
Should I wear the earrings and the necklace?”
Then just take one of them away. And traditionally, if I have my hair up, I like to do earrings over necklace and if I’m wearing my hair down, vice versa, necklace versus earrings. So I also factor in my hairstyle with my jewelry. I also think about the neck line. Maybe there’s a high neck line or something where a necklace really wouldn’t work.
And in that case, you’d just wear earrings. But you absolutely can wear both. I’m doing it right now and I don’t think it looks too over the top or crazy. I think it’s very wearable and yeah, again, there are no hard and fast rules. We only have three pieces so far. We’ve got two necklaces and a pair of earrings.
4. Impactful bracelet
So next up is a bracelet. Has to be impactful, so an impactful bracelet. This is the one that I wanted to show you that I feel like looks so elegant and luxurious, but also very wearable for every day. This one is called the Siren Muse Thin Cuff. The other thing I love about this is it’s so easy to get on and off. You just turn it to the side and pull and that’s it. Other bracelets, this one is so beautiful, it’s called the Doina Heirloom Bracelet, but it’s a little trickier to get on ’cause you have a little clasp. And this one, same, you have a clasp. And this one’s called the Alta Capture Charm Bracelet. So another common question I get around jewelry is,
Can I mix metals?
And the reason I wanted to bring this up now is because I wanted to show you this piece, which is a mixed metal piece. Mixing metals is tricky. You’re like, “Oh, but my belt buckle is silver and my hardware on my bag is gold and the rest of my jewelry is gold. Do I need to switch out my bag?” The answer is, again, you can wear mixed metals all day long.
There is no such rule saying you cannot mix your metals. But if you’re feeling that, again, like, “Mm, it just doesn’t feel quite right,” or you want that little extra polish, look for an anchor piece like this that already does the lifting for you. It already mixes the metals so then it feels more intentional, and I think, comfortable.
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5. Statement ring
The next piece that I think that every woman should have in their accessory jewelry wardrobe is a statement ring. And again, it doesn’t have to be a gigantic cocktail ring. It can just be a ring that you can wear every single day and adds impact. So I wanna show you some of the rings I have on right now that I absolutely think are beautiful and totally wearable for every single day. So the first is the Siren Mini Diamond Stacking Rings. I have two and I actually put them around my engagement ring.
And I did that because my engagement ring band is platinum and my wedding bands are platinum with diamond. So I wanted to give my engagement ring a little bit more of a modern twist with the gold updates. And I really love the way that that looks. So that’s an idea. You can stack it with your engagement ring or you can just wear them both on their own, even stack them with other silver ones to get that anchor piece that I talked about before. It’s called the Riva Open Wrap Ring.
It’s both diamond and 18 karat gold vermeil. And then this one, which I’ve had forever is called the Riva Hoop Cocktail Ring and I absolutely love this one.
Read more: 14 Unique Engagement Rings in 2023 From Couples
6. Reversible belt
Our next must have accessory is a reversible belt. I think, personally, the most versatile and wearable option is one that is both brown and black. And personally, I would also do a gold buckle. This one is a little bit on the thicker side. It’s one and a half inches thick. You could easily go for one or one and a quarter for a little more versatility. If you wanted to add an extra belt to your collection, I would go with something that is white or reversible, like white and gold, just to give you some options for spring summer.
But literally I wear this exact belt in this color all summer long.But in general, I would say that if an outfit feels incomplete without a belt, I love, especially with a monochrome look, to add a belt, just to add some separation and definition. If I have something on up top that’s a little more billowy and oversized and a wider leg jean, for example, I love to add a belt to give some waist definition. So anytime you feel like proportionately you need that or silhouette-wise you need that waist definition, throw a belt on.
I mean, let’s be real, belts do not actually serve much of a purpose anymore. It’s just really to add some interest to your outfit. So utilize them to really create the shape that you wanna create. And if you’re concerned about tummy, maybe you go lower with your belts or higher with your belts and get away with it that way. You also can wear a belt, if you have a tummy, wear a belt and then put a jacket over it and that will slim the sides and minimize the tummy.
The next must have accessory is a pair of glam, oversized sunglasses. If you’re only going to get one pair of sunglasses, I would look for a pair in tortoise. Tortoise is traditionally black and brown. So you can see here, with these Celine sunglasses, they’re half black, half tortoise. You don’t need to do half black, half tortoise. You do tortoise, you have it covered, both black and brown.
But it’s something that you put on, it adds so much glam to your outfit, you love them, you feel good in them, they give you eye protection, they keep you sun-safe. Besides being functional, they’re also very glamorous and will add that pop to your look. Now, if you’re gonna invest in a second pair of sunglasses, then I would do a pair of aviators. Again, I would strategically select gold if you’re going for a gold based jewelry wardrobe.
If you’re going for more of a silver based, then I would get a silver aviator. So just make sure that whatever color you pick, you stick within that color theme. I’m going with gold personally because I think it looks more luxe and it also is very much on trend right now. I know there was a time when I was younger when silver was more in, in, you know? But now it’s gold. So it’s just easier from my perspective and from your perspective, in terms of shopping, to go with a gold-based accessory wardrobe.
Another must have accessory, I think, for any woman’s accessory wardrobe is a hat. If you’re only gonna buy one hat, I would go with a lightweight felt hat like this one by Rag & Bone. This is in the Nordstrom sale. I don’t know if it’s sold out or not, but I love the neutral colors in this hat. This would go with everything. Rag & Bone is just personally my favorite brand for hats and I always get a size medium, but I just love the way that they fit and they look. Also, it doesn’t have too wide of a brim.
I’ve seen some lately that are super wide and it makes it really hard to wear. So you want something you actually love that looks great on you, that adds some real pop to your look. I mean, I can wear this with a T-shirt and jeans and a cool pair of booties or open-toe booties or sandals and it would look awesome. The purpose of a hat is not only to keep you sun-safe, but also to elevate any outfit. If you’re gonna go for an extra, I would do a packable straw neutral-colored hat.
You could do white, you could do beige. This, again, is Rag & Bone. I don’t think this one’s packable, though. I say packable because, if you travel at all, it’s nice to have a packable option, but maybe you wanna get a cheaper one that’s packable for any trips you’re going on and then a nicer one for home. That’s kinda what I do ’cause I don’t really wanna ruin my nice hats. And sometimes when you’re on a trip, even if it’s packable, it can still lose its shape.
So that’s just another thought. But if we’re going bare bones, the only one that you actually need, I would go with this one. Hats are more versatile than you think. And when you find the right one, you wanna wear it over and over and over again because again, you just, it’s so easy. You can hide three-day hair or you didn’t have time to do your hair so you can hide that, but then also protecting you from the sun and also it looks freaking cool. That’s why I personally think it’s an important piece to have in your accessory wardrobe.
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9. Everyday handbag
The next must have is an everyday handbag. The ideal everyday handbag. Let’s just say you can only do one handbag, wow! One, just one, that’s it. That’s a tough one, but here’s what I would do. I would do something in a taupe, camel, or honey brown. I would do something with really minimal hardware so you don’t have that, hmm, that little mixed metal conundrum going on or that debate going on in your head. And I would do something that’s medium size, so not too small and not too big and absolutely has to have a shoulder strap. Let me give you an example.
This is a investment piece. I made the investment, I don’t know, three, four, or five years ago. It’s a Celine Belt Bag and this is a very neutral, versatile color. It’s seasonless, there’s very minimal hardware. It does have a gold zipper, but it’s really hard to see so I feel like I could easily wear silver and gold with it and it also comes with a shoulder strap. This would be even better if it came with a cross body strap. Another thing you can do with your bags is you can go for two bags.
And if you do wanna go for two, I might for fall-winter, get yourself a black-brown combo, kind of like the sunglasses I showed you or the belt that I showed you. Here’s an example of a black-brown combo for a handbag. This one is Prada, it’s the Prada Cahier bag. I’ve had it for a while. They have a version of this in black and white too and then they have just all black. It doesn’t have to be this bag and it doesn’t have to be this expensive.
I know Tori Burch has a Lee Radziwill collaboration collection that has some beautiful black and brown combinations. So it could be something like that that’s still very high quality, but a little more attainable and accessible than, let’s say, Prada. Just look around for something that has both color tones. And then you can also do something for spring-summer in a white or a light beige. So if you’re gonna do two bags, I think that would be a great way to go. I love a white bag, by the way.
I mean, white has really been having this moment with accessories. So I have a Bottega Veneta Cassette Bag that I’ve carried all over the world, literally. I also more recently got a white Prada bag and I think it’s Raffia, I’m not exactly sure, but we’ll put a link to that below if it’s still available. But I think if you’re gonna do one bag only, it would be what I talked about before, that taupe or that brown or that honey brown, camel, with minimal hardware and a shoulder strap.
Last, but certainly not least in your accessory basics is a scarf. If you’re only going to do one scarf, I suggest you get one that is large, square shape, that has neutral colors in it, like this one is brown, beige blue, green, but very subtle, very neutral. And this one I bought four years ago. It’s by Christian Dior, so it’s not available anymore, but the reason I wanted to show you this one is because I’ve had a lot of scarves over the years and a lot of them, they get donated and I don’t keep them.
This is one that I’ve had for years and do not plan on ever parting with because is such a high quality. The fabric is a high quality. It’s not silky, which I really like. It’s more of a lightweight cashmere blend. And then I love the size of it. So I can wear it as a little wrap on an airplane, throw it over my shoulders in a cold restaurant, I can wear it around my neck, more of in a traditional sense, loop it. It looks really glam with blazers.
So a scarf, just like a hat or a pair of sunglasses, can serve a purpose of keeping you warm while also elevating your outfit. So this is another piece where, you know what, don’t just get any old piece. Really consider the fabric choice, really consider the size of it, really consider the colors, neutral, versatile, wearable colors. Some people even wear scarves around their head as a head accessory, very Bohemian and cool.
There are so many things you can do with a scarf and I think it’s a worthwhile accessory to have. I particularly love my scarves when I travel and you guys know I travel a lot. And I almost always bring my scarf with me when I travel. And to be honest, it’s almost always this scarf. It’s definitely one of those pieces that I would make the investment. It would take time to really figure out which piece that you want that’s really gonna last, that’s really gonna stay the test of time, that you really love and will look forward to bringing with you and wearing. And really that could be said of any of these accessories.
So it’s not just about checking boxes. And I’ve said this over and over again with your basics checklist, too. It’s not just about checking boxes. It’s about finding pieces that check the box, yes, but that also feel exciting to you, that also are pieces you really want to wear, that pieces that you just feel good in. put on these bracelets and I’m like, “Wow, they feel really nice.” They just feel great on my skin. They’re a beautiful gold tone color that I appreciate how bold and shiny it is.
It’s more than just checking the box. I just wanna make sure you think about that, you carefully, strategically, and thoughtfully select these 10 pieces for your wardrobe. The most important accessory, out of all of them, without a doubt, is confidence. If you have confidence, you can wear freaking anything. It’s all about confidence. I mentioned Iris Apfel. Do you think that she cares when somebody comes up to her and says, “What’s up with the googly glasses?” I am certain there are people that have done that to her. The answer is no, she doesn’t care.
So I just want you to think about it from that perspective, too. What makes you happy? What makes you feel good? What makes you feel more confident? What gives you a little extra spring in your step? What makes you feel like the best version of you, makes you feel regal, like a queen. Fashion is meant to be fun. It’s meant to be that same spirit that we had as little girls when we were playing dress up in our mom’s clothes.
So yes, these are those basic essentials that you should have, but also pick out pieces that really sing, that really speak to you, that really feel exciting for you to wear. And do wear them with absolute confidence because that is definitely your greatest accessory. Thank you so much for reading. I’ll see you next time.