How to match accessories to your outfit

woman chooses an orange handbag as an accessory to match her outfit

Putting together an outfit for a special occasion? Whether it’s a wedding, birthday or other celebration, it’s all about the accessories. A well-chosen handbag or pair of statement earrings can turn an ordinary garment into a fabulous head-to-toe look.

However, matching accessories to your outfit can be a little trickier than you may think. It can be hard to find the exact same colours to go together, and then there’s the risk of going overboard with colour matching. 

But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Read on for some top tips on matching handbags, hats and earrings with almost any outfit. 

How to match handbags with outfits

Handbags serve a practical purpose, but they’re also a key stylistic component of any outfit. Unless you want to buy a different handbag for every outfit, the first tip to remember is to buy bags in neutral colours. That way, you can easily match them with anything in your wardrobe. 

But what if you’re wearing neutrals? In this case, a handbag can add a much-needed pop of colour, really bringing the look to life. If you’re feeling confident and love colour, you can even experiment with contrasting block colours. 

Don’t be afraid to use patterns to add interest to an outfit either. If your clothing is plain or block colours, a touch of check, houndstooth or playful print can add texture to your look. 

The last thing to remember is the hardware. By this, we mean the clasps, catches and handle attachments, or any other metallic details. You’ll need to make sure these coordinates with other accessories such as jewellery. So, gold detailing on your bag should ideally be paired with gold accessories, and silver with silver. 

How to match a hat with an outfit 

Hat shopping isn’t something most of us do a lot of these days, unless we have a special occasion to go to. But along with weddings and race days, you might want to buy a hat for a holiday, garden party or simply as a casual summer accessory. 

  If you’re in need of a new hat, here’s how to match it to your outfit:

●     Aim to match your hat to your coat or jacket, rather than the outfit underneath. On many occasions, you’ll find that you’ll be taking your hat off as soon as you get indoors. So, you need to make sure your hat works well with whatever you’re wearing to and from the event.

●     Remember that neutral or monochromatic coloured hats will usually be easier to wear, as they work well with most outfits. You can also try this the other way round, using a hat to add a pop of colour to a plain-coloured outfit.

●     Colour coordinate your hat with your shoes for top-to-toe style. 

●     Match the style and the occasion. For example, straw or paper-braid hats usually work best with summer dresses and beach-style outfits. For formal occasions, the most suitable style may be a structured hat made from wool felt, sinamay or abaca. If you mix up casual and formal items, you could create a unique look. However, there’s always the risk of creating a confused look instead, where one or more pieces look out of place.

How to match earrings with outfits

Lastly, let’s look at jewellery, which can add those all-important finishing touches to any outfit. 

Jewellery is often chosen based on personal preference. You’ll want to wear your favourite pieces, or perhaps even those that hold sentimental value for you. 

But if you’re shopping for new earrings, or other items of jewellery, and have a particular outfit in mind, here are some tips to help you create a coordinating look:

●     Earrings and other jewellery don’t necessarily have to colour-match with the outfit. In fact, you can add playful and impactful pops of colour using contrasting hues. 

●     If your outfit is extravagant, keep the jewellery simple. Otherwise, the two will compete for attention. Similarly, for simple outfits, you can make a statement with eye-catching jewellery. It’s all about balance. 

●     Use a colour wheel to find complementary colours. Find the colour of your outfit on the colour wheel, then look directly across to find jewellery colours which could add an exciting and flattering contrast. 

●     Choose a limited palette of colours. Another way to choose colours is by selecting a particular palette, such as autumnal colours, for example. 

●     Decide where you want to draw the eye. There are occasions when you may want to draw attention to certain areas. For example, when you’ve just had a manicure - a colourful or sparkling ring is a great way to draw the eye to your gorgeous new nails. 

●     Express yourself. Jewellery is the perfect way to show off your personality, and you can really be playful and creative with it. So, don’t be afraid to go for it, and choose pieces that match your style - or just your mood that particular day. 

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