Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stepping Out of the Box: Accessories

You’re wearing a white T-shirt, dark wash jeans, and ballet flats. If you’re a guy, your white shirt is a button-up, and you’ve swapped your jeans for khakis. These basic looks are both comfortable and effortless ways to look good without looking like you tried too hard. But after a while, the basics can get boring. We’re here this week to explore the wonders of accessories—small details that you only have to throw on to make yourself look fifteen times cooler, just like that.

•Bags: Guys, feel free to skip ahead, unless of course you’re reading to do research for upcoming gift ideas. Halloween is just around the corner. (We’re kidding). Anyway, a good bag is like a microcosm of lipstick, cell phones, credit cards, keys, and gum. Why not make it fashionable? Megan was shopping with Jenni and was moved so much by Carlos Santana. What? He makes bags, didn’t you know? And shoes. But that’s another article. The one Megan totes around is made of burnt orange leather and accented by woven and geometric stitching. Jenni prefers tote bags and alternates between Andy Warhol’s “Flowers” design and an obnoxious lime-green Marc Jacobs satchel. Both of us love to switch it up, but can attest to finding “the one,” that bag that just works with everything. Till death do us part. Target bags are great but have a negative lifespan to cuteness ratio.

•Belts: Oh, the black belt/brown belt dilemma so many men must face. What’s a guy to do? Simple—match it with your shoes. And for the record, black and brown actually can go together, and sometimes should. So don’t be afraid to wear that black polo with a brown belt, khakis and brown shoes. We’re begging you. Ladies, belts don’t have to match shoes. Or bags. Or anything. Sometimes your belt can be your outfit’s main statement. Keep the “Go Fish” rule in mind—things don’t have to match, but they do have to go together. Wear them on your hips, on your waist, or under your bust to create an empire seam. Basically, imagine what you’d like your body to look like and put a belt there to make it happen. Who needs the gym when they’ve got a nice wide belt?

•Scarves: It’s getting colder. Everyone needs a scarf. Whether it’s a solid color or printed, neutral or bright, this bohemian-chic accessory does wonders for the whole T-shirt and jeans look. Guys can also benefit from scarves, and no, you don’t have to be metro sexual or a scene hipster to pull it off.

•Hats and Hair Accessories: Try them. Jenni loves hair accessories; they add hints of bygone days of glamour and help corral her curls. Picture Rita Hayworth’s luxurious deep side part. Now add a peacock feather. Suddenly, you pretty much are Rita Hayworth for the day. If you want to go frilly, find a headband with a silk flower or bow and tuck it into a low bun or voluminous curls. Hats are a little trickier, depending on (obviously) your head. Jenni is hats over heels for cloche hats, a staple of the 1920s flapper style. If you’re not into a polished, vintage look, then something is wrong with you, but you can wear a rakish beret. Preferably with a paint palette and a baguette. Megan’s a big fan of knitted hats that you might wear if you had a head full of dreadlocks, and of course preppy little scarves. Seriously. She alternates between the two because, honestly, she hates to wash her hair. So, regardless of your reasons, a hat can add endless personality and intrigue to your overall look. Even if hats are tricky for you, there’s always some style out there that will suit you. Don’t be intimidated by all this talk of cloches and berets—baseball caps can always play the fashion field.

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