Let’s start the jewelry list by stating that this is truly, truly personal. Everyone’s jewelry game is so very different. The list below is my personal list for my minimal, and mostly jewelry-free, wardrobe. I’m not a big jewelry person and like to keep it simple, clean, modern, and as handmade and local as possible. I get most of my jewelry from Etsy, local boutiques, or small shops. It’s just my thing and may not be yours. But hey…maybe you will learn a few tricks that can help you with YOUR jewelry game!
Earrings (all of mine are in gold, if not mentioned):
- 1 pair of hoops (rather, ovals. I don’t like traditional hoops.)
- 1 pair of studs (these are small gold bars I have–shown in the photo above)
- 1 pair of wooden studs (really, made out of little pieces of wood. You can grab a pair HERE -shown in the photo above)
- 1 pair of “interesting” studs (mine are jaguars with the heads at the front of the lobe and the body at the back)—love these!
- 1 pair of chandelier-style, colored earrings
- 1 pair of longer, silver sparrow earrings from FOSSIL (these are the only silver pair I own)
I wear the studs (either pair) when wearing scarves or when I feel like an outfit is a bit fussy and full of pattern.
I wear the hoops on date night, with tunics and skinny jeans, and when I’m not messing with scarves and sweaters near my neck (it’s not fun getting earrings stuck in scarves!).
The jaguar studs are pulled out with my simple outfits. Or when my hair and makeup is particularly cute (you can’t miss those earrings which means…you’re going to notice my face!).
The long chandelier earrings are great for “dress-up” occasions or when I’m needing to glam up my simple black cocktail dresses (then I pull out ALL the jewelry. Sometimes multiple necklaces! No really.)
The sparrow earrings are sweet and perfect for summer dresses, floral patterns, and most anything not mentioned above.
- 1 multi-strand necklace
- 1 wooden bead necklace (bought at a local vintage store)
- 1 long, classic pendant (made by a police officer here in town out of a shell casing and gem)
- 1 colored statement necklace (mine is from Vibella Jewelry-another company with a great mission!-it’s not available any longer but THIS NECKLACE is a good option).
- 1 gold fringe necklace or other long statement necklace (like THIS one–see photo above)
That multi-strand bead necklace is SOMETHING. Really a show-stopper. I wear it most often with a simple white top and jeans (and my velvet green heels!), cocktail dresses, and even a tank and shorts. Whenever I want to really impress, that necklace is the one.
The wooden bead necklace looks great with my leather boots or sandals and gives an earthiness to outfits. I wear this often with outfits that feel a bit too classic or stark. Instant warmth!
The long pendant is great for tunics, chambray’s, and sweaters. I love that combo with my rolled-up boyfriend jeans or graphic skirt. Comfy and still chic!
The white and yellow bead necklace is perfect for when I feel a bit too matchy-matchy. The yellow in the necklace keeps the outfit off-kilter and makes it perfect for my summer dresses, black pants and a formal top, and even my a white tank and jeans. Have a necklace that is just a bit different for days you feel like your outfit is trying too hard.
My gold fringe necklace is what I wear most often with button down shirts, v-necks, and summer dresses. It’s fun, flirty, and hangs just below my breastbone. The gold keeps it classy but the fringe keeps it from getting too formal (that’s what the multi-strand bead necklace is for!)
You won’t often find me wearing both earrings and a necklace, that’s just too much for me. But these pieces are worn often and have become an integral part of creating my outfits each day.
I have a couple vintage gold bangles and silver wide bangles that I wear together, sometimes. And a beaded bracelet my sister gave me from South Africa. But frankly, bracelets aren’t my thing. They drive me crazy! If they are your thing…you are on your own :). I would recommend a couple simple bangles in various thicknesses. Perhaps a leather bracelet (that would look great with boots and a wooden beaded necklace!). And a colorful beaded bracelet will jazz up simple white t-shirts (add that long pendant with it or colorful heels) or neutral outfits.
BAGS & SCARVES
- vintage leather Coach saddle bag (cognac colored)
- -organic, fair-trade, cross body leather bag (camel colored)…this is my go-to, everyday bag. Shown above and can be bought HERE. This company employs women from Uganda for every one of their accessories. I ADORE their mission AND their products!
- black and silver satchel –shown in a previous photo
- a simple clutch for cocktail parties– this was a DIY project. You can find that tutorial clutch.
- messenger laptop bag (pictured below)-love this bag! They don’t make this exact one any longer but THIS MESSENGER BAG is close.
I primarily use real leather cross body bags and purses that I splurge a bit on. All of my bags are either found at a vintage store or purchased from a fair-trade, organic source. I have a dark leather, lighter leather, and black purse as well as a white clutch. Having the various coloring and slightly different shapes gives me good options for matching my bag with my outfit if I want. Honestly though, my leather bags are all so nice on their own that I rarely change them out based on my outfit but only if I’m bored or think it’s time to clean out my bag (when I clean out my bag it seems necessary to change it, too. Do you do that too?)
(doesn’t the scarf just liven up an otherwise boring outfit :))
- Black & White Grid infinity scarf.
- Pink floral scarf.
- Beige blanket scarf
These scarves act as neutral accessories for my winter outfits. I treat the pink one as a neutral as much as the other two. Scarves are a great way to add texture and interest to an outfit without packing on jewelry or additional clothing. Especially if you are in a cold weather climate…invest in a couple neutral scarves. Pair them with a sweater and leggings, chambray shirt and jeans, or even a t-shirt dress and boots for quick and easy chic.
The moral of the story?
Your minimal wardrobe doesn’t have to lack in accessories. The idea, like the other items in your closet, is to keep accessories simple and practical making each item do double duty. That doesn’t mean they can’t be full of style and fun if that’s your personality. Your accessories are where your personality and style shines through the MOST in a minimal wardrobe. Most people that subscribe to the smaller wardrobe concept use their clothing as a base, allowing the accessories to bring the outfit to life.
Do NOT underestimate the power of good, quality accessories in your capsule wardrobe. And, like in your clothing items, put thought, care, and money into choosing good quality and fashionable items you’ll adore wearing again and again!
More posts from the simple wardrobe series:
TIPS FOR YOUR VERY FIRST CAPSULE WARDROBE
CAPSULE WARDROBE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
WHY I’M GIVING UP MY CAPSULE WARDROBE
CAPSULE WARDROBE. IS IT VALUABLE FOR YOUR LIFE?