I Forgot How to Accessorize …

A lot of my basic life skills got rusty during months and months of staying home every day.  I forgot how to walk in my tall shoes and looked like a prom girl in her first pair of heels until I practiced for a while.  I forgot how to drive confidently in traffic.  And – horror of horrors! – I recently realized I’d forgotten how to ACCESSORIZE.

To be clear, I put on an outfit every day, even if nobody but my hubby was going to see it. But it recently dawned on me that lots of days I’d been tossing on an easy, comfy, one-and-done jersey dress  and never bothering to finish the look.  That short-fall snapped into focus when THREE recent closet clients commented on their reimagined outfits: “It really is all about the accessories!”

So on our holiday get-away, while hubs was sleeping in and I didn’t want to wake him by stumbling around the dark hotel room, I cuddled under the covers and mentally surveyed my rack of dresses (in rainbow order, of course) planning ways to spiff each of them up a bit.  Now that I’m home, I tried the combos and took some quick pics so I won’t forget to actually execute them.  I’ll show you a few here.

NOTE: I dress up more frequently than may people due to my board involvement with several non-profits. But  the same accessorizing strategy can elevate casual outfits too.

This royal blue jersey mock-wrap already has silver side-buckle trim detail.  But I want to move the focal point up toward my face, and I can accomplish that in just seconds by tying on the Moroccan Tiles scarf or substituting a hand-made silver necklace with blue inset stones.  Either choice makes a subtle but significant upgrade, right?

My dark-dark brown ponte sheath is a great silhouette with an interesting waist inset, but overall pretty bland.  A brown/teal pashmina certainly takes the look up a notch. But who wants to fiddle with keeping the darned thing in place all day?  Presto – this skinny bronze belt  is the answer – worn over the pashmina in back to keep it in place, but under it in the front for an elongated line  Note how the diagonal strap and pointed toe of the shoe help visually lengthen my legs, even though the heel is only about 2″ high.  (It’s Denise by Corso Como, available in various colors throughout the year) A bright silver earring keeps a focal point up by the face.

Skin print jersey in a black/brown combo was the perfect backdrop for gold/silver mix jewelry.  I’m not a big bracelet fan — who wants extra attention right at the hipline? – but these are a less attention-grabbing matte finish.  One is a hinged oval  and the other is elasticized so they mold to the wrist and don’t stick out too much.  I chose an earring with a bright, shiny finish to be the visually dominant element.

Navy mock-wrap was a pandemic online find – some crazy-low price because the inventory arrived late. I jumped right on it and so did several of my clients. It’s a figure-flattering classic that will endure for a decade or more.  But it needed a little something.  This multi-blue mother of pearl necklace was purchased for a multi-blue tweed  summer jacket, and now it has another life as well.  The skinny bracelet trio picks up an array of blue shades too. I can wear it as a set, or split them up to work with other outfits.

Couldn’t help noticing that the same assortment of blues make up the print of this jersey dress.  The statement necklace is ideal when I’m wearing the dress for a fancy occasion.  For everyday, I’m happy making a quieter statement with the smaller geode pendant on a short but substantial chain.

Interchangeable pendants like the geode are such an easy way to have the just-right necklace for any outfit in your closet.  I pick them up any time I see one in my colors.  Jewelry-making shops, gift shops, craft stores, Etsy.com and women’s shows are all great sources.  I especially like this website: https://corazonsterling.com/

I’ve build quite a collection over the years, so I’m almost never without a necklace option.  The display is just fabric-covered foam-core board mounted in a frame.

Here’s one that’s a great match for my navy/taupe/periwinkle jacquard jacket that I layer over a sleeveless flip-skirt navy dress.  Periwinkle Blue – by the way – is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2022. Read more about that HERE.

What accessories do you need to put back into circulation in your wardrobe?  Take pictures of your newly polished outfits — we’re soon moving to a new platform where you can all share your great finds with one another.  Stay tuned …






About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Caroline Beller on January 19, 2022 at 4:33 pm

    It is so helpful to see how you create outfits for yourself, and I’m thrilled to see your examples of using jewelry. I struggle with finding that balance between jewelry that is so tiny it is insignificant and jewelry that overwhelms my smaller stature. The pieces you show here are beautiful (especially that stunning handmade necklace), and you make them look great. Another quandary I have is choosing appropriate colors. Is it better to repeat colors in the outfit, or can it work to have the jewelry be a pop of color on a dark neutral backdrop? (I also appreciate seeing the scarves in your inventory in action. I have been on the fence about buying Moroccan Tiles, and now I am probably going to be ordering it soon.)

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 19, 2022 at 4:55 pm

      Glad you find those examples helpful. As a point of reference regarding scale, I’m 5’3″ and between 130-135 pounds . I do carry some jewelry inventory but it isn’t on the website because I don’t carry depth in each item. If you want some personalized recommendations I’m happy to help with that. As for color – I find that pieces in my best metals are the most versatile. I also try to own (and find for my clients) necklaces that repeat the colors of their basic bottom garments. That lets me build vertical continuity by repeating that bottom color at the top of the look. As I’m answering your questions I realize there is probably another blog post I could do on this topic.

      • Caroline Beller on January 20, 2022 at 1:46 pm

        Thank you, Nancy. I started learning to make jewelry about a year ago, so, hypothetically, I should be able to make pieces that meet my needs. Ah, if only it were that simple! I am enjoying the journey, though. Your suggestions reinforce what I’ve learned from you through your book, Craftsy class, and Style School. Thanks for the reminder and the consistency! The subject of looking good is so complex that I need reminders like this. (And, yes, I was hoping for a blog post on this topic 😊.)

        • Nancy Nix Rice on January 20, 2022 at 1:53 pm

          You are so right that style and wardrobing is an endless topic. I’ve had so many requests from Style School grads like yourself for some sort of ongoing membership program, so we are launching exactly that in early March. We’ll dive into a new sub-topic each month — selected by the members — and have a little masterclass, “homework”, show & tell and lots more. Stay tuned!

          • Caroline Beller on January 21, 2022 at 10:02 am

            That is fantastic news! I look forward to participating!

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