Wardrobe Architect Week 12: Adding Accessories

Rather than making a list of requirements for my functional and decorative accessories and deciding how many I need of each, I’m going to focus on the things I think are missing from my current accessory collection. The items below are more inspiration than specific shopping list, especially since accessories are, by definition, not essential and therefore not as high on my to-make-or-get list.

Hat & Sunglasses



Ultrafino Monte Cristo Straw Fedora Panama Hat // Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarer Sunglasses

I’m fair-skinned and fair-haired with light eyes, so these are a no-brainer. I really like how I look in hats, but I only own one: a lightweight athletic hat I picked up for a trip last summer, more practical than pretty. I think I’d like to get something with a slightly tailored fit (rather than a big floppy-brimmed number), like a straw fedora or a Panama hat.

On the other side of the equation, since I got contacts and can finally wear whatever sunglasses I want, I’ve been paralyzed trying to find a pair I like. Everything I’ve tried either overwhelms my face, or doesn’t feel at all like me. I don’t need trendy or statement-making shades, I just need something that doesn’t make me look and/or feel like an idiot! Suggestions welcome.



Dr. Scholls Friendly Striped Ballet Flat // Audrey Brooke Newport Metallic Flat
Me Too Buckle Reptile Ballet Flat // Franco Sarto Jinelle Flat Sandal
Franco Sarto Jinelle Flat Sandal // Crown Vintage Marley Flat Sandal
Kelly & Katie Brice Wedge Sandal // Kelly & Katie Madeline Wedge Sandal

I’ve been living in a pair of black ballet flats since the weather turned warm. Before they completely fall apart, I’d like to pick out a new pair or two in my new palette. The navy and white stripes are right up my alley, but gold and red are both versatile choices that I’ve been meaning to add to my collection for a while. I wish I could rock a pair of boat shoes, because I think they’re quintessentially summer attire and I hear they’re pretty comfy, but every pair I’ve tried on just didn’t look right. *sigh*

I’d really, really like to get a pair of flat sandals this summer. I have a pair of white slip-ons, but they’re not great for a lot of walking because they’re slip-ons—I need some kind of security otherwise I’m liable to fall off my shoes. I love that sandals come in a rainbow of happy colors these days. What I don’t love is that so many styles are just so dang uncomfortable! I’ve avoided thong styles and their accompanying chafing, but it’s a crapshoot whether the insoles on most sandals offer any cushioning. Here’s hoping this summer’s search is more fruitful than last year’s.

Finally, I’d like to throw in a pair of low wedges for variety. Anything to occasionally lengthen the ol’ leg line is much appreciated by this petite.



Striped Weekender Handbag – Gray // Vertical Buckles Backpack Handbag // Tote Handbag with Strap

Strictly speaking, I don’t need any more bags, but I do love them so, and it’s nice to have a bag suited to every purpose and occasion. For example, Justin and I make a weekend trip to visit family every couple of months, and we usually share a rolling suitcase for our stuff. Sometimes it isn’t big enough, but the next size up in the set is way larger than we need for such a short trip. I used to have utilitarian duffel bag, but it was retired when the strap on it broke; it would be nice to replace it with something pretty. A small, backpack-style bag would be nice for outings to the flea market or along one of Raleigh’s many greenways, because I could bring my usual kit while leaving my hands free and avoiding the switch-shoulders-every-15-minutes game. Bonus: both the weekender and the backpack coordinate with a wallet, purse, and tote I already own—matching for the win! The green purse is just for color, since all of my other purses are neutral.


Anything colorful and a little statement-making. Natural materials and textures, like leather, are fun too. I definitely favor graphic over intricate or ornate. Beyond that, I don’t know. There are so many pieces of beautiful handmade jewelry online that I have no idea how to narrow it down, let alone choose.

That about sums it up. Ours is not a climate for scarves, even lightweight ones (too humid), so these are the things I reach for when I head out the door in the morning.

Do you use colorful accessories to mix things up and keep outfits fresh, or do you tend to stick to neutral accessories and wear more interesting outfits? Maybe you go for head-to-toe neutrals for a timeless look that goes with anything, anywhere?

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