"But Natty," you say, "those are accessories you got there. That's hardly a 'wardrobe.'"
Well, see now, that's where I'd have to disagree with you, dear fake-reader-posing-a-fake-response. In my little world, these pieces go a long way in pulling together a polished, stylish, signature look.
I am not a shopper. In fact, I detest it. (I know, there goes my future as a legit fashion blogger, which was really quite bright and full of promise, seeing as I post my outfits never.) It stresses me out, I get hot, and my hair always triples in size in the trying-on process. Plus, I'm cheap as all get out. Enter: accessories.
Ever since I was a babe traipsing around the house in a hot pink onesie, I poured on oodles of baubles and carried at least three handbags at any given time. (Toddlers have a lot of stuff in need for schleaping, y'all.) And while these days I still consider myself fairly minimalist, I've bounced back from the totally bland phases of black-shoes-go-with-everything and why-paint-my-nails-when-I-can-just-bite-them-off-completely. (Bleeding cuticles? Not hot.)
With a well-balanced collection of shoes, belts, jewelery and nail color, you can throw together even the most mundane items and look like you put in some effort. And isn't that the goal? To focus more on life than on what you're wearing, but to still feel great in your own (comfy) shoes. The key is maintaining a balance of neutrals (practical and versatile) and pops of color (lively and inspired) that align with your go-to palette, and incorporate plenty of texture (snakeskin, metallic, linen) and some classic prints (leopard, stripes, polka dots. For example, I wear a lot of gray and browns, so I tend to lean toward warm beiges, coral, and gold to compliment the earth tones, and seek out rich shades of aqua and violet to perk up the darker neutrals. And when in doubt, a clean white blouse is the perfect canvas for mixing and matching the contents of your accessory closet.
Accessories are also a great way to experiment with trends, but if something just feels too silly and "not you," pass. If your style is evolving and you're not quite sure what colors and looks you lean toward (the awareness of which ensures you'll get the most use out of your collection, because cost-per-wear is really the value of an item), use resources like Pinterest and fashion blogs (some of my faves are Signe Roo, Kendi Everyday, Selective Potential, M Loves M, and Pink Peonies) to explore what you like, what you don't, and how you can refine some of the items or style you already have going for you.