Suffolk style: It's all in the detail

Accessories are the key to finishing off your look, says style guru Emma Lloyd

Accessories are the key to finishing off your look, says style guru Emma Lloyd

I’m a firm believer that the key to pulling off a truly stylish outfit lies in choosing the right accessories. A woman can be transformed into a fashion goddess with some well considered accessorising to enhance her look. The great thing about accessories is that the exact same clothes can look completely different depending on how you accessorise, so this week I’ve put together some guidelines that will help make your outfits pop.

Quite simply, accessories add interest to an outfit. Whether dressing for a friend’s wedding or just meeting your mother for a coffee, they are what hold the whole look together to achieve a polished appearance. Some people are masters at accessorising and have the knack of making a very plain outfit look incredibly stylish by adding the right accessories. But how should you choose which accessories to wear with which outfit?

There are so many different accessories to choose from - belts, scarves, necklaces, hats and shoes are great for perfecting your look. How you choose to add to each outfit will depend on the look you are trying to create so it’s worth bearing in mind a couple of key considerations. Think about your silhouette and how the accessories you add will affect the overall shape of the outfit.

For example, wearing a belt will completely change the look of a loose fitting top or dress. Also, are your accessories drawing attention to your best features and diverting attention away from your worst features? If not, they should be, so draw eyes towards a pretty face with a neck scarf, a neat waist with belt, long legs with some gorgeous patterned tights.

A classic black dress is a great example here. For a chic day look it could be accessorised with some thick tights, boots, a wide belt and chunky beads. However, if the dress is plain it could easily become party wear with patent black shoes, a silver clutch bag, a sparkly silver necklace and bracelet.

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Try to stick to only wearing one accessory that really makes a statement and then team it with maybe two or three other more subtle accessories. Bear in mind that if your black dress is already eye catching (perhaps it has some type of embellishment) it may look too much with statement accessories as well and looking rather like a Christmas tree is not our aim here!

Scarves are for all year round, not just autumn and winter. In recent years, scarves have featured prominently in new trends, with an updated style making its way into the mainstream every season. For this reason, a scarf is a relatively inexpensive method of keeping your look updated and modern.

You’re either a hat person or you’re not. If you haven’t given hats a fair go I recommend you do as they open up a whole lot of sartorial doors and can set your outfit apart. However, be aware that wearing a hat can be difficult to pull off and if you decide halfway through the day that you want to take it off, you may have to deal with hat hair and/or the problem of having to hold on to your hat all day.

A beautiful necklace can really enhance your assets. Make the most of a large bust with a necklace that ends just above the cleavage line or a long string of beads that finish near your navel if you want to minimise it.

Remember not to wear bold earrings and a necklace as together they have to compete and will lose impact.

Jewellery has that unique ability to capture a sentiment and make the wearer feel oh-so-decadent. There is virtually a limitless range of styles and designs to choose from, so whether you want to show off some bling, make a statement with a bold necklace, or go all demure with a chic pearl set, jewellery is the perfect addition to any ensemble. I think its impact cannot be overstated and for instant style I love teaming a simple t-shirt with my statement rosary necklace.

Always give elaborate styles room to shine by wearing a scoop or V-neck top.




Nothing makes an outfit like a sexy pair of shoes. You just need to remember a few rules. If you’ve got large legs avoid delicate kitten heels and opt for a more substantial heel or wedges instead to slim your legs. Short pins can be elongated with a heel and pointed toe. Similarly matching the colour of your hosiery to the colour of your shoes will add valuable inches to your legs.

The right earrings can transform your face and neck. A pair of long dangly earrings will slim a round face and if you have a short neck, avoid heavy earrings and stick to studs or dainty loops. Always give elaborate styles room to shine by wearing a scoop or V-neck top.

Your bag should mirror your body shape and if you’re petite go for something small and neat. If you’re curvy, choose a soft floppy fabric (suede is ideal) and if you’re straight up and down, a more structured bag looks best.

Wide belts are very in at the moment so team a belt to show off a small waist. Try wearing it low slung on your hips if you are short in the body to elongate your upper half.

Finally, colour coordinating really is the best accessory of all and isn’t as complicated as it may seem. For instance, whilst wearing a neutral dress (white, black or grey), wear more vibrant jewellery.

An example of this would be to wear a black dress with red accessories. A red bag, necklace, earrings and red nails and lips will look perfect. Perhaps even with a pair of black shoes with slight red detail. For more vibrant clothing, reverse the logic. For instance, with an orange dress, wear fairly neutral gold or silver jewellery and pad a look like this with a tan handbag and shoes. When in doubt match a vibrant colour with a neutral one as it is important not to wear too much of one colour. A red dress with red jewellery, a red bag, red nail polish and red shoes just looks ridiculous.

Make-up is another key aspect in one’s look potentially lifting from bleak to chic (or vice versa!) With regards to colour co-ordination please never wear blue eye-shadow unless there is blue elsewhere in the outfit. If you’re wearing mainly neutral colours, keep the make-up neutral too and rather than bright red lips, it would be better to plump for a soft peach or pink lip-gloss. If you’re wearing a red dress, match the lipstick and neutralise the eye-make up. I love the inspiring make-up tutorials by Lisa Eldridge which can be found on You Tube.

However, as with any fashion and style advice the only real way to find out what something is going to look like is to try it on. Try two or three different accessory combinations with an outfit and choose which looks and feels best.

Finally, remember, there’s nothing like a few well chosen accessories to melt away the years. If you wear them well and to suit your body shape and colouring, you’ll look slimmer, feel younger and ooze style. And after all, isn’t that the look everyone one of us is really after?!”.

Emma Lloyd

Marianna, 33a St Peters Street,

Ipswich IP1 1XF

Tel 01473 225666

Facebook – Marianna boutique

Twitter – @MariannaIpswich

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