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Fashion Accessories by Apparel Search - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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What are fashion accessories?  In our opinion, a fashion accessory is anything that can accessorize your outfit.  Wow, did I just use the word "accessorize" to define "accessory".  After further thought, that description may not really help you too much.  OK, lets try this again...  In our opinion, a fashion accessory is anything that can dress up your outfit.  Something that can take a basic (boring) outfit and give it something that will turn heads.  For example, you may have a solid black dress, and you need to attend a dinner party.  Possibly, you would utilize a colorful handbag to spice up your outfit.  The handbag in this case would be considered your outfits accessory.  In addition, you would most likely utilize some sort of jewelry to help you accessorize for the evening.  Don't forget to select a nice pair of shoes...  The jewelry, shoes, and handbag would be accessories for your dress.   Because sparkling jewels, dressy shoes, and fabulous handbag help make your outfit more fashionable, I hereby declare these accessories to be officially called "fashion accessories". 
A fashion accessory is an item that will compliment what you are wearing for the day (or evening). If you were to ask me to mention a few of the most common fashion accessories, I would have to say that belts, scarves, jewelry, handbags and sunglasses are the first to come to mind. Certainly, the list can go on and on.
When determining which accessories to utilize you should take into account various areas of the body.   It is important to wear the proper accessories from the top of your head down to your toes.  Don't get caught wearing an out of style hat and certainly do not wear a toe ring if the fashion community deems it to be old news.  In regard to accessorizing the body, I venture to say that some would consider body paint, body glitter & tattoos a fashion accessory.  However, here at Apparel Search, we wish to primarily discuss more traditional fashion accessories such as hair bows, cufflinks, shawls, and hats (we can discuss body piercing etc., another day...).
An accessory can help you highlight a particular area of your body or outfit.  Conversely, the proper fashion accessory can help you hide areas that you wish to have hidden.  Those of you that are not models, may have experience using an accessory to distract someones eyes to another location...  For example, you may have noticed that some women at the beach may wear a shawl (sarong) to cover up their lower half.  Some other women (the ones that exercise every other minute of the day, and eat nothing but salad), often do not use a shawl.  Either way, I think you get the idea of how an accessory at the beach can be utilized. 
More often then not, the fashion accessory is used to bring attention to the wearer.  However, it is important to not allow your accessory to become over powering.   A careful balance is necessary.  You do not want to wear an overstated accessory that will dominate your appearance.  The idea is to look good from head to toe.  Yes, it is wonderful to have someone point out that you are wearing a beautiful bracelet.  But it may be even more flattering if they point out you are dressed to perfection from head to toe.  "Use your accessories as a method to complete your overall look for the day.  Do not wear an accessory simply to wear an accessory" (Hey, I really like that last quote so I have put it in quotation marks.  I wonder if anyone else has ever used that exact statement...  If not, maybe I should be famous..) 
When thinking about what fashion accessory to wear, it is important to think not only about color and fabrication.  It is also important to consider the shape, silhouette, or style.  The accessory market changes as rapidly as the clothing market.  If you are buying a belt, make sure you get the proper width.  Last week a fat leather belt with a tiny silk closure may have been in style, but this week it is a thin leather belt with a monstrous buckle made from sea shells.. 
Do not get caught on the wrong end of the fashion cycle.   Maybe you should put the latest fashion magazine in your closet or dresser drawer...  Anyway, the point is that you should be conscience of the current trends.  Just because the handbag you are about to utilize is your "favorite", it does not mean that your favorite is actually in "fashion". 
By the way, although I mention above to keep you eye on trend spotting, but the reality is that you should probably just wear what feels comfortable to YOU.  Do not wear clothing or fashion accessories to impress others.  The most important thing is to feel good about yourself.  Impress yourself, and you will do fine.
"Please be careful with your fashion accessories".  Your accessories can work with you, but they can also work against you. 
 
Here are a few accessories that you may wish to consider.

Bags

Belts

Bridal Accessories

Capes

Cloaks

Cufflinks

Cummerbunds

Earmuffs

Evening Wraps

Fans

Foulards

Gloves

Hair Bows

Handbags

Hats

Jewelry

Leather Accessories

Mittens

Neckerchief

Pageant Sashes

Pareos

Pocket Squares

Ponchos

Purses

Reflective Armbands

Shawls

Scarves

Stoles

Sunglasses

Suspenders

Ties 

Tiaras

Umbrellas

Wallets

Again, please make sure to pick your fashion accessories carefully.  If you are concerned that you do not have good taste, or others tell you that you do not have good taste, please consult a fashion consultant.  Or ask for help at your local fashion boutique.

Written by ML at Apparel Search 7/18/07

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