How Do Accessories Play Into Your Wardrobe Colour Palette?

A good wardrobe colour palette starts with the fabrics you buy and sew… but it doesn’t end there! Accessories like shoes, scarves, necklaces and other jewellery can help accentuate your colour palette, or tone it down as needed. As I look through my pictures from the last few years of sewing, it’s clear that I’m accessorising for different purposes: to emphasise, incorporate, or side-step my colour palette!

For example, when I want to highlight a colour from my wardrobe palette, I’m likely to accessorise with one of these three identical necklaces:

Sew Over It Heather Dress

Buying the same necklace in all three colours was a stroke of brilliance! They are just cheap plastic, but I wear one of them at least twice a week, all year long.

They are bold and chunky, and pull a flattering colour from my palette close to my face. At least 75% of my wardrobe matches one of these necklaces! (If they don’t, it’s probably a red, burgundy or black shade from my winter wardrobe. Any outfit that matches one of these is good; matching 2 is a great sign; and matching all three means I’ll love the outfit forever!

Here are some other accessories that match my colour palette, and make me a head-to-toe walking rainbow. Because I like multicolour prints, it’s easy to match accessories to the fabric… but it’s also fun to use accessories to pull other colour-palette shades into a monochromatic look. I feel 100% me in these outfits!

accentuate Collage

Colourful accessories also let you pull your colour palette into otherwise neutral or monochromatic outfits, like these:

add colour to a neutral Collage

Monochromatic looks are great for experimentation. Any of the black-and-white looks above could have been paired with a different colour, with bold or dainty accessories, or with bright or neutral colours. If you aren’t sure what your colour palette is, experimenting is a great place to start!

Even in my wardrobe, not everything fits my colour palette (Gasp! I know!) which is when neutral accessories come in handy. Personally, that’s gold, silver, wood or leopard!

neautral accessoriesCollage

I’ve got one last category of accessory: the everyday essential. For me, that’s various black boots, a taupe purse, and an olive work-bag. I have all three on me every single day, and because they are neutral they are neither clashing or too matchy-matchy with any outfit!

I’m sure we all use accessories differently in our wardrobes, and I’d love to hear how you accessorise. Do you have a huge collection? Or a few favourite you wear daily? What are your neutrals, and what are your statement pieces?


24 thoughts on “How Do Accessories Play Into Your Wardrobe Colour Palette?

  1. The only accessories that really float my boat are shoes and boots. I’ve never been a handbag sort, and although I always trot off to work with a large shoulder bag stuffed full of whatever [big enough for a bit of marking too], one bag does me for a few years until it dies or I get bored with it. The brightly coloured Koos van den Akker bag in my blog header is still going strong.
    When I worked in school, and dressed slightly more formally every day, I had a good selection of necklaces and ear rings in different colourways to suit various looks. All costume jewellery, apart from a few silver chains and pendants. I don’t tend to bother at all with ear rings any more, and only occasionally change between a select few favoured pendants. I do always have my wedding ring on a chain though, now my fingers have swelled and I can’t wear it.
    Once upon a time I really loved very very gaudy tights, bright makeup, and extremely loud ear rings…not so much now, but I reserve the right to start again when I get to the ‘don’t give a ****’ stage. next week maybe? lol
    Your wardrobe is great, very stylish, very put together. Go you!

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    1. Have you considered getting your ring resized? My husband’s got way too small so we had it made bigger, and it was all really simple! (Ok, it’s a plain men’s band, so a fancy ring might be more complicated…)
      I”m a lot like you with bags. I use the same ones day in and day out until eventually I realise they are embarrassingly worn out!

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      1. Indeed- my favourite bag is looking very tattered and frayed, but it won’t stop me using it! I think this ring can’t be ‘stretched’ so may buy a new one when cash allows. Such a shame, we haven’t even got to our 4th anniversary yet,,,getting older can be a right pain.

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  2. I have a lot of scarves and necklaces, and most of them are in my palette. I really rely especially on a large cashmere pale aqua scarf to get me through the winter–it’s funny but that scarf changed out with a necklace on the same outfit has a totally different feel to it which is good since I wear pastels all year round. 🙂

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    1. That scarf sounds lovely!
      You know, as I go shopping, I see pastels in “your” colours and think, “Elizabeth would look great in that!”

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  3. Great post! I enjoyed it. I have lots of necklaces too and waist belts are my absolute favourite accessory! I could do with investing in pastel colours for spring. I love a handbag and have them in many colours but I don’t tend to pay too much attention to whether it matches unless I’m going out for lunch or something. X

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    1. I love how belts dress up and outfit! I find I only end up wearing elastic belts though, because when my whole outfit is knits, it seems silly to wear an uncomfortable belt on top! 😛

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  4. Most of my accessories are more or less in my palette. I’m a jewelry girl at heart, usually either beaded or silver, though I do have some gold necklaces that I like. I actually recently downsized my jewelry collection and got rid of probably a third to half of it, simply because the boys are at a grabby age and I’ll have to wait a few more years before I can really wear most of my necklaces and dangly earrings again. I’ve also gotten more into scarves in recent years, since those are more kid and travel friendly. My shoes tend to be basic neutrals, mostly either black or brown, because my feet are a difficult width and so I never really got into shoes since most won’t ever fit me. And my purses are usually homemade, often by my mom, in funky prints. Of course, I’m usually also schlepping around diaper bags and/or my flute bag, too.

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    1. Have you ever tried those silicon teething necklaces? i think they actually look really stylish! Though I’ve only seen big and chunky versions, which is probably more my style than yours!

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  5. I love how coordinated and well thought out your wardrobe is! I have some great necklaces and just bought a better hanger for them to display them, so i can wear them more. Shoe are usually my colorful addition 🙂

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    1. I hope you enjoy your new display! I have all mine hanging on a big cork board, and I like bieng able to see them all at once!

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  6. Getting the same style of jewelry in multiple colors is smart!

    I think the closest I get to “accessorizing” is the hair band that is always on my wrist. 😉 I carry a men’s wallet that I shove in my back pocket for cash/cards, have a clip that holds my phone on my hip, and I wear flip flops, combat (or cowboy) boots, or tennis shoes (all of those in black). I do my level best to avoid carrying a purse (I tend to forget them/stuff too much crap in them, but I do have a small paisley shaped black cross body bag for those rare occasions I wear a dress). Jewelry is rare, but very simple. Pearl or my beloved onyx+silver cross earrings, a silver celtic cross necklace (I like crosses a lot, LOL), and a white gold wedding band if the weather isn’t too warm (my fingers swell something fierce in the summer. 😦 )

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    1. Sounds like you know EXACTLY what accessories you like! Your descriptions created a really clear picture in my head, and reminded me a bit of my husband, who wears all black, with chucks or docs, a hoodie, and on casual days, a ripped denim vest… and come rain, shine of -20c winter weather, that’s his look!

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      1. LOL! Sub in turquoise/teal/blue/green for the black, and yeah, you’re probably right! 😛

        So on a completely unrelated note, have you ordered any rayons from CaliFabrics? Are they any good? They have a bunch of them I’m drooling over, but I’m always hesitant to buy fabric from a new place–especially when I can’t touch it with my own hands! And there isn’t much that I hate more than fabric that falls apart after a couple of wears.

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  7. My accessories are a lot like my wardrobe — not all that cohesive. It depends on the season. Handknit shawls and scarves are popular in the winter and tend to match darker colors I wear then. Bracelets and beaded necklaces are popular in the summer — especially since my curly hair is worn up and won’t tangle on the chains.

    Perhaps my favorite accessory is my brass tape measure bracelet I got from Mod Cloth years ago. It’s fun and ties to my sewing ways.

    What people notice about me though, are my shoes. I wear a lot of bright colored and unusual shoes (Fluevogs often) and they tend to grab attention.

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  8. I love the idea of accessories, but in practice I wear jewellery very rarely, and it’s always a small silver necklace and my wedding ring if I actually bother. Scarves get taken out of the drawer on cold days but are only worn over my coat, and my shoes are nearly all black. I guess I should think about accessorising occasionally! I do have a good understanding of the colours I like though, and I am not a fan of patterns… I can just about do a stripe, so coordination and pulling colours together isn’t really required!

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  9. My accessories are mostly neutrals, but I do have red shoes and a handbag. I tend to wear the same jewellery most of the time, and have been thinking recently I’d like to get some more fun costume jewellery for wearing with neutral colour clothes. And colourful lightweight scarves would be useful… I sometimes think of cardie layers as accessories, especially when they’re little shrugs. Got lots of colourful crochet ones there, so that’s something. Also have a fair few heels I never wear. Need to go to more fancy dos, I reckon!

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