The finishing touch

A few items can help you mix and match a limited wardrobe

Melody Morrissette
Melody Morrissette
Melody Morrissette
Melody Morrissette
Melody Morrissette

Accessories are just as crucial as the foundation of your outfit itself. They can change the same ensemble dramatically and are a fast and easy way to not only update that crisp white shirt you’ve had for two years, but also add a fun and creative twist to an otherwise plain palette.

Generally speaking, when it comes to dressing, a no-fuss approach is best. Although I do enjoy the process of dressing up and creating a look, most people want a something that’s quick and easy without having to put in too much time, effort and money.

Men’s and women’s accessories have often been quite similar, particularly this past season and this trend will likely continue through this spring.

It’s important to keep your eyes open for bold and bright colors when adding that something extra to take your look further without spending big dollars.

Bow tie: The key ingredient in a classic tuxedo, it’s a quick and fashionable way to add some sophistication. Paired with jeans and a blazer, a bow tie is a perfect way to up the ante on your style. Your bow tie is not simply restricted to black; feel free to try patterned, colourful plaid or other various designs in an array of sizes.

Messenger bag: When travelling in Europe, I noticed almost every guy with a messenger-style type bag. It not only looked great but was also practical. This bag is not a “man purse,” so don’t worry about this item making you any less masculine. They are available in rugged styles with plenty of pockets or in sleek leather styles, depending on your look. It still has that modern yet comfortable feel and allows guys to carry their wallet, cellphone and keys without having your pant pockets overflow (never a good look).

Scarf: For an instant update, drape a long scarf over layered tees or a tweed or corduroy blazer. Thick, wool scarves are great for cold winter days but limit your style come spring. Try different textures, lengths and colours. For example, hints of orange or peacock blue combined with gray can take one scarf through all four seasons.

Leather goods: There are countless items made from genuine leather which will not only add some class to your wardrobe, but also last forever with proper care. Leather can look very biker-esque, but depending on the style, can also look both edgy and sharp. Well-made leather belts, gloves, wallets, watches and cuffs are just a few of the options.

Socks: They may be more of a necessity right now than an accessory, but socks are an area of your outfit where you can let loose and add some pizazz. If you’re hesitant to be a little daring in other places, start at your feet! Patterned in argyle, stripes and other intricate designs, socks have come along way from plain black, gray and white. Wear with a classic suit and create a glimpse of colour, such as a hint of royal purple or forest green, when sitting down.

Published in Volume 64, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2010)

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