Accessories: How to Add Personality and Style to Any Outfit

  | 7 min read

Accessories add personality to any outfit

Why do you think that someone who wears a plain white t-shirt, jeans, a nice fedora hat, pendant necklace, and heels looks better than someone who wears a fancy dress with no added touches?

It’s simple – personalisation.

The thing is, being stylish is not about following trends, but instead, it’s about incorporating your personality into what you wear. And while it’s easy to buy a trendy dress that you see every popular girl on Instagram wearing, it’s harder to make it ‘your own’. And there’s no better way to personalise than with accessories.

Ask any stylist or fashionista you respect, ‘what distinguishes a basic outfit from a great one’, they’ll surely say ‘accessories’.

However, the old adage, ‘less is more’ is especially true when it comes to styling an outfit with accessories. So while not adding personal touches to an outfit isn’t the best fashion move, over-accessorising may be even worse. In fact, instead of having a lot of accessories in your closet, you just need the following 10 essential pieces to transform any look into an outfit others will envy.

1.     Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just for protecting your eyes from the sun, instead, they are a fashion item that adds a touch of cool to any casual look.

Plus, there are many styles to choose from depending on your face, and the most popular ones are:

·   The retro square sunglasses that are heavier on the top frame than on the bottom (perfect for heart-shaped faces)

·   The cat eye sunglasses are also heavier at the top but slant outwards like, well, cat-eyes, giving you an old Hollywood glamour appearance (perfect for round faces)

·   Aviator sunglasses are loved by some of our favourite celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Diamond, and are the epitome of cool (mostly suitable for oval-shaped faces)

·   Oversized sunglasses are the ones that swallow up your entire face and are loved by fashionistas worldwide, though they look best on oval-shaped faces

Whatever sunglass style you pick, you can pair them with a casual jeans look, T-shirt dress, or even a chic jumpsuit. As mentioned before, sunglasses are the easiest way to look effortlessly cool, however, please don’t wear them to the club or indoors –  it’s just corny!

2.     Clutch

Whether you are going to a wedding, party, date, or even church, having a clutch that you can put your phone, lipstick, and money in is essential for those special occasions when you are all dressed up. While clutches are not the most practical handbag because of their small size, their daintiness adds a great degree of elegance and sophistication to an outfit.

However, while women usually have dozens of clutches in all colours, materials, and sizes, it’s best to invest in:

·   Two leather neutral coloured (black and brown) clutches

·   One black studded clutch, the studs could be silver or gold in colour

·   One ‘fun’ printed clutch; it can be African prints, flower prints, pop-art etc.

·   One hard-case shiny gold clutch

3.     Oversized bag

Quite opposite from the small clutch, the oversized bag is functional and practical for everyday use. Not only can you put everything from your laptop, books, water bottle, makeup case and more in it, it also gives you that ‘bohemian’ vibe. Simply put, you look casual, cool, and unbothered.

But once again, quality matters so invest in a leather or layered linen bag that won’t tear easily.

4.     Cross body purse

The last type of handbag you need is a cross body purse, which unlike the clutch allows you to keep your hands free in any fun occasion. But also isn’t as distracting as an oversized bag. Make sure to get one with a zipper, so that your things don’t fall out. This is perfect for any casual to formal occasion, and adds a subtle balance of cool and chic to your overall look.

However, don’t compromise on quality. A bag is only as good as it’s material and finishing, so invest in a decent genuine leather bag and you won’t have to think about replacing it for years.

5.     Necklaces

A necklace is a no-fuss way to add a touch of personality and dress up a simple top or dress. In fact, necklaces have really made a comeback in 2016, especially with the increased popularity of 90s trends like chokers and layering multiple necklaces.

Nonetheless, every woman needs a statement piece necklace in her vanity table. This is the bold, colourful, interestingly structured necklace that becomes the focal point of an outfit. It’s the easiest way to dress up a simple outfit, it almost feels like cheating.

6.    Earrings

As we all know, there is a wide range of earrings that women can own. However, there are three main types that you should have in your jewellery box:

Simple studs or pearl earrings:

A pair of simple stud earrings add a touch of understated sophistication to any day or night time outfit. However, if you want to go for a classic look, then invest in a pair of white pearl earrings that can be worn in any occasion.

Dangly earrings:

Whether they are a made out of Tanzanian beads, feathers, wood, stone, silver, or whatever other material imaginable, dangly earrings are a great way to bring attention to your face (making them the perfect accessory for a flirtatious date).

Gold hoops:

There is something about hoop earrings that help transition an outfit from day to night and add a ‘wow’ factor to even the simplest of outfits look.

Though the size of the earrings matter; big chunky gold hoop earrings give off a more ‘urban’ club vibe, whereas the narrow ones give off a more sophisticated and polished vibe. So depending on the occasion, put on the appropriate type of gold hoops and you’ll be good to go.

7.     A scarf

The scarf is another accessory that has been getting a lot of attention in the past couple of years. Wrapping a printed scarf around your neck is a great way to add some colour and texture to an outfit. However, scarves can also function as head-wraps that give off a very afro-centric vibe, while also allowing you to cover your hair on those bad hair days.

8.     Hat

Like sunglasses, hats are not just useful for covering your head and protecting your skin on sunny days but are a fashion statement in their own right. A straw fedora is the perfect finishing touch for a look for the beach or casual day out with friends. A wide-brim hat goes well with a hipster-inspired outfit; ripped skinny jeans and a top. A baseball cap is great for running errands on a bad hair day.

All in all, there are plenty of hat styles and designs out there to choose from, but stick to the ones that best represent your personality.

9.     Skinny belt

Even though belts are greatly underrated accessories, skinny belts come in handy when you want to accentuate your waist and add a bit of structure and polish to a loose fitting dress, romper, oversized shirt, or jumpsuit.

10.  A watch

Even though we can now check the time on our phones, every respectable adult should have a watch. Watches are accessories that are both practical and stylish. They communicate a level of professionalism and sophistication. Whether you like them bulky, skinny, leather strapped, gold, silver, the watch you pick says a lot about your taste.

Though we do suggest you pick a classic style like a gold or brown leather watch that will last you a lifetime.

Start building your collection

Remember, having great style is not dependent on the amount of money you have, or following the latest trends. Instead, it’s all about having key pieces that reflect your personality.  So, now that you know what accessories you need in your closet you are ready to start building your collection of unique personalised accessories one piece at a time.


Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.