5 Accessories That Can Totally Change Your Look

  • BY Lainie Petersen

girl wth glasses and hat

It’s a New Year and time for changes. If you’ve been hoping to switch up your personal style, but are broke after the holidays (or need to make some progress on your fitness resolutions before investing in a new wardrobe) focus on accessories. Accessories are often on sale this time of year and aren’t as size-dependent as clothing. The right accessories not only make a huge difference in how you look, they also extend your current wardrobe by enhancing the clothing that you already own.

1. Hats

Hats can make you appear taller, frame your face with a flattering color, and add a touch of class to any outfit. They can also protect your face against wrinkle-causing UV rays.

Unsure about wearing a hat? Head on over to a hat shop (or the hat department at a local store) and start trying some on. You’ll find one that works for you.

2. Purses and Handbags

Is your purse dragging you down? Are you carrying a handbag that is out of date, in bad repair or not the right size for your body? Large, heavy cross-body purses or shoulder bags can make you look bottom heavy and unkempt. Choose a purse with plenty of compartments so you don’t need a super-large bag. Adjust straps so that the top of your purse is at your waistline and take leather handbags into your local shoe repair shop for regular maintenance.

3. Glasses and Sunglasses

Glasses do more than frame your eyes, they can completely transform your entire face. If you are looking to reinvent yourself, start wearing eyewear or, if you already wear glasses or sunglasses, swap out your current frames for new ones. Zenni not only offers a huge selection of frames at great prices, it also helps you select your frames with educational videos and Zenni Frame Fit, which lets you upload a photo and try out Zenni frames online.

Once you have the frame style down, check to see how its color works on you. At Zenni’s low prices, you can usually afford to buy several pair that coordinate well with your entire wardrobe.

Don’t need glasses yet? No worries, you can still change your look by ordering your Zenni frames with non-prescription, optical quality clear lenses. These lenses even include UV coating, so your eyes are always protected from the damaging effects of the sun. Wearing glasses can make you look more mature, so consider buying a pair or two if you need to command respect at work.

4. Double-Sided Garment Tape

Ok, this isn’t really an accessory, but I dare you to consistently pull off great looks without it. Double-sided tape keeps bra-straps from peaking out, holds slightly too-large garments in place, and helps you avoid embarrassment when going out. Plus, unlike safety pins, tape won’t snag fabrics.

5. Belts

Belts aren’t just for holding your pants up anymore. They can style unstructured garments, allow you to wear too-large garments in a pinch, “pull together” your outfit for a more professional look and even make you appear slimmer. Even better, belts frequently go on sale and, with proper care, last a long, long time.

Here are some tips for making the most of belts:

  • Bright colored belts are cute, but aren’t as practical as black and brown. If you plan to splurge, do so on neutrals.
  • If you have a lot of separates that don’t seem to go together, use belts in various colors to coordinate your look. For example, if you are putting together a patterned top with a solid skirt, choose a belt that picks up both the color of the skirt and a color in the shirt pattern.
  • Metal buckles look great, but can clash with jewelry and the metallic accents on your clothing or shoes. At minimum, you should own two black belts: One with a silver buckle, one with a gold tone buckle.
  • Narrow belts are great for giving shape to otherwise shapeless garments. Put your belt on over the shirt or dress and then blouse the top over the belt. Presto, you’re all good.
  • One of the best belt-tips I’ve ever read suggests that you wear a narrow belt under a jacket or cardigan. Not only does this make you look more pulled together, the buckle peeping out from your over-garment attracts the eye of people looking at you, giving you the illusion of a smaller waist.
  • Shrinking out of your belts? Take them to a shoe repair shop and ask the staff to punch additional holes in the leather. Problem solved.

What are your favorite accessories?