Accessories are a major player in any outfit. A select few choices can make or break your whole look. A bag, belts, jewellery, ties – they are the cherry on the cake of fashion.
Accessories add that all-important edge to an outfit, which sometimes can be the defining factor that sets you apart from the crowd.
This article follows part 1 of the guide that offered an introductory 101 in to jewellery, sunglasses, bags, ties and more.
Hats & Scarves
Hats setting up shop for the S/S season hit all the right trends. From creams to browns and trilbies to bowlers – it’s important to know what suits your face shape and hair colour.
Look for hats that pick up on Aztec prints to be ahead on key spring/summer 2011 looks or keep colours neutral and integrate it into your everyday wear – it can soon become your ‘trademark’ piece. Obviously in spring/summer we see a wealth of light weight materials utilised within the whole industry, as the weather dictates it. So try opting for a straw or weave for your trilbies, pork pies and fedoras – these are especially good for that indie/rock look which dominates the festival scene in the summer.
Just because you are opting for a seasonal straw hat, it doesn’t mean you are limited in choice. There are many new coloured and even printed versions available on the market this year, so opt for a classic navy or black version for a piece that would look just as good come autumn/winter.
Some quick tips regarding buying for face/body shape:
- Tall men should try to avoid very narrow brims with large crowns as they will add unchecked height.
- Shorter guys should avoid wide brims as they will very much create an oversized appearance and stand out like a soar thumb (not in a good way).
- Men with wide/broad shoulders or who are particularly muscular can balance out their body shape with a wide rim. However, make sure you take into consideration the shape of your face as well when picking hat rim size.
- If you have a square face then opt for a medium in both rim width and crown height.
- Wide rims are good at balancing features. As mentioned with the muscular men it can balance wide, strong frames, whilst also balancing out prominent facial features – such as a chin, nose or ears.
- A tip for those with a more round face is to go for a hat with a rim as this helps to reduce its appearance. With that in mind, the widest part of the rim should only reach as far as the widest part of your face.
- If in doubt then stick to this hard and fast rule: The longer your face is the shorter your brim length should be.
As always, these rules are for guidance only and you should opt to try on a variety of styles in order to get the perfect one for your particular look or face shape.
Summer scarves and neckerchiefs are used similarly as necklaces. They add a much-needed touch of detail and flair to a plain upper garment and can be the key element in making a look transcend from day to night.
Evan has already broke down the neckerchief trend in detail last week, and suffice to say, we were all converts by the end of it. Pick yourself up an inexpensive neckerchief this season and utilise it any way you want to; with tailoring, within casual outfits and even within your work uniform.
Summer scarves should always be lightweight and generally made of cotton for comfort or silk for adding that refined edge. A lightweight scarf is a piece you want to add to your outfit to create some intrigue and personality when compared to all the other shorts and t-shirt combinations you see. You don’t however want it to be smothering and uncomfortable. Try just draping the scarf nonchalantly around your neck untied, or use a loose over, up and through tie (see Ed Westwick in this image for visual) which looks just as good but again doesn’t tie too close to the neck – adding unnecessary warmth.
The styles shown below are a good point to branch out from. Nautical inspirations are always a massive trend every spring/summer but don’t be afraid to buy a statement piece – incorporating bold colours or a print – that will be your focal point either.
Cufflinks & Brooches/Pin Badges
Neither cufflinks nor brooches have ever been defined as essentials of spring/summer jewellery, yet both are definitely worth the consideration when perfecting your summer look.
Cufflinks are no longer reserved for meeting the partner’s parents or the doom and gloom of the office floor. They add formality and playfulness to an outfit – something not a lot of accessories can achieve. Once again, try sticking to ethnic jewellery (golds and browns) for summer as black and silver is often reserved for winter.
Brooches are usually associated with the bosom of Kate Winslet aboard the Titanic. However, the brooch is now a staple piece of jewellery for both men and women. This – much like cufflinks – can be used as an expression of self to add your own personal style to a current trend.
Consider when utilising a pin badge or brooch the style or look you are going for. How about a military inspired brooch (or a badge with a military message) on your military jacket/shirt pocket? Why not try an anchor brooch on your breton striped knitwear? You don’t have to go all out solider or Navy seal; the rest of your outfit may not hit the trend at all, but these little touches show to the rest of the world you know what you are doing.
Tip: To add some individuality amongst a growing trend, play around with where you place the brooch. The lapel is often an expected choice; consider your tie, your hat, or even your jacket arm.
Yes that’s right, your scent is your accessory too. We could rehearse a thousands self-made rules about choosing a scent for the season. The rule the many man should abide by is switching to a lighter, more floral smell for summer and a stronger mustier scent for winter.
Without being a perfumer (or more affectionately a “Nez” – French for nose) I can only offer you my personal advice from rubbing shoulders with well-smelling industry Nez-like affiliates.
One rule often noted is that your winter scent can also double up as your night time summer scent (providing it isn’t to potent) but only after dark.
When your nose fails you, it’s no shameful act to buy a bottle of perfume with ‘summer’ etched on the label. In the case of Calvin Klein’s One Summer, this is one occasion where the product actually does what it says on the bottle. This is a unisex scent so don’t be shocked to find it placed in the middle of the shared bathroom cabinet.
Here are some of the popular designer scents of the moment:
The Final Word
As abnormal as it sounds, normal it appears. Accessories for summer are no new trend. Some will say they serve no purpose, much the same as fine art. That of course, is only said – much the same as in fine art – by those who don’t know how to appreciate them.
We hope you enjoyed both parts of the FashionBeans guide to spring/summer accessories. Remember you can join in the discussion of your key accessories for the months ahead below, and you can even tweet us pictures of your looks over at @FashionBeans.