Now, please get your minds out of the gutter, because I am talking accessories here!
Those of you who have completed your Style Day will know that one of the things we look at in that class is the size of accessories you need to have. It stands to reason that if you are a petite five foot nothing girl, then weighing yourself down with big heavy jewellery will be inappropriate. If you are more Junoesque then delicate little fragile pieces will look lost on you. I only wish that someone would tell all these tiny women that huge tote bags look faintly ridiculous; as if they were carrying around with them their very own nuclear bunker they can crawl into when that four minute warning goes.
And doesn’t that give away my age? For the benefit of my younger readers; once upon a time, way back in the 1970s, we in the West used to be scared that the Russians would launch a nuclear attack on the UK and we would have only a few minutes notification before being totally annihilated. These days, of course, the Russians would never dream of doing that: after all, they sell us their oil, own most of the nicer parts of London and several of our premier football teams. Thus trade, sport and property rights prove more efficacious than the threat of Trident. Somehow I don’t see this resolution to the problem being quite what the CND activists envisaged, but never mind.
Now where was I? Ah yes, accessories. And the size thereof.
So, it’s simple, yes? Small accessories for small women, large accessories for the rangy and medium for all the in-betweenies out there.
Well, no. It’s never that simple, is it?
You see, it’s all to do with this aphorism that personality trumps architecture, every single time. That means that it’s more important that the character of the accessory matches who you are than that it (necessarily) matches you in size or shape.
Time for an example, methinks.
Last week I bought a handbag (yes, dear husband, another one). This one is by Irregular Choice and is a lot larger than any other handbag I own. In fact, it’s about the size of my business bags and in fact, will comfortably hold an A4 file. However, even I would not think of using this for business, and this is why…
I bought this because, of course, I utterly fell in love with it, because it will carry everything I could ever want or need and because, although it is larger than I would usually consider (although not so large it could double as a nuclear bunker), that frivolous polka-dot bow called to me. It’s big, yes; but everything about it is fun, cute and quirky. It’s the perfect match for me.
So how do you know when you’re looking at a prefect match, even when it breaks some of the rules?
There are some guidelines:
- Generally pieces that are solid and without embellishment appear larger. Conversely, something that is large in and of itself but is made up of many smaller components will appear smaller. Or at least, more delicate. So, if you are small and delicate (or people tell you that you are, even if you know you’re not really) then lots of little bits and pieces together may work. If you can carry off the piece on the left, then wahaay! Good for you!
- We tend to ascribe a mental size to items such as bows, flowers, birds etc, that may be smaller than they actually are. Geometric pieces, on the other hand can sometimes appear larger. These pieces are more or less the same size, but you wouldn’t think so, would you?
- Structure, or the lack of it is important. Larger unstructured pieces can appear similar to smaller rigid pieces, but this is not true at either end of the size spectrum.
- The purple bag at the end is similar in size to the orange one, but it looks as if it takes up more space as it is not as neat.
- Always make sure a piece has enough structure and won’t go floppy on you. Unless, of course, you need unstructured drape in everything! Make sure though, that the substance of the item goes with you. If you need something with weight, then never go with flimsy; it will just look cheap.
- If you need traditional and classic, then avoid the unconventional, unstructured or quirky pieces (I do hope I don’t need to tell you that). And yes, you probably do need to go for everything in medium scale. If you do not have a classic bone in your body, then for goodness sake, don’t let “good sense” override your natural style. If it has to be a conventional shape, then let it be an unusual colour. Can you see that, in a neutral, that orange bag is conventionally classic? In orange it has a much more vibrant personality. If it has to be one of your neutrals, then let the shape and size match who you are. Classic looks incredibly boring on anyone who isn’t!
- Lastly, just make sure it calls to you. Follow your gut feeling.You should be able to say “This piece is mine because a), b) and c) – but mostly because I absolutely love it!”