[This article is based on a page of the same name in the book ‘Accessory Magic’ by Ann Reinten, founder of TAIC, The Australian Image Co. I have permission to use the article and I am a certified Image Consultant registered with TAIC.]
It is the job of actors to make you believe they are someone that they are not in their normal life. The actors give life to the writer’s words and add the gestures and actions. The costume designer adds the wigs and clothes that help to create the illusion. Then there are makeup artists, set designers etc. Together all aim to create a world of believable characters.
Some characters convince us and some do not. When characters are seen in different outfits, consistency of image is important for them to be believable people. So it is for you too.
For many of us dressing is an unconscious habit. When clothes are put on in this haphazard way, we can give others an unintended or confused message. Your clothes and your accessories reflect who you are and who you would like to be perceived as.
Let me share with you some of the different looks you can achieve with colour and accessories from Ann’s book with the addition of my own insights and examples.
Quiet & Sure Accessory Moods
The women who wear these are usually inclined towards the Introvert end of the scale. They enter a room with a quiet air of knowing who they are as well as being quite comfortable with the image they project.
If delicate and feminine is your style or you want to project that image, wear clothes that are light in colour and add light-coloured accessories. Some light colours are pale blue, lilac, soft apricot, mint, soft turquoise, pale pink, white and cream. Like the illustration from the Westfield 2012 Spring-Summer catalogue on the left, wear a soft turquoise feminine Cue dress with a lilac flower, soft-coloured handbag and silver accessories or this delicate gold watch.
If you want to look sophisticated and elegant, wear clothes and accessories in closely related colours that are medium to deep like this Vogue 1208 rich red dress with a slightly darker shade of red in the shoes and handbag. Other colour examples are plums, raspberry, medium to deep turquoise and rich brown. Elegant accessories are simple in style and rich in colour or metals.
Medium & Confident Accessory Moods
These lift the mood to the next level and the accessories appeal to both Introverts and Extroverts while also looking inspiring and powerful. This level means that you are not afraid to make a confident impression that others notice.
To look enthusiastic, fun, inspiring and exciting, wear medium strength warm-coloured clothes with bright contrasting-coloured accessories. Warm colours are red, orange, yellow, brown, olive and red-purple. This mid-brown patterned Bhalo dress on the right worn with bright green earrings and bright green handbag is an example of this fun and enthusiastic look.
To look powerful, confident, wealthy and attract attention wear medium-coloured clothes and accessorise with light and dark colours. This mid-grey pinstripe suit with a light and dark purple scarf and deep fuchsia shoes fits the powerful and confident look without going over the top.
Dramatic & Powerful Accessory Moods
This is a look for Extroverts or to bring out the Extrovert in you. Your aim is to be noticed and most definitely stand out from the crowd. You will use the power of contrast to highlight your self-confidence and sense of drama.
To be noticed and look inspiring, stimulating and confident wear light-coloured clothes with accessories that have light and dark contrast in them. A good example is this Herringbone white shirt on the right worn with a deep red and white scarf or cravat and deep red velvet bag. It is very ‘look at me’.
To look powerful, dignified and dramatic go the opposite way. Wear dark-toned clothes with light-coloured, dramatic accessories. This is when you wear a black dress and add a large dramatic pink necklace (as on the left) or large cream pearls. It is ‘look at me’ with a touch of restraint.
Accessories can create all sorts of moods. It is up to you to recognise what your current accessories silently say to others. Make sure that you wear those that give the impression you want them to have not a misunderstood impression of you.
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