Thursday, March 25, 2010

How big is too big?

Pewter Earrings (Fossil via Macy's)
White T-Shirt (H&M)
Pink Silk-blend Cardigan (Target)
Jeans (Old Navy)
Nude Flats (Jessica Simpson)

I'm a firm believer in minimal accessories; rarely do I wear more than two at a time.  Besides my wedding rings, I tend to don either statement earrings and bracelet or a necklace.  Never do I wear all at once.  In the summer, when sunglasses are imperative, I'll wear large frames solo, zero jewelry.  My insistence on this bare minimum stems from a preconception that my size limits my jewelry options.  I'm petite, so I feel like excessive or oversized adornments overwhelm my stature.

I wore these earrings for a dinner out with friends, and I chose them because the context - an al fresco, evening setting - seemed to merit an outfit upgrade.  They are the largest earrings I own, however, so I immediately felt self-conscious that they looked obnoxiously disproportionate to my small features.

This insecurity prompted me to ask, how big is too big for an accessory?  Relatedly, how many accessories are too many?  Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of the TLC show What Not to Wear insist on bag sizes, for example, coordinating with the size of a person.  Other fashion critics have suggested that large or numerous accessories signify a certain type of wearer.  What do you think about these standards and assumptions?

  • Should we apply Stacy's and Clinton's bag standard to jewelry items?  If not, by what other criteria do we determine appropriate jewelry size and quantity?
  • More importantly, perhaps, what associations do we apply to wearers of large or numerous accessories, irrespective to the wearer's size?


Scholar Style Guide said...

I'm with you- I dislike the look of too many accessories. Maybe this is because I associate over-accessorization with women who use lots of jewelry to construct themselves as "high class." (For example, with Sandra Bullock's styling in "The Blind Side", I think they did a good job of using jewelry to show how some wealthy women demonstrate that status with lots of jewelry and accessories.) Was it Coco Chanel who said you should always take off the last accessory you put on before leaving the house?

In this case, I think the earrings look great! You've made them the focal point of the outfit, even with the way you've styled your hair, so I don't think it looks like "too much" even given your small features.


Scholar Style Guide said...

Anne-Marie, I'm pretty minimalist with accessories too. I have 2 simple pieces (a necklace and a ring) that I wear almost every day, switched out occasionally with statement pieces. I too feel uncomfortable when I'm wearing too many accessories or deem them too large.

I also think that the size of the accessory depends on the type of accessory. For example, I think that giant hoop earrings make a different statement than chandelier earrings.

I'm with Liz, I think these earrings look great on you. They look smashing with your hairstyle, and by keeping the rest of the outfit relatively simple, you're showcasing the accessory.

Scholar Style Guide said...

(Sorry, that last comment was from Katie)