How to Accessorise an Outfit

In our experience at Beverley Edmondson Millinery, we often find that one of the biggest struggles for our customers is knowing the right way to accessorise their outfits for upcoming events.

Finding the outfit itself can be stressful, for many, on its own and once the excitement of finally finding ‘the one’ has settled, the dread of what to put with it to finish it off stars. There are so many different opinions on what the ‘rules’ are for accessorising – your bag and shoes should be the same colour, your hat and shoes shouldn’t be the same colour, you shouldn’t mix patterns……..and the list goes on!

Personally, we think, that as long as your outfit coordinates as a whole, it doesn’t matter which bit matches what! However, there are still a few tips and tricks we can offer to help make the process easier for you.


 – There is definitely such a thing as being too matched – if you just have one colour for your whole outfit and then use that same colour in all your accessories, it can look very bland and no one item has the opportunity to stand out. If you like to stick to one colour, that’s fine, but maybe try using different shades to create more texture and interest.


– If your outfit is quite plain, you can easily jazz it up using a contracting, bold colour, especially if you have gone with more neutral colours such as black, navy, cream, beige etc. Use the colour wheel to help you pick out complimentary colours, you might be surprised at what you can put together. Colours opposite each other on the wheel will be pleasing to the eye.



– A patterned outfit, with multiple colours within it, has a couple of options. If the outfit is very busy and bold and you want that to be the main focus you could accessories with the base colour of the dress. However you can really make the pattern on the dress sing by picking out one or two of the colours in it to accessories with. They don’t have to be fussy items by any means, but just picking the right colours to  accentuate can make such a difference to your overall finished look.


– Less is more is never more true than with accessories. Don’t try and use every possible option available to you for your outfit i.e. Earrings, necklace, rings, bracelets, hat, etc. Select which items you want carefully, and think about what it is that you want to stand out in the end. I am a big believer in Coco Chanel’s famous rule of:

“Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.”


– Choose the shapes and sizes of your accessories so that the finished look is well balanced. For example, if you have a dress with a patterned or embellished neckline, go easy on the accessories around your face. Balance the look out with some fun shoes or bag. And vice versa for embellished hemlines. But also make sure the accessories are in harmony with the decoration on your outfit, not fighting it.


To finish, I will leave you with some mood boards to demonstrate the above. Also, don’t ever forget that you don’t have to suffer on your own, pop into the shop with your dress anytime, or book an appointment with one of us, and we will guide you through, making sure you leave us with a finished look that you can’t wait to show off!


Charlotte X


coral & blue navy & peacock pink and black