Friday, January 25, 2013

Accessories: The Balancing Act

The whole universe operates on a system which is in balance or else chaos ensues. The human body follows that same rule, oxygen which is vital for life when in excess in the body is fatal; similarly water taken in excess overworks the liver to such levels that it may fail. This rule of balance should also be applied when accessorizing. One of my biggest pet peeves is over-accessorizing. Nairobi women are very notorious in wearing all the accessories they own.  Accessories, like spices and herbs in food, should enhance your look and not be the main element.
Women often overlook other aspect of their whole look when accessorizing. Your hair when done in an intricate manner does form part of your accessory, your nails when done in colorful or neon colors , your watch, your bag and shoes. All those have to be taken into consideration. Makeup is also not to be forgotten. When we talk of accessories most people jump to earrings and neck pieces yet as in all else you have to look at the overall picture to get a clear view of what you’re working with. Another issue to be considered is the article of clothing you are wearing. Does it have bold prints and patterns?  For halter-neck dresses and tops, you have to be careful as regards the type of accessories you will be wearing, same as one shoulder pieces, its not one size fits all, ladies. Be shrewd and again the mirror is your friend but only if you've disciplined yourself to edit your looks in a way that flatters you.
 At an award ceremony last year, I was responsible for the numerous wardrobe changes the two hosts had to make during the show. At one point the lady insisted that she had to wear both her chunky neck piece and her chandelier earrings; something I was very opposed to as her outfit was already very detailed. I tried to compromise with her requesting her to choose one accessory of the two but she wouldn't listen saying she was from a particular community who were known for 'over the top' dressing and accessorizing. While I have heard of this claim, it is no excuse for you as an individual to spoil your whole look in the name of its part of your community, the only exception being you’re wearing a costume or participating in a traditional event. What is your brand and when people encounter you, what message do you want them to take home and share with others as regards who you are. The answers to those questions should be a guide to your personal style.
Another Faux pax most Kenyan ladies are fond of is the idea of wearing all your accessories in one colour. It astonishes me that in this day and age where all forms of colour blocking has been showcased; some would choose to do such an outdated trend!  What these ladies don’t know is that it makes you look dated and really part of some table decor.  While following trends is not advisable but neither is sticking to some which have left with the century. If you hate trends then stick to timeless classic pieces. My rule of thumb is that the maximum number of accessories that should match in colour is two!
Most women have one form of accessory that is their favourite be it earrings, neck pieces, rings, bangles, shoes, belts as some of the few. A few others will like two forms but in all those, you will find one form as their favourite and their go-to pieces. Mine are earrings. I have a section of my walls dedicated to earrings. Wherever I travel, I look for unique earrings and I love unique handmade pieces. As such all other accessories are secondary to those earrings in my dressing with a few exceptions when an outfit I’m wearing calls for an elaborate hairdo or needs a neck piece. So do accessorize but in a balanced flattering manner.

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