Originally published on The Minimalist Wardrobe.
If you’re embarking on building a smaller, more ethical wardrobe, something you might hear a lot is how the right accessories extend your capsule. Consciously picking accessories can change the entire tone of an outfit, adding versatility and interest.
It all makes sense, right? But how do you actually pick a small, yet flexible number of accessories? I wasn’t sure either. But, after several months of experimentation (and some decidedly questionable accessorizing choices), I’ve found the six accessories that I think can help make the most of a small wardrobe – and I wanted to share them here. The best part is, many of these items are likely already in your closet, and if not, they can easily be added to your closet over time. These items are always available secondhand or via responsible brands.
A Silk Scarf
If you’re anything like me, the idea of wearing a silk scarf might freak you out. Yes – they’re in style now, but I was still so worried about “pulling it off” and not looking like a flight attendant. It turns out, when I wear a silk scarf is the time I get the most compliments on my outfits. I will tie it around my neck, or use it in my hair, or tie it to my bag. The key to making it work is to pick a neutral color. And, there are so many amazing vintage silk (or silk-like) scarves to be found!
A Statement Belt
I almost didn’t include this in my list since I don’t wear it all that often, but it is undeniable that a statement belt changes your outfit. I have a skinny belt with a gold bar across the front, and I use it to cinch dresses and tunics, and to change the level of formality of my dresses.
A Crossbody Tote
Tote bags often make capsule-wardrobe-essentials lists. In my opinion though, tote bags just aren’t all that practical or versatile. They usually don’t zipper shut, which can be problematic if you do a lot of traveling or commuting via public transit. They’re also too bulky to bring anywhere besides work. Instead, opt for a smaller-size tote that comes with a crossbody strap.
A Long Necklace
Everyone is loving delicate jewelry these days, but a long, statement necklace is the piece that really adds versatility to a small wardrobe. Use it to dress up plain t-shirts or to create the right balance in your outfit. My statement necklace of choice is a long, brass one.
A Brimmed Hat
It doesn’t matter what kind of hat it is – a straw hat, or a wool hat – a brimmed hat gives off a cool, unique vibe, especially since most people say “I can’t pull off a hat! I’m not a hat person!” Wear that hat with confidence!
A Wrap Scarf
Two scarves on a list of minimal accessories? Yes! Whether you pick a lightweight pashmina or a cashmere wrap, a giant scarf is both practical and stylish. And of course, depending on how you choose to wrap it, you can change your look from casual (tied around your neck) to elegant (draped over your shoulders).
Would you guys agree? What are your accessory essentials? I’d love to know!1
I love these staples! The silk scarf is my favorite. My go to accessories are rings and dainty necklaces.