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The art of accessorising

Late 2016, I had an interesting conversation with one gentleman who kept telling me that he had no interest whatsoever in fashion and how he thought it was a sluggish genre of art. It made me think about how we as fashion practitioners, market this art form to an average person who is not caught up in the trends that we follow religiously.

Global Citizenship with Gilmore Tee

His and her accessories
His and her accessories

At times things make sense if they are spoken in a mutual language. For example, if one wakes up in the morning and thinks of what to wear going to work, school, church, meeting or merely going out with friends and family, that makes them a fashionista by default.

To bring a little bit of light into this so complex subject of fashion, I thought of compiling a few things that makes everyone a fashionista through the art of accessorising.

In many cases, it is easy to spoil an otherwise great outfit by choosing the wrong accessories.
Conversely, it is also easy to make an ordinary outfit look great with the right accessories. As much as you might not know what to do when it comes to accessorising, the good news is that it is easy to learn a few guidelines to complete your outfit and make it more stylish. This on its own might sound like a complicated task, but to the gentleman I once spoke to, accessories include shoes, handbags, men bags, eyeglasses, sunglasses, jewellery, scarves, ties, hats, belts, hosiery, socks, hair ornaments, make up and even outer wear such as coats. In fact, accessories include everything except the outfit itself.

So, the reasons we wear most of these is because we want:

*to bring attention to our best points and minimise our worst

*to spice up an older outfit and make it look like we recently got it

*to look and feel younger. Regularly updating your accessories helps you to keep up to date with contemporary trends without having to spend too much money

*to get the “look” we want, such as chic, elegant, sophisticated, business, casual, wealthy, fun or artistic

*to change the look of an outfit, from casual to formal or vice-versa, by changing a pair of shoes or wearing different jewellery. Sometimes you go to work in a full suit, but when you have to go to a friend’s drink up, you can just switch things a little by removing the tie and changing into a different pair of shoes.

When one buys a new outfit or piece of clothing, it is easy to forget about how they will accessorise it until it comes to wearing it. One might discover that the outfit doesn’t quite work and that it needs something to finish it. Whether it is a straw hat, bowtie or neck piece, what you would have simply done is to accessorise.

In my case, my outfits or looks are not complete without a signature Croc Leather Cuff from the Ndau Collection. I am obsessed with them.

Therefore, when shopping for accessories, as with clothes, you will find your most flattering looks by understanding the colours and styles that suit you best. Take the outfit you want to accessorise with you. When choosing accessories such as shoes and a handbag to wear with an outfit, the most important thing is to harmonise themwith your outfit. Make sure that there is some common element or theme between the accessory and the outfit. Additionally, it’s a good idea to harmonise accessories with each other in the same outfit. However, complete sameness can be boring and aging, so take care to have contrast in your look.

On the other hand, it is always better to choose a size that is in harmony with your body scale.
Body scale assessment takes into account your height, weight and bone structure. For small-scale, choose small to medium accessories. With medium scale, any size accessory will work for you. However, if you are short, stick with small to medium accessories since large ones will emphasise your lack of height. If you are large scale, choose medium to large accessories and stick to medium sized accessories if you are grand scale. Small or large accessories will emphasise your body size.

These, among many other tips, will help the gentleman and many more people understand how they are a part of the fashion movement; it is not a foreign matter, neither should you make it one.
The moment you start to think of what to wear, even to bed, it is the moment you avail yourself to being a potential client for those in the business of fashion. Everyone is a fashionista.

Gilmore Tee is a social entrepreneur, global citizen, curator, publicist and host, who works within the Zimbabwean creative industry, with a strong bias towards fashion. He is the founder of Hunnar Management Agency
Twitter: Gilmore Tee

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