Monday, May 2, 2011

What to Wear: Elegance isn't about Excess

When it comes to the many attributes that our appearance is comprised of, less is truly more. The classy woman understands that elegance isn't about excess. In fact 'more' or too much of anything usually equates to tackiness and often an overall sloppy look. Last week we discussed perfume etiquette and how fragrance can overwhelm others in a way that detracts from your overall appearance.

Today we'll be discussing clothing, accessories and makeup.

4 Appearance Areas to Consider

1. Jewelry- When it comes to the finishing details, there is nothing lovelier than seeing one beautiful statement piece like a necklace, cocktail ring or a beautiful scarf to polish off an outfit. A woman should never appear as though she's wearing the entire contents of her jewelry box at one time with rings on every finger, you don't know where to look first. When in doubt stick to one statement piece and let the other accessories be present but blend in and complement the overall outfit without being too prominent. For some, it may be your engagement ring and/or wedding band. If you choose to wear a cocktail ring, you don't want it to compete with your engagement ring/set so it's best to wear any fashion rings on your left hand and leave the valuables at home.

2. Makeup-When it comes to makeup, it is meant to be a tool to enhance your existing natural beauty. An excess of makeup can look thick, caked on and anything but natural. Opt for spending your time and money on proper skincare, this way you'll spend less time covering up your skin and more time letting it shine with a hint of color here and there to create a natural glow. Be careful to only play up one particular feature. If you want to wear a red lip, go easy on the eye makeup. Likewise, if you plan to make your eyes pop and be the star of the show for a night on the town, you'll want to go a bit more neutral or nude for the lip, keep blush light also.

3. Accessories-Similar to jewelry, when it comes to accessories, it's best to only have one statement accessory. It could be a beautiful pair of red pumps, in which case, competing colors and even patterns should be kept to a minimum. A gorgeous hat will really stand out if everything else you are carrying is minimized. If you like to keep your accessories minimal most of the time or for a daytime look, make the star of the show one really awesome investment handbag that you love that can take you almost anywhere. Your keyring is also an accessory, there is nothing more juvenile looking than a key ring of a couple keys taken over by charms and dangly things as if one were in a Vegas casino.

Hair is also an accessory, be sure to keep it neat, soft and well cared for. Shades close to your natural hair color are best. Going platinum blond when you're a dark brunette may be a fun adventure but it can be excessive, especially as it begins to grow out and appear too artificial and is hard to pull off if you want to be taken seriously.

4. Clothing- Some people overdose on a good thing. A top with ruffles and a pair of shoes that pick up on the same element can be very pretty, but having head-to-toe ruffles is nearly impossible to pull off and would look too over the top. Patterns should be kept to a minimum. If you are wearing a dress that is in a busy pattern or floral, everything else needs to be neutral and very minimal as to not compete with the dress. Layering works best when you use solids so everything doesn't appear so bulky.

*A word on labels. We all have brands we prefer over others, we just don't need to be a slave to these brands wearing many items all in one moment, otherwise you'll appear as a walking billboard instead of a polished professional. Classy women invest in quality basics that don't have brands or logos advertised all over them.

Let's Socialize!

Do you have a new statement piece or clothing item that you are excited about right now? Please share!


*images (1), (2)


  1. Thank you Karla! I am excited to hear that I won the giveaway from Pear Tree! Looking forward to having fun with that...
    I like your advice on elegance in dressing, very well put and lots of great tips, thanks!

  2. I love this advice and admire the classy look so much. I was wondering if perhaps you know of any good books that also talk about how to be classy an elegant, both in appearance and deportment? Thank you.

  3. That is what I teach my daughter who is nine years old "less is more" just what my mum taught me. Mimi xx

  4. I so agree with you on ALL points especially the last point about it not necessary to wear the logo of your designer all over like a neon sign; a real indication of cheap class for me.
    My statement piece this Spring is a Loewe bag, and my Bulgari watch. Despite owning a jewellery boutique I only wear 1 statement piece with my wedding ring. At the moment the watch is winning ;-)

  5. Yes, I just bought an Hermes scarf in the most amazing coral shade, it lifts my mood so much.

  6. I love the advice on this post. Thanks.

  7. Hello Karla! I'd like to thank you for expressing an interest in my blog and becoming the follower; very glad you like it!
    And secondly, I've found this article very inspirational. Elegance is a hard work. Nothing is more difficult in the way we look like than looking "effortlessly classy and fabulous"!
    Thank you for inspiring me; I'll try to put your advice into a practice now!:)

    Kisses and best wishes from


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