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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Secret to the Orgasmic Ensemble

"Clothes without accessories is like sex without orgasm." ~ Robert Lee Morris

I found this quote and simply had to write my blog around it. Can you blame me?

And it's true- to not utilize all that accessories offer is to miss out on a frivolous, self indulgent and yet important opportunity for self expression, not to mention wardrobe expansion. They often create the 'personality' of the ensemble. Accessories are also a language totally unto themselves. The same outfit can be made to transmit a completely different message dependent totally on the accessories. They often broadcast what you value- at least visually- status, creativity, sensuality, etc; so be conscious of what yours are saying about you.  The accessories you choose and how you put them together is where your self expression comes in.  And it doesn't have to cost a lot either.  If you're willing to wait, hunt and perhaps haggle, you'll eventually find what you need, even if it wasn't what you were expecting.  Having a limitless budget makes this a faster and easier process of course, but a limited budget can lead you down a more interesting path.

Take for example, the classic Little Black Dress- or LBD if you prefer.  To my way of thinking, beyond it's amazing practicality it's fame is the result of it's fabulous versatility- using accessories, of course.  When in a suitable fabric this same chic little dress can go to the farmers market with a pair of flat sandals and a hat, to a business meeting with pumps and a jacket, or to a dressy evening with strappy heels, bling and an evening bag. This is one reason the LBD is a great piece to take when traveling, btw. 

Accessories afford you big budget leeway, too.  You can buy a few simple, low key pieces of clothing (LBD from above, for example) and 'work' different looks with key accessories that steal the show.  If the clothes are simple enough they won't be 'memorable,' and neither you nor others will readily tire of them. If you take this route you should consider investing in the best quality clothing you can afford and make sure the lines are 'classic' enough so you'll be able to wear them for as long as possible.  That way you'll be able to develop a 'wardrobe' of accessories for different areas of life or different moods or whims- casual, business, party, arty- whatever. This is a potentially less expensive way to add lots of self expression to your wardrobe.

If you should happen to be in the process of transitioning from one style to another, or just developing a style for the first time, you can start with accessories- keep the clothing you have that will work with your new style, and add accessories in the new style as you find and can afford them. Also if you're not sure of a style you can test it out in accessories- say you're interested in developing your secret 'inner bohemian' side- you can test the waters with an inexpensive purse and/or jewelry.  Then if you wind up hating it you can scurry back to the safety of your beloved 'status' image without much damage to your bank account.

If you have or are planning to develop a more flamboyant style then accessories can really create additional dimension.  You can work things based solely on color, texture or 'meaning,' etc. You can mix totally different 'messages.' You can go in any direction you can dream up- just remember to work with colors and design lines that are flattering, and wear what makes you happy, and what you feel confident with. 

Keep in mind that things not traditionally considered as accessories can become one; for example a well maintained Louise Brooks bob or a vibrant shade of red lipstick worn every day.  The fact that you wear a certain style of earring every day. This sort of thing is what you might call a 'signature' look- something that you become 'known' by because you're pretty much always seen with it . Such a strong statement is going to function as an accessory and other accessories worn with it will 'react' to it- they'll either go with it or potentially 'clash' with it. 

I'm thinking the opening quote may become my benchmark to judge the success or failure of a given outfit; 'Is it orgasmic, or merely faking?'

Happy Dressing!