The right accessories can turn a simple outfit into an absolutely spectacular one. Here are some guidelines for accenting your look without going overboard:

Mix (a Little), Don’t Match (too Much): The days of shoes matching handbags and earrings pairing with necklaces are over, unless you’re Queen Elizabeth. It looks more modern and interesting to mix the materials or colors of your accessories, as long as there is a subtle theme that connects them.

Balance Out “Zones”: Think of your neck and ears as one accessories zone, and your wrists and hands as another. Each zone should only have one eye-catching element (so if you’re wearing a patterned scarf at your neck you don’t need a necklace, and your earrings should be more low-key), and the two zones should complement each other without competing. For example, if you stack big bangles on your wrist you should balance them out with a necklace or earrings that aren’t too dainty but still leave the spotlight on the bracelets.

Have Fun with Your Handbag: If you want to play with a bold color or pattern, a show-stopping tote or clutch is a great way to do it. Because your bag isn’t attached to your body the way your other accessories are it’s an easy way to try out a bold look like a snakeskin print or colorful metallic.

Consider Coco Chanel: The legendary designer famously said that before you leave the house you should look in the mirror and “take one thing off.” While I don’t think you should literally follow that advice, it remains true that less is often more, and it’s always better to be toned down than to be overaccessorized!

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