The Art of Wearing Quirky Accessories

Everyone knows an outfit never consists solely of tops and bottoms, but in the case of accessories and novelty pieces, you’ve got to know when to apply them and when to back down. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of some of our favourites, giving you reasons why we love them and how you can carry them off.

Bow ties
You’ve seen them in vintage shops and in American Apparels, but you can’t help but think that donning a bowtie will make you look like the aftermath of a wedding gone awry. However, with this season’s minimalist theme, a simple bowtie will add edge to any outfit, and paired with a plain white button up, cigarette pants and oxfords (or even an oversize dress shirt and tights) you’ll find yourself channelling Mad Men in a whole new way.

Glasses
It’s hard to believe glasses were once considered something to hide “ especially when this year’s thick frames, big lenses and loud colours have made them a commodity for former contact lens aficionados. However, if you’re not fortunate enough to carry a prescription, chains like Urban Outfitters carry readers “ glasses with clear lenses that boast a variety of frames in different colours and styles that will add an extension of your personality to any outfit. The best part is that they’re inexpensive and adaptable, so if a go-to pair isn’t enough, you can pick up several to make sure all aspects of your wardrobe’s covered.

Knee Socks
While bowties and glasses fall under the ever-encompassing safe-not-sorry category, knee socks require more of a thought process since they can easily take a retro look and make it seem relatively scandalous. To avoid the Britney Spears-as-a-schoolgirl aesthetic, avoid pairing over-the-knee socks with a short dress or skirt unless you’re pairing them with tights, and stay away from socks that hit the knee directly since they’re mostly reserved for uniforms. If you’re vying for heels, opt for a chunkier heel (a clog or lace up boot) to embrace the 90s aesthetic, or grab some flats (oxfords or penny loafers) for a fun and casual look.

Fedoras
Blame Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire, but another season of fedoras has found itself upon us. However, unlike the looks of spring and summer, hats serve an additional purpose (warmth), so paired with a leather bomber, a black embellished statement jacket or even an oversize cardigan, they’ll help tie the outfit together without seeming out of place. However, balance is key: if your outer layer is loud and eye-catching, you may want a neutral fedora (or to opt out of one completely) to abide by the less is more mantra, while if you’re rocking a denim jacket or a beige trench, you can choose a style with a little more intrigue or a pattern that’s outright bold.

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Tags: american apparel, bow ties, fall winter 2010, fedoras, glasses, H & M, knee socks, novelty pieces, style, Urban Outfitters

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