Wardrobe Architect 12: Adding Accessories

It’s the last day of the year – can you believe it? To go along with it, we have the last chapter of the Wardrobe Architect: Adding Accessories.

The exercise is fairly simple: figure out what qualities you want in your accessories, decide what accessories your capsule wardrobe calls for, look at what you’ve already got, and then address the surplus or deficit, as the case may be. Straightforward, yes?

Hatter og tilbehor
The complication arises when you consider what falls under the heading of “accessories” – the original post includes hats, scarves, belts, gloves, shoes, bags, sunglasses, “legwear” and jewellery (mops brow). On the other hand, since we’re setting up a capsule wardrobe here (whether seasonal or permanent) we’re not looking at special occasion stuff, just your ordinary everyday items.

I haven’t really bothered with the suggested demarcation of accessories into decorative and functional, because anything that isn’t decorative – which is to say, aesthetically pleasing – doesn’t get worn because… well, because it’s ugly; and anything that isn’t functional doesn’t get worn because I don’t generally find I have a use for it.

Take jewellery for example. Plain gold hoops in my ears are about as purely decorative as it gets – their only function is keeping the holes in my ears open in case I want to do something with them later. My other jewellery consists of a wedding ring (also plain gold) and my padlock – the only one of the three I take off at night. I have a few pendants, bracelets and rings, but only wear them on occasions when I want to get dressed up a bit. I dare say I ought to prune them, but most are of sentimental as well as aesthetic importance.

I have one pair of sunglasses and one watch. I expect the watch (it’s a pocket watch) will get a lot more use once I start wearing skirts, as I will then have something to hook the chain to.


A belt would also do, but I have one decorative belt that I wear with one of my dresses and that’s it. The dress and the belt are both of them wearing into shabbiness and will not last forever. If I was in the market for a new belt, I’d be eyeing up The Loyal Workshop‘s offerings.

Gloves… I have an elegant sufficiency of gloves. Woolly knitted, fingerless, gardening, and work (leather) – which have both been getting a good workout of late – plus an extra-cosy pair decorated with tiny brown knot buttons which a friend gave me for Christmas.

As for legwear, I have a plurality of socks of various sorts, which I would like to make a bit more orderly, as there are always issues with socks wearing out which filled some niches which other socks can’t fill etc etc. Plain cotton socks for warmer weather (my kingdom for ethical brown cotton socks!) and knitted for cooler weather would be excellent; I just need to knit more of ’em. Lots more, given my propensity to change my socks every day.

Bags… I don’t really have a handbag. I have a smallish bilum and a Freeset bamboo-handled bag which I carry my necessary things around in (i.e. mostly knitting or crochet).

This is a bilum. I do not keep a baby in mine. Bilum too small, baby too nonexistent.

Sometimes I think I’d like to get a Loyal Workshop bag, but I have my doubts as to the yarn capacity. Might be better to stick with Freeset bags, or find a suitably capacious second-hand handbag. (Second-handbag?)

Shoes I covered in an earlier post, and I have not had cause to revise my opinions. One pair shoes, one pair sandals, one pair boots. Providing they’re the right ones. I have three pairs of shoes wearing out which I will hopefully replace with one Just Right pair in due course.

Headwear, on the other hand… dear me. Twelve hats, and no fewer than fifteen bandannas, scarves and other bits of fabric I wear on my head. (Not all at once, I hasten to add.) I also have two scarves which I mostly wear around my neck but which make occasional appearances on my head in cold weather, and a doily for costuming or feeling old-fashioned in. Plus a cotton snood on the hook and a Zipfelmuetzen Bommelschal on the needles.

Room for some pruning there, certainly, but also room for some more. OK, maybe not more hats. I probably have enough hats to be going on with. Some more scarfpins would be useful, though: I have one, and one hatpin of terror (a metal spike with an ornamental head).

Hatpin-defence
Speak softly and wear a long hatpin.
My main issue with accessories is that I have quite a lot, but most aren’t “exactly right”. I feel that if I had a few Just Right things I wouldn’t need so many of them, but I’m reluctant to let them go… just in case.

Perhaps I should have the courage to plan out a Just Right set of accessories and let the rest go. Headwear in the colours selected, for example, rather than a variety of bits and bobs in this, that, or the other colour.

What’s your approach to accessories? Many, lots, none? Know anywhere that does good brown cotton socks?

What do you think?