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The Working Closet

with Susan Wagner

The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.

You can also catch Susan over at Friday Playdate.

Let’s talk about accessories, baybee

Categories: accessories, basics


I am a firm believer in the Basics Wardrobe, in a closet full of pieces that transcend seasons and move easily from work to weekend. But how do you keep your go-to outfits from starting to look like a uniform?

Accessories, baby.

Think about it this way: the essential go-to outfit is a white shirt (tee or blouse) and dark trousers or skirt (dark rinse jeans are fine). Crisp, clean, easy to wear. And with the right accessories, hip and chic. Jewelry is a simple, no fuss option. Stick with one statement piece, something bold and bright.

Like a great necklace.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Old Navy, $14.50

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Target, $19.99

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Ann Taylor Loft, $26.00

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Chico’s, $26.00

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Banana Republic, $98.00

A necklace is the easiest and least distracting (and thus most professional) accessory option; it won’t clank on your keyboard or bang into your phone or get in the way when you shake hands. The most flattering look is something that hits right around the collar bone, but you can go slightly shorter or slightly longer, depending on your personal taste. With a tee or crewneck sweater, choose something that won’t constantly be falling under the neckline of the shirt; with a button front blouse, go with something shorter than the top button.

Shop your favorite chains or boutiques for great necklaces, or look at craft shows and art galleries for something different. Mix and match pieces for a funky, layered look. Be brave and bold; when you’re relying on basics for everyday, you can afford a little bling.

But not too much, I’m begging you.

Have a necklace–or some earrings or a bracelet–you love? Share it with us at The Working Closet’s Flickr pool! You know you want to.

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6 comments so far...

  • I just bought the one from Ann Taylor Loft and it looks great!


    djbam  |  July 13th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

  • I have one necklace I wear all the time, so I don’t get to play with others, despite how amazing that one from Ann Taylor Loft looks. I added my necklace to the flickr pool. It’s symbolic and all, but I like how it looks. Lisa Leonard made it, she does custom jewelry.

    Becca  |  July 13th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

  • I am coveting that ATLoft necklace. I have to return some things there this weekend, and I may wind up with the necklace.

    Becca, I love that you have a signature piece of jewelry; I think that’s another great way to go. Your necklace makes a statement, and it’s so beautiful.

    Thanks for posting the photo!

    Susan Wagner  |  July 13th, 2007 at 7:03 pm

  • I LOVE necklaces and have a jewelry box to prove it!

    A note that if you’re short (like me) and uh, cleavage-y (like me) your best option is a V- or Y-shaped necklace or something with a pendant that hits the sternum, rather than a circular necklace that follows the collarbone.

    In the same way that you look taller/thinner wearing a v-neck shirt vs. a crewneck, you want to create that longer line in the chest area. A collarbone necklace cuts you off. I had to ditch some of my favorite necklaces once I learned this trick. Sad but true.

    Daily Tragedies  |  July 13th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

  • Ok, I know this is not exactly on topic - but any tips on how to keep necklaces organized and untangled?

    Nataly  |  July 14th, 2007 at 1:38 am

  • [...] The secret to spiffing your workaday look up for the cocktail hour is accessories. Add a cool necklace or a pair of fancy chandelier earrings, something more elaborate or jingly than you would wear to [...]

    Work It, Mom! | A Community for Professional Moms  |  July 24th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

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