Posts Categorized: accessories

Reader Request: Wearing Scarves and Necklaces Together

Reader Sarah sent me this question:

I love making and wearing necklaces. Between my own creations and the necklaces I have purchased, I have a large collection of necklaces, and wear a necklace most days. As a result, I have been slow to take up the scarf craze. Lately, I have seen women combining a necklace with a scarf. Can you offer tips on how to do this?

This is a tough one, but I’ll do my best!

Long strand and loosely tied square

scarf and necklace worn together

HOOOWEEE, that’s an oldie from the archive. This represents one of the few times I’ve done a necklace/scarf combo myself, and it looks fun if a little haphazard. I stole the idea from a catalog page and recreated it as closely as I could, right down to the long pearls and vintage-print scarf.

Strand wrapped around bias-folded square

pearlnecklace

I ADORE this trick, which I shamelessly stole from Mai Tai’s Picture Book, a treasure trove of scarf-tying resources. Take a large square scarf, fold into a triangle, roll into a snake. Then drape the snake over the back of your neck, and drape a strand necklace over the scarf. (Doesn’t have to be pearls. Chain works just as well, but you want something that is even in width along the entire length of the necklace.) Wind the necklace around the scarf, fasten in front, and knot over the clasp. There’s a video tutorial if you click through the link to Mai Tai’s.

Long pendant with tied square

Hermes-Locke-Artsy-Grand-Dame

This idea and image hail from Privilege, with commentary that this combo is for the skilled. I love the look but tend to agree: Most scarf/necklace combos are challenging, including this one. But I think a lot of it has to do with unity, assembly, and attitude. Here, there are gold tones in the scarf and necklace, which makes them harmonious (unity). There is space between the scarf and necklace, but they overlap a bit, too (assembly). And the scarf is tied jauntily and a bit messily, it’s wearer happy and confident in her accessorization (attitude). I’ve also seen a variation of this using a longer rectangle or infinity scarf looped large around the neck. Works best with a chunky pendant like this.

Looped scarf and looped necklace

scarf-necklace

These are actually single unit accessories sold (in 2011) by Anthropologie … but they can be re-created using your own scarves and necklaces. The easiest route is to use a long rectangular scarf: To create the two end looks (white and coral scarves), loop the scarf around your neck and let both ends hang long. Tie a loose slipknot toward the middle of each tail. Thread a lightweight strand necklace with a clasp through both openings. Do this several times until you’ve got as many draped strands as you’d like. Fasten the necklace inside one of the slipknots to cover the clasp. If the whole contraption feels insecure, knot the scarf tails together.

To create the center look, follow the same steps, but rotate the necklace portion to the side. In both cases a lightweight necklace with drape will work best. Chunky beads will weigh down the scarf and pull the whole thing out of whack. (Believe me, these pre-made combos would do that, too. This is an option that will take lots of readjusting throughout the day.)

Scarf grouped with outer layer and a distinct necklace

scarf and necklace

More from Mai Tai. She really is brilliant. Here, the slim scarf serves as a kind of false trim or lapel for her cardigan, and she adds a large, statement-y necklace in the space between. This could also work with a blazer or duster, and will probably look best if scarf length and outer layer length are close. Since you’re grouping the cardigan or jacket visually with the scarf, long dangling scarf ends will be distracting.

Draped chains and looped necklace

ScarfNecklace_lg

This is a slightly closer-to-the-neck version of the first option, and actually comes from instructions for sewing a scarf-necklace combo. But this look could be re-created with a cowboy-tied square scarf and a multi-strand chain necklace.

And that’s all I’ve got! Anyone else a whiz and creating scarf-necklace combos? How do you wear YOURS together? Share links and tutorials if you’ve got ‘em!

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Reader Request: Work Badge and Cell Phone Solutions

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Sarah sent me this question:

I was wondering if you had ever written anything on being stylish and having to wear a work badge. I work in an office (business casual, more business than casual). I like to be stylish. Or if you have written anything on having to keep a work phone with you at all times. I don’t have to keep a work phone, but know that others may have to. How do you keep a work phone with you if you are wearing a dress that has no pockets or place to clip a phone?

The men in the office have it much easier. Most of the time they have a belt loop they can clip their badge to. I’m lucky if I am wearing pants that have belt loops or pockets. I prefer dresses and skirts. So there are many times there is no where to clip my badge, so I have to wear it on a lanyard around my neck like a necklace. So then I cannot wear a necklace. Any ideas on how to keep badges/cellphones with you and stylish?

SUCH a great question. I’ve used a variety of keycards and entry passes for my various jobs, but have never been required to keep one on my person at all times … so I’m going to offer a few possible options and ask all of you to contribute more ideas! I’m sure many of you face this same challenge and have creative work-arounds to share.

First, my ideas:

Track down a stylish lanyard

If you’ve got a keycard or ID badge that needs to be on your person at all times and you’re allowed to do a lanyard, grab one from Etsy that looks more like a necklace. (There are some cute clips in there, too!) This may limit your necklace-wearing, though my guess is that environments where keycard lanyards are commonplace mean that the keycard/lanyard combo is oftenlost to familiarity. So you could try wearing a shorter strand or bib higher on your frame and the long lanyard further down. It might even be worthwhile to pick out a few lanyards that align with your personal style, especially in neutrals and metals so they’ll be as versatile as possible.

Experiment with wrist options

Plastic coils are typically used for keys, but a keycard might work in some cases. Since most folks can’t type while wearing a coil and card combo, this is something you’d need to remember to take with you when leaving your workstation. But it would certainly free you up to wear any clothing and necklace combinations you liked while also helping to keep your card on your person.

Explore belting

As Sarah points out, the fellas have one up on us when it comes to this type of work gear because they’re typically in pants. Belted pants. But dresses and skirts can be belted, too, and phones or badges can be clipped to belts. And, of course, adding a belt to your trouser outfits will help. Naturally, this won’t work every day since belts don’t belong in every outfit … but when it does work, it’ll be slick and easy.

Try a phone case with a strap

If a phone is required and clipping it to belts or clothing won’t work, keep your eyes peeled for one of the tiny crossbody bags that’s been designed to hold a phone and nothing more. Some mobile carriers might have these in their stores among the phone cases, but you can also try eBay and Amazon as well as local boutiques. Wristlet purses might work for this purpose, too. Not as sleek as a clip on your belt or pants, but definitely do-able.

Not much, but that’s all I’ve got. Help Sarah out with some other suggestions, won’t you? If you are required to keep a keycard, badge, or phone with you at all times, how do you do so stylishly?

Image courtesy Katy Warner

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Already Prettypoll: Handbag Habits

I’ve had many folks ask how I swap my handbags out so frequently, and I can’t say that I have a perfect system. It helps to keep things compartmentalized: I have a sunglasses case, makeup bag, phone, wallet, and a little pouch with my business card holder, gum, and miscellany in it. So I really don’t have to move much from bag to bag. Some people swear by purse inserts, but I find just keeping my items to a minimum is enough.

But I’m also a person who once owned a single black leather bag that got carried everywhere all the time. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to see my bag as an element of my outfit. Now I love having a variety of colors and styles to choose from, and feel they enhance my overall looks.

But enough about me! Let’s talk about YOU! Do you own and use multiple handbags? If so, how do you move your stuff from bag to bag? Is it an irritant? If you stick to one bag, what are your selection criteria? What has your bag GOT to have or do to really work for you? Or do you skip handbags in favor of totes, briefcases, backpacks, or a simple wallet-in-pocket system? Do tell!

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