2020 Style Goals: #4 Experiment with Accessories

Over 50 Feeling 40 on accessories in 2020

Let’s keep going forward with our 2020 Style Goals and discuss experimenting with accessories.  An accessory is meant to enhance an outfit and define more specifically our own personal style.

Stylist/designer, Rachel Zoe, is known for her quote, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”  The last few days have been about reminding you that we send messages with our wardrobe choices and a new year Is the perfect time to decide what those messages will be.  When we control them and repeat them, then we are developing our own unique, personal style.

Pamela Lutrell how accessories define style

For some of you who desire to be minimal, reserved, chic, tailored, and classic all of the time (a traditional Audrey Hepburn) your choice of accessories will be smaller and fewer.  There is nothing wrong with that…in fact, it is a fabulous style to have.

Also, equally as fabulous are those we want to be known as creative, fun, loud, joyful, and relaxed.  These are the Iris Apfel lovers of big accessories.  You are the ones who need to remember to look in the mirror and perhaps remove one accessory before going out…in order not to be the loudest in the room.

Pamela Lutrell in Allie Coosh

My style, reflected in the looks today, is one of a strong, chic component with a bit of creative whimsy.  I have my minimal days, but they are few and often mean a leadership meeting of some sort is happening. 

Pamela Lutrell on 2020 Style Goal #4

Anything….and I mean anything, that is additional to your basics and enhances the look is an accessory…. glasses, shoes, hats, scarves, handbags, jewelry, vests, hair clips, our hair style, painted nails…all are accessories. They speak volumes about us just like our clothing and can be used to send the same messages you want to send with your wardrobe selections. 

There are some of you that I would like to encourage to experiment this year with accessories you do not normally wear.  If you are the minimalist, then strive to have one day a week, where you go beyond.  That could mean a colorful printed scarf or wearing two silver bracelets rather than one.  You do not have to go uber-big…unless you want to!  For the Iris A ladies, strive to have one day a week, with quieter accessories and see how that works for you.

Pamela Lutrell in Necklace from Soft Surroundings

The intention is to have fun with this and to try some new ideas beyond your comfort zone.  However, I do understand that I am encouraging you to be true to your style messaging…so also keep that in mind.  We can experiment with accessories and still be true to what we want to say about us. 

Over 50 Feeling 40 wears James Avery Silver Bracelets

In the last couple of years, I have begun to wear fewer and fewer scarves.  I am now wearing more necklaces and smaller bracelets.  (In the past I wore the really big ones!). But I am a bit quieter with my choices than I use to be.  I like quality accessories and spend time shopping for them in consignment and resale shops…as well as through sales and clearance.  Then I do have some pieces which were worth the investment to me.  Currently I am transitioning to some smaller bags and shopping for a beautiful cross-body bag.  I think overall I have been going smaller with my accessories…but don’t hold me to that…my creative side just might see something big and bold that I want to wear.

I will discuss shoes a little more in the next post!

What are your favorite accessories right now?  Are you open to shaking things up a bit?  Let’s Talk……Yesterday, the slideshow highlighted Karen’s classic Foundational Five adjectives, so today we are going the opposite direction and selecting items for women like Thérèse. Her adjectives are creative, smart/clever, fun, fearless, and classy with an edge.  She also said she likes to be mysterious, interesting and colorful.  This was a real challenge…I don’t know that I went mysterious at all!  I could throw in a trench coat…….

KEEP SMILING!! (BTW, It is so much fun hearing from you on these adjectives!!)


Now for some accessories!


  1. This is so good! First of all, I really like all of your outfits in this post. From casual to dressy, they are so well done! It’s a good suggestion to throw in a day a week to go a little bolder. I actually do this since I love to wear scarves, and I have a few bolder necklaces. More often though, as you’d expect, I’m wearing a simple necklace of good quality, a simple bracelet (you featured beautiful things like that yesterday!), and one or two rings and earrings. But it is fun to change that up and be a little bolder. That long jacket you’re wearing…it looks like the one featured yesterday from Chico’s. Is it the same one? It’s beautiful! I’m going to make a point of following your advice about adding boldness. We can be true to our style and still mix it up. Lately I’ve been thinking of ways to add an element of “creative” to the everyday basics. This post reminds me that accessories really do matter and compliment our style!

    1. I was in Chico’s yesterday and they do have similar jackets on sale right now. Size down though, they are big. The one I am wearing is an older Eileen Fisher jacket and one of my favorites.

  2. My favorite accessory is wearing a scarf. I can simply wear pants and a sweater/jacket and entirely change the look of the outfit with a scarf. I don’t like the big, bulky sweater scarves but instead wear something lighter in weight.

  3. If you are looking for a bag, I suggest Brahmin. For the price, the quality is fabulous, and the croc and unusual finishes can really hit the sweet spot between creative and classic. I have a few in various colors, but often fall back to their color pecan, which as a true deep cognac/amber seems to go with everything. As for the scarves, I wear them a lot for the workday, but seldom wear them on off days. So questioning whether I still want to buy them with retirement looming. For the style slideshows, I would love it if you would pick one garment from the show and talk more in depth about why it exemplifies the woman’s adjectives.

    1. Great minds think alike Linda. I own a Brahmin and I have the crossbody Brahmin I am considering in the accessories slide show below. I love their bags! They are gorgeous and I need a fabulous crossbody. I have so many scarves, love them all, but are wearing them less and less. That’s a great idea. Let me re-think how I am doing this so that it can be more instructive. I might do one post to catch up and then begin something new. Great idea!

      1. I m new to this post and am really enjoying it. I too would like to see my instructions about the styles you show, but please use older models. I’m 66 and still love clothes and accessories. While I’ve been trying to incorporate tops with leggings (in an attempt to change up my style a bit), I don’t think wearing them with stilettos is age appropriate. Thanks for your suggestions.

        1. Hi Pamela, I a bit confused. I do not advocate wearing stilettos with leggings. If it shows in the slideshow, just let that go. The world of retail still skews younger, but that is why blogs are so necessary for our age group.

  4. I wore glittery champagne eyeshadow on New Year’s Eve… a first for me. It had been an ULTA birthday gift a couple years ago and I figured now or never, lol. I noticed a bit of shiny speck fallout by the end of the evening, but decided not to fret about it. Here’s to a sparkling new year!

    1. I have a jewelry cleaner jar that my husband got at a small shop near where he works. It has a little basket that you lower into the cleaning solution and you pull it up, wash it off, and it is so pretty and shiny. I will see if I can locate one online for you, Jill.

  5. A few months ago I bought a Patricia Nash structured bag in antique gold leather. It’s a classic shape and the hand-tooling is gorgeous. It’s a medium size bag just big enough to hold my Kindle and my over-sized sunglass case. The bag-style was a departure for me but I’m so glad I deviated from my usual soft leather bag! It’s also the first purse I’ve had men comment on! For years, my go-to earrings were small gold hoops that I could wear 24/7. I still wear them but now I’m more likely to wear something that has a little color and a more interesting shape. Small updates can make a big impact!

    1. Good For you, Nancy! I have Patricia Nash in the slide show below…gorgeous handbags. So glad you added that pop of color and you are so right about baby steps making a big difference!

  6. I love the skinnier pants you are wearing! You look so much thinner! I know you like Chico’s. Why not join us on our Facebook page “Chico’s Shoppers”? We talk Chico’s and other stores and products sometimes. We model our finds, too! It’s so much fun. We are NOT connected to Chico’s though.

  7. I really liked the longer shimmering brown coat with black pants and top. The whole outfit said comfortable but very classic with a bit of snap. This series is a helpful and inspiring. Great for the New Year.

  8. I am really enjoying this series Pamela. As for accessories; oh how I wish I didn’t have such tiny wrists as admire and notice bracelets on other women but do wear bangle watches instead and have added more necklaces, scarves and belts to my wardrobe as accessories. Also just for the fun of it; to go with a pair of silver glitter pants that I wore for a holiday function; I used a glitter nail polish just for the tips of my nails ( to achieve the result I wanted; I actually used a tooth pick to evenly distribute it as kept the rest of the nail natural) and my nine year old grand daughter noticed them immediately. Since then, I’ve had three compliments from strangers (when shopping) as I haven’t removed it yet. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Would love to know Pam how you store your jewelry, particularly your necklaces? Also other than season; how do you group your scarves? (Thank you!)

    1. Hi Brenda, Glad you are enjoying the series. I do not profess to have jewelry organization figured out. I have a lot of costume jewelry and right now it can be found in four different places. I am working on a remedy, but as of now do not have an option I like…especially for large statement necklaces. Will do a post whenever I have something I feel like I can recommend. In my dressing area, I have a vintage-style coat rack and that is where my winter scarves hand at the moment. When weather warms up, I will switch them out. The out of season scarves are neatly folded in a box in my closet. Hope that helps.

  9. I’m scarves in the Winter, necklaces in the Summer.
    I think you can consider your hair an accessory, and I like how yours has evolved over the years. It’s not severely short, but it’s not really long anymore.

    I got a wonderful pair of clip earrings from one of my Aunties but they are too ornate and heavy to convert to pierced or for me to wear as clips. A friend told me that her daughter clipped some she got to a necklace, which I tried and liked. I’m admiring the hammered silver necklace with the rings, it looks big enough that the clips would hang properly.

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