Some Ethical Accessorizing Tips

Good accessorizing is a surprisingly underappreciated aspect of fashion. As with anything in the world aesthetics, the detail work is the difference between good and fantastic, even if those details aren’t the main focal point. Here are some tips for doing it with slow fashion!

Accessorizing means Minimal Outfits

The first tip on this list is less about tips for how to wear the accessories and more about what accessorizing means for your purchasing habits. The number one tip for countering the waste generating fast fashion world is to buy less but buy higher quality clothing when possible. If and when you are able to, get out of the world of disposable clothing and get a few items that you can maintain and repair so that you are throwing out considerably less.

But if you’re worried that a smaller wardrobe means boring outfits, fear not, cause mixing and matching a few decent accessorizing items into your wardrobe can make any outfit look amazing and unique. Seriously, any outfit. Jeans and a plain white tee can look like a fancy clubbing outfit with the right necklace, hat, and bracelets. With a decent amount of accessorizing options, you can multiply your outfit options considerably from a small amount of clothing. Take advantage of this.

Accessory Wearing Tips

Now let's analyze some jewelry options. Accessorizing, like all parts of fashion, is ultimately a part of building your sense of “you” in the world, so your jewelry and bags and such should show that off. Subtle vs statement, minimal vs extravagant, playful vs mature, what you wear is an extension of who you are and how you feel that day. Some ideas to consider:

  • You don’t need to match but it should all go with each other. Mixing silvers and gold jewlry together is totally fine as long as the whole presentation works together, and bags and shoes don’t need to be the same color as long as they’re within a well thought out overall pallet. I’d be more worried about mixing formal jewelry with fun and casual jewelry, or a jagged line scarf with a softer outfit then I am about creating an exact match because creating a consistent feel is more important.
  • Long necklaces, like vertical stripes, make for a taller and more slimming appearance.
  • Limit the number of statement pieces, even when going for a bold or out there look. One “loud” statement piece is usually going to look better than putting a bunch of “loud” pieces together, especially if these items are near the same part of the body (necklace and earrings, bracelets and bags). Mixing statement accessories with subdued backgrounds makes the statement pop and mixing a bunch of statements together looks cluttered.
  • Scarves! There are a ridiculous number of ways to tie a scarf, wear a scarf, and to use it in unconventional ways (as discussed in our zero-waste travel article) that they’re easily one of the most versatile accessories you can own. Two or three good scarves can keep even the most minimal wardrobe exciting.

Ethical Accessory Recommendations

So now that we are excited about accessorizing, here are some places to find those accessories made ethically.

  • Made. Made is a company focused on handcrafting gold jewelry using traditional Kenyan methods. Their workshop is built around the idea of working with the community they’re a part of, making sure their workers have safe working conditions, sustainable employment, and fair wages.
  • Maplexo. We’ve mentioned them once before due to how cool the idea is, but if you’re looking for more casual jewelry, they make colorful and vibrant wooden accessories out of upcycled skateboards.
  • Kelley Deal Flannel. Scarves are one of the easiest products to find second-hand, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, Kelley Deal makes one of a kind handcrafted scarves made out of recycled sweaters. If that same sounds familiar to nineties alt-rock fans, yes it’s that Kelley Deal, the lead guitarist for The Breeders. She signs the scarves too.
  • Rust and Fray. Finally, if you’re looking for an environmentally and ethically handcrafted bag, Rust and Fray offers a wide selection of limited edition bags all made from Upcycling.

Thanks for reading! If you have any more accessorizing tips or companies you think we should check out, let us know in the comments. And be sure to follow our Instagram and our Facebook page for more articles, pictures, and other cool content.

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