There are some fashion choices that deserve to be forgotten (I’m looking at you, white-socks-with-black-sandals. I don’t care how comfortable you are!)
But then there are those other accessories that deserve a little extra recognition. Make sure you own these four accessories to take your outfits to the next level through attention to detail.
Maybe “underrated” is the wrong word for suspenders… “has a terrible reputation” seems more fitting. Suspenders are not just for Steve Urkel — they can be a cool, modern accessory, not just an alternative to a belt. All genders can look sharp in suspenders, but that doesn’t mean they will work well with every style. We recommend you stick with thinner, leather straps for a more formal look, and try wider suspenders for informal looks.
2. A watch
With smartphones and technology all around, more and more folks are giving up traditional wrist watches. But a watch that coordinates well with your outfit makes a powerful statement, which is why we recommend you have a few different watches on hand (see what we did there?)
We love the Timex Weekender as a starter watch – it’s 100 watches in one because the straps are interchangeable and come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and materials. Plus, it’s gender neutral and pretty inexpensive to boot.
Watches are all designed so differently that you can find one that fits your personal style (rectangular watches, for example, are making a comeback, but you’ll never go wrong with a classic circle) For more formal occasions, we recommend a watch with a black or brown leather (or metal) band. If you’re being sporty, go with a digital watch, wearable pedometer, or smart watch.
By far, the cheapest way to inject a whole lot of personality into any outfit is with your socks. You have to wear ’em, so why not turn functional into fashionable? Pick crazy patterns, colors, or designs to add a little bit of flair to formalwear — it makes for a nice surprise when a bold sock peeks under your pant leg, in a hoot, or in a pair of flats. The right sock can make formal and stuffy feel fun and modern, or take a casual outfit and add a bit of sophistication. Pro tip: roll up the bottoms of your jeans or pants a little to really show them off! For feminine styles, we love knee-length socks or leg warmers as an unexpected way to pump up your outfit.
4. Collar stays
The difference between looking like a $100 bucks and a $1,000? The details. Start by buying a suit with a great fit and then use collar stays to keep your shirt looking just as sharp underneath.
Have you ever had your collar curl upwards or bow out to the sides? Collar stays are your answer: they are rounded at one end and pointed at the other, inserted into specially made pockets on the underside of a shirt collar to stabilize the collar’s points and make everything look neat. Collar stays usually come in a variety of lengths and can be made of metal, plastic, mother of pearl, horn, or other materials. You can even buy magnetic collar stays if your shirt collar tends to fly out to the sides like wings.