Fashion & Style

How to wear period accessories every day

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Learn how to wear period accessories every day with a few subtle additions

Period accessories do not have to be relegated to the cosplay world, or saved for the rare event that you are invited to a masquerade ball. When done right, these beautiful elements can become timeless and essential pieces of your everyday wardrobe, from the office to a night on the town. So, dust off those brooches and pull those fun opera gloves out of the bottom drawer. Weíre going to put these babies back into the mainstream. 

Gloves and stockings

You donít see ladies wearing gloves just everywhere these days, unless itís particularly cold outside, but this is a trend worth reviving. From short leather riding gloves to long satin opera gloves, just the right pair can really give your look at boost. Try some fun 80s fingerless gloves (which actually hearken back to the Victorian era and beyond), if youíre going for a flirty casual look, or sleek elbow length gloves to compliment a pretty dress. For extra flair, pick a color opposite to the outfit (white gloves with a black dress) to really make an impression. 

The right stockings can take an outfit from standard to stunning. The old fashioned back seam hose are making a comeback, while funky fishnets will add some extra sex appeal. Love that Ď50s look? Embrace the bobby sock and rock those saddle shoes for all theyíre worth.

Jewelry, pins, and brooches

One of the easiest areas in which to incorporate some old world class into your wardrobe is by adding some choice pieces of jewelry. That gorgeous old cameo, or your grandmotherís string of real pearls can still compliment your offices Ďbusiness casualí dress policy, or add a touch of class to that little black dress you were going to wear for girlís night out. 

Classic 1950s (or older) pins still have a place in your jewelry box? Let them see the light of day by adorning that cute little sweater or the lapel of a jacket. Particularly ornate pieces might even look fantastic pinned to a simple evening dress, giving it a little extra oomph. 

On a chilly night, consider adding an antique brooch to keep your period shawl or riding cape closed, instead of donning a boring old jacket. 

Scarves, hats, and hair

Pretty scarves are always a welcome addition, whether worn in your hair or around the neck or shoulders. Choose one (or a few) that complement the colors in your outfit, bring out your eyes, or give just enough contrast to make things interesting. Scarves are also a classy way to cover your tresses on a bad hair day, letting you still look fantastic even on right-before-my-hair-appointment day. 

The right hat can make any outfit feel like youíve just stepped out of a magazine. Some women find theyíre too timid to wear a pretty hat, but you are not those women. Find your pizzazz and take the leap. Just imagine yourself as a movie starlet, and then that wide brimmed church hat, that saucy beret, or even that fabulous feathered fedora you just couldnít pass up at the retro consignment shop will find their way back into your daily look. 

And donít forget those classic hair clips or antique hair sticks. They might need a little polish to brighten them up, but they never go out of style.

For the boys

Donít forget period accessories for men.  So many of menís fashions have endured the test of time, itís easy to find areas to fit these pieces in.  A fine gold or silver watch chain for an antique pocket watch will add class to a three piece suit.  Old cufflinks, fine leather gloves, and classy bow ties are call coming back into vogue (if they ever went out). Victorian throwback Panama hats and fedoras will always make a statement.

And, if you really want to turn some heads, there is the ever-enduring walking cane. Practical for some, purely decorative for others, a well-made period appropriate cane can add just the right touch for a truly distinguished look. 

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