An Accessory Guide to Timeless Elegance

I often get the feeling I was born in the wrong era, because I have a nostalgic longing for all things associated with old world elegance. Cocktail parties. Big band orchestras. Weekend bike rides through the countryside. And oh, the fashion! Is it me, or did the women of yesteryear just seem so effortlessly put together and graceful? Sleek fit-and-flare dresses, pumps and the perfect shade of lipstick. They were the perfect storm of sultry and sophisticated, but still modest and understated. Basically, a modern day Parisian. If I could, I would live in A-line dresses and heels over a pair of modern skinny jeans any day, but in today’s overscheduled, busy world, this isn’t always feasible. I dare you to try chasing a fanatic toddler through Target in four-inch heels.

So as a mom who doesn’t always have the time or energy to dress as elegantly as I would like, I’ve been relying more on accessories to add more old world charm to my wardrobe. I typically never write about fashion, but since a few of you have asked about my “mom style,” here are my top five picks to add polish to any look.

Silk slips
I know what you’re thinking – no woman under the ripe age of 60 would be caught dead wearing a slip. But au contraire, dear friends, I’m not talking about the beige, stretchy, ankle-length moo-moo variety. I’m speaking in deference to silky, lace-trimmed, thigh-skimming undergarments that instantly make you feel glamorous AND allow your dresses to hang more smoothly. On a purely functional note, slips protect the fabric of your delicate dresses from perspiration and eliminate unsightly panty lines. But more importantly, this body hugging piece of smooth lingerie will leave you feeling feminine and pampered all day.

Pearls
Nothing screams sophistication and poise more than a classic pair of pearls. I know many women who save their pearls for special occasions, but I pull out my wedding pearls and earrings every chance I get. They’re so versatile and pair well with everything from dresses and eveningwear to jeans and a silk blouse.

Quality perfume
My husband does not often wear cologne, but when he does, I cannot get close enough to him. Like our wardrobes and hairstyles, fragrance is one of the many ways we express ourselves. With smell being the strongest of the five senses, choosing the appropriate perfume is deeply personal and sensual. Finding your signature scent is a surefire way to add a feminine flourish wherever you go.

Pedicure/manicure
There is something about a soft manicure and pedicure that adds a dainty refinement to any look, don’t you agree? Polished hands just make jewelry shine a little brighter and send a message to the world that you take pride in even the smallest details of your appearance.

Heels
I have a love-hate relationship with this one. I love the way high heels make me look, but I loathe the immobility and my-feet-are-on-fire feeling that accompanies it. As a compromise, I’ve invested in a variety of kitten and sling-back heels to wear during the day to give me that “I’ve still got it, but I’m not dying for it” type vibe. Kitten heels are tall enough (one to two inches) that you can still pair them with jeans and dresses, but low enough that you can still catch your toddler at the park if she takes off.

What are some of your signature romantic accessories?

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