An image of a woman in mid-air as she jumps

There are three seasons in the fashion industry: over-layer, under-layer and the “Ah what to wear?” season. The fan-favorite is the transitional season best known as sweater weather. That perfect time of year when you can rock a tee and cardigan with jeans or a chunky cable knit sweater with shorts. When there is a mild breeze, you can get away with open-toe stilettos, Chelsea boots or sneakers.

In the non-fashion universe, these transitional seasons are referred to as fall and spring. The choices are endless: mixing or matching, jacket or sweater, trouser or track pant, heels or crocs?! From August to November and again from March to June, street style is at its peak.

Summer’s high temperatures and humidity-filled days offer little to no suitable outfit options. No hot pant or spaghetti strap tank can ward off the heat and the inevitable discomfort. Sticky air leads to visible perspiration marks. Unless sunbathing by a pool, lake or ocean, there is no escape.

The occasion, audience and environment will determine your dress code, leaving you with a smidge of wiggle room to express yourself. For example, if you are attending an outdoor BBQ or wedding, then your go-to will be a long, flowy dress.

Is the dress jersey? Is the dress chiffon? While both may seem like great choices, think again. Jersey and chiffon have excellent draping properties; however, both fabrics do not conceal sweat. Opt for materials that are absorbent and breathable, such as linen, bamboo and cotton. It is important to note that while other materials are breathable, they do not absorb moisture, but instead, they repel it to the outermost layer of the garment. 

Winter poses a similar problem with opposite effects. Wearing a chic down, filled coat and plaid scarf may be the only way to style yourself. By style, I mean expressing yourself through fashion. The clothing and accessories we chose to wear are a reflection of our mood, feelings and beliefs.

The clothing and accessories we chose to wear are a reflection of our mood, feelings and beliefs.

Functionality plays a large role during summer and winter. The subzero temperatures keep self-expression at bay. Hoodies, turtlenecks, scarves, leg warmers, toques and gloves become the norm and that itsy, bitsy cropped top we oh so loved is folded away for another day.

Under normal, temperate weather circumstances, I wouldn’t wear sweatpants and thermal shirts; however, the alternative is unbearable. Like a child forced to eat broccoli, I too cringe when forced to dress a certain way. The tiny spec of style freedom we have lies within our accessory choices. Yes, albeit, I did purchase that parka. I saw it, chose it, decided and purchased due to its functionality, not because my style icon is the Michelin Man.

As fashion lovers, our creativity lies within our accessories. Winter clothing is (usually) heavy and dark. Select jewelry that will best complement your look, transforming your ensemble from drab to fab! Canadian designer Jenny Bird does a beautiful job creating pieces that are both silver and gold. I don’t discriminate against mixing metals. In fact, mixing and matching enhances your personal style.

As fashion lovers, our creativity lies within our accessories.

Jenny Bird’s two-tone hoops pair perfectly with a wool, cowl neck sweater. For a trendier look, pair with different sized hoops. Her monogram hoop is a best-seller and adds a personal touch.

Two-tone hoop earrings
Credit: JENNY BIRD

As a rule-of-thumb, when decorating ears, steer clear of necklaces and try to keep the focus up by the face. Too many (shiny) distractions can ruin an outfit. If your ears are the focal point, then add a few stackable rings or one large statement ring. The Sadie and Amelia rings are two-toned and tie in your single tone pieces.

A gold ring with a set of diamonds in the front
Credit: JENNY BIRD

Style Tip: Stackable rings, bangles, necklace’s and earring layering are ways to express yourself. 

Over-accessorizing looks best with basic ensembles. Whether a black hoodie and matching sweatpants or a pink cotton baby doll dress, the abundance of jewelry complements the simplicity of the outfit. Balance is key. Opting for a bracelet, one dainty necklace, a pair of stud earrings and a few stackable rings are acceptable.

However, multiple earrings, bracelets, a large cuff and many necklaces simultaneously draw attention to your neck, ears and wrists causing an imbalance. As the old saying goes, the suit wears you, and you always want to be wearing the suit. In this case, the jewelry is wearing you.

Style Tip: Patterns and texture speak volumes and add character. Opt for understated pieces to balance loud clothing.

For bold statement pieces, Californian brand Gabriela Artigas is known for their graceful fluid designs. Gabriela Artigas jewelry is for the timeless French gal. Their classic pieces have a masculine flair, complementing ultra-feminine and tom-boy styles. The Cut Out Pedestal ring shines bright on its own. The Suspended Pearl choker is best for exposed necklines, drawing attention to the décolleté.

A gold choker necklace with one pearl
Credit: Gabriela Artigas & Company

Style Tip: Flip a turtleneck collar upward and lay the choker over the fabric for a fashion forward look.

As an alternative to a drop earring. If you don’t have your ears pierced, then opt for an ear cuff. The Twin Tusk ear cuff is a favorite. Cuffs pair well with any outfit and one size fits all.

A silver ear cuff
Credit: Gabriela Artigas & Company

For you hair enthusiasts out there, Gabriela Artigas designs gorgeous hair jewelry as well. The Infinite Tusk Hair barrettes upgrade an otherwise boring ensemble, adding that hint of chicness.

Set of C-shaped earrings
Credit: Gabriela Artigas & Company

If you prefer color and shapes, then Texan brand Raven + Lily offers sustainable semi-precious stone designs, as well as leather and brass pieces.

Styling Tip: For the girl-next-door vibe, opt for brass.

Why? It is understated, less shiny than gold and more affordable! Bling out in the blue chalcedony Ellsworth Studs XL. These eye-catching triangular shaped earrings are sure to spice up a linen summer ensemble. The Jasper Anika Geo Statement earrings and the white quartz Kamali Long Drop earrings are pieces that can be worn year-round, complementing both light and dark clothing.

A pairs of geometrical shaped earrings
Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily’s leather earrings bring that oomph and texture to airy summer ensembles. The Zia Leather Leaf earrings are available in metallic tones, as well as a light blue, navy and rust.

Leaf earrings
Credit: Raven + Lily

Style Tip: Earrings make excellent gifts, as one size fits all!

Mixing different types of jewelry, metals and stones enhance individuality and personal style. Knowing how to balance an understated look with layered jewelry or adding volume to an outfit by opting for a bold statement piece is the way to keep your style sanity. Whether its winter’s endless dark, dreary days or summer’s heat that has you in a fashion frenzy, embrace your creative side and enjoy expressing your style via accessories.

How do you style yourself best during the not so temperate months? What are your go-to accessories?

Feature Image via Trevor Hoehne, Darling Issue No. 6

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