In some ways, this post is inspired by a post from a Facebook Group member. She’s a teacher who started wearing sneakers to work. Because of this change, she felt like her daintier accessories were no longer working and, as much as she has tried, she can’t wear scarves. As a result, she said her outfits were very chicken.

If you’re new to my blog, briefly, a chicken outfit is a term I coined to describe an un-accessorized or unfinished look. If you think about chicken, on its own, it tastes pretty bland. It’s the spices you add to chicken that makes it flavorful. Like chicken, unfinished outfits can look more flavorful. You can read more about the concept of a chicken outfit here.

How to Look Stylish Without Accessories

I gave some thought to this member’s situation and wanted to do a post on how to look stylish without accessories. Is it possible? Of course, it is. Here is one strategy you can try.

I posted this outfit I wore to Instagram recently. If you look at the pieces, they’re pretty basic. It’s a cardigan, t-shirt, pair of jeans and basic flat slingbacks. Nothing to write home about, really. However, what makes this outfit less ordinary looking is the color combination, particular pairing yellow with burgundy. This strategy is what I want to focus on when creating interesting outfits that aren’t accessorized, using color. Let’s take a look at some more outfits. To really level the playing field, I even omitted handbags.

Outfit #1

without accessorizing

Imagine this was a black suit with a white tank and black pumps. Are you asleep yet? Sure, it might work, but it’s not exactly blowing anyone’s skirt up. By just playing with color, the suit looks more interesting, even without the use of accessories.

I styled this hunter green melange suit from Theory (link to pants, link to jacket) with a celadon green tank from Reiss. To finish the look, I added these blush pink heels from Everlane.

Outfit #2

no accessories

This next look is interesting without accessories, yet the pieces on their own are pretty basic. I styled this chestnut colored cardigan with a teal t-shirt from Caslon, navy side zip pants from Everlane, and yellow flats from Sarto from Franco Sarto.

Outfit #3

without accessories

This next look is pretty basic and unmemorable. It’s the color combination that makes it interesting. I styled this basic wool and cashmere tunic sweater in a bright magenta and pine velvet jeans. I finished the look with a kelp colored pair of booties from Lucky Brand.

Outfit #4

A dress is so easy. You throw it on and you’re out the door. If you like the freedom of not needing to do much when you wear a dress, here is a way to help make it look different. I styled this Trina Turk dress with burgundy tights and burgundy booties from Boden.

Outfit #5

Lastly, it doesn’t take much to make a basic outfit look interesting. Here, I styled a navy blazer from Smythe with a pair of jeans from J Brand, a taupe elbow length sweater and I finished the look with a pair of weatherproof Aquatalia block toe pumps in burgundy. It’s that small pop of burgundy that gives the outfit some interest.

Outfits Don’t Require Accessories to be Interesting

There is more than one way to skin a cat. You don’t have to add accessories to a look to make it interesting. The next time you find yourself stumped, try playing with color.