Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series?

Find out how I dress in designer clothes for less. Yes,  for mere pennies on the dollar, my outfits are less than $15, and did I mention…all second hand?

One of the key factors in developing a Frugal Fashionsta wardrobe is learning how to accessorize.
Learning how to accessorize is the best way to spruce up a tired wardrobe.
We all wear plain shirts. I guarantee that any of you reading can find a solid colored shirt for $1 at a yard sale (or a bit more at a thrift store), but my request of you this week is to try a simple experiment and make your basic top “pop”.
From many women, the complaint I hear over and over is, “Jen, I don’t know how to accessorize, please help.”
It’s so much easier than you think.
Don’t get caught up with whether your accessories are “right or wrong.” This week, throw any preconceived rules out the window and just experiment.
On a whim, I decided to spend five minutes and see what I could throw together to make a basic black top pop. I just grabbed. I didn’t think about it. As I type, I know there were so many other alternatives I could have chosen, but it was about showing you that it can be done quickly, with no stress.
Remember, just have fun.
I am not trying to “model” the best of the best. I didn’t worry about redoing my make up, photo shopping the pictures, fixing my hair, or even putting on different earrings because quite honestly, this is about a mom just trying to make it out the door looking presentable in minutes, and invite you along for the journey.
My goal is to take a shower and be all ready to go in less than a half hour. On those days that I don’t wash my hair (yes, I know there are some of you out there like me), I can get ready in five minutes, thanks to the wonders of accessories.
If all else fails with your outfit or hair, accessories that are pulled together well can make anything look great.
That’s what I want you to know. These ideas are for anyone.
The very top photo shows you what a great jacket can do. I could wear the same black T-shirt every day with a different jacket and you’d never know. Isn’t that zebra print fabulous?
Think outside your comfort zone. As a Frugal Fashionsta, you can dare to dress different, because you can afford to experiment. I would NEVER have thought of myself as a zebra print kind of girl, but I love that jacket. I’ve learned to experiment because some of my favorite outfits I would never have given a second thought on the rack.
One of the best ways I have gotten mileage out of my necklaces is by layering them.
Layering, with both accessories and clothes, is very popular right now. The first picture shows how you can mix a very traditional strand of pearls with some silver. I then made it quite contemporary by adding another one of my long necklaces. It totally looks like it’s one big necklace, but it’s not.
Since great necklaces are harder to find at yard sales, I will buy then new. You can find some great costume jewelry with coupon codes for under $10. Often, I’ll get a $1 yard sale necklace that pairs well with one I bought at the store. It’s a perfect fit.  On this post, I showed my two “ordinary brown necklaces” that when paired together, they look great.
Many of you are wary of trying big, chunky jewelry. You think it’s not “you.” Remember my “Red Carpet” earrings? I owned those for over six months before I wore them. I know the fear, but just try one new piece and live with it for a bit. Wear it. See how you feel. I think once you get over the “it’s not me” feeling, you’ll love it.
This is the first summer that I have worn scarves and I will never go back. This $1 yard sale pink scarf was really cute with a white Tshirt, but I the pink/black contrast works as well. Again, it’s just a simple scarf with a tied knot that took 20 seconds.
We’ve all done it, but with a few extra seconds, there’s no reason to leave the house in just a plain shirt. (Ok, have I just offended you all with that statement? ;))
Did you notice my big silver hoop earrings? My very adorable, conservative dressing mom saw them and mentioned, “I never would have thought that I would like big earrings like that, but I do. They look great on you.”
You never know until you try them.
Simple purple scarf.
Again 20 seconds, but now that I see the picture, I would have taken another 20 seconds to fix it a bit more. In the second picture, the scarf is too puffy for my liking, but the contrast of black and purple makes a sophisticated look. Add a black blazer and you are good for the office or a night on the town.
The transition from the classy purple to this casual plaid shows a great word picture.
Isn’t the difference in the two looks amazing? It’s still the same shirt, but with different scarves. You could wear this back to back days, and I doubt anyone would give it a thought that you were wearing the same shirt. The looks are that different.
And yes, the plaid scarf is tied two different ways, if you are trying to see.
$2 – Equador market, but I saw them lining the streets of NYC for only $5
(If you aren’t sure how to tie a scarf, I have two videos showing some of my favorite ideas. Be gentle, I need to reshoot these. :))
Accessories don’t stop at the shirt.
I’ve seen more and more cute scarves and head bands lately than ever before. I haven’t personally been daring to wear many in my hair, but I contemplate it regularly. 🙂
(Scarves and hat with matching mittens) – yard sale: $2)

Sticker shock hit me with the price of quality, leather belts. So, I am always thrilled when I find that at yard sales.
As my recent weight fluctuates, I tend to stray away from belts, but I shouldn’t. Belts give a polished look to outfits, as well as give this black shirt a pop of color.

So that is my five minute experiment. I put together ten looks, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all we can learn about accessorizing.
Give it a try. When women ask, “What should I wear,” I reply, “Just Shop your closet for starters.”
This week, have fun shopping your closet for your accessories experiment. Pull out things you haven’t worn for awhile. Can you mix and match necklaces? So many looks are being featured these days: beads and metals, varying colors, various patterns that I know you’ll find something fun.
I can’t wait to hear the new looks you put together as you learn how to accessorize.