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Set For Life?

There comes a point in every woman’s life when she begins to hone her personal style by asking the difficult questions. Like “do I really want to buy that trendy outfit I just saw in the window?” and, “can I pull off a trapeze dress, really?” For me one of the most difficult questions to answer is also one that ends up defining your style, as well as your buying habits, for the rest of your life:

To match or not to match?

Must my accessories match my outfit? And do they have to match each other? After a bit of soul searching, I have made my own decision: absolutely not!

There are plenty of women who would disagree with me. And that’s okay! I’ve been known to buy a perfectly matched set of my new favorite stone from time to time. What’s interesting, though, is how I end up wearing the Larimar ring with my Sterling Silver hoops and Ming Dynasty porcelain pendant, rather than all the pieces I purchased to match it. I don’t mean to, but I just love the extra texture and contrast that mixing up your accessories adds to an outfit.

The same goes for color blocking – when looking through my jewelry box in the morning, I tend to gravitate towards unusual color combinations that will draw attention to my jewelry rather than make it play second fiddle to my clothing. I’ve been known to rock emeralds with my favorite red dress and bright yellow earrings with a graphic black and white polka dot tunic. Just by pairing something unexpected together, you can make a tired outfit look totally new!

Of course, there are plenty of times when a matched set just makes more sense. Dressing for a formal event, for example, or taking an outfit day to evening by changing accessories are times when a matched set is a must. And I admit – I sometimes feel a twinge of envy when I see a woman wearing an outfit with brilliantly matched jewelry. But that’s just not me! And part of knowing your personal style is all about knowing when something looks great on someone else, but isn’t right for you.

So what about you? Do you prefer matched sets or do you mix things up? I want to hear from you!

-- Helene

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