Details are tricky. Coco Chanel said we should take one accessory off before we leave the house, but somehow the jangle of an armful of one too many bangles holds more appeal. Prowling the streets of Soho for any last minute Christmas deals, I bumped into this Fashionista who, although dressed head to toe in black, managed to stand out from the standard New York uniform. Specifically what caught my eye was her adorable eight ball bag, and after stopping to talk to her, I noticed the multitude of midnight-colored minutia she had incorporated into her outfit. Besides managing to include three of the trendiest textures this season (velvet, leather, and shearling), her diverse style in accessories worked to accent her outfit: the gunmetal watch dressing it up, the pineapple patch on her straight cut jeans making it more approachable.

Some may say it’s a fashion faux pas to over-accessorize, but the key to a cohesive ensemble is in the relatedness of the pieces. Make sure they share a common denominator, or stick to a theme. The easiest of these is color: this Fashionista’s watch, bag, and nail color were all a dark gray-black. City dwellers know that heels are a bit ambitious for an entire day’s worth of shopping, so she stuck to some very chunky and comfortable Mary Janes, with silver buckles that match her other silver jewelry. The jacket and pants that make up the majority of her look are both black, making the peep of her gold velvet body suit the center of attention. Unity in color allows you to both highlight specific pieces and mix different styles.

But don’t be afraid to diversify. Do you want to go for quirky? Iron on a fun patch to the back of your jeans for a cheeky touch (pun intended). Offset the playfulness with an edgier accessory, like a vintage-inspired caricature bag, similar to this Fashionista’s eight ball cross-body. Add a pop of color with a bold, texturized bodysuit. Your accessories don’t have to all be the same brand or “look,” they just need to work symbiotically towards framing your ensemble—the big picture, per se.

Yes, there’s appeal in the monochromatic, or perhaps simpler, clean-cut outfits, and oftentimes they are easiest to just throw on. But accessories, as long as they remain somewhat harmonious, have the potential to completely elevate your look. Dress it up, dress it down, make it edgy, quirky, or playful in a matter of minutes. So by all means, throw on that extra bangle and take the risk. With great power comes great responsibility, my friend.

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