what are the most versatile accessories belts handbags scarf scarves jewelry

The most versatile accessories for the whole year

There are so many different types of accessories, some are very unique and others are a bit more adaptable. I’ve been researching what it is that makes accessories versatile in the first place and what the most versatile accessories are so that you can have the maximum impact in your wardrobe from a minimal amount of accessories. Accessories can be versatile in three ways; they can adapt to different outfits and situations, there are different ways you can wear them or they can be worn all year round.

The most versatile accessories include reversible (slim-medium) belts, convertible handbags, silk square scarves and gold, silver or pearl jewelry. There are other versatile items within other accessory categories but these are the most versatile in terms of how much impact they can have if various types of wardrobes. 

Let’s get a better sense of why these accessories are the most versatile and what makes them versatile so that you’re aware of all the different ways you can wear them. If you can add these few items at the very minimum to your wardrobe, you’ll be able to style various different outfits in different ways throughout the whole year and not just in one season.

Reversible belts

what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt salvatore ferragamo

Belts are a very versatile accessory even if they are not reversible. They can be used all year round whether it’s to complete a summer dress look or to give a bit of definition to a winter coat. Having a two toned belt just gives you a few more options that are different from one another and make it look like you have more accessories than you actually do. 

They are also great when travelling as you can pack light but still be flexible with your outfit choices. There are very chunky belts that look great over blazers and dresses but they are less versatile. A more slender belt that can fit through trouser loops (ie. about 1-2 inches thick) will be able to be worn with low rise jeans or trousers on the hips as well as waist defining dress or blazer outfits.

what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt over white summer dress brown
what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt over winter coat black

What color belts go with everything

Reversible belts are able to go with twice as many outfits as a normal belt so it’s best to choose the colors  that will match most of your outfits. The colors that are most versatile are black and brown, white and tan, navy and cream or taupe and grey but you can find reversible belts in a variety of different colors combinations.

If you prefer wearing gold jewelry or a lot of your clothes have warm tones like beige or brown then try to stick with a gold belt buckle. Choose a silver buckle if you mostly wear silver jewelry or your clothes are mostly cool toned like grey or pastel colored. This is to ensure your new belt will not clash with the other elements of your outfits. 

Related: What colors are classy, elegant and stylish?

Convertible handbags

Convertible handbags are not made specifically to be versatile they are more so designed to be a certain type of bag but when slightly adapted they can look like a totally different style of bag with another outfit. For example, I like to purchase crossbody handbags that are perfect for day time but that can also hide the shoulder strap seamlessly so that it can also be used as a classy clutch bag for the night. 

Another example is a shoulder bag that can also be carried as a top handle bag, or a shopper tote bag that can also be used as a backpack purse. I would emphasise that quality is important with these types of handbags because if you are using and adjusting it more often the easier it can wear so purchasing a good quality convertible handbag should be a good investment.

Related: What are considered luxury handbags – The luxury hierarchy

What color handbag is good year round?

Black, brown and grey handbags are the most versatile colors for handbags that can be used all year round. To get a full idea of what color handbag is best for Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter or all year round, here’s a table to display what color handbag work best according to which season of the year it is. 

Color

Spring

Summer

Autumn/Fall

Winter

White

Yes

Yes

No

No

Brown

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Black

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Emerald Green

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Burgundy

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Straw/Wicker

Yes

Yes

No

No

Cream

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Grey / Taupe

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pink

Yes

Yes

No

No

Tan

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Red

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

An important point to add here is, to optimise the versatility of a handbag, it’s best to choose a dark colored bag like black, brown or navy. The reason for this is because bags tend to get thrown around and pick up quite a few marks and smudges. Remember, versatile accessories work best when they are clean and presentable so it’s advisable to avoid white or light colors for a bag that you intend to use all year round.

Related: Forever Classic Black Luxury Handbags

Silk scarves

Normal scarves are usually only worn in winter and worn to protect us from the cold. A silk scarf however has SO many ways to be used in an outfit and can be used all year round. You can wear it as a headband, on your handbag, in a ponytail, as a necktie, a headscarf or even to embellish a simple shirt or coat. There are so many ways to wear it that it can look different each time you do and become part of your own signature style. 

It’s an accessory that lends itself very well to a lot of different styles so you don’t have to worry about it not going with all of your different outfit choices, there is a way to fit it into almost any outfit. It’s also a beautiful way to add a bit more color to your outfits. The square silk scarves are the best option in terms of shape but a rectangular silk scarf can also be used in a similar way.

what accessories are most versatile silk color scarf with neutral beige outfit

How do you wear a silk scarf in summer?

I’m glad you asked. In this video, I show you the most versatile ways to wear a silk scarf in summer without overheating and so that you can get the most out of your silk scarf even when it’s hot outside.

Gold, silver and pearl jewelry

Out of all the jewelry that exists in the world by far the most versatile are plain gold, silver and pearl pieces that are simple and good quality with minimal design. Gold, silver, pearls and even diamond stud earrings can be worn with any outfit. They go with most color clothing and are appropriate for either casual or formal wear. 

I’m stressing the quality part again here because if you want to find accessories that are truly versatile then it’s worth paying a bit more for better quality that can withstand the extra use and last a long time. Fine jewelry (at least 10K gold or sterling silver) is a great way to go because you can wear it everyday without worrying about getting it wet or tarnishing. As a general rule of thumb, the most versatile jewelry should have the ability to be worn almost everyday.

Related: How to have expensive taste (authentically)
what accessories are most versatile jewelry gold pearl simple necklace wear everyday
what accessories are most versatile jewelry sterling silver ring simple classy elegant

What jewelry can you wear everyday?

Simple fine jewelry (at least 10K gold or sterling silver) can be worn everyday. It is appropriate to wear in multiple situations because it’s water-resistant and hypoallergenic. You will also not have to worry about tarnishing, skin discoloration or infection from fine jewelry.

If you build a small collection of different pieces of the same color jewelry like a few rings, earrings, chain pendants and bracelets, you will also be able to mix and match your combinations so it looks a little different every time you wear them. Here is a simple chart on the wearability of  different jewelry types.

Solid Gold

Silver

Vermeil

Pearls

Gold Filled

Gold Plated

Exercising

Yes

Yes

Not good

Not good

Not good

Not good

Hot weather

Yes

Yes

Not good

Not good

Not good

Not good

Pool

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Beach

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Work

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shower

Not recomm.

Not recomm.

Not good

No

No

No

Everyday wearability

So that’s it for my thoughts on the most versatile accessories. If you have any thoughts or experience with other powerhouse accessories that are not mentioned here, I would absolutely love to hear about them. I hope this article gives you some inspiration for your accessory game and helps you make some very smart and efficient purchases for your wardrobe that will also last a lifetime. Tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

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