Simple Accessories Create a Timeless Style

My family tree is not scattered with royalty and millionaires — at least none I’ve been able to find yet. But I am lucky to be able to look back as far as the 1920s to see what some of them looked like.

Even they, with their coal mining and farming incomes, they pulled off some of the fashions of the day — like this cousin or aunt whose photo I can’t stop looking at. She looks so elegant in the simplicity of her pearls and finger waved hair.

Simplicity is a key feature with elegant looks. Even my grand aunt — my grandmother’s younger sister — looks lovely in her simple, drop-waist dress and bob haircut. She, too, appears to be wearing pearls. And is that some sort of decorative flower on her shoulder? A corsage for a special occasion, perhaps?

A young woman from the late-1920s standing next to a tree.

The photo below is also Aunt Lizzie, as she was known, with another drop-waist dress. On the back of the photo is written 1930, but the dress, with its bow tied at the side, harkens back to the decade before. Here, she simply has a ribbon or something tied around her wrist and she stands like a little model.

A young woman in 1920s apparel.

My reason for posting these old photos is to point out that it doesn’t take a lot to look stylish. Granted, the footwear my aunt wears isn’t something we think of when considering the 1920s. I tend to think of shoes more like these:

On Sale at

iconThe point is, though, with just a few details, they tell a story of the era.

Being the writer and genealogist that I am, I find stories everywhere I look. It’s style that I find difficult, at least when applying it to myself. Staring at these photos and noticing these simple pieces helps me learn the art of simplicity when it comes to timeless style. I can carry over these lessons to my own modern fashion and get closer to my signature style that way.

Here’s my version of a simple outfit with just one or two accessories to complete it. I started out in all black and just added some light colored shoes and a gold strand necklace.


Then I added a scarf….


Then I changed things up by switching out the necklace and shoes and I added a cardigan and bracelet to the mix.



And finally, another scarf….


What do you think? In 100 years, will my style story be timeless?


To Shop these outfits, click the links below:

Black Eileen Fisher Silk Top

Black Eileen Fisher Tencel Fleece Ankle Leggings

Black Eileen Fisher Pleated Skirt: Similar

Beige “Soul” Booties from Eileen Fisher (On sale!)

Gold Strand Necklace: Similar

Burgundy and Cream Cole Haan Scarf: Similar | Similar

Grey Eileen Fisher Merino Cardigan: Similar

Grey Eileen Fisher Suede Pumps: Similar

Brighton Necklace: Similar | Similar

Brighton Bracelet: Similar | Similar

Eileen Fisher White, Blue, Silver Scarf: Similar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *