Fashionable Summer Accessories to Dress Up Your Looks

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Fashionable summer accessories are the easy way to add style to your vacation wardrobe. Pack less clothing and more jewelry for beautiful travel outfits!

Fashionable Summer Accessories

Written By: Niki Landry

The summer is a fun and energetic time of year, and a favorite time to travel. It’s also the perfect time to wear your boldest and brightest clothes, try new trends, and take risks with your outfits. If you are looking to dress up your capsule travel wardrobe, check out the fashionable summer accessories below.

Thread Tassel Dangle Earrings

Huge Statement Earrings

Necklaces are getting slimmer and earrings bigger; it’s the direction jewelry trends have been moving in the last year. Bold jewelry, in general, and extra large statement earrings, specifically, are a great way to step up your travel wardrobe game.

Shoulder-grazing earrings are perfect to pair with off-the-shoulder tops, solid neutral outfits, and a simple dress. These are easy to pack, high impact summer accessories that I’m excited to rock this season.

Handwoven Round Rattan Bag Shoulder

Round Crossbody

These popular small, round cross body bags are just the ticket to packing the bare essentials and looking great when you leave your hotel for the day. I prefer a small bag because it forces me to only bring the essentials, and it’s easier to keep track of my belongings.

Stylish and compact, they are an easy-to-pack bag to bring on your trips in addition to your larger daypack. Carry it sightseeing, to museums, or for a night out.

Soludos Classic Sandal Flat

Tied Ankles

Spring’s ankle wrap ballet flat trend has transitioned into summer’s tied espadrille. These are great for tropical destinations when you want to wear something more stylish than flip flops. Pair with a linen skirt, shift dress, or to dress up denim shorts.

It’s easy to find espadrilles in fun colors, patterns, and interesting details to liven up simple summer outfits. I especially like the cutout detail on the pair above.

Take a look at seven other summer and spring shoes for travel we’re loving!

Onnea Gold Tone Cutout Geo Choker Necklace

Collars

Everything old is new again, including chokers and collar necklaces. I’m partial to the minimalist look of a simple collar, and the layered version above is very pretty. There is a lovely sculptural quality to this look.

These are great summer accessories to pair with trendy off-the-shoulder tops and dresses. You can add it to liven up a simple v-neck top, or anything with a simple neckline.

Dansko Season Flat Sandal

Clog Sandals

The popular block heel and flat-form sandals that have been trending since last year have quickly transformed into the clog sandal. For someone who likes to travel with heels, this is a comfortable and chic alternative. Also, it is a nice change from the typical summertime wedge.

Lexy 59mm Polarized Aviator Sunglasses

Modern Aviators

Sunglasses are affordable summer accessories and an easy way to change up your travel outfit. I often buy a new pair for every trip, since I tire of seeing the same frames in all of my photos.

In addition to the popular round frames and mirrored lenses, the more modern style aviator is a hit this season. Accentuated brow bars, cool shapes, and updated colors are a quick and easy update to your travel accessories.

Aerosoles Sidecar Oxford

Modified Oxfords

Not every summertime trip takes you to a tropical or beach destination. If you find yourself in a stylish city, you may need more polished and/or closed toe footwear. Oxfords can give a masculine edge to your outfit, and are a classic wardrobe staple.

The new, updated version of the oxford this season boasts thicker soles and a sleeker, more modern look to keep you looking stylish during your travels.

Read the ten step packing guide for choosing the best shoes for travel!

Textured Summer Straw Hat

Packable Floppy Hat

For a piece that’s both functional and fashionable, look no further than the classic floppy hat. This summer essential will add just the right amount of breezy, bohemian flare to your look. Pair with the aviators above to keep the sun out and the style in.

And in true travel fashion girl style, make sure to select one that is packable!

What are your favorite summer accessories to liven up your travel wardrobe? Comment below!

For more tips on summer travel fashion, read these posts:

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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs. nikilandrydesigns niki-landry-designs-llc

20th and 21st Century Fashion Accessories — Google Arts & Culture

Credits: Story

Cover image: Salvatore Ferragamo, 1965–68. Woman's shoes. Cotton netting and embroidery with gilt leather and metal closure, and gilt leather heel and leather sole. 1980.96. Gift of Charlotte M. Beers. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In order:

Gwenn Pennington, Woman's hat, late 20th century. Feathers (peacock?); tulle; metal; cotton knit; velvet. 2009.4218. Gift of Yolanda of Yolanda Enterprises Inc. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Folding fan, about 1905. Silk satin leaf painted in watercolor, embroidered with sequins; ivory sticks; steel rivet and ring. 53.2179. Gift of H. Wade White. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Chemnitz, Pair of women's stockings, about 1910–7. Cotton printed. 69.685a b. The Arthur Warren Rayner Hosiery Collection, Gift of Mrs. Frank K. Idell. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pair of woman's shoes, 1910–20. Leather; beads; rhinestones. 2010.684.1 2. Gift of Irene Konefal in memory of Genevieve and Edmund Konefal. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman's hat, 1915. Rayon, ostrich feathers, buckram. 1979.198. Gift of Miss Agnes Mongan. Reproduced with permission. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Jeanne Lanvin, Woman's hat, about 1915. Silk trimmed with straw, bead appliqué. 1990.280. Seth K. Sweetser Fund. Reproduced with permission. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Man's top hat, 1915–30. Silk. 1979.393. Bequest of Dana Pond. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman's printed stocking, 1910–30. Cotton knit. 69.1347. The Arthur Warren Rayner Hosiery Collection, Gift of Mrs. Frank K. Idell. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Feather brisé fan, 1915–25. Dyed feathers with irregular markings; reformed protein blades. 50.3166. Gift of Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman's hat and scarf set, 1925. Printed silk plain weave (chiffon); silk thread fringe. 2008.720.1 2. Gift of Francisca Smith Clark. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Chemnitz, Woman's stocking, about 1910–30. Cotton knit. 69.1346. The Arthur Warren Rayner Hosiery Collection, Gift of Mrs. Frank K. Idell. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Whiting & Davis Co., Woman's purse, 1920s. Metal. 2010.1376. Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Woman's vanity case, late 1920s. Celluloid, rhinestones, silk net, plaited cotton. 2003.854. Anonymous gift. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pair of woman's shoes, 1940s. Suede and leather. 2009.2361.1-2. Gift of Reva Ostrow. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Courtier, Woman's scarf: Outdoor Girl, 1940s. Rayon, printed. 2011.2265. Gift of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Lilly Daché, Woman's hat, American, 1947–53. Fur felt, grosgrain ribbon, pheasant feathers. 2007.303. Gift of Susan Ward in memory of Filene's. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pair of woman's shoes, 1950s. Silk, synthetic metallic, and faux wood. 2005.1274.1 2. Gift of Stewart Shillito Maxwell, Jr. in memory of his mother Marilyn M. Maxwell. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Paraphernalia, Pair of shoes, about 1965. Leather. 1992.587a b. Gift of Dorothy S. Zinburg. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Sunglasses, 1960s. Plastic, glass lenses. 2005.185. Gift of Susan Ward. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pierre Cardin, Woman's necklace, 1971. Chrome and acrylic. 2010.304. Gift of Karen and Michael Rotenberg. Reproduced with permission. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Pair of woman's platform shoes, 1970s. Cotton (?) velvet; silver. 2010.1387.1 2. Gift of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Salvatore Ferragamo, 1965–68. Woman's shoes. Cotton netting and embroidery with gilt leather and metal closure, and gilt leather heel and leather sole. 1980.96. Gift of Charlotte M. Beers. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Salvatore Ferragamo, Inc, Handbag, about 1990. 2013.1961. Gift of Pat and Arthur Stavaridis. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Tabi boots

Vivienne Westwood shoes

Elsa Peretti, Watanabe Chikusei, Minaudière, about 2011. Platinum lacquered bamboo, silver, plain weave fabric, and silk. 2012.62. Anonymous gift. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Miu Miu shoes

Iris van Herpen, “Synesthesia" Shoes, 2014. Kid leather, metallicized. 2015.988.1. Museum purchase with funds donated by the Fashion Council, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

United Nude, Highrise Shoes, 2015. 3D printed, synthetic. 2016.83.1. Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

How old tech like iPods have become hot fashion accessories

Plug into the fashion world and you’ll see old tech styled in new ways.

Wired headphones are now necklaces, iPod Shuffles have transformed to hair clips, and those Tekno Robot Cat toys you used to love are being incorporated into dresses. Old technology made obsolete by the ever-evolving market has found new purpose as statement-making fashion accessories, reflecting a widespread nostalgia for the early aughts and its maximalist personal expression.

Jun Sato/WireImage/Getty Images

In the 2000s, having your own phone or laptop still felt new and exciting, a feeling elevated by tech’s more diverse aesthetics of the time. iPods, a now-discontinued gadget, were offered in an array of colors, while flip phones were often personalized with charms and rhinestones. At the time, owning either product was considered as much of a status symbol as a Juicy Couture bag, preferably one with a small pooch inside. Paris Hilton was rarely seen without her pink Razr phone, which she held up to cameras or flaunted in the pockets of her mini skirts.

The same ethos could apply to current electronics like the AirPods Max, a $550 pair of Apple headphones dominating TikTok as the next “it” accessory. For many, the headphones’ whopping price tag and sleek minimalistic design is something to show off, similar to past listening devices like the Walkman. But the AirPods Max don’t offer the same flair (or feeling) as the over-the-top tech of the ‘00s, leaving some consumers to reject modern electronics in favor of older pieces more capable of expressing their individuality.

Power on

Aged electronics have a less-is-more approach to tech, although Myra Magdalen’s tech-infused outfits imply the opposite. The artist and designer, who boasts over 350,000 followers on TikTok, has styled everything from iPods to iDogs. After thrifting a number of old keyboards around the fall of 2021, Magdalen felt an urge to use the pieces as wall decor. She didn’t think much of her interior design, but TikTok loved it.

“I thought no one really noticed [the keyboards] or cared,” says Magdalen, who films most of her videos against her keyboard-studded wall. “And then one day I filmed a video and there were hundreds of comments about the keyboards.”

Still, the keyboards are one of the tamer looks on Magdalen’s page. An ordinary outfit for her includes plenty of wires, outlets, watches, and remote controls, the latter of which was the first piece of tech she styled on herself. “I’ve always had a weird sense of style — not just fashion-wise but home decor-wise too,” Magdalen says. “I just wanted to experiment with getting to wear [tech] on my body.”

She noticed a remote control she owned matched the colors of an outfit she was wearing, incorporated it, and never looked back. “If you’re someone who does a lot of thrifting, you see [old tech] all the time,” Magdalen says. “And being anyone that's really creative or artistic, you see discarded stuff and think, ‘what can I do with that?’”

Themed outfits are unavoidable for Magdalen. “I’ll see a specific piece in my closet that I’ve thrifted and want to have everything match it… then it just starts to snowball,” she says. So far, she’s styled looks entirely around outlets, keyboards, remotes, CDs, and a lunchbox commemorating the classic 2008 film Twilight. A recent outfit of hers includes two RoboCat toys (popular in the early ‘00s) strapped to herself with wires and chasing a computer mouse.

Magdalen’s creative looks get a lot of attention (both good and bad) on TikTok, but she doesn’t seem to get the same reaction when wearing her outfits outside the house. Based in Alabama, Magdalen says most of the comments she receives are about her height (6’3”). Being that tall will make a person stand out regardless, and Magdalen says that gives her the “false confidence to wear weird things.”

While Magdalen considers tech a part of her personal style rather than a trend, she thinks others have been drawn to outdated electronics as part of a Y2K resurgence. Sassy graphic tees, mini skirts, and low-rise jeans have already returned to fashion, as have trucker hats and playful prints. People may be nostalgic for simpler times (and tech) as seen in shows like Lizzie McGuire and Zoey 101, Magdalen says, and some still own the electronics they grew up with. She says an iDog she styled in one of her looks was in fact, the one she played with as a kid.

For many, older technology seems to symbolize a simpler time, one that felt excited about the future of tech rather than frightened by it. Reviving such pieces, ones we can physically hold in our hands, brings people back to that era and offers a sense of control. Though we may no longer be able to close a flip phone at the end of a call, we can still channel its aesthetic by wearing one on our hip. The same goes for iPods and old watches. In a highly digitized world, the simplest of tech is an amenity.

Clock in

A quick scroll through Clee McCracken’s Instagram or TikTok — the latter of which boasts over 26,000 followers — illustrates their @clockluvr username. For the artist and designer, indulging in discarded technology, specifically clocks, evokes a sense of comfort. “My thing is that I’m trying to be as extreme in my obsession with clocks as possible,” McCracken tells Input. “So I’m trying to incorporate them into every aspect of my life.”

Since watching The Clock by Christian Marclay in 2014, McCracken has fully integrated clocks into their aesthetic. They started out their timepiece obsession with themed clothing, as it was the easiest way to show off to others, before eventually moving on to homewear, wall clocks, and watches. Today, they own about 50 wall clocks, over 100 watches (30 functioning and roughly 100 broken ones to embellish pieces with), hundreds of clock-printed garments, and around 100 timepiece-themed home goods and books. “My end goal is for everything I own to be clock-centric,” McCracken says. “I try to wear as many clocks as possible [at once].” The “clock-ier,” the better, they add.

They can usually be seen wearing a timepiece on their wrist — the typical way — although McCracken is anything but typical. The artist, who works a handful of day jobs to support themself, turns clocks found on the internet and thrift stores into jewelry or sews them into clothing. “We live in a time with so much stuff,” they say, noting the amount of technology waste they see while seeking out old timepieces. “Technology’s moving so fast that things become worthless so quickly.” Clocks themselves are beginning to become obsolete thanks to phones and other digital devices.

The reduced price of old tech could be why people are assigning a new purpose to it, says McCracken, who recalls saving up $250 for an iPod Nano when they were younger. People are thrifting (and reselling) electronics now more than ever, they add, making the pieces more accessible than a pair of AirPods Max. The latter’s “flat and utilitarian” look isn’t nearly as appealing as the futuristic design of early tech, which McCracken says had a “wild west” feel — as in, anything goes. The larger Y2K resurgence proves people are craving fun fashion, including wearing wired headphones as a necklace or reconstructing watches as jewelry.

There’s a certain comfort in clocks and their tick-tocking for McCracken, especially in timepieces that showcase old shows or cartoon characters. After a tumultuous few years, they (and everyone else) seem to be seeking a sense of familiarity. And as the metaverse becomes less avoidable and hence, more daunting, plugging into old tech and styling it offers a feeling of ease. Older models are familiar to users; Web3 is not.

Wearing discontinued electronics isn't just about rejecting modernity and “embracing tradition,” though. Styling tech questions what can and can’t be considered clothing, a concept already questioned by digital-only fashion. And while the pieces being showcased by Magdalen and McCracken may be older, their looks are futuristic, rebooting a tired fashion industry.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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