Stylesheet 008: Heart of glass 🤍 • Accessorising one of my most basic outfits

image 1: An Asian woman with dark hair in a ponytail that resembles a loop shape. She is wearing a dark blue square neck crop top with no sleeves, a pair of shorts with a black and white check print, and white leather sneakers. She has a face mask on in a similar print to her shorts, and the mask has a light cream and brown chunky acrylic chain attached to it. She is wearing red heart-shaped hoop earrings. Both of her hands are on her hips.
Spicing up one of my “uniforms” with accessories

I’m not really a “uniform” kind of person when it comes to style. I think I have some kind of formula based on what I like to wear, but I don’t really tend to wear the same thing. I really enjoy experimenting with different looks and even mixing up certain things. Over the past six months, particularly with this bothersome lockdown we’re in (I’m in Sydney, Australia), I have tried to make better use of accessories to spruce up my outfits that I might be bored of – instead of buying completely new clothes.

Some characteristics of my style include fitted tops, cropped pants, short skirts, asymmetry and juxtaposition, and I’m a big fan of square necklines, or open rounded necklines. 😆 Since I discovered this checkered pair of shorts, I have also really taken a liking to the check print in general. Since I got these shorts, I have found it easiest to pair with this navy top, and then I hop out the door and I’m good.

image 2: Same woman in the same outfit as image 1. She has a hand on her hip and the other out to the side with her elbow bent.
Stuck to photographing in a 5km radius at the moment haha

I consider the top a staple in my wardrobe, and while I absolutely love this combination and have worn it casually and slightly dressed up, and even walking to work sometimes, I do get bored of it. This outfit is a mere attempt at jazzing it up in a moderately outrageous way. And I do like that different accessories can give it a totally different look. So let’s look at the specific accessories I added here.

Mask chains seem to be popular, and I find that they are more of a thing outside of Australia where people are actually diligent about wearing masks. It took Australians a lot of time to stop being lenient and laidback about it. So when I saw mask chains through the international folks I follow on social media, I found it very clever. I know it isn’t the greatest way of handling your mask, but it sure is better than wearing it on your elbow (ick, I don’t love elastic on my elbows in clothes, sooo) or on your chin, or stuffed in your pocket. You just take it off and wear it around your neck in a stylish way.

image 3: Same woman in the same outfit as image 1, but a close-up of her sitting on a bench. She has one knee bent up towards her chest and her arms around her leg.
Mask chains can be useful!

My friend Geoff dared to say it was quite daggy, like elderly folks wearing sunglasses chains. Ahhh I don’t care. 😆 I thought it would instantly add a useful but relatively nice-looking accessory to my collection. I chose this neutral colour and purchased it from an Etsy seller based in the UK – since it was difficult to find many sellers in Australia. It took a while to arrive but it is just what I expected. Because of the neutral colour, it sort of goes with any mask I have.

After harping on about the great fit of the mask I wore in my previous 70s-inspired Stylesheet, I ordered a couple more from the same seller since I loved the fit so much. This checkered mask is one of them, and I love it because not only does it match these shorts, but I find it to go with a lot of clothes I own and add a bit of edge to them as well.

These heart-shaped earrings are the pair I bought along with the earrings I wore in that outfit too. I did think that they might look juvenile and obnoxious, but something about my style makes me think that they suit me just a little bit. I love that they’re red. That makes them just a little bit loud and bright and therefore add a pop of colour to most of my outfits, and a pretty interesting piece of contrast. Since they are made from resin and the mask chain is made from acrylic – or at least some sort of plastic – I think they sort of go hand-in-hand.

image 4: Same woman in the same outfit as image 1. She has a hand on her hip and the other by her side.
A windy day automatically means ponytail, really.

It was a windy day so I wore my hair in a ponytail but left the majority of the hair in a giant loop. The way to do this is to simply not pull the hair all the way through the hair tie as you are tying the hair tie around the base of the ponytail.

The sunflower nail wraps are a limited edition. I love how bright they are and how much they suit spring. 🌻

image 5: A close-up of the hands of the woman in image 1. She has yellow and sky blue nail art, resembling sunflowers. Her hands are resting on her knees and her legs are crossed.
I love bright and unique nail art!

Outfit retrospective: Using accessories intentionally

I’m glad I managed to style up this outfit in a slightly different way with accessories. I haven’t always loved the idea of accessories as a “good way” to change an outfit, because I used to be a huge accessory aficionado – a hoarder of them, one might even say. I was addicted to purchasing costume jewellery and adorned myself with jewellery from my ears to the tips of my fingers. I did think about how my accessories added to my outfit, but it became exhausting because I had such a huge collection, and a lot of it was unnecessary and hindered my lifestyle. I have really cut back on the amount of accessories I wear now, but I am gradually, and more intentionally, adding them back to my collection.

image 6: Same woman in the same outfit as image 1. She is sitting on a wooden bench with her legs crossed and slightly side-on. She has an arm across the back of the bench.
I look forward to seeing how else I can wear these accessories with other outfits.

I do miss wearing rings, but I think they get in the way of my work – that is, coding, which involves a lot of typing – too much. I also live quite an active lifestyle compared to a few years ago, so I can be rough and careless with my hands. Since I stopped wearing costume jewellery and opted for precious metals or pieces that won’t tarnish (like the resin earrings!), I am also being far more considered with the pieces I choose. If I ever get back into wearing rings again, I will likely choose ones that go with my lifestyle and personal style better, and that are durable.

Earrings have been my preferred method of accessorising recently, since they are easy to change up and wear. At least in my lower lobes. 😛 It was tiring changing out six ear piercings every day so now I only do my bottom lobes, with big statement earrings.

Outfit details


📸 All photography by Nicholas Cooke. (on my iPhone 12 mini)

I named this edition Heart of glass after the Blondie song; I could have called it Heart of resin because of the earrings but I left it as it was. 😅 Resin does have a bit of an enamel/glass sort of effect anyway.

These photos were taken in the same area as the Girl from Mars edition. It’s an area that’s been less busy, especially given that so many people are around trying to get some sun during this lockdown – most other places are quite busy.

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