Ask Belle: Accessorizing a One Shoulder

Jun 6, 2012

Hi Belle,


I know you’ve covered a lot of wedding outfits already, but I’m really stuck at the moment and hope you can help. I’m terrible at accessorizing and picking out comfortable shoes that will work for weddings. This is the dress I have purchased. I’d love suggestions on accessories and shoes.  Can I wear wedges or flats to stay comfortable? Any other suggestions?

Thanks, SB

Of all the dress styles that one can purchase, I think the one shoulder offers some of the best opportunities to accessorize.  Whether you like a little sparkle, a lot of sparkle or no sparkle at all, you can accomplish that with a one shoulder cotton dress.  This makes the Misha cotton cady dress you purchased a good choice for a person who needs to attend multiple weddings in the same season and rewear the same dress.

Dress: Misha Cotton Cady Dress (J.CREW, $235)

Cocktail, Bag: Rachel Roy Impulse Clutch ($69) Brooch: Art Deco Brooch ($95) Shoe: Ivanka Trump Ellan Sandal ($45)

Semi-Formal, Belt: Gold Hinged Belt ($12) Bag: Reiss Metal Frame Clutch ($100) Shoe: Ready or Knot Sandal ($188)

Casual, Bracelet: Ralph Lauren Coral Bracelet ($58) Shoe: Vivee Wedge ($63) Bag: FCUK Wooden Clutch ($155)

Polyvore Set Here.

Cocktail. I’m a big believer that a woman should never screw up a good neckline by wearing a necklace.  One shoulder dresses cut like this one just aren’t built for necklaces.  So instead, I added a brooch at the shoulder.  Brings attention to the face, adds a bit of sparkle, doesn’t overwhelm the neckline.

In my opinion, this look is a bit more cocktail because it works the metallic (I would add earrings and a ring) and has a high heel. I’d wear it to a late or evening wedding.

Semi-Formal.  Here, I added a contrasting emerald green clutch, a shorter heel and a metallic belt to create a semi-formal look.  I say semi-formal because the heel height and the belt vs. statement jewelry makes it more appropriate for an afternoon wedding but it is still dressy enough for an evening reception. 

If you are going to wear a belt, the belt must fit perfectly.  If it’s too loose it will hang there limply or slip from it’s appointed spot (where the seam on the dress indicates).  If it’s too tight, you will feel like you can’t breathe all night and eating a piece of cake will be completely out of the question.  Also, for cocktail or dressy attire, I prefer belts without traditional buckles.  They just feel to daytime to me.

Casual.  This look would be good for an outdoor ceremony thanks to a pair of patent wedges.  (They’re a total Kate Spade knock off, but at less than $75, who can resist?)  I also chose jewelry without sparkle, and selected a simple coral and gold bracelet.  And I love the wooden clutch.  It’s a bit unexpected, a bit vintage, totally awesome.

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  1. e says:

    What would you do with your hair? That's always my big issue with the one-shoulder dresses!

  2. Stefanie R. says:

    The link for the wedges goes to the coral bracelet – which website did you use for the wedges?

  3. Ellen says:

    The best thing about wearing patent wedges for an outdoor wedding isn't just that you don't spend your entire evening aerating the lawn, but they're so easy to clean up if the ground any bit muddy or soggy… all of these are lessons learned after wearing a floral print pump to an outdoor wedding.

  4. Belle says:

    Stefanie R.: They are the Vivee wedges on Zappos. The link is fixed now.

  5. Belle says:

    e: I'd show a little collar bone and wear it up. Wavy and twisted into a low updo, teased lightly at the crown.

  6. M says:

    Belle, I love the outfits you put together but this has to be my all time favorite! Every option is just beautiful and perfect!

  7. AB says:

    Belle, do you think the wine-colored version of this dress would be too dark for summer weddings?

  8. Belle says:

    AB: The trick with these dresses is to make sure that it is not what the bridal party is wearing. But no, I don't think the wine version is too dark for summer. I'd just choose my accessories carefully, for example, no black.

  9. Kay says:

    Love this! I'm planning on wearing a one-shoulder to my brother's wedding this summer, so the timing is perfect. =) Question, though: where would you put the brooch? On the seam on the dress (top of the shoulder) or just on the front? Would placement depend on the shape of a brooch?

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