Beauty & Fashion

8 Signature Accessory Ideas for the 40+ Fashionista  • budget FASHIONISTA

Victoria Beckham loves giant sunglasses. Diane Keaton is a hat fanatic. Sarah Jessica Parker favors peep-toe heels. It’s fashion strategy, not coincidence that these A-listers are leaning into the same piece repeatedly. The simple truth is, these leading ladies know the value of having a signature accessory.

Fortunately, the signature accessory strategy is easy to copy—even on a Z-lister’s budget. Let’s explore the benefits of having a go-to piece of your own and introduce some ideas that might feel just right.

8 signature accessory ideas.
Source: Canva.

Signature accessories for style and convenience

The advantages of having a signature accessory fall into the buckets of style and convenience. On the style side, your signature item becomes a personal logo of sorts. Wear it enough and it comes to represent you and your unique aesthetic. Mr. T wore gold chains, Michael Jackson had a sparkly glove, and Marilyn Monroe loved to drape a fur shawl over her shoulders. Those pieces had style power, and they felt very personal to their wearers.

The signature accessory also makes shopping and dressing more efficient. When you know cloche hats are your thing, for example, you always shop the hat aisle first. You can invest in a scarf or statement earrings here and there, but you don’t need to. You can let your hat collection make most of your statements.

As for dressing, signature pieces minimize the guesswork of outfit-making. You know you’re going to wear the hat—so there’s no analysis paralysis over which type of accessory works best. Just grab the hat and go. Heck, if a hat is your go-to accessory, you also may not need to do your hair.

Best signature accessory ideas

Below are eight signature accessory ideas you can try on for size. The bolder options on the list will become a recognized part of your aesthetic quickly because they’re more noticeable. If you prefer the understated approach, choose a subtle piece, and wear it religiously.

Birthstone ring

A flashy birthstone ring is easy to adopt as a signature accessory, especially if you were not born in April. Diamonds are gorgeous, of course, but they’re pricey and somewhat commonplace. But a peridot ring? That’ll turn some heads, as will amethyst, aquamarine, tourmaline, and topaz.

The nice thing about jewelry is that you can wear the same piece daily, without much regard for the rest of your outfit.

Neck scarf

You can wear a curated collection of neck scarves year-round. If possible, invest in one or two quality designs, and fill out your collection with cheaper options. That way, you have a signature piece that works for any occasion, from formal to casual.

I love a tied neck scarf for a pop of color beneath a white, button-down shirt. You can take the same approach with a t-shirt, sweater, or any top, really. If you want to get fancy, add a scarf slide for special occasions. You can also tie one of your beloved scarves at your wrist, on your handbag, or in your hair.

Big bag

Jennifer Lopez has a thing for Hermes Birkin bags, but she also has the budget of a superstar. For a more down-to-earth approach, adopt a bold bag style as your signature rather than a pricey logo.

A big leather tote is a nice choice because it’s convenient and always looks great. This is one purchase you’ll want to save for, so you can invest in a bag that will last.

Long pendant

Everyone wears short necklaces. Why not make the ultra-long pendant your thing? You can theme your interpretation of the long necklace any way that feels right, too. Maybe you lean into crystal pendants, crosses, your initial, or nature-inspired designs.

Whatever type of pendant you like, you can collect different versions over time. That way, whichever piece you’re wearing on a given day becomes a conversation-starter as well as a stylish accessory.

Pearls as you like them

Close-up of older woman wearing pearl earrings.
Source: Canva.

For a classic, glamorous aesthetic, nothing beats pearls. You must have a strand for your neck, of course. But you could also invest in pearl earrings for casual days or a fun pearl cocktail ring for nights out. And when someone asks about your jewelry, you can casually say, “Oh, I’m always wearing pearls.” How fun would that be?

The always manicure

If you aspire to be a regular customer at the nail salon, an always-fresh manicure might be the perfect signature accessory for you. Friends and family will notice that you’re never without a shiny, chip-free finish. The benefit of this strategy is that you’re never stuck with a color or design for more than two weeks.

Your best color

Taking a broader view, your signature “accessory” could also be a color. If magenta looks amazing against your skin, for example, invest in a collection of magenta accessories. That collection could include everything from handbags to sunglasses to lip color.

Tattoo

I’m not joking with this one. Why not give yourself a permanent accessory? A tasteful tattoo can look amazing on women of any age. Plus, even the most delicate and feminine designs look edgy in tattoo form. It’s an interesting and alluring contrast. You’ll be thoughtful about the placement of your artwork, so you can show it off or camouflage it as appropriate for the occasion.

Your go-to accessory  

Having a go-to piece that expresses your individual style makes every outfit more personal. Whether it’s a birthstone ring, a giant leather tote, or something else, your signature accessory — once established — always helps you feel and look more polished. Have fun brainstorming ideas and shopping for the piece that will ultimately become your style logo.

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