What do Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth II, and 1930’s dancer Isadora Duncan have in common?  Well, for one thing they all realized the power of a good accessory.  Cleopatra had her asp, her majesty has an overwhelming number of matching shoes and bags, and poor Isadora died for the love of hers when her trademark scarf became entangled in the rear wheel of a Bugatti sports car.


And in the current climate of “It” bags and magazines devoted entirely to fashion ephemera; when a lot of people feel the need to be in a constant state of flux with their accessories, there’s something to be said for individuals who have identified their signature piece.  Not for them the anxiety to get the latest bag or shoe.  They remain calm in the face of this relentless change, secure in the knowledge that they have successfully discovered the one piece that acts as their unique identifier.

But as nice and comforting as this sounds, both to the psyche and the bank account, capturing the essence of your style in one item has got to be difficult.  For those of us not blessed with the immediate knowledge that hats are “our thing” the question remains, “how to narrow down the countless choices?”  Perhaps some sort of Dewey Decimal-esque system is in order, with the main classes of handbags, sunglasses, neckwear, jewelry, footwear, etc.  The divisions for each class would of course, follow these.  Tote, clutch, shoulder, et al for the bags.  Scarf, tie, shawl, or cravat for the neckwear.  Though admittedly a little geeky, think of the eventual time-saving as you cross necklaces off your list (sub-section gold) and move on to bracelets (sub-section charm).  Several years later, just in time for the graceful aging portion of your existence, you would have narrowed down your final selection.

Of course, flights of fantasy aside, in real-life the hit and miss option probably works just as well.

Photos courtesy of Angela Ryan, Simon Thorpe, and the Fashion Spot forums.