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Your 2016 Quinceanera Guide: 5 Ways to Accessorize Your Dress

Congratulations on your upcoming big day! We know you’ll be ravishing in your carefully chosen Quinceanera dress, but you know that no outfit is complete without the right accessories. You’ll be given some traditional gifts throughout the celebration—earrings, a tiara, perhaps a ring and bracelet—and for sure you’ll have input with your family regarding the style of jewelry you’ll receive. But you’ll still need to choose pretty shoes to complement your dress, maybe a small purse or evening bag, and perhaps a tocado either as a switch out for your grander tiara, or as the tiara itself.

You’ll also want to add a healthy dose of your own personality to your look and creative accessories are the perfect way to show your guests who you are. So here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your perfect Quinceanera accessories.

1. Consider the Color

There are a few fashion rules to follow when it comes to mixing and matching colors in an outfit. First of all, there’s color. The last thing you want to do is have any of your accessories clash with your dress, so here are three general guidelines:

  • The more colorful the dress, the more neutral color the accessories should be—and vice versa.
  • The more elaborate the dress, the simpler the detail on the accessories—also vice versa.
  • The classic formal wear option: Have your shoes and evening bag dyed to match your dress.

First decide whether you want to match all your outfit colors, or if you want some contrast. If you want your accessories to match, then the simplest thing to do is to buy dyeable items. Then you’re all set, not just with color, but with the design. Why? Shoes and handbags that are meant to be dyed are already fairly streamlined to make the coloring process easier. Also, if your dress is a solid color in a classic hue—red, blue, yellow, purple, and certain greens—you’ll probably find some ready-made accessories to match.

If your Quinceanera gown is two-toned, either because your gown is made of two different solid  colors (like the dress in the middle photo above) or the fabrics are mixed (like the purple and red skirt on the right) or then choose one of those colors for your shoes and bag.

A two-toned solid color dress is relatively simple to accessorize. You just choose which color you want to match. For instance, for the dress shown above, you could choose either dark red shoes and bag, or you could go with dyed pieces in the deep gold of the skirt, or a gold metallic. For the dress on the right, you can either match the most prominent color—in this case, purple—or bring out the secondary color by choosing a soft red.

Just about any Quinceanera dress will look beautiful with metallic tone accessories, and they’re relatively easy to find these days. Gold and silver are classic, but you can also highlight with bronze, copper, and iridescent or pearly white.

  • How to Use a Color Wheel to Choose Accessories

If you want your accessories to contrast with your solid color gown, take a cue from the color wheel and choose pieces either in the complementary color—the one directly across—or the nearest color to the left or the right. This handy chart will help you choose without clashing:

Here are two examples:

  1. Pair a red dress with a toned-down version of its complement (go straight across to green) or go toward the left (purples) or to the right (orange hues).
  2. Pair a blue dress with a soft orange (directly across), or blueish purples, or blue greens.
  • Be Daring with Black

Now, if you want to be really edgy, especially if you plan to wear a more dramatic gown, go with black. Keep in mind, though…

You’re no longer a little girl, but you’re still a young lady, so make sure everything has a youthful touch. If you want to rock black accessories, then make sure your handbag has a playful edge, like lace or ribbons, and choose shoes in a slightly younger style, perhaps strappy little Mary Janes or pumps that have tiny feminine bows for accent.

2. Embellish Your Hair

When it comes to hair accessories, your options are just about endless. Do keep one thing in mind, though: If you’re planning to have a tiara ceremony, make sure your hair decorations either are compatible and can be worn with the tiara or can be easily removed to make room for your tiara. So let’s talk about that first.

  • Tiara Switch Outs: Subtle, Boho & Bold

When it comes to removable hair accents, the only hard and fast rule is that it doesn’t totally undo your hairdo when you take it out. You want it to stay in place with only a couple of bobby pins or clips. A headband with only short teeth and with no little combs will work fine, and so will a wreath.

When you go shopping for this kind of hairpiece, put your hair up in a casual style so you can try slipping the piece on and off to make sure it stays in place with no more than two pins or clips and doesn’t pull or tug at your hair when you take it off.

The style, though, is all up to you and your dress. A headband will work with almost any dress. A wreath is lovely for a fairytale ball gown with lots of tulle or lace.

The headpiece shown on the right is a dramatic tocado. It’s a new twist on the traditional beauty queen tiara. There are different styles of tocados that you can either wear instead of a tiara or trade out for a traditional tiara.

This particular tocado tiara is available here: http://www.quinceaneramall.com/products/head-tocado-tiara-t27.html

  • Hair Accessories to Leave In

Hair combs and clips can serve several purposes. They can provide a simple accent to a lovely hairdo, make a grand statement, or set a mood. There are a lot of options these days such as hair charms, rhinestone hair bows, and feathered combs. If you love a vintage look—or you plan to be more daring and wear either a black dress or go for black accessories—look for classic pearls or geometric art deco combs and clips.

Just as the only rule for a removable hairpiece is that it doesn’t pull the hairdo apart, the only rule for a hair decoration that you want to leave in is that it doesn’t compete with your tiara. So if you can, either take your actual tiara with you when you go shopping or pick up an inexpensive one at a party supply store just to get a feel for the final look.

3. Jewelry: Statement vs. Understated

Choosing just the right jewelry for your Quinceanera look can be daunting, so here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Coordinated Sets vs. Mix ‘n Match

While some of your jewelry—earrings and perhaps a Quinceanera ring—will be given to you as gifts, there’s other jewelry to consider as well. Necklaces and bracelets can make a statement, that you’re bold, for instance, or classic, or artistic. You also want your jewelry to fit with the theme of your party. A fairytale Quinceanera calls for delicate jewelry while a masquerade ball or a bold Mexican theme calls for more dramatic pieces.

Unless your family specifically wants to choose the style of your ceremonial earrings, you have the option of selecting a jewelry set. You can go with traditional designs from a Quinceanera site, or do your own mix ‘n match with either costume jewelry or jewelry store accessories perhaps with gemstones in a color that goes with your theme.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing jewelry—especially when it comes to bold statement pieces—is not to go overboard. You want to set off your dress, not compete with it. You also want to flatter your face and hairstyle, not overwhelm.

Also, know that wearing a necklace and bracelet is not a requirement. If you have a dramatic dress with either a high neckline, or a strapless dress, or an off the shoulder gown, you can let your earrings be the focal point. A high neckline would be lovely with oversized diamond, pearl or CZ studs while dramatic chandelier earrings are perfect with strapless or off the shoulder.

Your choice of jewelry depends on both your taste and what your family wants to give you, so talk to them to see what they have in mind, and also let them know your wishes.

  • How to Choose Earrings by Face Shape

Check out this link: http://www.hairworldmag.com/match-earrings-hairstyle/

There are a few guidelines for choosing the most flattering earrings, and one of those is face shape. If your face is oval, go for teardrop or dangling oval earrings that will complement the natural shape of your face. If your face is rounder, those same earring styles will elongate your face, which is fine if it suits your taste. Otherwise, choose more angular designs that will balance the softness of your jawline.

If you have a heart-shaped face, also consider elongated lines and curves. Dangle, teardrop, and chandelier styles tend to be most flattering. Lastly, if you have a narrow face, any earrings that don’t dangle—a style perhaps on the order of oversized vintage clip earrings—are ideal.

As for color, again, you just need to choose whether you want an accent color for your jewelry, or a monochrome matched look with colored stones, or if you want to stick to solid metallics like white or yellow gold pieces, perhaps with pearls or clear crystals.

4. Lucky You: Two Pair of Quinceanera Shoes!

You might think that since you’ll be wearing a long gown, it might not matter so much, but the right pair of shoes can really make all the difference. And more than just the ritual of changing shoes from flats to heels, the right shoes will make you feel both confident and more beautiful.

When it comes to choosing shoes, it’s tempting to focus on your brand new high heels. But the little flats you’ll wear to the Mass and at the beginning of the reception program are just as important, so let’s talk about some different choices.

  • Flats: Plain, Primped or Kicky

You can always wear plain flats to match the color of your gown. Tieks ballet flats come in so many solid colors plus metallics and prints, you’ll probably find a pair in the exact color you want and not have to change a thing!

Important Note: Tieks are not inexpensive little flats—they’re an “investment shoe.” However, if you pick the right color, that investment will last for years! If nothing else, browsing the Tieks site will give you some ideas for colors to look for in a less expensive brand.

Here’s a link for Tieks: http://tieks.com/boutiek/

If your dress and theme are a fairytale fantasy, consider ballet flats with jewel or lace embellishments and ankle ribbons. You can either buy dressy ballet type shoes in a bridal department or make your own. Just purchase a ballet flat in the color you want, glue on lace or pearls or whatever embellishment you like, then stitch a ribbon to the back of the heel.

Fun tip: If you want to learn how to tie ribbons like a ballerina, watch this charming video demonstrated by a little girl. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAL1nmvK55A

A third option that’s trending now is to wear Converse or Converse-style sneakers as your flat shoes. You can buy Converse knockoffs in a rainbow of colors and in some glitter shades. But you can also make your own jeweled sneakers, and if you want, you can match them to your heels. (Keep reading!)

  • High Heels & How to DIY Designer Looks

When choosing your heels, the number one rule is comfort! You’ll be walking in them literally for hours and dancing in them, too. Other than that, the options are limitless.

One thing you might want to keep in mind, especially if your dad or one of your chambelanes will help you into your shoes, is the style. Shoes with a lot of buckles or buttons are lovely, but they can be difficult for a guy to fasten. Pumps are easy to slip into, but make sure you can dance without slipping out of them! If you want a little strap for security, Mary Janes, t-straps and single ankle strap shoes come in a multitude of dressy styles and only have one buckle to fasten so your gentleman helper won’t struggle too much.

Use the color guidelines in the first section to help you pick the shade that best matches or complements your dress. One very practical option is to choose a neutral color or a classic dress shoe color so that you can wear your Quinceanera shoes again anytime you want. Good choices for wear-again are black, white, nude or taupe, and also any neutral metallic like gold, silver, bronze or pewter. Trendy red soles, made popular by Louboutin, are available in knockoff styles. It’s also fashionable to paint the soles to match your color scheme.

  • Two Shoe Tutorials

How to bling out high heels with crystals and how to paint the soles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltclTsu-e-8

How to add crystals to Converse sneakers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXq9NDuvwA8

5. Make Your Quinceanera Look All Your Own!  


There are so many more ideas than we have time to cover here, but we’ll leave you with two last words of advice:

  • First, even if you want a totally dramatic and different look but your family really wants you to stick with tradition and wear either a white, pink or traditional pastel dress, you can add at least a couple of creative touches to make your look your own. If nothing else, bling out your shoes!
  • Second, if you’re a casual kind of girl, one who’s not too keen on formal celebrations, take heart. Talk to your folks about compromises. Maybe have a more casual and low-key indoor reception or an outdoor celebration like a barbecue or picnic. Choose a Quinceanera dress with simpler lines, limit your jewelry to just earrings and your Quinceanera ring (if your family plans to give you one), and trade the sky-high stilettos for cute and comfortable kitten heels.

In the end, it’s your day, so go as lavish or as simple as you wish. Just remember to add at least one or two touches of you to your beautiful Quinceanera look!

Tip: For help finding the perfect Quinceanera gown with less stress and hassle, check out our blog: http://qbydavinci.com/blog/8-tips-for-hassle-free-quinceanera-dress-shopping/