Accessories have a special power for women getting dressed. As we've seen over and over, they can add a much needed accent of color or style, or they can distract so aggressively from our message that we almost can't be heard.
Last week, we saw two examples that were distracting for different reasons.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords slipped up by adding too many accessories in one outfit:
Dangling earrings and chunky necklace and flower brooch and cuff bracelet is definitely too much. [As an aside, she has also changed her hair color and style so significantly since her official portrait was taken that I nearly thought I had misidentified her in the video. The flower brooch, though, has remained the same.]
Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins made a different but equally distracting choice with this two-strand necklace:
There are two reasons why this necklace is distracting. The first is that the shorter strand is too short for her face shape. The second is that the bold shape of her jacket collar probably requires no necklace at all, or at least one that is more delicate and lighter colored.
With accessories, less is frequently more.