05/19/2015 04:07 EDT | Updated 05/19/2016 05:59 EDT

The finishing touch: Three ways to spice up styles for prom and wedding seasons

TORONTO - Finding the right accessories is essential to amp up any ensemble, whether it's the perfect prom dress or a guest outfit for a wedding.

Add-ons can give wearers more opportunities to maximize use of their formal fashions, which may otherwise gather dust after just one wear.

Lucia Connor, marketing director at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, shares three ways to spice up prom and wedding fashions.


Seeking out the ideal matching colour or pretty print for shoes will mean little if the soles aren't suitable for the occasion —and the teen girl or woman putting them on.

"An important key consideration, of course, is your heel height," said Connor.

"If you're going to be standing (for)long periods of time, you may want to go with something that's a little bit more comfortable and shorter.... If you need a statement shoe that you think you'll be able to walk out of the car with and then stand around for a few photos, make sure you also have something packed away in your bag that will carry you through for the rest of the evening."

The boho influence is translating to upscale accessories. In addition to fringe on bags, Connor said the feathered wisps of dangling fabric are also being used to enhance shoes, pointing to a powder blue pair of stilettos with a fringe ankle wrap and buckled closure.

Pastel shades like pale pink and blush hues, and metallics such as silver and warm copper, bronze and gold finishes rank among the standout shades in formal footwear.

Shimmering jewelled accents both atop shoes and even housed within the soles offer eye-catching detail to open-toe pumps and low-heeled strappy sandals.

For those wanting to jazz up an existing pair of heels, Connor suggested jewelled or bow-shaped accessories that can be fastened to the shoes.


Whether your handbag of choice is jewel-toned, swathed in fun fur, or steeped in a vibrant colour "you can really have a lot of fun," said Connor.

"By mixing and matching you can really help to change your look as well," she added.

In addition to finding the ideal style to complement your outfit, finding a practical bag option is also pivotal, she noted.

"There's always great colours when it comes to your handbag, but what's really important when it comes to deciding on something for prom is to make sure you have enough space for a phone, a charger, cash and ID."

There are plenty of embellished clutches for the season, with designs showcasing sequins, studs, pearls, crystals and bow accents dotting the handheld purses. To merge two statement accessories into one, Connor pointed to one fringe design with a built-in finger ring atop the clutch.


"To really round out your look for prom, make sure you consider jewelled headpieces. They come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes as well," Connor said.

Styles span from headpieces encrusted in crystals and gems to more spare designs like a hairband with a dainty bow.

Connor also pointed to the statement necklace as another stylish showpiece that can help elevate an outfit.

She said there are options offering a fresh twist on the accessory, such as a floral-adorned piece that wraps around the back of the neck draping downwards, compared to the more conventional bib styles.