Color is wonderful accessory if you do not overdue it. The right colors can enhance your skin tone and make you look fresh and happy while the wrong colors can make you look sullen and tired. Doing a bit of research on what works for you (and what does not work for you) is well worth the time and effort. Once you know, well, you know. So, try on different colors and styles and see for yourself.
When you deal with color think of it as an enhancer in small doses (like perfume). You want just the right amount of it without screaming like a neon sign. Don’t wear a bright red dress with a bright red purse AND bright red shoes. On the other hand, please do wear a bright red dress with bright red shoes OR a bright red bag.
Below is my favorite visual example (see also “accessorize”), I purchases this Michael Kors dress below and matched it up with a small pink bag (bottom left) to pick up the color in the dress (the color of the pink purse does match the dress pink perfectly in reality). But any one of the other depicted bags would have worked also; each one brings out a different color in the dress. Notably, I chose nude shoes to keep it from looking too dolled-up. I opted for a more sophisticated look by keeping the bag small and the shoes nude. It would still look fine with pink shoes but since the colors of this dress are so bright you should avoid looking too matchy-matchy (especially in a business setting) and keep it more on the sophisticated side.
You can use this trick with any bright dress (stick with shoes OR bag in the same color). If you don’t have either than match the shoes and the bag in nude. But PLEASE, PLEASE stay away from pairing a brightly colored dress with a black bag and black shoes — way too harsh — it will make you look as if you ran out of money to complete your outfit. I so often see women wearing beautiful summer dresses paired up with “black shoes” (what a pain!). Just invest in a pair of flat and high-heeled nudes and you will never regret it. They will serve you so well for so many years and summers to come.
If the dress was less bright you could match both, shoes and bag in the same color but you should opt for a bag (or shoe) that brings in some sophistication to not end up with a matchy-matchy-drab look. Let’s address that in another post (also, check out “accessorize” where I match a long dress with interesting shoes and purse in the same color).