When wearing striking pieces, boutique owner Soigné Kothari, keeps her outfit simple. Ms. Kothari makes a point of wearing the unusual pieces she finds. “I love them because they’re memories from holidays I’ve had—but also, they’re unique, so you won’t see everybody wearing them,” she says. Sometimes Ms. Kothari tries to modernize traditional pieces by wearing them in unconventional ways. She doesn’t wear the colorful tie-dyed sarongs she picked up in the Bahamas only as beach cover-ups, for example: She sometimes drapes one around her neck as a scarf, pairing it with a crisp white shirt or a black dress.
Ms. Kothari often wears pieces of jewelry that don’t share the same origin or style. “It’s more modern to combine pieces from different areas,” she says. For instance, she has paired a necklace of colorful semiprecious stones from Thailand with a light silver chain with hanging beads from Turkey. “I find that the contrast between the two styles makes both pieces feel fresh and special,” she says. She cautions, however, that something has to tie “the whole story” together, such as the metal the jewelry is made of. She is also careful not to wear too many major pieces in the same area of her body. “If you’re wearing a statement ring, then tone down the clutch,” she says. To make striking accessories work, Ms. Kothari keeps the rest of her outfit simple. Black, white and neutral colors make a good canvas for blingy accessories.
Among her favorite finds are sparkly shoes from Dubai that are encrusted with beads and crystals. She wears them with a neutral-toned ensemble “so you don’t notice my clothes—you notice my shoes,” she says. Ms. Kothari doesn’t avoid color, however. She likes to balance stronger colors with darker tones and metallics. For example, she might pair a pink top with a navy skirt and silver jewelry. Ultimately, the most important fashion decision happens on your travels. Try to resist items “that have nothing in common with your style,” Ms. Kothari advises. If your look is classic, then large gold Turkish bangles might not be for you. But delicate filigree earrings might add the right amount of interest to your sweaters and sheath dresses. “Buy pieces that you really love and you’re going to wear,” she says.