Tasteful Clothing Embellishments: A Practical Guide

tasteful clothing embellishment

No one can deny that most people love clothing with tasteful embellishments.  They are eye-catching and of course, elegant.  In today’s fashion world, the tasteful embellishing of clothing is very popular.  And often a tasteful embellishment makes the difference and causes us to have a second look at a garment in a shop, so they can definitely add a lot of value.

Clothing Embellishments

The kind of embellishment that one likes on their clothes also often tells us the personality of the wearer. Embellishments add that extra glamor and are a statement which can either makes your clothing look subtle and sweet, or it can make your outfit project a bold and adventurous statement.

Clothing Embellishments

As we all know, there are many kinds of embellishments that we can choose from. To mention a few, we can make use of buttons, beads, ribbons, yarns, lace, embroidery, sequins, appliques, and much more.

In one of our earlier articles entitled How to Make An Appliqué, we have shown you how to make and place an applique which you can also do to your clothing. We also wrote an article that talks about How to Make Old Clothes Look New and Stylish, where a suggestion of using buttons and adding a new different color to your clothing to make it more attractive and updated in style.

Although embellishments look pretty and increase the visual attractiveness of our outfits, we have to consider several factors which would affect what and how we would want to wear these pretty add-ons to our clothing.

Always remember, the key to a tasteful embellishment is finding the perfect balance of elements, both in the embellishment and your clothing.

To further give you a guide, we have identified these areas that you really need to consider when placing embellishments.

Why Are Embellishments Important?

Embellishments are pretty features of a garment. They serve as decorative details to make our clothing more appealing to the eyes. If you are making clothing as a source of income, adding embellishments adds value to the item, which in turn would give you more profit.

Embellishments can make the difference of getting you noticed in a crowd or to stand out in that job interview.

Any easy and low-cost embellishment might be to add fabric covered buttons to a garment for example.

Clothing Embellishments

Can Embellishments Boost Self-Confidence?

When we wear a clothing with a pretty embellishment on it, it boosts our self-confidence and we want to wear it to many events that we attend.  A good looking garment with a striking embellishment gives us a sort of inner satisfaction, greater than what a plain piece of clothing would do. This applies especially to women who are adventurous when it comes to clothing. Some women like their shirts or dress to have some sparkly or flowery detail and it makes them feel prettier.

Clothing Embellishments

Does Age and Fashion Taste Limit the Use of Embellishments?

This is a big consideration because it may vary from one individual to another. For most middle-aged women, they love embellishments to be a bit subtle and laid back. For example, adding just a small lace detail to a collar or to a hem of your sleeve can make it pretty without being too loud with the embellishment.

Your choice of embellishments depend a lot on your taste in fashion. There are women who do not like glittery embellishments and they prefer plain appliques. In adding an embellishment to your own clothing, do not be afraid to just be yourself. There may be other types of embellishments that are on trend at the moment, but it is important to choose them according to your preference and to just be yourself.

In one of our projects,  Adding Bling with Fabric Stencils, Sew-On Jewels, and Sequins, age was considered. This costume and its design and style are fit for little kids. A little girl who would wear this would look cute with all the glittery sequins and sparkly jewels, but the sparkly jewels and sequins would not look as good when decorated to an everyday blouse.

Clothing Embellishments

Can Embellishments be Used on All Fabric Types?

Adding an aesthetic feature to your clothing also depends on its fabric type. For example, placing a heavy embellishment like a mound of beads and sequins to a very thin shirt would likely rip or damage it because of its weight. Always consider the appropriate weight, design, style, and material of the embellishment and clothing that you are going to use. Do not sacrifice the overall state of your clothing just for it to look fashionable.  

Always consider the appropriate weight, design, style, and material of the embellishment and clothing that you are going to use. Do not sacrifice the overall state of your clothing just for it to look fashionable.  

Clothing Embellishments

Can Embellishments Also Be Functional and Practical?

Embellishments don't mean merely a kind of decoration. There are several kinds of them which are actually both functional and decorative.

Buttons, for example, can be used both as a closure to a clothing and to decorate it. Choose a button that is suitable for your garment style. There are many styles, colors, and designs of buttons that look lovely when used on clothing.  Here are three easy techniques to make home-made buttons that would make great embellishments.

You can also use appliques on parts of a blouse that you want to be concealed as another example. The options are boundless when it comes to the functionality of embellishments. There are so many kinds of embellishments that you can almost always find one for your unique requirement.

Clothing Embellishments

Using tasteful clothing embellishments is one of the easiest ways to improve your garment apart perhaps from wearing costly jewelry.  Embellishments are practical, easy to make, and a less expensive way to express yourself through the fashion that you wear.

Tasteful clothing embellishments increase your clothing’s aesthetic value and add to your self-confidence. Just remember to maintain a balanced look and don't overdo it.

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I’m not the first person any one would ask to add some original zing to a new garment. But, I am when it comes to repairs of them. That is when I get to add my little touches. I have added eyelet trim to brother’s flannel shirt collars & cuffs and jeans so little sister can get some wear from them this winter. Or, adding some of those iron on appliques (except i sew them!) to tears/rips (a rose to a dress, a frog to some jeans) that just can’t be repaired due to lack of material probably left in a bike chain or on the sidewalk 😉 so they need extra help. Adding fun colorful buttons to shirt cuffs or to the outside seam of jeans (2 -3 buttons upward) really catches your eye. I’ve made brand new purse linings and reinforced purse bottoms with nicer complimentary fabric or leather with success. I know I’ve learned this from sewing sites and I’m really appreciative as I receive those “Thank you’s” after I’ve sewn for family & friends.

Lesley Brough
Lesley Brough

I have decorated 6 or 7 tshirts during lockdown just to give them a new look. I love fancy buttons and always have a good selection of ribbons and lace.


As usual, your articles are very informative and helps those that need to be given new, insight about possibilities. I haven’t tried using embellishments ,being ultra conservative. At age 68perhaps it’s time to give it a go. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to new possibilities. Keep up the good workand inspiration. Cheryl


I think personality plays a bigger role than age for many embellishments. I’m 60 and I love sparkles, lace and ruffles! In, fact the dress I wore to church today had both sparkles and ruffles. I had many people tell me how good I looked. The “fancy” of the dress made me feel good and when a person feels good they look better.
A very dear friend is my age, but she wouldn’t dream of wearing my clothing, dowdy is the word that comes to mind to describe her wardrobe.. Although she is my age, everyone thinks she’s much older. I think as much as anything it’s our choice in clothing makes the difference.

Reply to  kathy

Agreed. I’m in my early 30s and I like my embelishment subtle and laid back 🙂

This is a great article, thanks for sharing.

– Leanna


Thank you for a great article!

Tina Bracy
Tina Bracy

This would be a good introduction to a series on embellishments, with lots of pictures and instructions detailing how to add lace, or sew on beads for example.