Spotlighting: The Style Trick Every Department Store Secretly Uses


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Have you ever noticed that when you're standing in the midst of a multistory department store, your eye always seems to zero in on that It bag you're currently craving? Despite all the distractions, there's something genius about the way retailers have learned how to use spotlighting to their advantage (and, no, we're not talking about the lighting). The simple trick is an easy way to up even your most casual ensemble. The key is to let one piece of your wardrobe shine, instantly upping the ante on rest of your ensemble too.

According to Shannon Schafer, Nordstrom's senior fashion director, it's all about selecting the right statement piece. "Consider whether this item defines newness and whether it will disrupt your wardrobe in an exciting way." To Schafer, there are three key pieces that will help you pull off the trick right now. 

"We recommend investing in a statement bag because a fantastic handbag can transform any outfit," Schafer says. Styled with even simple jeans and a T-shirt, a bag that pops adds an instant element of luxury to your outfit.

Second, Schafer suggests trying out bold earrings. "There’s so much experimentation right now in earrings—it’s been the year of the ear. They can easily transform a look from everyday to outstanding!" She suggests hoops, drop earrings, or even mismatched styles. 

As for Schafer's final suggestion, "A great culotte or a wide crop pant is a wonderful place to start because this new fashion silhouette instantly transforms an outfit to fashion-forward." While pants may at first seem like a surprising piece to make a statement, the right fashion-forward style can add a stylish twist to your whole ensemble.

Now that you're armed with three statement style ideas to help you pull off the spotlighting trick, shop a few of our favorite picks for each!