First, Break All the Fashion Rules
We’ve all heard them …. “no white after labor day” or “I can’t wear navy and black together.” They are the rules — the fashion rules that generations of women have internalized. The problem is, they’re wrong. Maybe it was something your mom absolutely lived by, or perhaps it’s something you read in a magazine as an impressionable preteen. We all somehow get married to specific ideas, convinced a color doesn’t look very good on us, or that one simply cannot pair certain things with each other. Visual interest is what makes an outfit unique and polished, and a lot of my time spent with clients as a wardrobe consultant is helping them break these self-imposed rules. When we push these traditions out in an intentional way, it brings modernity, visual interest and a little bit of rebellion to our every day style. In this post, I address the top five misconceived fashion rules and how you can break them while still feeling like you.
I can’t wear navy and black, black and brown, or mix metals with each other. Yes, you can! These are all neutrals and neutrals, by definition, go with everything, including each other. We’ve all been in the store when we are having trouble telling whether that shirt is navy or black, but when thoughtfully done, all of these combinations can make outfits look so fresh. Still aren’t sure how to wade in? Pay close attention to fabric. A navy velvet dress has a ton of dimension, therefore a lot of blue color variance. Paired with a black tuxedo jacket and black booties, the dress will pop and the entire outfit will look intentional. Also, be sure to look at the tones. If you don’t love chocolate brown and black together, go a little lighter to a whiskey brown, which pops so well against black.
Certain colors belong to certain seasons. Even as a kid I never understood the white after Labor Day thing because snow is as white as it gets and it’s found in nature during winter. Beyond color, the bigger key to seasonless dressing is fabric choice. Look to thicker fabrics for fall and winter, and lighter fabrics for spring and summer. Many retailers now offer thick stretch cottons and light wool blends, which are appropriate and comfortable year-round.
I’m too short for this, too tall for that. Not so! As frustrating as it is to find clothes that fit (literally, for everyone), there aren’t styles that work or don’t work on you, it’s a matter of finding the right version that has the correct proportions to flatter your figure. I’m short but I love me some flares so my challenge is finding ones that break at the right point from the knee down and not from the calf down (it’s not just a length thing). For the height-blessed ladies, finding pants with a good torso length for you will add to the overall proportion of pants, even if they come up a little short — plus skinny and straight pant styles are always flattering with a bit of ankle showing.
I can’t wear [insert any color here]. I understand the misconception but colors come in alllll shades and I’m betting you can find one out there if it’s a color you’d like to incorporate in your wardrobe. Personally, yellows are tough for me to find but there are absolutely versions of it that I can sport. If you can’t find a shade you love on yourself, accessorize with the color. A great bag or pair of shoes in your previously banned color can add an incredible pop as an accessory and it’s one step removed, which will make you feel more comfortable with it.
Fashion is painful. Great style is wearing whatever you feel the most yourself in. My experience is that it is extremely hard to be confident when you aren’t comfortable. Clothes and shoes that are too loose or too tight, and are made of materials you can't practically wear all day should all be cast aside, regardless of how much you love them on the displays.
Karl Lagerfeld said it best when he stated, “I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.” Defying the style rules and bringing together your favorite wardrobe items with color and texture will always look chic, pulled together, and most importantly, adds another layer of personality to your own style so that you can exude confidence every day.