The Fashion Rules You Should Always Break
You may have heard your mother or grandmother sharing her favorite fashion rules to you when you were growing up, or perhaps you read a magazine article that said to avoid wearing specific items outside a certain season.
While their intentions may have been good, when it comes to personal style, we think those so-called rules were meant to be broken.
READ: How to Wear White with Slimming Results
We asked several stylists to share their favorite fashion myths and how to embrace whatever look you love the most, anytime:
Never Wear Gold and Silver Together
Mixing metals may have been a fashion faux pas once upon a time, but today it’s considered a stylish combo.
“This is my number one fashion rule to break,” says New York City-based stylist Sara Cooper. “In fact, it’s quite on trend to mix it up. Layer on the bracelets, rings, and necklaces.”
Stick with simple, delicate pieces and don’t be afraid to brighten up your wardrobe with other metals, like rose gold or bronze. If you’re still feeling hesitant, go for a simple necklace with matching earrings that feature both silver and gold.
Never Wear Navy and Black Together
“The key to successfully wearing black and navy together is to have it look deliberate,” explains personal image consultant Lindsay Weiner. “Don’t just wear black shoes with a navy dress. That’s the quickest way to make this combo not work! Instead, balance the look with accessories, like a handbag and jewelry. Combing the colors in this way shows that the look was no accident, putting the myth to rest.”
Never Wear High-Waisted Pieces if You're Petite
Petite women are usually advised not to rock this runway look because extra fabric could make them appear shorter. Fortunately, petite ladies can get in on the trend.
“A high-waisted pencil skirt paired with a shorter top in a similar color can actually help lengthen the line of the body visually, making you look longer and leaner,” says Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, POPSUGAR fashion and beauty director.
Look for brands that offer high-waisted collections for petite shoppers to ensure a better fit for a smaller frame.
Never Wear Mini Anything if Over the Age of 35
Have gorgeous gams? Don’t be afraid to show them off — no matter how old you are.
“Keep calves toned by doing regular calf raises and yoga, and let legs gleam in a good way by adding bronzer to accentuate those muscles,” suggests style expert Hilary Kennedy. “
Add a cardigan, chunky sweater, or button-up shirt to keep an air of mystery and age-appropriate swagger.”
Feeling shy? Simply add tights with appropriate boots or heels. “Even women well into their 60’s can look great with this combo,” says Kennedy.
Never Wear Sneakers with Dresses
According to celebrity stylist Ali Levine, adding athletic shoes to couture was one of the biggest trends spotted at New York Fashion Week.
“Celebrities and fashionistas are putting sporty, cool girl twists to their outfits by pairing tulle skirts with their sneakers,” says Levine. “To pull this trend off, it’s essential to by the right pair of shoes. Look for ones, like New Balance 501, which are sporty, but still look like there’s a lot to be done with them.”
Levine also recommends opting for bold colors, which pair best with skirts and dresses.
Never Wear Sequins During the Day
While you should take cue from a royal and reserve your more sparkling ensembles for the evening, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear sequins and studs during the day-as long as you keep the glitter to a minimum. “When you want to add a little sparkle to your work ensemble, try wearing a top with demure beading or just a bit around the neckline,” recommends model and fashion expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “Another way of toning down a sparkly top is to wear a jacket or blazer over the shirt. If you wear a sequined skirt instead, try pairing it with a structured shirt that is a solid color.”
Never Wear Denim on Denim
Think wearing jeans and a denim top is redundant and downright tacky? That’s too bad, because you’re missing out on one of the most popular seasonal looks that can work for everyone. “This rule has been proven false by stars ranging from Rihanna, to Olivia Palermo, and even Reese Witherspoon,” says Goldberg. “A great chambray skirt pair with jeans or a denim skirt is a great look for the fall, and is the perfect neutral backdrop for letting your accessories really pop!” Also, chambray is a plain woven fabric that can be lighter and softer than classic denim, making it a great way to look and feel cool during those sudden steamy autumn days.
Never Mix Prints
Mixing florals with stripes, polka dots, or any other design for that matter may sound like a major risk, by stylists agree it’s perfectly acceptable to combine two prints in a single outfit. “A simple tip when mixing it up is to look for patterns that complement each other,” says New York City-based stylist Colin T. McDonald. “Also, take into account the scaling of each print. If it doesn’t look right to your eye, it most likely won’t look right to others.”
Never Wear Any Other Color Except Black — It Looks Great on Everyone
Sorry ladies, wearing black does not guarantee you’ll look thinner and more stylish than usual.
“Black can be luxurious and slimming, but it isn’t always the best neutral for you,” explains image consultant Thea Wood.
The right colors to wear actually depends on what would best complement your skin, hair, and eyes. For example, brunettes, ash blondes, and gray-haired ladies should look for shades of café brown, beachy sand, or stone taupe, which will naturally highlight their features better than basic black.
“Wear your best neutral (shade) from head-to-toe in varying textures for a long, lean, sophisticated aesthetic that doesn’t walk into the room before you do,” says Wood. However, if you can’t give up your LBD collection, make sure they are taken to a tailor to ensure the best fit for your shape.
Never Wear Different Sizes
Think you’re always a size 6? Think again.
“Vanity sizing (within U.S. clothing) is rampant—which means that a woman who wore a size 10 in the 1950s could wear closer to a size 4 in 2013,” explains Wood. Today's designers work with different measurements, so you may not be the same size within two different brands. Also, your body shape plays a significant role in how your clothes will ultimately fit.
“A straight cut pant will fit a rectangle body shape differently than a pear body shape.”
Once you find the best fit, have it altered for a custom fit. “Choose a size that fits the widest part of your body and alter the rest for a neat, high quality appearance,” says Wood. “Remember, size means nothing. Fit is what counts.”