Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Break the Rules

Every morning from Monday through Friday I post a fashion “pick-me-up” on my facebook page. These are pictures of runway looks that inspire me by their beauty, artistry, creativity, innovation, and design. They are looks that I would love to own and wear (if I only had the funds) and they also reflect a more discreet aesthetic, proving that you can be fashion-forward and maintain your dignity.

The comments that these posts receive are thoughtful, passionate, and so very entertaining. Clearly we all have our own opinions about fashion and it’s interesting how many people share that they wouldn’t or couldn’t wear certain looks. Sometimes people just don’t understand the design or find the looks unreasonable and unwearable. Fashion, as most art, is very subjective.

I also get many questions about “the rules.” Fashion rules have often been ingrained in us by our parents from a young age – young ladies may have been taught to “keep your shoulders covered” and young men admonished to “match your belt to your shoes.”

I’m here to tell you that rules were made to be broken. Because really, in fashion, there are no rules anymore.

Here are a few “rules” you can (and should) break:

    1. No White After Labor Day – White is no longer considered just a summer color. You can wear white all year long, but be mindful of the material. Try a winter white in heavier fabrics for the colder months (a cashmere sweater or wool coat, for example). However, if you’re brave, you can pull off a white chiffon dress in winter by pairing it with black tights and a motorcycle jacket. 

    2. Mixing Gold and Silver – Go ahead and wear your silver and gold jewelry together. Both are considered neutrals and they blend well together. That’s the beauty of accessories – you can mix and match to your heart’s content and just have fun with it.

    3. Wearing Black/Blue or Pink/Red – These colors actually DO go together. The trick is to make your outfit look intentional rather than a mistake. You don’t want it to seem like you accidentally pulled out the wrong shoes from your closet that morning. If you’re concerned about the colors blending in, pick shades that contrast a little more – for example, a chambray shirt with a black pencil skirt (instead of navy and black) or a brick red sweater with hot pink pants.

    4. Matching Your Shoes/Belt/Bag – This just looks dated. Mix it up! If you think you’ll look like a rainbow clown wearing too many different colors, keep these accessories in the same color family. For example, a yellow belt with camel boots and a chocolate bag. You’ve got this.

    5. No Hosiery With Open-Toed Shoes – This one is a little tricky. If you want to pull this off, keep the open toes small (no wide open sandals) and make sure your hose doesn’t have a seam at the toes.

    6. No Miniskirts After 35 – I have to confess I sort of agree with this one (Tina Turner notwithstanding). But if you want to wear a miniskirt, do it properly. Think about pairing it with flats, or wearing opaque tights underneath. And please learn to get in and out of a car properly (get in bum first, get out legs first).

    7. Formal = Dress – If you’re attending a formal event, think outside the box. You don’t have to wear a dress every time. Pantsuits/jumpsuits are really having a moment right now. And as classic as LBDs are (Little Black Dress), explore a bold color to really stand out in the crowd.
    Even though fashion rules can be broken, I’d like to offer three tips to keep in mind:
    1. Undergarments – Wear proper undergarments with your outfits. Make sure bras fit properly and panties don’t show when you bend over. And if you’re wearing white (all year long!) wear flesh-colored undergarments. White shows underneath white. 

    2. Speaking of white, it’s still not a great idea to wear white to someone else’s wedding. There is a whole spectrum of colors to choose from, so let’s leave white to the bride. 

    3. Sweats and yoga pants should be worn to work out. Period. I know they’re “comfortable,” but so are regular clothes.

    Any questions? Let me know! Now go on and be your rule-breaking, confident, rebellious, own-your-style, bad self.

    OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

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