forget the rules: part II

Last week I posted this, which spurred me to really think about the concept of fashion rules. I believe that these "rules" can unnecessarily cause women to over think getting dressed, which all too often results in playing it safe. So, in an attempt to help free us all from the "rules" of our daily game, I wrote this post for Blogher over the weekend. Enjoy!
1954:  British leading lady and former child star Janette Scott inspects her wardrobe and luggage, prior to her departure for the 1954 Film Festival at Cannes. Original Publication: Picture Post - 7275 - Janet E Scott - unpub.  (Photo by Carl Sutton/Picture Post/Getty Images)

I had an interesting conversation with some co-workers last week regarding fashion “rules.”  We’ve all heard them.  One well known rule that comes to mind states not to wear white after Labor Day.  I believe that these rules can unnecessarily make us all a little nervous about getting dressed.  As a result we end up spending too much time and money trying to look great when we already have in our own closets exactly what we need to look fabulous!  This isn’t to say that we should never buy new; I just think that we could all be surprised by what we already have if we’d just ignore the rules.  So, in effort to help women everywhere break free, keep reading while I de-bunk 5 well-known "rules."
  1. Never wear black and brown together.  One commenter on my blog replied, “I always wonder about that black with brown rule... I mean, how fabulous is leopard print?Regardless of whether or not you enjoy wearing the animal print, this is a valid argument.  The reason it works: black and brown are both neutrals and neutrals pair well with any color – including other neutrals.  So, the next time you need a pair of leggings to wear with your brown boots, grab black ones and laugh at this fashion rule!
  2. Never wear white after Labor Day.  Hello, what color is snow? In my opinion, it seems slightly ridiculous to relegate our white pieces strictly to the days prior to Labor Day when the environment generally turns white during the days afterward.  With that being said, I will also say that there is a difference between summer and winter whites that should be acknowledged.  Winter whites tend to come in fabrics that are thick, like wool, or dressier fabrics, like silk.  White handbags are also a great winter white option because they serve as a neutral (there is rule #1 again!).  Whites to avoid during the winter, of course, are pieces like white linen pants.  However, not all whites should be banished after Labor Day.
  3. Always match your handbag to your shoes.  It is my belief that this rule should almost always be broken.  Why?  Because, accessories are the part of your outfit that makes it unique and fun!  For example, you wouldn’t necessarily buy or wear red pants, but the pop of color you get from a red shoe can be amazing with the right outfit!  Now, try matching that red shoe with a red bag and you could be headed toward full on fashion disaster.  Instead, grab a shoe that looks great with an outfit – like a red pair of heels with a navy dress – and then grab a bag that compliments the entire outfit, including the shoes – like a tan or ivory bag.  No matching, no headache, no problem.
  4. Never wear a mini/short skirt after 35.  Please!  This fashion rule has less to do with age and more to do with body type.  Every woman knows which part of her body is her best asset and which one she needs to help out a little bit.  I know plenty of ladies under 35 who don’t feel comfortable in short skirts and so they don’t wear them.  On the same token, also I know ladies over 35 who have amazing legs and should (and do) show them off.  I say that if you have the legs to wear it, flaunt them in a mini skirt no matter what your age. 
  5. Dress to impress… yourself.  Okay, this isn’t really a fashion rule, but more of a mantra to conclude.  In the end, you are the one getting up every day and preparing to face the world.  All day long you are the one that has to be happy with how you look.  Take time to figure out what you like and dislike.  Which outfits make you feel beautiful and confident when you walk out the door?  Which ones make you feel uncomfortable?  It is my experience that impressing someone else with how you look will never bring about the same satisfaction as is received from impressing yourself.  If you love your style, then others will be impressed by your confidence!

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