When I asked awhile ago what you’d like to read about on the blog, one reader suggested a post about fashion rules I don’t follow. That’s a great idea because, as British fashion designer and couturier, Alexander McQueen, is quoted as saying, “It’s a new era in fashion, there are no rules. It’s all about individual and personal style.”
Don’t wear white after Labour Day
No one seems to know for sure how or why this became a rule, but regardless of its origin, it’s outdated and very few people actually follow it anymore. Personally, in spite of the fact that many fashion influencers insist that every woman’s closet should contain at least one white button-up shirt, mine does not. If your skin has warm undertones, as mine does, wearing white close to your face at any time of year will make you look tired or washed out. I love my white jeans, however, and as you’ve seen in recent posts, I certainly didn’t stop wearing them after Labour Day. I wouldn’t want to wear them during wet, sloppy weather when rain might cause spots on them or worse yet, they might get splashed with mud, but once the temperature is consistently below freezing, I might try them with ankle boots or my tall brown boots.
Don’t wear black with brown
When I was growing up, there were lots of rules about colour combinations. For example, we were taught that “blue and green should never be seen” and yet navy and emerald look striking together. Don’t pair brown with black was another popular rule, but there are many shades of brown that go beautifully with black. After all, leopards have worn this colour scheme for eons! They look great doing it and leopard print is consistently a popular fashion print. Brown is very much on-trend for fall 2022 and I’m guessing that we’ll see plenty of it worn with black. Like white, however, wearing black close to my face drains me, so when I do wear this colour combination, black will usually be on the bottom and brown on top.
Don’t mix patterns
While some fashionistas like to mix bold and colourful patterns, I’m more conservative, so while I definitely will mix patterns, there are a few guidelines that I like to follow. Keeping the fabrics within one colour family is a simple way to keep from looking like I got dressed in the dark! I also like to vary the size of the prints. Some patterns mix much more easily than others. In the world of mixing and matching, stripes are considered a neutral because they will go with almost anything. Grid patterns and polka dots also mix well with other patterns.
Don’t wear horizontal stripes
When I was young, we were told that wearing horizontal stripes would make us look fat, while vertical stripes would make us look taller and thinner. It turns out that this fashion advice was actually wrong. According the the Helmholtz illusion, horizontal stripes won’t make you look fatter. In fact, they may even make you look thinner! Since I was always skinny and tall for my age anyway, I disregarded this fashion rule long before I knew whether or not it was based on fact. If you’ve following my blog for very long, you know how much I love a Breton striped t-shirt!
Don’t wear double denim
We call this a Canadian tuxedo! When I wear head to toe denim, I like to mix darker and lighter washes.
Don’t mix gold and silver jewelry
When I was young I wore only gold jewelry. I instinctively knew that it looked better with my complexion than silver did. With the passage of time, however, I began to notice a change. When silver streaks began to appear in my hair, I also began to add silver jewelry to my collection. I particularly like pieces that combine both metals.
Make sure your purse matches your shoes
For a very formal occasion, I might consider matching dressy black shoes with a black evening purse, but who am I fooling? I don’t remember the last time I attended an occasion like that! In real life, I’m pretty much a one bag goes everywhere girl. In the summer and when I travel, I like a handbag that’s big enough to carry my camera, sunglasses, and sunscreen in addition to all the usual items found in my purse. At this time of year, I usually switch to something a little smaller and more structured. My latest choice is taupe and it doesn’t match a single pair of shoes in my wardrobe!
Always wear stockings with dresses and skirts
Not long ago, no respectable woman would be seen wearing a skirt without hose, but thankfully, that’s another fashion rule that’s gone out of style! I’m old enough to remember wearing a garter belt to hold up my stockings and no, my dear younger readers, it wasn’t sexy! It was annoying and uncomfortable! The introduction of pantyhose in the mid 1960s was revolutionary, but the freedom to go bare legged is even better!
The key thing to keep in mind in this era of no rules is that you should wear whatever makes you feel happy and confident. If you feel uncomfortable mixing patterns, don’t do it. If you prefer to wear stockings with a dress, by all means do. That’s the beauty of no hard and fast rules! On the other hand, if you’ve always followed a rule simply because you thought you were supposed to, maybe it’s time to say “no” to that rule and “yes” to your finding own individual style.