Fashion should be fun. And that means freedom to experiment, even if you do make the odd faux pas. So don’t let the so-called style ‘experts’ dictate your every fashion move, because their wardrobe ‘no-no’ could actually be a big ‘yes-yes’ on you...
Rule: Never mix stripes and patterns
Break it! Conventional fashion wisdom says, you should always team a patterned top or bottom half with something plain and restrained. But if you’re feeling brave, you can combine florals, graphics, stripes and checks to stunning effect. The trick is to offset smaller, intricately patterned florals with a bolder stripe or check, and larger stand-out prints with a narrow pinstripe or small neat checks.
Rule: If you’re size 14+ don’t wear horizontal stripes
Bend it! The logic behind this is that vertical stripes draw the eye up, making you look thinner while horizontal stripes draw the eye to the side, making you look wider... but shape should be your reference point here, rather than size. Hoops hug curves, so if you’re happy to celebrate your figure, bring on the stripes. However, if you want to deter the eye from any lumps and bumps (or broad shoulders) proceed with caution - and go for stripes with minimum contrast. This one is for bending, not breaking.
Rule: Keep the glitz for after dark
Break it! Unless you’re a night owl with a busy social calendar, your sequins are probably feeling neglected and gathering dust. However, mixed in with neutral tones and classic pieces, the odd glitzy item can add oomph and flair to a sophisticated daytime look. Think sequined vest under a toning cardigan with cigarette pants and flats. Or a sparkly black skirt teamed with opaque tights and a cowl-necked jumper. Remember, less is more – you don’t want to look like a disco ball.
Rule: Only fashionistas shop in designer stores
Bonkers! Along with more edgy looks, designer shops often have a directional take on wardrobe staples – such as quality T-shirts, woollens, and simple trousers. Invest in a few key pieces and you could fast-forward your look without becoming a slave to the latest trends. And don’t worry about snooty sales assistants; this recession is a great leveller and a wider range of customers is more welcome now than ever.
Rule: Socks and sandals should be left for Grand dad
Break it! Open-toed sandals teamed with bright woolly tights are great for autumn, and chunky socks work well with this summer’s high-heeled clogs. Similarly, wellington boots are now a festival favourite, acceptable with shorts and minis through the warmer months.
So remember, if the rule book says ‘can’t’, think ‘can I?’ Because, as style icon Katherine Hepburn would say; ‘If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun’.