Magazines, newspapers and style bloggers alike love to tell us what we should be wearing to keep up with the Zeitgeist. But gone are the days of fashion trends that dictate the rules of acceptable outfits - in the 21st Century we make the rules!
But first, we really should start breaking the old ones!
# 1 Your shoes have to match your outfit!
I was so happy to see this rule eliminated off-catwalk at the recent Paris Fashion Shows. Now anything goes - and the hottest rule-breaking look is running shoes with dresses and skirts. Woohoo! Gone are the days of shopping in high heels or uncomfortable ballet flats - bring out those Nikes and the greater the mis-match the better.
My personal preference is a plain white sneaker, because I can't get the 'on the way to the office' sneakers with black suit look out of my head... Bad memories of corporate days win this one. High contrasting shoes add an element of surprise - just make sure you have the confidence to pull it off!
#2 Never wear Navy and Black together!
Okay, navy and black is so 1940's but it is chic as all hell. So is a floral with check. Whoever tells you that you can't wear things that clash or too closely match just doesn't want to be around someone who looks FABULOUS! Take your unique style to another level and if you think it goes - then OWN IT BABY! Some of the most 'right' outfits that push the boundaries of innovative style are those that you never would expect. Experiment, play with colors and patterns, and have fun!
# 3 Active wear is for the gym only!
There may be many a spoof video making its way around the online world - but I'm here to tell you, Active Wear is not going away. Seriously, when we spend most of our day-off picking up after kids, housework, running errands, and drinking coffee, it is much better off to be comfortable and feeling ACTIVE in our clothing, than wearing tracksuit pants and sheepskin-boots and wanting to hide on the couch. Just saying!
# 4 You have to fit in with your peers!
Oh so wrong. It is natural for tribes to come together - for yogi's to all grow ponytails and wear lose pants, for hipsters to grow beards and wear suspenders, and for mums to - well you read the above point! But to be excluded if you don't follow the tribe - not fair! Don't change who you are to fit in with the mob mentality - wear your own unique style and be a part of a tribe because you enjoy the same things, not because you all look the same.
# 5 Dress your age!
Codswallop. If I dressed my age I wouldn't right now be wear a child's size 14 summer dress! Forgive me - I'm fun, playful and a tight-ass. There is no such thing as dressing your age anymore. Wear the clothes you look and feel awesome in - the ones that show your unique personal style. Age has nothing to do with it.
# 6 Follow the latest season trends!
As soon as something new comes in store in this fast fashion world we live in it is no longer desirable. Keep away from quick overnight trends (unless it fits with your unique style and you'll wear it forever). Ask yourself - "will I regret buying this in a month?" If so, don't do it - stick with what you love, not with what other people tell you you should love.
# 7 Don't wear white to a wedding!
Fortunately many brides don't bother with white these days - but you can. Of course you are not going to turn up in your wedding dress, so have respect for the bride's special day and tone it down - let her have the spotlight and be the knockout. Summer weddings call for light summery dresses, if it's white - go for it, just as long as it's not covered in sequins or pearls!
# 8 Don't been seen in the same outfit as someone else!
With hundreds of stores showcasing the same looks each season, it is pretty hard to go anywhere without seeing someone in the same clothing as you. Don't make it a comparisonitis moment - instead celebrate it! Go up to the other person with a smile on your face and tell them how spectacular they look - after all they must have impeccable taste.
# 9 Don't mix your fashion genres!
Hippies with hip-hop, minimalism with mini-skirts - it all goes in a strange way. And actually, it really is the only way to wear it. With the revolution toward vintage fashion taking hold, you have to mix your cool thrifty finds with fashion from today. Avoid looking like you stepped straight out of a catalog by mixing interesting old clothes with ones you bought recently - then you are guaranteed to look like no one else!
#10 Don't wear the same outfit twice!
This is where I draw the line at over-consumerism. Absolutely you must wear the same outfit twice and you must wear it to the same place! Everyone else is so worried about what other people think of them that they have not noticed that you are wearing the same outfit. In fact, you may have noticed many creative geniuses of our time do in fact wear a uniform of sorts. Steve Jobs is the most notable and recognizable, but even fashion stalwarts like Karl Lagerfeld and Diane Pernet wear what appears to be the same outfit everywhere. The magic of this is that everyone instantly recognizes them - and they completely own their own style. So it's not that you are lazy for wearing the same look or outfit out frequently - and it is in fact that you are simply on your way to becoming a fashion icon!
What fashion rules do you love to break?!