Rules were meant to be broken: These celebs are teaching us how to be fashion rebels!
Old-school fashion rules are generally to our benefit. In a world of muffin tops and visible panty lines, they give us some Emily Post–like structure on how to flatter our bodies and look put together in the currently “anything goes” state of sartorial modernism. That being said there are some rules that just aren’t relevant anymore, limiting your wardrobe instead of making the most of it. Here, we learn from Hollywood’s finest that rules really are made to be broken.
1 | Mixing prints is a no-no
I hate to break it to the fashion traditionalists, but designers proclaimed this rule dead for spring. At Erdem, bright florals were mismatched and paired with lace for an optimistic, cheerful collection.
How to wear it:
Make sure to choose items that are well cut and fit you properly. Its perfectly fine if your prints don’t “match,” but trust your eye. For those of you who’ve never attempted wearing more than one print at a time, a good way to start is by choosing one that’s more understated than the other. Take a cue from The City star, Whitney Port, who looks anything but busy in a polka dot top, printed mini and taupe jacket.
2 | Never wear white after Labour Day
Gone the way of the BeDazzler, this rule went out of style during the ’90s. There’s no reason why you should completely discard a number of clothing options for six months just because of their colour! In fact, whites look more cozy than cold during chillier months, and a classic, creamy coat remains chic year-round.
How to wear it: Make sure to choose heavier fabrics, so it doesn’t look like you’re trying to get away with wearing cruisewear in the middle of November. Thick cottons and wools are good choices, your pair of wide linen trousers, not so much. Kate Moss’s white jacket lightens up an all-black ensemble for spring, but is substantial enough to be worn when fall hits.
3| Black and blue should never be worn together
Many people still refuse to combine these colours—something about the mixture of similar shades scares them away. (We’ve heard the look being compared to bruises.) But really, if you get over the taboo, you’ll see that the two can work quite well together. Black is simply a neutral, right?
How to wear it: Avoid a harsh-looking pairing by choosing simple, feminine shapes. If you’re still not completely convinced, take a look at Carey Mulligan. Her blue platform pumps work perfectly with a black A-line skirt and cream lace top. The shoes are just the right pop of color in contrast to the dark skirt.
4 | Socks and sandals make you look like a granny or a clueless tourist
Most people think it’s impossible to wear socks and sandals in a stylish way—and with good reason. Memories of your dad sporting a pair of white ankle-length athletic socks with his Birkenstocks on hot days aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy. Ignore that image! Socks and sandals do have strong sartorial potential. In fact, designers and It girls alike have attempted the look successfully. Miuccia Prada did this don’t for Resort 2011 and achieved quirky results.
How to wear it: The most important thing to remember when pairing socks with sandals is the thickness of your socks. Make sure to choose a thin pair! If yours are too bulky, you’ll end up feeling more like your old man than a fashion icon. There are a few of ways to approach the look: light knee-high stockings with stacked heels and a not-too-short skirt will give you a look that’s subversively sexy, whereas a shorter pair of socks will turn out more geek-chic. It girl Alexa Chung does it right in a pair of black skinnies, blue socks and brown platforms.
5 | Denim, denim, denim
Attention, jean lovers. You no longer have to limit yourself to one piece of denim per outfit. We’ve been seeing numerous pieces being worn together on the streets for quite a while, and now that its made it onto the runway, its time to break out your Canadian tuxedo. There’s something refreshingly casual about the look, which even made appearances on recent runways. For the Céline pre-fall collection, Phoebe Philo showed a shirt composed of patches of blue denim paired with matching indigo jeans.
How to wear it: Don’t try too hard; a shirt and a pair of well-fitted jeans can go a long way. A matching ensemble, like at Céline, is tempting, but if the cut of your jeans is even a tiny bit off, you may end up looking like a soccer mom. So our advice to beginners is to start off simple. A pair of dark skinnies on the bottom and a light, loose shirt on top is generally a safe bet. Just look at Reese Witherspoon. She doesn’t appear to have tried at all, yet she still looks polished.