We’ve all heard the rules: “dress for your body type,” “wear gold or silver, but not both,” “your belt must match your shoes,” and “don’t wear white after Labor Day.” As much as we talk about rules for fashion, these well worn adages are really more like guidelines. Use them when they suit you, and break them when they don’t! It’s really more about being creative and finding your own personal style. Here are six of the top fashion rules that you should definitely be breaking:
- Short Ladies Shouldn’t Wear Long Dresses
This one is part of the “dress for your body type” idea, in which voluptuous ladies try to distract from their shapeliness with vertical lines, slim ladies try to accentuate every curve with tailored cuts, tall ladies show as little leg as possible (forget the heels), and short ladies try to show as much leg as possible. Although there are some benefits to “illusion dressing”—especially as far as having a starting point and growing your self-confidence, it’s not the be all and end all.
Find clothes that you like, that make you feel good, and that suit you, and you might be surprised what you come up with! There are plenty of long dresses that could look stunning on petite frames. Just a tip—you might want to go for a long dress that’s more “up and down” rather than bulky and puffy. But then again, you never know what you can pull off until you try!
- Shorts Are Only for Summer
Most of us have some cute shorts tucked away in a drawer somewhere, but they only see the light of day when it’s warm and sunny. Why not wear them year-round and show off those sexy legs? In the cooler months, you can combine shorts with tights, leggings, or tall boots to keep you from freezing to death.
- Don’t Mix Prints and Patterns
This rule fits in the “less is more” category. “Wear one patterned piece with one plain.” “Take off one item of jewelry before you walk out the door.” These guidelines might be great if you’re trying to draw attention to one part of your outfit (or one physical feature you’re particularly proud of), but mixing and matching can be so much more fun! Go ahead and mix fur with fake alligator skin, leopard spots with zebra stripes, and polka dots with floral. People might not know where to look first, but you’re sure to stand out in the crowd as a fun-loving, spontaneous soul who is confident in herself and feels good in her own skin.
- Sneakers Are Only for the Gym
Speaking of feeling good, sneakers are an extremely underused fashion accessory. Not only are they practical for outings of any description, but you can make them work for fashion too! Go ahead and wear a cute summer dress with some sleek sneakers, combine them with shorts and tights, or try wearing them with harem pants and a sheer top. If you’re into looking sporty in general, rock those sneakers with running shorts, use them with skinny skater jeans, or use them with practically any outfit you like. There’s nothing more comfortable than sneakers—except maybe sheepskin boots—so feel free to pair them with any outfit and remember that you can pull off pretty much anything when you top it off with a huge smile.
- Backpacks Are Only for High-Schoolers
For some reason, we’ve been led to believe that ladies should use tiny handbags to carry around all the stuff we need. But let’s face it, what woman can survive the day with only her cell phone, keys, and a stick of lip balm? We have lots of places to go, lots of things to do, and we have to be prepared for anything. Large shoulder bags (even criss-cross ones) hurt your shoulder and can ruin your spine, so why not use a hip, fashionable backpack? Really, it’s only logical!
- Don’t Show up Overdressed
The last on our list of fashion rules to break is always to wear clothing appropriate to the occasion. Sweats and PJs for home, nice jeans and dresses for going shopping, and ballroom gowns for—well—going to a ball. It’s socially acceptable, but it’s kinda boring! If you want to go out to eat in your athletic wear, rock those leggings. If you want to walk the dog in an evening dress, enjoy the attention.
Deciding what to wear is really about you feeling good and being confident no matter what. A girl who feels great and dazzles everyone with her happy smile is always in fashion. So, if you’ve got a crazy clothing idea, what are you waiting for? Go for it!
Author Bio: Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer and fashion enthusiast based in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her full time job as a buying consultant for small boutiques, she also writes fashion advice blogs that have been published across a number of digital platforms. In her free time, she takes her dog running along the Malibu coastline.