It doesn’t take much searching to find a list of fashion “rules” created by well-meaning individuals to save us from ourselves and worst-dressed status. I just discovered my local library has an amazing collection of large, beautifully shot fashion books by various designers and celebrities which I have been tearing through. Most include a wide assortment of do’s and don’ts which are often broken down by body-type, age and height.
I believe there are some general guidelines (like making sure your clothes fit properly) that can benefit everyone, but found most of this advice was just on how to make your body look less like it is and more like someone else’s. Take me for example: I am tall and have a straight up and down body. Most of the advice targeted to me was on how to appear less lanky and more curvaceous, while women who are shorter with curves are instructed on how to make themselves look taller and slimmer. Even though there were definitely some useful tips, overall this philosophy of wanting what you don’t have doesn’t sit well with me.
The other big thing in these books are definitive statements about certain items of clothing such as: “Don’t wear white after labour day” “Maxi skirts look good on everyone” “Never wear a mini skirt and high heels” “Don’t wear skinny jeans if you have curves” “Leggings are not pants”
In fashion, I try to never say never. When I managed a fast-fashion store, we had constant (like hourly) turnover of merchandise. At the end of each season the least desired, worst selling pieces would be boxed up and shipped away, only to return the following year to fill our sale racks. Each time this happened we would be pleasantly surprised that about half of the clothes were now in style and flying off the racks! What had seemed like a costume one summer was all the rage the next.
The same way I try not to buy things just because they are trendy, I do not want to write something off because someone whose style I admire says I should. Some of my favourite fashion bloggers would hate the look I’m sharing with you today, but knowing that doesn’t stop me from wearing leggings as pants every once in awhile. At the end of the day fashion is a very personal thing, so don’t let someone else dictate what should or shouldn’t make you feel like a million bucks.