In this episode, we’re talking Style Rules–7 you can break, and 3 you should follow.

When I was researching for this episode (and by researching of course I mean Googling) I found so many articles that all had titles such as, “Five Outdated Style Rules”, “20 Style Rules to Break”, or “50 Style Rules to Ignore.

Apparently there are a TON of style rules, many of which I had never even heard of and I just chose to ignore completely. I narrowed it down to those I actually hear women say either in my groups on Facebook, clients I’ve worked with personally, or rules that speak to a larger issue.

[02:15] In Lessons from Linda, I’m sharing the story of the Linda who called style frivolous–I respectfully disagree!

[7:20] Our Word of the Week is Chelsea boot–this is a style you should probably have in your fall/winter wardrobe.

[09:27] In Current Events, we discuss the statement earring trend–is it dead, or still going strong?

[11:55] In Everyday Style School Lecture, I chose seven style rules you can break without a second thought and then added three rules I think every woman needs to hear and frankly follow.

Seven Style “Rules” You CAN Break

1.[12:47] No White After Labor Day 

This one comes up in my FB group every year around Labor Day. This year though, women asked if it meant no white tops either. This rule was never supposed to apply to tops. You can wear your white blouses and tees all year round. In fact, you can wear all of your white all year round. 

Bonus: White jeans look amazing with cozy sweaters and boots or booties and white booties have actually been having a really big moment for the last couple of years. 

2. [13:48] Short Girls Shouldn’t Wear Long Dresses/Short Girls Shouldn’t Wear Cropped Pants

In my opinion, the biggest style mistake Petite’s make is wearing clothes that are too big or too voluminous, which can overwhelm you. But neither of these things, long dresses or crop pants necessarily make you look shorter. 

The truth is; creating length in your outfit is one of the best ways to look taller and nothing creates more length than a long dress in one solid column of color. If you’re really concerned about looking shorter in a long dress, stick to a one-color style instead of one with lots of breaks in color. 

The same thing goes for cropped pants. They can actually make you look taller too. When you show a little skin at your ankle, it looks like your legs are just too long for those pants and it creates an optical illusion that makes you look taller, paired them with shoes that lengthen the look. 

3. [14:38] Tall Girls Shouldn’t Wear Heels

In general, there is very little you can do to look much shorter or much taller. Whatever height you are is perfect and does not need to be managed. Tall women for years have told me that they don’t wear heels because they’re quote-on-quote too tall. What are you too tall for? 

You’re not too tall for anything. If you like the shoes, wear them. If you hate the way you look in heels, you don’t have to wear them, but don’t let someone else’s definition of “to anything” stop you. 

4. [16:15] Avoid Horizontal Stripes

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked about horizontal stripes, I would be a wealthy woman. Here’s how it works. The wider the Stripe, the bigger the widening effect, but as the stripes get thinner, the effect is lessened and super narrow. 

5. [17:21] Your Bag, Shoes, & Belt Should Match

It’s not wrong to match these things. You can, but you don’t have to. Matchy-matchy looks tend to appear a little dressier and coordinated. 

I love an accent belt or a pop of color in shoes. I tend to stay neutral on bags, but I have some great night out clutches that are a statement unto themselves and don’t match anything. These accessories are also a great way to work in some pattern mixing without fully committing. Have fun with these pieces and don’t feel like you need to match. 

6. [18:16] You Should Only Wear Shapes or Colors that Are Best on You

I don’t believe in hot versus not, or good versus bad. I believe in good, better, best. Let me explain. 

You get up. You put on a top you like – you look good. OR You get up. You get dressed in a top where the color brings out your best features or a silhouette that is flattering. You look better. OR You get up, you get dressed in a top that has the right neckline, the right sleeve shape, the right hem length, the right color, ect. You get my drift and you look your BEST. It’s a great ideal, but here’s my problem with “best”. “Best” can be absolutely exhausting. 

Better pieces that make you happy, beat best pieces that don’t thrill you. 

7. [21:28] No Short Skirts After 40 or No Long Hair After 50 

I bet there are a ton of rules out there regarding style and age, but these are the two that I hear a lot. 

As you grow older, you should still wear the pieces that you like and make you feel good. Do you need to evolve our style as you age? Heck yes! You should always be reevaluating where you are style-wise. What’s appropriate for your lifestyle, your body, your current situation?

Those are my seven rules that you can absolutely ignore. Now let’s talk about three rules you absolutely should follow. 

Three Rules You Absolutely SHOULD Follow

1. [22:51] Fit Is Everything 

There are styles that are meant to be flowy or oversized, but even with those, it’s important to focus on fit. For example, I’ve worked with lots of clients who wore too big blouses or tops and they say, “Oh, they’re flowy”. No, that’s not how it works. Flowy blouses that fit still fit in the shoulder. They have the correct sleeve length. They have necklines that don’t gap. 

My clients have told me that they had no idea how clothes were supposed to fit, but once they see proper fit, they can’t unsee it. It is that powerful. If you want to be obsessive about one aspect of your clothing, make it the fit.

2. [24:02] Understand Proportion

Understanding proportion in general and your proportion specifically will help you figure out why you like some pieces and why you don’t and what to tweak to find things that are right for you. 

If you head into a fitting room and something is off, look at the proportion. Look at the proportion of your body. Are the clothes working for it? Look at the proportion of the outfit. Is it doing the right things for your body? 

3. [26:56] Wear What You Love

I have to admit, I don’t understand why women don’t focus more on this rule. When you focus only on buying, keeping and wearing things you love, magic happens. You have to get dressed every day. You can’t leave your house naked. I see too many women buy and wear things they don’t love. Let me leave you with this piece of advice; dress for the life you live.

Links & Resources from the Episode:

The Style Lounge has closed. We invite you to join our member community in The Style Circle.

Chelsea Boots under $100 at DSW.

Statement earrings under $50. You’ll find some statement hoops and mini statement earrings in there, too!

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*some links may be affiliate links, which means that I receive, at no cost to you, a small commission when you purchase through the posted link. Thanks!

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