By Krista Lyons, AliveTampaBay Correspondent
Fashion is full of rules. Some were passed down by our mothers and their mothers, and some were told to us in the pages of magazines and ads. For example, someone at some point in time decided that white was not to be worn after Labor Day, and that brown and black should never be paired in the same outfit.
But who decided these rules, and how can we tell which are tried-and-true and which are just plain babble? If you are someone who adheres to the rules of fashion fervently, then you might want to take note of these changing conventions.
Never Wear White After Labor Day
All of those crisp, fresh white shirts and skirts you bought just two months ago? If you believe this adage, it is almost time to ditch them. However, you might want to think twice before you move all of the white clothes to the back of your closet. Fall lines from top designers this year boast white and off-white shades. Burberry, Roksanda, Alice + Olivia, Tory Burch, and Oscar De La Renta have all featured white or very light hues in their fall 2017 lines and have more snow-white in store for winter. Marina Williams, fashion lover and owner of ArtPool Gallery in St. Petersburg, only finds one occasion inappropriate to wear white.
“I live wildly with fashion and wear what I want anytime I want,” says Williams. “My only singular rule is obviously not to wear white to the wedding of another.”
No Blue Accessories Before Easter
This rule is oft-ignored, and for good reason. Fall and winter are full of rich, bold, blue tones that would be criminal to ignore until spring. You can take on this taboo with soft scarves and thick belts, or pair a blue bootie with your favorite jeans. Mixing vintage blue accessories is a great way to tie the past with the present, as blue leather tends to hold its color better than colors that may easily fade.
“I love accessories like belts and scarves as they can change the silhouette drastically and allow you to have one garment that can be worn a multitude of ways and allow for a wider range of use for one single piece,” says Williams. “No matter what your style is — minimalist, over the top, somewhere in the middle — be open to trying new concepts as they may surprise you and be your favorite new addition to your closet curation. I love mixing things from the past at my vintage boutique, ARTpool, with contemporary items.”
Never Double Down on Denim
If you have ever heard the term “90’s Tuxedo,” let me first assure you that we are not referring to that. Wearing denim from head to toe is something better left in the past. However, pairing a comfortable faded denim jacket with your best dark blue jeans is one of this season’s “do’s”.
This trend is breaking all the rules, but you can be sure you are in good company when you pair different tones of denim together. Oversized “boyfriend”-style denim jackets took the UBM fashion trade show by storm this year, and will likely be making a big statement on the streets. To hit the mark on this rule-breaking trend, stay away from pairing denim of the exact same tone. Dark blue jeans and a dark blue jacket will lead to a look more akin to a jumpsuit.
Never Mix Patterns and NEVER Pair Black and Brown
Never mixing patterns and keeping black and brown separate are long-debated rules of fashion. However, this year, mixing patterns has become a must-do. Mac and Mia suggests mixing fun and funky patterns no matter what your age. In fact, you can mix everything from stripes and polka dots to more quirky prints like rainbow patterns with raindrop patterns. The sky’s the limit. The same goes for pairing brown and black — they complement each other and add more dimension to any look.
“For me, there are no rules in fashion,” says Williams. “I always say have fun, be colorful, or monochromatic, and present yourself as a painting of your favorite items. I am all about layering pattern on pattern, wearing big earrings and enjoy the process of dressing up every day.”
If you want to try to add a more subtle pattern-on-pattern look, Williams recommends that you start small.
“I suggest folks live it up, and if they are afraid, start small. Wear a funky pair of socks with your business suit.”
Wear Muted or Darker Colors in the Fall and Winter … and No More Than Three Colors to a Look
As soon as summer ends, there seems to be a dramatic drop in the colors that both women and men wear. Perhaps it is a collective mourning of the end of summer, or perhaps it is the fact that the fall season brings to mind images of pumpkin patches and brown leather. No matter the reason, the rule to stick to dark, muted colors after summer ends is bogus.
“Adding unexpected pops of color and flavor to your wardrobe will make you smile as well as others,” says Williams. “I think being clever and vibrate in your wears makes for happier and more joyful times for the wearer and the audience. Try things and see what works for your body, your skin tones, and remember to try things on.”
The One Rule to Live By
When it comes to fashion, there is only one rule to live by that should not be ignored. Whenever possible, try on clothes that you might not have liked on the hanger. You may be pleasantly surprised.
“The old tale of things look different on the hanger is very true, you must try items on,” says Williams.
See our earlier profile of Marina Williams of ArtPool Gallery by Krista Lyons: In the Deep End with ArtPool.