It’s a funny old world, fashion. I mean, it’s basically some faceless hipster people telling you what you should and shouldn’t wear. Literally, someone you’ve never met, telling you one dress is more acceptable than another dress because frills are in this season or puce is the new ‘it’ colour. And it’s so darn fickle. Remember when string vests were ‘like, so hot right now’? Yeah, wouldn’t be caught dead in one these days would you? And remember when every person in the world, including your Mum, had a poncho? Well, no, me neither actually, because even my Mum knows where to draw the line when it comes to a new trend. I do remember, however, swearing blind to my Mum that I would never, NEVER, wear high waisted trousers, as long as I lived. No, only boot cut jeans slung so low I practically needed a bikini wax to wear them would do. Fast forward about 17 years and not only do most of my trousers have high waists, but I also wear skinny jeans, like, most days actually. And not only that, but ‘Mom’ jeans are a thing. Times have changed people. My 16 year old self would be devastated.
Though while fashions and trends come and go more frequently than a Kardashian posts on Instagram, there are some ‘rules’ that seem to stand the test of time. Silly little things that someone once told your Grandma, who told your Mum, who told you, that stick in your head and you find yourself believing that they must be true, because EVERYBODY SAYS SO. Well, I’m not a huge fan of doing what I’m told, especially when it comes to getting dressed in the mornings, so here are some age old ‘rules’ that I’m making a point of breaking….
Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen….
Mention this one, and you’re likely to start a debate about whether or not it is blue and green, or red and green, that should never be seen, but either way, it’s a very outdated belief that you should only ever wear colours together that ‘harmonise’ with each other. I don’t know if you remember being taught about basic colour theory when you were at school, but a quick Google should find you a picture of a classic ‘colour wheel’. Found one? Good. Now, if you are to obey the ‘rules’, you should choose colours that sit directly next to each other in order not to disturb the senses and thus go blind – basically shades of the same or a very similar colour. If you want to be a bit kooky, you might chose a ‘complimentary’ colour, i.e one that sits directly opposite, but only if you’re a complete crazy cat. Well, sod that I say, if everyone believed this nonsense my beloved Jacqui dress wouldn’t exist, and that would be a tragedy for all, let me tell you! There are some classic combos that simply work, and even I am guilty of sticking them together time and time again – red, blue and white for example, or green and gold – but personally, I like to be a bit more playful with colour when planning an outfit, and heck, I don’t have time to check a wheel every time to make sure I won’t offend anyone with my hideous clashing tones. If I followed this logic I would never have discovered some of my favourite combinations – like coral with fuschia or purple with teal. Besides, it’s believed the first colour wheel dates back to Isaac Newton and 1666, and would you really trust someone from the 1600s to tell you how to dress? Of course not, so go crazy and play around, it won’t always work out, but you won’t know until you try!
Red Shoes Are Slutty….
Type this into Google and you will find… well, you’ll find all sorts of things you didn’t want to actually, so you might want to rephrase it, but what I’m trying to say is that there are an alarming number of people out there every day tentatively asking the knowledgeable masses on Internet forums whether or not it is ok to wear red shoes. And even more alarmingly the responses are not always ‘Er, of course it is, they’re just shoes, wear whatever colour you want!!’ For decades there has been some sort of stupid myth out there that dare you wear red shoes everyone will assume you are a slut. You might as well walk around with a giant, scarlet ‘A’ on your chest, basically. Where it came from, I have no idea, though often people point to the horrifically disturbing Hans Christian Andersen tale ‘The Red Shoes’ as a possible origin. I suspect it is simply one of society’s sneaky ways of making women feel guilty for enjoying looking sexy, or even, gasp, sex itself. Why a red pair of heels is any different to a blue pair of heels, I’ll never know, but I think it’s important we all agree now that wearing a certain colour shoe couldn’t possibly tell anyone more about you than your taste in footwear. Even if you choose to wear 10 inch perspex stripper shoes to work (which I don’t recommend to the majority to be clear, unless you actually are a stripper or you don’t have to walk anywhere) it isn’t an open invite for someone to have sex with you. I hope not anyway, because I wear red shoes all the time, and not once has someone followed me home and tried to sleep with me. I’m almost offended….
You Can’t Bare Your Legs After 30….
I wrote a post about this last Summer – you can find it here if you’re interested. If that feels like too much trouble (and I don’t blame you if it does, I’m frankly surprised you’re still reading this post) I shall summarise. I have a massive issue with anyone telling me I should stop wearing a certain type of clothing just because I’m now past 30. I’ll be honest, the passage of time all got a bit hazy after 25 and I don’t see much difference in myself from 29 to 30, so why should I suddenly start dressing differently? Sure, I’m not about to head out in my hipster jeans again any time soon, but that’s only because I’m not so fond of my tum these days, not because of an age restriction. Anyone seen Pamela Anderson’s ads for Missguided lately? Admittedly, I’m a little confused in her as a spokesmodel for that Brand specifically, but no-one can say she doesn’t have the figure for those clothes. If I had abs like hers maybe I would give low rise another try. Hell, I might give hot pants another try. And if we all tried to ‘dress our age’ no-one under the age of 70 would be wearing 40’s tea dresses or 50’s circle skirts would they? And what a crying shame that would be!
Thou Shalt Always Match Your Shoes To Your Tights….
I hate tights, hate them with a passion, but living in England makes them a necessity in Winter if you want to wear a dress every now and then. Old French fashion rules state that when doing so, you must make sure you tights and shoes match exactly, lest you will be cursed with fat stumpy legs forevermore, or at least until you take them off anyway. Well, there is some logic in this – wearing shoes the same colour as your tights will definitely elongate the legs and give a slimming effect, this is indeed true. But stop and think for a do you actually need to elongate your legs? Sometimes these ‘rules’ can make useful tips if you happen to have a very specific body type, but it’s important not to stick to them too rigidly, as they won’t always apply to you. My legs are pretty long already thanks, and pretty skinny too (unlike the dreaded tum). I remember once being told something similar about ankle straps when I was younger, and I instantly stopped wearing them for a few years, insisting they would ‘make my legs look short’. Um, they didn’t, and just think of all the amazing shoes I missed out on while I waited to discover this. I know. So if you specifically want to make your legs look longer, try the tights trick and maybe lay off the ankle straps – otherwise, knock yourself out! Now, I do still need a little help getting over this one myself. I have a bit of an inexplicable aversion to coloured shoes with black tights. They look fine on everyone else, but when I see them on myself I instantly think I look like Minnie Mouse. No idea why – boots are fine, as are mary janes, just not flats or court shoes. I am genuinely making an effort not to let this bother me though, because lots of my shoes deserve to get worn more often in the Winter, and I just can’t see me pulling of mustard tights somehow, try as I might. I’m getting there – I wore red pumps (I know, slut) with black tights today! You’ll get to witness my painful experience in an outfit post very soon!
Never Wear Horizontal Stripes….
…Or you will instantly balloon in size, or so the story goes. Like the last point, there is some science behind this one, and it is possible that certain combinations of horizontal stripes may draw the eyes to less flattering angles of yourself and maybe add the odd centimetre here and there, but unless you are chronically self conscious about looking wider, you really have nothing to worry about – no-one is looking at you thinking ‘Gosh, I swear she was half the size yesterday!’ I can’t follow this one anyway, even if I wanted to because in case you hadn’t noticed, Breton stripes are horizontal, and that makes up 90% of my wardrobe, so if I throw them all out I’ll pretty much have to walk around naked. And no-one wants to see that, believe me. I’ll just have to live with my falsely widened self. Think I can live with that.
Any fashion rules you like to break?