Style rules suck sisterhood. And I am here to tell you to break them. Break them all.
They only cause distress, they don’t actually matter and the so called “style police” are not real, so you won’t be finding them at your door, ready to bowl it down and commando role into your wardrobe to arrest you when you break one.
There are so many style rules that I’ve heard of in my styling travels, that I could write a book with them. But the thing is, so many of my clients are stuck because they’ve been converted into believing the rules they’ve been told. Over and over again. They live by them and this often leads to complacency, lack of care on what they wear or leads to downright boring choices because they’re so stuck in this style rule rut.
I should point out here that there are some rules that should be followed. Like those written for religious reasons or to follow workplace codes of conduct or for occasions that call for modesty or propriety. Just to be clear, that’s not what I’m discussing here at all.
What I’m talking about are the rules that infuriate me, completely flummox my clients and make getting dressed hard, because we’re trying to play Russian roulette on whether we can print clash AND wear a colour bomb or wear white before Labour Day or pink and red together.
“Forget the rules, if you like it, wear it”.
I’d love to end the blog there, but know I need to flesh it out a little more to give you ideas and inspiration on how to break free from these dickish style rules that some glossy magazine, your mum, your school, your aunt or your friend told you to follow.
In case you’re thinking I tend toward being wishy washy or contradictory, I can see why, but let me explain. I do spend a lot of time with my wonderful clients suggesting ways to wear things that will do their best to show off their shape and best assets. I suggest these tips and tricks to highlight what they have and to detract from the things they don’t want to draw attention too. So I can see how it may appear somewhat naughty of me to then shout about flouting the style rules when I’ve made some ‘suggestions’ of my own.
But I see them as quite separate sides of the same coin – rules are meant to be broken, change is always possible & putting your best foot forward is always a good idea. For example – I know that I should wear V-neck tops as this flatters my shape the most. However, I bloody love a roll neck jumper, so sue me Style Police when I wear that! But with my tips and tricks on how to style things that don’t usually suit you, I can create the illusion of a V-Neck and the world is set to rights.
#SOSStyle in a nutshell;
“Disregard the rules but adapt to accentuate the positives!”
Three style rules that were made to be broken.
1. You can’t wear short boots/socks/culottes unless you’ve got skinny ankles
What the actual f&*k? Yes I can. And I do and you can too. The outfit in the photo below makes me delirious with happiness, it’s a sugar high in style and I am here for it. My girlfriend Beck inspired me to add a sparkly sock to my repertoire and I do not regret it one bit. Fun socks can be added to anyone’s wardrobe – kids and husbands can all play along. But I digress.
If I gave one flying hoot about the rules, I should technically not wear anything that attracts attention to my ankles. Why?
Because team, I have not been blessed with skinny ankles. And yet, here I am, blatantly, flagrantly ignoring the rules and wearing a sparkly sock AND a mid length skirt. This is a big fat arrow pointing toward a style rule broken into pieces. I couldn’t be happier.
Most importantly, this rule is dumb. Just dumb. But in case you need prodding to believe it, here’s why:
- No one actually spends a whole lot of time looking at my ankle area. Therefore not wearing this fun outfit would only punish me, nobody else.
- I want to wear bright fun outfits and this ticks every single box for me.
- If we all wore the same thing, what a boring and also scary world we would be living in.
2. You can’t wear white in winter/after Labor Day
Um exsqueeze me? Yes you can. This outdated term comes from the American saying “you can’t wear white after Labor (how they spell it) Day” and was invented by ‘old’ money to keep a wedge between them and those from ‘new’ money! Basically one group hating on the other.
I have no time for that bullshit. But also, how silly is that rule and how silly that we’ve morphed it into white can’t be worn in winter. Stupid stupid rule. There’s nothing fresher and more fabulous than an all white outfit in winter. You can match it with a bold print, make it into a monochrome dream with black or add denim for a completely fabulously styled look.
Need more convincing?
- White is hard to wear at the best of times, so when I do, I get a real buzz. It’s fresh, brightening and a total wardrobe classic. No matter what shade of white you wear! Use different textures in your fabrics to really make the outfit hum.
- Yes kids and animals can take a great white outfit to ruin in seconds, but then so can I by spilling coffee down it. It doesn’t stop me from wearing it in winter. Use sard wonder soap spray to get rid of the stain and wear it again sister!
- White offsets the rest of your outfit brilliantly and will make your jewellery pop! We love to wear black a whole lot, so why not switch it up and add white to the mix.
3. You can’t wear (insert) black & navy / green and yellow / pink & red together
Oh you know what I’m going to say about this. YES YOU CAN. You can do what you like, but try to do it in style too 🙂
There is nothing quite like a colour clash (print clashes fall under this banner too). When done on purpose and with flair, your outfit can completely transform from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’. Using the word clash is probably the wrong term, because it suggests discord, but you know what I mean.
Analogous colours (those that are near to each other on the colour wheel) are often a great way to inspire your colour clashing ninja moves. They also have the auspicious title of being the first style rule I learnt about.
Does “You don’t wear red & pink together (oh yes you can) sound familiar? Or what about “blue and green must never be seen” (oh yes it should), likewise to blue and black, lilac and red, green and yellow. They can all work if you really want them too.
Complementary colours are also a great way to introduce multi colour style into your life. These are colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel.
To help you decide, you could try using a colour wheel to make your decision easier.
I use this tool to help guide me. Or simply google ‘colour wheel’ and take your pick.
Take your colour wheel for a spin babes and see where it lands. Artist Marc Chagall said it best when he said “All colours are the friends of their neighbours and the lovers of their opposites.”
There are so many other style rules out there, lurking at the back of our closets, hiding in our drawers and in the backs of our brains, ready to pull us over and give us a ticket if we dare break them. I’m sure you’ve all got plenty you could add to this list. AmIright?
Wrapping it all up into one tidy paragraph.
In a nutshell, wear the stuff, do all the things in the stuff you’re wearing and be as fabulous as you can be, whatever that means for you. This blog is giving you permission to break the rules. Because you can, because it’s time to stop believing so many of the rules & restrictions put upon us by society and the media and our own nearest and dearest. It’s time to break free of all the rules we’ve been told NOT to do. It’s time to start doing.
I’d love to hear what style rules you love to break or are about to embark on breaking after being encouraged and emboldened by this blog. Head on over to this Instagram post and let me know what they are!
Love EJ, the Mother of the Sisterhood of Style x
Find out more about Sisterhood of Style by visiting my website www.sisterhoodofstyle.com
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