17 Fashion Rules You Should Break
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Style Rebel1 of 18
By Charles Manning for Cosmopolitan
Rules are meant to be broken, especially when it comes to fashion. Check out 17 style statutes you can feel free to ignore.
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White Out2 of 18
Rule to Break: No white after Labor Day.
White is amazing—white shoes, white dresses, white jeans, white everything. Assuming you can keep it clean, white makes you look fresh, tan and completely pulled together, all desirable characteristics no matter what time of year it is.
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The Big Reveal3 of 18
Rule to Break: Don't let your bra show.
An errant nude bra strap falling down over a bare shoulder is one thing, but with all the beautiful bras out there, it would be a shame not to show them off once in a while. Just make sure to frame it in a way that feels intentional. Layer a long-line bra under a sheer top or unbutton a sweater to show off the middle of a pretty lace demi-cup bra. You can even try wearing a strapped bra with a strapless dress.
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Go Long4 of 18
Rule to Break: Short women shouldn't wear long dresses.
Long dresses can actually make you look taller, especially when they drape nicely and skim the body. Just steer clear of anything too bulky.
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Skin Thing5 of 18
Rule to Break: Legs or cleavage. Never both.
There probably isn't a girl alive who actually buys into this rule, but just in case, bare what you dare.
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Animal Instincts6 of 18
Rule to Break: Don't mix animal prints.
Just because two animals don't get along in the wild, doesn't mean they can't get along on your outfit. Let the cheetahs lie down with the zebras. They look cute together. In fact, mix all your prints: polka-dots with florals, stripes with plaid. Just lean into it.
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More is More7 of 18
Rule to Break: When it comes to jewelry, less is more.
Layer that stuff on. If that's what you're into, the more the better. It's all just a matter of personal preference. When people say otherwise, what they are really saying is "I do it this way, so you should too" and that's rarely a good enough reason to do anything.
Short Story8 of 18
Rule to Break: Shorts are only for summer.
If you want to wear shorts year round, do it. You can always layer them over tights and wear them with boots or a sweater if it's cold out. When it comes to warm-weather clothing, there's really nothing that can't be adapted for year-round use.
Shine On9 of 18
Rule to Break: Sparkle is just for the evening.
Sparkle is for always! Sure, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind when bringing your sparkly look into the daylight, but luckily you can read all about that right here.
Tall Order10 of 18
Rule to Break: Tall women shouldn't wear heels.
Why? So you won't intimidate men by being taller than them? That's a horrible reason to deny yourself. Heels look amazing on tall women. Wear the highest ones you can manage. You'll be the most captivating person in the room. Guaranteed.
A Leg Up11 of 18
Rule to Break: When wearing a dress or a skirt at a formal event, like a wedding or job interview, you must wear tights or pantyhose.
This rule really only applies to Kate Middleton and you're not Kate Middleton, so don't worry about it.
Stand Out12 of 18
Rule to Break: Everyone should own _______.
Boring. Who wants to own the same anything as everyone else?
Double Trouble13 of 18
Rule to Break: If someone is wearing the same outfit as you, you should keep your distance.
Just because you don't want to dress like everyone else, doesn't mean you should feel embarrassed if you show up to a party and someone is wearing the same outfit as you. Don't let it get you down. Take an amazing Instagram!
Fun Times14 of 18
Rule to Break: You should take fashion seriously, because the way you're dressed says a lot about you.
It's tempting to judge someone based on what they're wearing. But clothes can't really tell you if someone is rich or poor, hardworking or lazy, mean or nice. Although there are times when you want to project a certain image through the way you're dressed (an interview or first date), fashion is subjective and there's no way of gauging how your look will be interpreted by someone else. The most important thing is to enjoy what you're wearing. Have fun.
School of Style15 of 18
Rule to Break: Great style can't be learned.
Style is something you pick up as you go along. It evolves. No one is born knowing what goes with what. It's all learned. And just because it doesn't come easy to you doesn't mean you can't master it.
Mix Master16 of 18
Rule to Break: Never wear gold and silver jewelry together.
Wearing gold and silver together actually looks better in a lot of cases than just wearing one or the other. The different metals complement each other and stop you from looking too matchy-matchy.
Sock It17 of 18
Rule to Break: Don't wear socks with open toed shoes.
Okay, so you shouldn't pair Gold Toe tube socks with open-toe pumps, but socks are a great way to keep wearing your warm weather shoes when it's cold out. In fact, the bolder the pairing, the better. Just try to keep those front toe seams hidden.
Tuck Away18 of 18
Rule to Break: You must wear a belt if your shirt is tucked in.
Even if you love belts, there are times when they just clutter up an outfit. This is the kind of rule people apply to dressing for the office more than dressing for themselves, but even in a professional environment there is nothing inappropriate about going without a belt. Just make sure your pants fit properly.