How NOT to Break Style “Rules”

The idea of style “rules” is silly, but a recent post on a famous trend-focused fashion blog gave me heartburn by suggesting that the looks below prove that style guidelines – in this case advice from Vogue editor Anna Wintour – could be “broken” with impunity.  Interested to hear what you think …

Wintour guideline #1Never wear black head to toe.  Supposedly Jennifer Aniston  (middle photo) proves Anna wrong with this outfit.  But do you see any way in which this look flatters Jen or connects with her personal characteristics?  She could easily improve it, though, by adding accessories that bring her hair color into the outfit – as  in the  collages left and right.


Wintour guideline #2 Be careful about mixing prints.  These two left examples – supposedly great examples of breaking this rule – don’t work so well because there is so little connection – if any – between the prints.  Nothing keeps your eye moving toe-to-top,  Nothing repeats  characteristics of the wearer.

That’s not to say NEVER mix prints.  The collaged outfit (right) works better.  The dark pant and dark blazer form a color value column that keeps the eye to moving up and down.  The thin cream striped tee mimics the fine-line motifs in the pant and the combo approximates the light:dark contrast between the model’s skin and hair. Not a perfect example, but a big improvement, don’t you think?

Wintour guideline #3Avoid neon.  To me the examples used to illustrate the error of this guideline seem to prove its validity instead.  This color is wonderful for beer vendors at the ball park – you can spot them a mile away.  But on these women all you see is the neon. They probably got a lot of comments  – but compliments on the outfit aren’t the same as compliments on how YOU look.

Moral of the story: Be careful whose advice you follow and ALWAYS trusts your own eyes to evaluate how an outfit showcases you.  You deserve nothing less!


About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.

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