Fashion commandments like the age-old "Thou shalt no wear 'mom jeans'" exist for a reason: to help you look and feel your best, balancing style and comfort. But what are the other rules to make sure you're not aging yourself prematurely?
The Golden Girls rocked flowy pastels and busy florals—but that was then, and this is now. It's better and more flattering to look for shapes that veer toward structured rather than flowy, and to use florals as accents. While ladylike pastels and lighter colors are a major spring trend right now, be strategic with how you incorporate them since they can make you look washed out. If you're nervous about color, stick to jewel tones (deep reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues) when it comes to tops – they flatter most skin tones and keep you looking vibrant.
Read on for more tips.
Mistake #1: Ill-fitting bras
This is one of the most crucial commandments for fashion success: Make sure your bra fits properly. Recent studies say 85 percent of us are wearing the wrong size, which probably means you could use a fitting. The right bra size can instantly lift and smooth your chest, giving you a flattering silhouette from the get-go. If you're not sure about your size, see a fit specialist in the lingerie section at your department store, or visit a store like Victoria's Secret. If you are sure of your size, you may want to check out our guide for bra-fitting at home anyway.
Mistake #2: Cropped, wide-leg capris
Who doesn't love capris—they're functional and cute. But when it comes to them, the more tapered the better. Think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O. While wide-leg, full-length pants are flattering, wide capri-length pants can cut off the leg line and make you look more stumpy than stunning. Try a pair of capris that has a narrow opening and just grazes the top of ankle – tres chic.
Mistake #3: Twin sets
We know, we know—twin sets are easy and cover your arms. But these days matchy-matchy equals a major snooze-fest. Instead, opt for a textured sweater in an interesting weave, like a waffle knit, then push up the sleeves and show off the cuff from the shirt underneath for a chic, simple effect. Oh, and it's time to lose the coordinating scarf, too!
Mistake #4: Jersey fabric
Knit jersey fabrics are known for being ultra-comfortable and affordable—two undeniably appealing features. But when you're shopping for a special occasion, avoid wearing this thin, clingy fabric; it naturally hugs the body, not always highlighting our best assets. Instead try a fabric that provides more structure like double-knit cotton-blend ponte.
Mistake #5: Always wearing black pants
Over-reliance on black pants for your dressy look limits you from fun, feminine skirts that also deliver comfort. A-line and pencil skirts are universally flattering and have never before been offered in such an array of fabrics and prints. Try trading in your safe (read: boring) slacks for a shimmering skirt that you can dress up or down depending on what you decide to wear on top. You’ll look instantly refreshed.
Mistake #6: Overly sensible shoes
We’re kidding right? Well, sort of. The good news is that the frumpy shoe is in (we have all been vindicated!), but so is the ladylike kitten heel. Why not experiment with the latter since the low heel height actually offers arch support, and the slightly pointed toe elongates the line of your leg. With a kitten heel you'll feel stylish and comfortable.
Mistake #7: So-called "granny" glasses
We couldn’t agree more with the mantra “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Though in fashion, it’s often the little things that make or break your outfit. Avoid the classic stereotype of a granny with kooky reading glasses dangling on strings from her turtleneck. Instead embrace the sexy age of geek chic. Opt for thicker, Ernest Hemingway-style frames and leave the delicate wire-frames or rimless frames behind.
Mistake #8: Missing out on tech accessories
More than ever, smartphones and tablets are becoming an indispensable part of our everyday ensembles. Let your electronics play up your personality by accessorizing them with patterned cases and covers—even if you don't exactly know how to use all the features on your iPhone.