05/08/2013 05:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Fashion Rules You Should Break


1. No White after Labor Day
This is one rule that I have never understood. Since when can arbitrary national holidays dictate your wardrobe -- and even ban an entire color? I did a little online research, and apparently this is an age-old rule that distinguished upper class heirs and heiresses on vacation in the early 1900s. Suffice to say it isn't a valid reason in this century. White makes any outfit crisp, clean and chic -- irrespective of the season (haven't you all heard of Winter White?).

For the ultimate in simple taste, opt for an all white ensemble, with a white blouse and white skinny jeans. If you're having a messier day and worry for the white color's survival, throw a crisp white blazer over a floral top to prove to all the haters that white belongs in any season.

2. Neutrals Don't Mix
We know: If you wear a navy dress, heaven forbid you throw on a pair of black shoes. But who wants to color-coordinate their shoes, dress and purse? It's dull, and you begin to run the risk of looking like a bridesmaid. So break out of your "dyed-to-match" mentality and wear that navy office skirt with a black blouse, or put a brown belt with a black dress -- and maybe top it off with a purse in a pop color, like red or purple. Remember, just because you're wearing a neutral doesn't mean your outfit needs to be one note.

3. Don't Clash
We'll often associate clashing ensembles with our childhood selves: when we thought it was perfectly okay to wear a polka dot raincoat over a striped dress with some sparkly sunglasses. Maybe it's time to return to that carefree attitude. Designers are embracing "the clash" in ready to wear, mixing prints within pieces as well as in the outfits they build with them. The goal for purposeful clashing is to go for broke: any attempt at subtlety will look dressed in the dark. Feel free to play with color and texture as well, perhaps taking a classic menswear pant in an oversized houndstooth and wearing it with an equally loud plaid top. If you're committing to a mix-and-matched look, make sure to wear it with confidence.

4. No Open Toe Heels in Winter
It's always frustrating when the weather gets colder and you feel the obligation to push your favorite shoes to the back of the closet for the next six months. But with some wool tights you don't have to. Wear them with a cute A-line dress or wide skirt (possibly even a fun summer one) for flair and femininity in your winter wardrobe.

You don't have to wear the classic black nylon. Test out patterned or colored tights to add variety to your look. And guess what else? Your tights and your shoes don't have to match. In fact, it often looks better if they don't for more contrast.

5. Don't Mix Metals
Sometimes, it feels like your friends fall into one of two categories: the ones that wear silver jewelry and the ones that wear gold. But this big wide world isn't black and white (or silver and gold) and you can wear both. Layer necklaces of different metals to bring depth and dimension or match up different metal bangles for the ultimate "I just threw this on and I look fabulous" effect. Many jewelry designers are making pieces like this layered chocker that integrate and weave different metals. With one of these looks, you'll be sure to stand out for your daring while being right on trend.

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