Denim on denim has long been considered a fashion don't. Here's the thing though, I hate fashion rules. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard friends, family members and customers tell me that “they have to be careful with [insert fashion trend] because of my [insert insecurity]”. Whether it be age, weight, height or skin tone I often find women are fearful of trying trends or pieces that they really love because they are worried about what people might think. Meanwhile, I have never heard a man voice any of the above-mentioned hesitations. This bums me out so much because I think that fashion should be a fun outlet for self-expression, but, I know that, for many women, the rules of fashion can get in the way. On the other hand, what we wear sends a strong message to the people we interact with and I think it’s important to take this into consideration. Here are the fashion rules I choose to live by:
1. YOU have to love it
I catch myself saying this almost every day. I love working with my friends, family and customers to pull together looks for important events in their lives but I am always hesitant to give my opinion until it is asked for because I think the single most important fashion rule is that you need to love what you’re wearing or it won’t matter how perfectly styled or on trend your outfit is. If you hate it, it won’t have the same impact.
2. You need to be comfortable (enough)
Have you ever seen a girl walking, sorry .... wobbling down the street in heels she can’t manage? NEVER be that girl. If you feel uncomfortable in your outfit, again, it won’t matter how beautiful or well-styled it is, you will not be able pull it off. My best friend hates wearing heels she says she feels awkward and uncomfortable when she wears them. I always tell her to avoid them because she is already tall, beautiful and has legs for days so she doesn’t need them anyways.
If you have to pull it down, hike it up, not sit down, not stand up or not eat while you’re wearing it then don’t. Just don’t. Don’t buy it, don’t wear it, don’t even touch it. They say the most beautiful women are the ones who are comfortable in their own skin. Well, they’re comfortable in their clothes too.
3. There are no right or wrong answers
Try not to get too caught up in the “rights” and “wrongs”. Fashion is art and the best thing about art is that there are no right or wrong answers.
4. Follow rules 1 – 3 in professional situations
Just because you work at a Bay Street firm doesn’t mean you have to wear a simple black suit, unless, of course, you really love simple black suits. I think that, even in professional settings, it’s important to continue to dress for yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable and authentic. When I attended my medical school admissions interviews a few years ago, most of the girls opted for basic suits. I HATE wearing suits they don’t um …. suit … me. I would have felt dowdy and boring. I think that would have prevented me from being able to speak to my passions, goals and background in an honest and genuine way. However, I still had to present myself in a professional and polished way. So, I opted for a simple, navy DVF dress that made me feel sharp and beautiful. The second time around, I took it a step further and wore a bold red lip, because I love red lipstick. It makes me feel badass and confident.
I got in.
To medical school.
Wearing a bold red lip.
In an admission interview.
Let that sink in.
If I can manage to impress an admissions panel for one of the most conservative professional industries out there wearing a bright red lip, who knows what else you can get away with? Surprise them – show them that self-expression, beauty, artistry, intelligence and professionalism aren’t mutually exclusive.
5. Follow rules 1 – 3 in romantic situations
Don’t ever dress for a man.
6. Oh ya, don't forget to have fun :)