As my regular readers would be aware, I spend many hours, days and weeks writing blog posts to give you sets of rules to work with to find out what works for your unique body and all its glorious features. Many may think that I’m obsessed with rules and believe that we should all stick to them.
The reality is, I’m all about understanding what works for your body – in the words of former editor -in-chief of Vogue Paris Carine Roitfeld
“Consistent style shows confidence, and knowing what suits you saves time when you are choosing what to wear”
But, that said, I’m a firm believer in knowing when and how to break all your style rules.
Knowing your rules helps you make considered choices when breaking them. I’ve got plenty of photos from my pre-image consultant days of myself wearing clothes that break my rules in a pretty unflattering way (had I known any better at the time). Now when I break my rules, I do so with an understanding of what I’m doing, maybe I look boobier, or hippier than I might in other outfits, but it’s a choice I’m making, rather than an accident. I know I’m having fun and being more creative dressing, rather than just dressing to a formula.
I like options and wearing a uniform is an anathema to me. Even if the uniform is one of my own making. I’m an ‘options’ person. I like variety in my wardrobe (which is why I don’t want a small capsule wardrobe, but for some people it’s brilliant). Style rules are just a guide, nothing more. They don’t have to create a uniform (unless that is what you’re after, and then they are a wonderful guide to do that).
Being aware that you can play with clothes and express your personality is way more important to me than sticking rigidly to rules. When you look at stylish figures such as Iris Apfel, Carine Roitfeld, Jane Birkin or a plethora of other wonderful women, there will be many so called rules they are breaking, but it doesn’t matter, because they are dressing authentically to express themselves.
Understanding my colouring, body shape, proportions and variations really speeds up the shopping process. I’m not going to have to look at all the clothes in the store, I’m aware of what really doesn’t work so I don’t have such horrible change room experiences that when I put them on my body, think to myself how hideous they look on me (or how much I wish I had a waist, which is never going to happen). It allows me to quickly peruse a store, find the few garments that may work on me in a way that makes me happy, it saves me lots of time when shopping. But I’m also open to trying new shapes and styles when they arise in fashion, or finding the version of a fashion trend that will work for me (rather than trying to make me work the trend).
I love teaching my clients their rules, then showing them that they can break them, particularly when they’re breaking them as an act of self-expression.
How can you break the rules?
- Wear an item that is larger than your personal scale to add drama (a la Iris Apfel)
- Wear an item that exaggerates your shape to highlight that asset
- Find the version of a fashion trend that you love that shouldn’t work, but does somehow
I adapt fashion to me, to become my style, have fun and enjoy the process that we have to do every day, that is, get dressed.