There are no longer any hard and fast rules in fashion, other than to just have fun with your own personal style. These days, even mixing stripes and checks is considered visually appealing for both men and women.
Mix and match for a modern look
The 20th century rules have gone by the wayside. My mother and her mother wore matching hats and gloves that would make Queen Elizabeth II proud. I wore matching shoes and handbags while taking care to match shades of red in nail polish to lipstick. My daughter, however, tells me that I must let go of matchy-matchy habits for a much more modern look.
Forget fashion rules
Don’t mix your metals? Jewelry maker Lulu Frost incorporates both gold and silver metals into contemporary designs made of heirlooms. Who said blue jeans? One visit to the Gap will indicate that blue jeans come in every color of the rainbow. Think of animal prints as a neutral. Play with statement necklaces, pile on bracelets, wear all your favorite accessories at once. Try leather with lace…the possibilities are endless.
Learn from the pros
Michelle Obama pairs her designer dresses with J. Crew shoes and cardigans. Sarah Jessica Parker frequently mixes vintage with couture. Fashion plate Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wears the same navy blazer and wedges over and over again. Did she break a wedding style rule by having her sister, Pippa, wear white as the maid of honor? Actually, the only rule is to forget the rules, feel relaxed, and wear it with confidence.
What the men know
Women can take a cue from the men. The well-dressed gentleman knows that a striped tie can be worn with a small check shirt, a dotted or paisley silk square peeking from the pocket of his jacket. A regular on the Vanity Fair best-dressed list, morning television presenter, Matt Lauer, wears brown loafers with black socks.
The five rules for mixing patterns
Use these five simple rules to pull together a fun look that doesn’t clash when mixing a combination of stripes, checks, paisley, florals and polka dots together.
1. Use patterns from the same color family, or;
2. Use complementary tones from the tertiary color wheel;
3. Combine patterns of different scale and density;
4. Use your body from head to toe to space out contrasting patterns;
5. Include neutrals and solids to break up the patterns.
Have fun mixing and matching!