You’ll hear the following mantra repeated in all style guides: Dress to accentuate the best parts of your body; camouflage the parts that aren’t as great.

This makes sense, right? We are confident about our best features, so highlighting them is a no brainer. Our so called worst features, or the areas of our body that we are self-conscious about, shouldn’t be highlighted as frequently. This way we will look and feel our best.

Well, as much as I believe in helpful guidelines, I believe even more that we shouldn’t be ruled by them. And I break the “accentuate the positive, diminish the negative” rule on a regular basis.

Here are few examples:

  1. Neck: I consider my neck to be my best feature, yet it’s often covered with a high-ish neckline, popped collar, or scarf.
  2. Waistline: I have a dainty and defined waistline, yet I adore wearing voluminous styles that hide it.
  3. Eyelashes: I have long thick eyelashes that are especially noticeable when I wear mascara, yet nobody sees them because I choose to wear specs instead of contact lenses.
  4. Legs: I consider my legs to be my worst feature for two reasons. They aren’t shapely and they are covered in spots and veins (nothing harmful, just unsightly). Yet I often show them off, with and without hose, because I love to wear skirts and dresses!

I don’t feel bad playing up my worst feature when I wear skirts and dresses because the overall effect of the outfits is still flattering to my eye. The veins and spots might be unsightly to others, but I’m not bothered by what others think about this. My legs work hard and they deserve to be highlighted. Plus, I love knee-length dresses and nothing will stop me from wearing them.

I define my waistline as much as I surrender it so things even out with that one. But I won’t entertain contact lenses and I enjoy the look and comfort of a covered neck. So I don’t see those parts of my body being showcased more any time soon.

I only have one hard and fast rule about fashion and style: it should be fun. There are also many guidelines that really help us to look our best, but sometimes what you love should win out over other rules, guidelines and conventional wisdom. If that means accentuating the negative and hiding the positive, so be it!