We’re living in an era that is accepting and encouraging of all sorts of outfit juxtapositions, colours, fabrications, silhouettes and combinations. Never before has there been as much variety in fashion and style as there is right now. Although the fashion industry has a long way to go, it’s also more diverse than it used to be. All this to say that there is absolutely no one way to be stylish. That’s the style principle that grows stronger each year. 

As a result, the style guidelines that ruled supreme as recently as five years ago are dated now. Today the goal is to create an open-minded fashion and style world that is relatable, manageable, affordable, practical, sustainable and fun. Here are seven guidelines that aren’t as important as they used to be.

A Polished Style is Best

A polished appearance used to be the pinnacle of style. Fashionable clothing that is pressed and fits to perfection. Immaculate make-up, pristine nail polish, coiffed hair, glowing skin, and a graceful demeanour. Tidy, sharp, scented and having excellent posture at all times. Power to those who can achieve a polished style naturally and with ease, but it’s only one way to go, and not the best way if it causes you stress and discomfort. 

These days having a more forgiving style that is “rough around the edges” (RATE) is considered just as fashionable and stylish. A RATE style is often more achievable, and can look interesting, gritty, and urban. Case in point: Many models these days are styled with messy hair and look deliberately dishevelled. 

Don’t Wear White After Labour Day & Before Memorial Day

I read about this dressing guideline when we moved to the US thirteen years ago. At first I thought it wasn’t serious — it was that foreign to me. But it was, and I’ve had several clients ask me how I felt about it over the years. WEAR WHITE YEAR ROUND in all wardrobe items. 

Stick to Seasonally Appropriate Colours 

There is no need to stick to a rigid colour palette that reflects the season. Wear brights and pastels in Autumn and Winter. Wear grey, black and earth tones in Spring and Summer. The guideline is to wear the colours that make you happy throughout the year because your colours are always in style.  

Only Dress for Your Body Type

Body type dressing guidelines were extremely popular about ten years ago. And while they do provide a solid starting point if you want to create traditionally flattering outfit proportions that are visually balanced and slimming, you don’t have to stick to them to look fabulous. These days, it’s a much better idea to come up with an individual set of figure flattering priorities that makes you feel fab in outfits. That way you shan’t feel restricted and “left out” when you love a trend and want to wear it, but your body type guidelines suggest otherwise. Finding the version of a trend that works for you is a much more open and accepting approach to style. Just as it should be. 

Always Create Tall, Slim, Hourglass Proportions 

Just like you don’t need to stick to body type dressing guidelines to look fabulous, you don’t need to wear outfits that make you look taller, slimmer and curvier to look stylish. Creating proportions that are “just flattering enough” is the modern approach to dressing, and more interesting and creative too. Slouchy silhouettes, oversized fits, shortened leg lines, shortened heights, surrendered waistlines, and horizontal integrity can add a whole lot of sass, ease and comfort to your style. That’s just what we need so that we can forget about our outfits and and get on with our day. 

Heeled Footwear Elevates an Outfit 

Less than ten years ago, you were at a stylish disadvantage if you couldn’t wear heels because they were thought to kick most outfits up a notch. These days, flat footwear and low heels up to an inch and half are as stylish and on trend as ever. You can wear them with anything. In fact, because dressy flats are widely available, there is no reason to wear heeled footwear unless you prefer the vibe and they make your feet happy. 

Less is More

You might prefer simple outfits that are visually minimal, but they’re not the stylish benchmark anymore. Eight years ago, it was a faux pas to wear more than one animal printed item in an outfit. These days the only limit to the number of patterns, accessories and colours in an outfit is your own tolerance for the combination. 

We all have our preferences, but no one wants to be boxed into only one way of creating a stylish appearance. The PERSONAL in personal style reigns supreme. Empowering, liberating and modern.