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Should you break these fashion rules?

Elle Canada
Trends

Should you break these fashion rules?

You've always been a bit of a risk taker so why should your style be any different? From wearing winter white to rocking minis after 40, there are a host of fashion fallacies that are antiquated and totally un-chic. It's time to ditch the dictates and rethink what you wear. Here are some fashion tips to consider:

Myth: Save the sparkle for after dark.
Truth: Whether it's outsize paillettes like those seen at Prada, glitter-sprays at Dolce & Gabbana or Balmain's glossy gold lamé, shimmery fabrics are just as eye-catching for day as they are after dark. The key to taking the look beyond cocktail hour is to pair them with plain basics like your go-to denim or nubby knits. Alternatively, reach for bejeweled accessories like glistening heels or a dazzling tote to add drama and up the glamour quotient for day.

Myth: Don't wear white after Labour Day.
Truth:
This season, don't even think about checking the calendar when you comb your closet. Isabel Marant, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney and Rag & Bone all gave their collections carte blanche for winter. Opt for textured fabrics and seasonally appropriate accessories like boots and opaque black tights to add heft.

Myth: Long dresses aren't for short women.
Truth: Maximum length = maximum impact! But how do you master it if you're of less than supermodel stature? Petites need not fear floor-sweeping frocks and skirts. Simply choose a style in a lighter fabric or clean, body-skimming silhouette to avoid overwhelming a smaller frame. An asymmetrical style, like those at Alexander Wang and Thakoon, also work well to elongate the leg. Pair it with a sweater and height-adding heels for a look that spells easy elegance.

Myth: Avoid mixing prints.
Truth: An unexpected pattern combination can make a major statement. Jonathan Saunders, Erdem and Matthew Williamson got caught up in a graphic jam for fall pairing clashing prints on head to toe looks. Work the trend right by mixing contrasting motifs in matching hues and keeping the size and scale of the prints in check.

We tell you the truth behind more fashion myths on the next page...

197-EC-Nov11-p1-p1edit.jpg Myth: Sporty styles should stay in the gym.
Truth: Who says sweats can't be stylish? Designers like Jil Sander, Isabel Marant and Marc Jacobs offered their own sports lessons with loose-fitting pants with go-faster stripes, pocketed leather gilets, and even high-top sneakers. This season's sports-inspired looks are ultra hip with a glamorous touch but should be balanced with sophisticated touches. Tailored separates like a feminine blouse and fitted blazer make the look more runway and less running track. Forgo the statement sneaks and finished with polished stilettos.

Myth: You can't re-revisit a decade if you've already lived through it.
Truth: Even if you were Bianca Jagger's soul sister or a regular at Studio 54, you can still tune into the spirit of the seventies. Gucci, Chloe and Michael Kors made the decade modern with fluid silk dresses, opulent accessories and decadent jumpsuits. No need to go overly retro either. A corduroy jacket, knee high boots or faux fur vest are easy ways to channel the era's iconic allure.

Myth: Leather dresses are only for biker chicks.
Truth:
You don't have to be a Whitesnake fan to rock a leather frock. The Row, Preen and Christopher Kane all made downright demure versions with their super soft precision cuts. Just choose a knee-length skirt or a sleek dress with sleeves and add a tailored jacket or shirt for an urbane twist.

Myth: No minis on women over 40.
Truth:
It's a fact that legs are always the last to go, so there is no reason you should be hiding them. Short hemlines can absolutely work for women of a certain age, just be sure to stick to modest tops like a button-down or jacket rather than a low-cut blouse. Also be sure the mini skirt or dress isn't tight - the focus should be on your great gams, not your rear. If you're still not convinced, look to labels like Michael Kors and Gucci who showed longer lengths with thigh-high slits for a look that's polished, not pre-teen.

Read more:
10 ankle boots for fall
Fashion trends: Plaid prints and tartan skirts
Fall colour trends: Rich bordeaux
Fall coats under $250

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Should you break these fashion rules?