I love rules. As a Capricorn, I crave the structure that rules provide. They help guide my decisions and allow me to make sense of an overwhelming world.
And I write a lot of posts about rules because I get a lot of requests about rules. Rules for pant length, rules for Casual Friday, rules for pairing tights and sandals, rules for interview garb. I love writing those posts, and believe that you gorgeous readers find them to be useful. But in light of some feedback, I feel compelled to give this disclaimer. Many of you will find this redundant, but for those who won’t:
You can feel free to take or leave ANY style “rule,” regardless of its source. Latch on to the ones that resonate with you, and discard the ones that jar you. This has always been true, no matter how militant the various style gurus seem when they issue their lists of must-haves and proclaim their stylistic “don’ts.” But, in many ways, it has never been truer than it is right now. The world of style has been busted open, and things that are “daring” and “different” have tremendous value. At least, that’s my perception. Don’t be afraid to ignore anything I say, anything Angie says, hell, anything Tim Gunn says if you disagree with us. Or if what we’re saying doesn’t work with your figure, aesthetic, lifestyle. You are in charge.
Find out what you like.
Find out what makes you look good.
Find out what makes you feel good.
Then do it.
I am always happy to weigh in on when I think you should tuck your jeans into your boots and when I think it’s OK to wear pastels … but I trust you to make those calls on your own. Personal style is personal, and it can feel tremendously empowering to exercise control over your physical appearance. But in order to truly cash in on that empowerment, you have to trust yourself.
That can be challenging, with shows like What Not to Wear yammering at women about doing things “wrong.” And yes, some garments will be more flattering and stylish than others. And yes, I’ve built this blog on giving style advice to those who want it. But I just wanted to be sure you knew something: You can wear a ballgown to work if you know how to accessorize it, you can wear jeans to the opera if you’ve got the right attitude, and you can wear a sheath dress to your daughter’s soccer game if it makes you feel your best.
Trust yourself. You’re a smart cookie and you know what you want. I’ll always give you my two cents, honestly and earnestly … but at the end of the day, you’re in charge.