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7 Outdated Fashion Rules You Can Ignore

Insiders share fashionable ways women can break with convention

By Elizabeth Burns and

(This article previously appeared on

"Never mix black and navy."

"Navy and black or brown and black SHOULD be worn together. A lot of people wear head-to-toe black, so when you add navy or brown into the mix, it actually gives your outfit a little bit of unexpected detail. Wear the colors equally — like a navy shift dress and black blazer to make the pairing look intentional. And it's totally slimming." — Kristie, Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Magazine

(MORE: The New Job-Interview Dress Code)

"Pick your metal and stick with it."

"Think of metallics as neutrals which are easily mixed and matched. Gold does not have to be worn only with gold, or silver only with silver. A trick for adding visual interest with your jewelry is to blend rose gold, bronze, gold, and silver. The best way to make it seem effortless is by wearing jewelry in odd numbers, like three bangles." — Emma, Styling Coordinator, Shopbop

"Use powder to finish your face."

"Wearing a tinted moisturizer with cream foundation and blush will take 10 years off your face. Creams add luster and shine while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, where powder-based products will make them more apparent. NARS [cosmetics line] always has a beautiful finish." — Lorraine, Owner, Tolo's Salon

"Never wear tights and sandals."

"You can wear open-toed shoes with stockings or tights — it's true, but there still is a rule for pulling this off elegantly. Absolutely no reinforced toe or toe seam. Choose a shoe that isn't too open and has some texture. Diane von Furstenberg (pictured) is the perfect icon for this. — Samantha, Account Executive, Level 99

"Pastels are only for spring."

"Designers have been including typically spring palettes into their fall runway looks - pastels are not just a staple for warm weather. Blush, baby blue, and yellow are incredibly chic paired with winter whites or conservative colors. Try a pastel coat or sweater with black or white slacks." — Dasha, Merchant, Victoria's Secret

"One print at a time, please."

"Have fun and be bold by mixing more than one print in an outfit — no one will think you got dressed in the dark. Add flavor by wearing a leopard print belt with a striped blouse, or a polka dot bag with a floral dress. The most important thing is to be confident — all fashionistas are." — Virginia, Blogger

"Daywear and eveningwear don't mix."

"Whenever my clients ask for ways to refresh their wardrobe I always suggest incorporating one evening accessory into their daytime look. Take a clutch to run errands and add polish, or pair your favorite jeans and white blouse with a satin pump. Breaking simple dress codes like these make outfits more interesting, and lets your personal style show through."  — LaVaughn, Personal Shopper, Bloomingdale's

Elizabeth Burns Read More
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