According to fashion ‘rules’ – you know, ‘red and green should never be seen’, for example – I’m in breach of quite a few. But do I care? Nope. I’m a fashion editor so you’d be forgiven for thinking I should know better, but ultimately, I’m super happy dressing in what I love and if that means some of my outfits might be frowned upon for whatever reason then so be it.
But I strongly believe you should do the same. We need to feel comfortable and confident in our clothes every day, and shopping for things that are comfortable and stylish is hard enough without having to worry about everyone judging your picks.
So on that note, here are the fashion mistakes I make and will always make, and I hope you’ll join me.
Dress to flatter your body shape
This one irks me. This is mostly because if we’re told something’s ‘flattering’, it’s most likely because it’s hiding something that we’re supposed to feel uncomfortable showing – think larger thighs, a bigger tummy or a small bust.
If you’re not keen to highlight something and making a personal decision to dress in a certain way to draw attention elsewhere, then that’s different, but being told you should want to mask it is another story altogether.
In some cases, something being ‘flattering’ makes sense. Think in the case of jeans, where different cuts cater to different figures and are thus more comfortable.
As far as something being ‘flattering’ goes, if I feel comfortable in it I’m happy. And that means more often than not I’m in leggings, an oversized sweatshirt and mini Uggs while off-duty (the proportions of which mean they’re not technically flattering), and in mannish trousers, shirts and oversized blazers for work, which I doubt would be considered flattering on my frame.
Read more on useful tips for getting dressed:
- How to find your personal style: The shopping insider guide
- 4 designer items I regret buying – and the ones I should have bought instead
- Postpartum fashion: re-discovering my sense of style after having a baby
- 8 outfit ideas for what to wear on your period
- I’ve saved £7,000 shopping at Bicester Village, here’s how I shop for the good stuff
Don’t wear black close to your face
There’s proof in the theory that different shades affect your skin tone in different ways, of course. It’s why blondes with fair skin suit blue, olive tones suit greens and oranges, and darker skin pulls off bright shades so well.
Black, supposedly, does no one any favours. The shadow that a black jumper casts over your face can’t be balanced with jewellery or a particular eyeshadow shade, but should we rule it out completely? I vote no. The ease of a black knit combined with the effortless, timeless vibe it gives off means they’ll forever be a staple, whether they ‘suit’ my face or not.
Buy your ‘correct’ size
I shop completely different sizes for different items. I’m typically a size 12 which is what ‘fits’ me, but you can bet any jumper or blazer I own is a size 14 or 16. Certain items just look and feel better if they’re oversized, and unless an item specifies that it’s been designed with that sort of fit in mind, I’ll go up one or two sizes for a slouchier fit.
I don’t get too hung up on sizes as they vary wildly up and down the high street. I recently bought a size 16 skirt in COS (fits perfectly) and size 10 jeans on ASOS (also fit perfectly), so I’d advise focusing on fit and comfort over labels. After all, no one can see them!
Save special pieces ‘for best’
I’ve treated myself to a few investment pieces over the years that I love and wear with care, but when we look at cost-per-wear – the price divided by the number of times you expect to wear it – the buys that you wear the least will always be the worst off, making them truly the most expensive pieces you own.
It’s for that reason you can catch me wearing a pair of jewelled heels, special earrings or a leather designer handbag every single week. I splashed a lot on them, so I should get my money’s worth, right?
Don’t wear navy and black or brown and black together
The rules about pairing different colours together are technically rooted in fact. If you take a colour wheel, the general fashion rule is that you shouldn’t pair opposite colours, so red and green or blue and yellow. The outdated theory says that the mixing of dark colours is a clash of formality and also makes for a murky dark look.
I, on the other hand, think they look very chic. All three colours are neutrals, and the brilliant versatility of neutrals means they all mix and match and look great together. A navy knit with black tailored trousers, or a brown wool coat over a black knit are the epitome of chic, IMHO.