New Castle News

August 8, 2012

Sarah Stright: Fashion "rules" that were made to be broken

Sarah Stright
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — We've all heard the standard fashion rules that we should abide by. However, I want to break a few of those today. Rules are made to be broken, right?

So let's start with an easy one. "No white after Labor Day". This rule is just silly. Why should one date specify when we stop wearing a certain color? Not to mention, "winter white" is one of the easiest colors to wear (assuming of course that you aren't as messy as I tend to be, especially when wearing white). One of the biggest trends for fall this year is the monochromatic all white look. It's classic and clean and can look incredibly rich (without spending a ton of money). Look to the right for an example of an all white look. Let's talk about why this works. First, as I said, it's a very rich look. With a white suit and different variations of the color mixed in, the look is very pulled together. Second, the different textures, especially within the top and bag, give this look visual interest. Finally, with the streamlined look, it gives the appearance of being taller and leaner (as long as the pieces all fit appropriately).

Let's move on to the second rule that needs to be broken. And that is that black and brown should not be worn together. This color combination happens to be one of my favorites because of the grounded, easy feel that the colors give off. The black comes off as a bit more serious while the brown brings out more nature tones and combined they look very cool. Just think of how great leopard print looks! Again, look to the right for an example of a black and brown look. This casual look is one of my favorites. Mixing the two colors together throughout the outfit looks effortless. Adding in patterns in black and brown (such as in a leopard heel or patterned bag) is an easy way to work this combination if you're still a bit unsure.

Finally, the color navy seems to give a lot of trouble. I was recently asked what business appropriate colored shoes go best with navy. In one word? Everything. Navy is a neutral color and because of this, you can wear basically anything with it. One suggestion I have is to print out a color wheel (you can find several of them just by Googling) and hang it in your closet. Looking at the different color combinations may give you a spark of inspiration to try colors that you haven't thought of before. Look to the right. I've grabbed one pair of business trousers in navy and paired it with several different colors to give you an idea of how easy it is. Granted, if you work in a very formal office, not all of the options will be appropriate, however, don't be afraid to mix it up if your office is a bit more casual.

So, what do you think? Will you be breaking these fashion "rules"? What are some others that you've heard?

If you have any fashion questions, please email me at And for more fashion inspiration, visit my personal style blog, Coming Unstitched, at