Redheads should NEVER wear red… and other fashion commandments made to be broken
14:27 GMT, 10 July 2012
There has been much in the news recently about whether or not horizontal stripes are flattering.
As a result, we decided make life a little simpler and, if not throw the fashion rule book completely out of the window, at least give it a good watering down.
Rules are meant to be broken, after all, and fashion is no exception.
Professional and celebrity stylist Nicky Hambleton Jones agrees we shouldn’t be governed by stringent sartorial regulations.
‘Modern fashion is about expression of style and personality,' she says.
'We shouldn’t be weighed down by old style codes. It’s about having fun with your wardrobe and experimenting. If you have confidence you can carry off almost anything. The more you worry about rules, the more boring your outfit will be.’
With this in mind we run through ten fashion commandments which are as out of date as a mouldy loaf of bread.
Rule #1: Thou shall not clash prints
Diane Kruger gives us a lesson in mixing and matching prints
Influenced by spring/summer catwalks like those at Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou, attitudes towards clashing prints have done a sharp U-turn.
While a stripe teamed with a spot used to get you banished to fashion Room 101. Now, the more jarring the combination the better.
Diane Kruger carries off the look in a Derek Lam floral long shirt dress with a stripy skirt by the same designer worn over the top.
Use prints of obviously different sizes so there is a proportion element of separation between garments, as Diane does, to stop things getting too confusing, or break up with a statement accessory like a necklace or brooch.
Rule #2: Blue and green should never be seen
Zoe Saldana makes a splash with this colour combo
This is an old wives' tale that should be cast out along with the rest. The original thinking was that the colours are too close in the colour palette – distorting the overall impression and making your outfit look a bit ‘off’.
Zoe Saldana works the look with ease using prints and embellishments to help break up the similar colour ways. Equally, throw a lime green against a turquoise and you can see a vast distinction. Keep an eye on the hue of each shade, making sure they don't blend into each other too much and you'll be laughing.
Rule #3: As thy age rises, thy hemline should fall
Helen Mirren lets her legs to the talking
As Joan Collins once said, ‘Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine’. She was spot on. It should be down to us, rather than our birth certificates, just how much leg we flash.
Toned legs can look just as good in a knee-skimming skirt no matter whether you are 16 or 60. Sheer tights help disguise blemishes and smooth the overall look – as Dame Helen Mirren demonstrates here with a pair of killer heels.
Rule #4: Redheads shalt never wear red
Christina Hendricks shows how two reds make a right
Try telling Christina Hendricks that she can't wear scarlet. Restricting redheads to creams and olive greens is so limiting. This dramatic Romona Keveza dress makes Christina look even more striking.
Ensure there is enough skin on show to differentiate between the hair and outfit, which Christina does with a flash of shoulder. Take into account the tone of your hair and, for best results, don’t match it exactly with your dress or top or it can look a little too much.
Rule #5: Thou shalt not match brown with blue
Mollie King tackles matching brown with blue
Like with green and blue, these colours have been deemed too similar on the tonal scale to be matched. Not enough contrast can make you look like a muddy pile as the brown drags down the blue.
However this is not always the case, as shown by Mollie King (the Saturday who looks like a peculiar mix between Sienna Miller and Barbie), who has mixed fabrics and textures to enhance the colour contrast.
Colour technology has advanced enough to make vibrant cobalt blues and aqua marines which can more than hold their own against tan, chocolate or coffee hues.
Rule #6: Shoes and bags must always match
Olivia Palermo has a rebellious accessories streak
This mantra should be consigned to the Fifties and Sixties from where it came. Jackie Kennedy was a keen worker of the matching hat, shoes and bag combination but nowadays having an outfit’s accessories too matchy-matchy can look a little contrived.
Throw caution to the wind and revel in clashing colours and textures as Olivia Palermo often does. Just remember to keep the rest of your outfit paired down to maximise the impact.
Rule #7: Thou must not wear leather during the summer
Claire Danes goes hell for leather
This used to be practical advice to avoid sweating buckets but now the texture of fabric has evolved so much leather materials can be lightweight, comfortable and wearable on even the hottest days.
Leather dresses were seen all over the Versace and Dolce & Gabbana catwalks, and Claire Danes manages to look fresh and funky in this Lanvin creation.
Rule #8: Thou shall not be seen dead in green and red
Emma Stone mixes off-shades of green and red
One reason people take offence to this colour combination is because green and red are opposing colours on the colour spectrum that battle it out for attention across an outfit. Get it wrong and you could look like an angry Christmas tree.
Emma Stone neatly sidesteps the problem by matching a paired down burgundy with a shade of teal. The key is choosing different tones that allow one colour to be more dominant then the other – in this case the teal.
But you can try brighter colours too – think of salsa and guacamole, a match made in heaven.
Rule #9: Open-toed shoes must never be worn with tights
Alexa Chung shows off a couple of little piggies
Even this terrifying sartorial combination can be managed with aplomb. Alexa looks sleek and smart in a pair of, gasp, open toe shoes.
Black tights teamed with a black shoe is the easiest, and safest, way to work the look. Avoid flesh coloured tights that show the seams across the toe, which is completely unforgivable.
Rule #10: Undergarments shalt be seen on pain of death
Sarah Jessica Parker looking bra-valous
While this could have landed you in the docks in Victorian times now flashing a bra strap or sheer camisole can be the ultimate style statement.
Make sure it’s nice underwear though – no one wants to see your fifty shades of grey.
Dress to suit your shape and, above all, wear with confidence – like Sarah Jessica Parker in this lacy Louis Vuitton ensemble. (Although we'd suggest losing the Mickey Mouse gloves)