Fashion myths drive me bananas. I find arbitrary rules such as ‘blue and green should never be seen’ and ‘everyone looks chic in black’ utterly infuriating, and they instantly make me want to go out wearing my bluest and greenest clothes all at once, preferably in vertical stripes with mismatched textures and a print on my widest part, for maximum offence.
However, rather than doing that I thought it might be more helpful to actually address some of those pernicious fashion myths and show you that actually the most important thing is to choose styles and colours that work for you, not that adhere to some arbitrary set of fashion ‘rules’. Of course, once I started to look into it, there were so many rules that (a) I was left amazed that any of us manage to get dressed in the morning and (b) I realised it was more than I could cover in one post. So today I’m going to deal with pervasive colour-related myths, but keep an eye out for further fashion myth busting next month when I deal with stripes, prints and age related ‘rules’.
Blue and green should never be seen
I’ve always found this rule bizarre, frankly. Anyone who has studied interior design or art knows that blue and green fall into the ‘related colours’ rule on the colour wheel (put simply, these colours sit next to each other on a rainbow or artists’ colour wheel) and therefore look perfectly good together. Of course, hue and value matter too – don’t panic too much about this, just feel confident that if you both colours you are putting together sit within your palette, they will be harmonious, and it’s only when you drift outside your own personal palette with one or other colour that you might run into problems with clashing.
No white in winter
Or if you’re in the US, no white after Labour Day (the first Monday in September). This rule made (some) sense back in the days when the only clothes you might buy in white were soft cottons and linens in summer weight fabrics. Nowadays, with the abundance of white denim and knitwear, there’s absolutely no reason why your clothes shouldn’t have a white winter! Of course, stick to your best version of white – soft white for Summers, a slightly warmer cream for Springs and Autumns, and true stark white only for the Winters among us.
Your bag must match your shoes
It definitely should, if you want to look like you got lost on your way to the 1950s. Otherwise, mix and match within your palette for a look that provides contrast without a jarring clash. If you’re feeling low on confidence in this area, try going for a brighter bag and neutral shoes, rather than two bold tones together. I promise that once you get your nerve though, there’ll be no stopping you.
Kettlewell items shown: Suede Tassel Clutch in Ginger and Rustic Red
No navy with black
I only approve of this rule if black falls outside your personal palette, in which case you shouldn’t be wearing it. Otherwise, ignore it with impunity. True deep black and rich navy looks expensive and elegant paired together, particularly done in a bold colour block way, rather than an ‘I accidentally wore these black shoes with my navy suit’ way. The softer navy of Summer, brighter navy of Spring and marine blue of Autumn all look fairly drab with black, but that’s because they don’t fall into the same colour palette, rather than anything to do with some arbitrary fashion rule.
Black works for everyone
No. Just no. If you’ve had a colour analysis, you’ll know full well how many better colours there are for you than black, unless you are a Winter (and even here there are often better options such as charcoal or navy, especially on older skin). In fact, I feel so strongly about this that I’ve got an upcoming post on ‘better than black’ alternatives for every skintone which you can keep an eye out for. And if you really can’t give it up, why not read our guide on how to make it work for you?