In fashion, most rules were made to be broken; don't wear white after Labor Day, match your purse to your shoes, and getting older means dowdy dressing. Let's just bust right through those myths right now! It's all about personal style, and not just wearing your clothes, but wearing them well.
However, there are some rules that should NEVER be broken. Clinton Kelly, host of TLS'c What Not to Wear, lays down the law and give us a few rules to live by:
1. Never show visible panty lines (VPL) - whatever the cause, VPL is an inexcusable assault against everyone walking behind you. Kelly advises women to ditch their bulky drawers in favor of well-fitting, seamless underwear or a thong. If lines are still visible, your pants are too snug. Try going up a size and buying pants that are fully lined. Under clingy knit dresses, go for a longline bodyshaper from Spanx for a smooth look.
2. Just because it's trendy doesn't mean you should wear it - "Fashion is like a cocktail party. There are many hors d'oeuvres to choose, but if you don't want a bacon-wrapped scallop, you're allowed to pass," says Kelly. There might be 10 trends each season, but they're not all going to flatter every body. Choose only those that are right for you (don't be afraid to experiment a little!), but trust your gut. Never wear a trend at your own expense.
3. Don't bare your midriff unless you're at the beach - It's not a dignified look, and is just downright trashy, according to Kelly. You won't be taken seriously if you're sporting a flesh belt, and may need to rethink your laundry stretegy if it wasn't intentional.
4. Never buy shoes that don't fit - if they feel awful in the store, it's not going to change once you get them home. If they're intended for use in the bedroom only, then ok. But no walking!
5. Don't pay attention to sizes - A size 4 sounds great and a 2 can be like a dream. But keep in mind there are no international sizing guidelines; more expensive lines are usually cut a little larger, and cheaper lines a little smaller. You'll be more apt to buy a $400 pair of pants if you can squeeze into a 2, rather than a $100 pair that's a 10. But remember that the sizes are meaningless. Buy for the fit, and buy the best fit you can get. Alterations can cut them down where you need it, but can't make the clothes larger. Plus, no one's gonna know if they're a 6 or a 12.
* Clinton's tips courtesy of In Style Magazine.