The word ‘myth’ probably brings up memories of silly misconceptions when you were a child, like if you kept crossing your eyes the wind will blow on it and they’ll stay crossed forever, or that if you sneeze with your eyes open your eyeballs will pop out. How about those fashion myths and rules that you often hear? Those that tell you to not wear more than one print and to avoid horizontal stripes, for example. Come to think of it, who even came up with these myths and rules that restricts what we can or cannot wear? Today, we’re going to put a halt to all these nonsense myths, so you can open up your wardrobe and start wearing what you want to.
Text: Holly Earp / HerWorldPlus / September 2017
Additional text: Cheryl Lim
For similar stories, visit herworldplus.com.
For more fashion stories, read Celebrities Are Ditching Oversized Eyewear For These Skinny Sunnies and How To Style Straw Bags With Casual Wear Like Local Influencers.
Fashion myth: You can’t wear double denim
Even with the nineties revival, double denim is still fragile territory. It’s been etched into our fashion-conscious brains as a blanket no-no, but don’t let the myth put you off.
Believe it or not, you CAN wear double denim without looking like the sixth member of a corny 90’s boyband. Wearing it in different shades is always a safe bet, so try dark blue jeans with a floaty light denim top. Or black jeans with an open collar denim blue shirt and strappy top underneath.
Feeling a little braver? As long as you break up the look, you can put a non-cheesy spin on double denim in the same colour. Try a denim mini skirt with a light open jacket in the same colour, then rock up the look with a slogan or band tee.
Fashion myth: You can’t mix prints
We’ve all heard the ‘you can’t wear more than one print’ warnings, but no one ever explains why. We’re guessing it’s probably because a small number of people have tried it and got it very very wrong, but you’ve gotta take a few risks in life, y’know?
Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that you can go raid a charity shop, pick out any old (literally) prints, throw them together and call it ‘fashion’, but follow a couple of staple rules and you might just surprise yourself.
Look for prints in complementary shades for a safe way to rock mismatched prints, and try wearing one print that’s bigger than the other to keep it classy. Alternatively, wear a striped pattern with florals for easy print success.
Fashion myth: Horizontal stripes make you look fat
People always say that a horizontal line will draw the eye across the body, making you appear wider, but this is a load of tosh. A 2009 study conducted by British psychologists concluded that people actually saw horizontal lines as more slimming than an identical model wearing vertical lines. So we’ve got it all backwards!
Different stripes give different effects so experiment to see what works for you, and don’t be afraid to mix horizontals with verticals, or even diagonals if you’re feeling particularly crazy. The important thing is, you don’t have to be constricted by the horizontal stripe myth.
Fashion myth: You have nothing to wear
How many times have you stood staring at your wardrobe thinking there’s nothing you want to wear?? All those mornings late to work, purely because you were exasperated trying to put an outfit together that you feel yourself in. The reality is, it’s probably not the clothes that you don’t like anymore, but how you look in them that you’re not happy with. So besides splurging out on a whole new wardrobe, what can you do about it?
Spend a day throwing away things that you don’t love and thinking of new ways you can style and put together outfits out of what you have. Look to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration!
Fashion myth: Newer means better
Just because the shops are lined with shiny brand new collections, it doesn’t mean that these are better than the clothes already in your wardrobe. It’s easy to fill that age old ‘bored of your clothes’ void by buying new styles, but if you shop well to begin with, you’ll have less of an urge to go shopping just because things are ‘new’.
Trends will come and go, so don’t go crazy spending loads of money on one particular new style. Shop for fit, not for trend and nail the classics that you’ll be wearing for years. If you invest in a few good, simple classics, you can then use accessories to keep up with the trends, meaning you’ll have a great wardrobe all year round without having to throw your money at every new seasonal collection.
Fashion myth: Sequins are 'too dressy' for the day
What’s this? A myth that tells us not to wear sequins in the day? Nahh, we’re not having that. Sparkle doesn’t have to be OTT, yet so many people reserve it exclusively for evening wear. There’s absolutely no logic to this – just like every other more ‘dressy’ item in our wardrobe, sequined pieces can be toned down for daytime wear.
Make the look casual by dressing down a sparkly jacket with a simple skirt, tee and trainers or ankle boots. Or try a sequined skirt with a tee and plain jacket. Or you can even get away with a sequin slip dress by wearing a plain tee underneath. Basically – wear it with a tee! It can be your statement piece without being too much, as long as you make sure to balance it out.
Fashion myth: You can’t wear socks with sandals
Before we launch into an ode to socks and sandals, let’s first lay a few ground rules. There’s a good reason why peeping socks have got a bad rep, namely due to those who walk around in worn out beige socks and over-practical rubbery sandals. It’s no myth that this is NOT okay, and should never in any circumstances be seen as an alright way to dress your feet in the morning. We’re all up for being comfortable, but let’s not got too far now….
So with that disclaimer out of the way, how can we make this controversial combination look nice and fashionable? This is really going to depend on your own style. Some people can pull off slouchy socks with fluffy sliders, which may not be for everyone so experiment to see what works. Fishnet ankle socks with open toe heels is a good start, then as you grow more confident you can move into playful patterned socks with block heels.
Fashion myth: You can’t wear gold and silver jewellery at the same time
If you’ve never been able to decide whether to invest in good gold jewellery, or good silver jewellery, we’re telling you right now – you don’t have to. This is another weird myth that’s been knocking about with no real reasoning behind it. One of the beauties with accessorising is mixing and matching pieces. A look doesn’t have to be 100% polished, and often you’ll find the most fashion-forward outfits by putting things you wouldn’t usually think to pair together.
Have a go at layering thin silver and gold chains to create an elegant neck statement, and don’t be afraid to mix up your rings in different gold and silvers. As long as the style matches, there’s no reason why you can’t pair them together to build up a dual metallic look.
The same goes for gold and silver clothes – keep the rest of the look simple and use flashes of different metallics to tie the look together.
Fashion myth: Don’t wear black and navy
This myth is so restricting, especially when it comes to the office. You’ve got a perfect navy dress, but oh, you’re shoes are black so forget that….or what about that great navy blazer sitting there in your wardrobe? Ah, scrap it all, you haven’t got trousers to match.
We’ve got good news – it’s all LIES. You can forget everything you know because in reality, black and navy can be one of the classiest combos around. All you need to do is know how to style it!
Break the hues up with a flash of white to keep the colour palette fresh and sophisticated, pop on some shades and you can’t go too wrong.
Fashion myth: Short girls can’t wear maxi skirts
For all you petite gals, maxi trends can be nothing but heartache. They may be comfy as hell to wear, but when you’re a shortie, this also means a perilous excess of material that drags over the floor. The obvious solution is to get them taken up at the hem, but who’s got time for that? As long as you follow a few simple rules, then good news ladies, a maxi is possible!
- Look for high waisted styles. Many maxis sit more on the hips, but when you find one that sits high on the waist (add a belt if it falls down), this will elongate your body, giving you the illusion of being taller.
- If it drags along the floor, try folding the top waistline over itself a few times to reduce the length. Again, you can add a waist belt to hide this.
- If all else fails, wear wedges!