Style Rules: Why I like them, and why I break them

Last week, Design Mom asked a question about personal style, "Do you like style rules? Or do they stress you out?"

My answer? I don’t mind rules. They let you know which ones to break when you want to stand out.

Gabrielle's question was in response to Ines de la Fressange's edict on earrings and necklaces -- in her opinion it's either or, never both. I suppose that's an easy enough rule to follow, unless of course you're going for full on glamour.

Like, say, Grace Kelly. Or Liz Taylor. Or, I don't know, the Cleopatra-like model in the Tiffany ad?

Rules are comforting and make life easier. But don't be afraid to break them every once in awhile. Keep things fun.

This got me thinking about other style rules, and how to break them. Hopefully this inspires you to break some of your own.

Never wear white after Labor Day

Tell that to Abbey Lee Kershaw (pictured outside the Hotel de Crillon, Paris in October).

Winter whites are dreamy.

Never wear black with brown or navy

Dita Von Teese

Really. Can someone explain to me why brown and black is supposed to be such a sin? It works for leopards. And blue and black? Dita looks perfectly fine here.

Never wear red if you’re a redhead.

Photo from Delta Sky Magazine

Ms. Christina Hendricks shows anyone who believes redheads can't wear red the error of their ways.

You must cut your hair short hair when going grey

image via

Grey hair is striking. Cut your hair short? Sure! But only if you want to.

Never wear tights with open-toed shoes

photo by two cups of tea

Yes you can wear tights with open-toed shoes. Just look at expert fashion rule breaker Erin Loechner from Design for Mankind! Tuck the seam in under your toes and you're good to go.

What style rules do you break, my friends?

(Or does looking at these rule breakers make you break a sweat?)