Spring Breakers

Turn Fashion “Don’ts” into “Dos”

>> IN FASHION    by Sharon Mosley


Take a break this spring from all the fashion “don’ts” and turn them into the new dos. Change is in the air, and just when you thought you’d never wear “those” two colors together, you’ve got new ideas to inspire your wardrobe in a whole new way. Here are some ways to break out of that old thinking for the season ahead. Go ahead and break out of these old “don’ts.”

Don’t wear white before Memorial Day.

The old adage about only wearing white between Memorial Day and Labor Day has long been outdated. Even though some of us may still hesitate to brave the snow in an all-white pantsuit, it is refreshing to bring out the whites way before the first heat wave hits. Ditto for pastels. These paler neutrals are great ways to refresh the darker pieces in your closet. And wearing white from head to toe makes an elegant party statement any time of the year. Just skip the white hosiery.

Don’t wear mismatched accessories. Matching your handbag and shoes or your earrings to your necklace is another old fashion rule now meant to be broken. “Matchy Matchy” is a mantra that has gone by the wayside not just in fashion circles, but in interior design as well. Accessories are one of the best ways to give outfits extra personality, so mix and match to blend unique pieces. Don’t be afraid to pop a bright blue handbag with a pair of orange sandals or mix your silver bangles with a big gold cuff.
Mixing colors as well as different metals and gemstones is also a much more modern way to wear jewelry.

Don’t wear mismatched prints and patterns. Just as we are mixing and matching accessories with abandon, we are also wearing checks with florals, paisleys with ginghams and stripes with polka dots. The possibilities are endless. One suggestion before you get too excited about all this new mishmash of prints and patterns: Keep color in mind, and try to use one color palette to bring it all together.    

Don’t wear clashing colors.
Well, it’s easy to wear just one color—your jacket matches your skirt matches your top, etc. But if you want to make dressing much more interesting, then it may be time to break out of the one-color wardrobe (for many of us that may mean ditching the all black safety net) and exploring some not-so-basic color combinations. Navy can be worn with brown and black, but this spring, the “hot” colors of the season are teaming up. Experiment with aqua and red, pink and orange, yellow and purple...often all in one outfit.

Don’t wear evening clothes during the day. Well, now you can have a party all day long if you want to...sparkle is all the rage, morning, noon and night. So if you want to shine in your sequin top at the office, go ahead and get that spark going. Opposites attract these days. So top off your jeans with a glittery jacket and see if your mood doesn’t improve no matter what time of day it is.

Don’t wear suede or leather in the spring or summer. Another “old-fashioned” rule that is disappearing fast. As technology improves, and leather and suede have become lighter and lighter, they are both year-round favorites of fashion designers who continue to make them work in our wardrobes even in warm weather. Even shoes get the leather and suede reboot for spring. Thigh-high boots may be a bit much as temperatures rise, but ankle boots or “shooties” offer a fresh spin on cool-girl style when worn with breezy dresses, shorts and skirts.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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