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Stylists reveal the traditional rules that fashion fans should IGNORE – as experts explain which sartorial guidelines are now outdated

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There are certain fashion rules that are made to be broken – like mixing black and navy or wearing silver and gold jewelry at the same time. 

To find out which sartorial guidelines, if any, people should abide by and which ones are absolutely outdated, FEMAIL has asked stylists and fashion experts to weigh in. 

In a now viral TikTok, content creator Natalie brought up some of the biggest fashion faux pas, captioning the video, ‘I was told navy and black could serve jail time.’ 

‘Some traditional fashion guidelines used to discourage mixing black and navy, does anyone else feel like it’s CRIMINAL to wear black and navy together???’ the US-based content creator asked her followers, kicking off a discussion of the most out of date fashion rules. 

New York City-based Danielle Olivera, who launched digital styling app Donne, is a big proponent of mixing metals

Personal stylist Erin Stoll shows her clients how to break fashion rules and is a proponent of mixing denim

Personal stylist Erin Stoll shows her clients how to break fashion rules and is a proponent of mixing denim

Image consultant Julie Kraus, based in New York, often shares videos with her tips about how to break fashion rules, including wearing white all year round

Image consultant Julie Kraus, based in New York, often shares videos with her tips about how to break fashion rules, including wearing white all year round

The content creator continued: ‘Growing up my mom made it VERY clear that those colors are NOT to be worn together. Of course now it’s a trend but it still feels illegal.’ 

Commenters brought up similarly old fashioned regulations they were taught, like not mixing gold and silver and avoiding pairing black with brown or black with black. 

Personal stylist Erin Stoll, 46, is all about showing her clients how to step out of their comfort zone closet – in fact, her Instagram bio reads ‘Personal Stylist for women who are ready to make their own style rules.’ 

Erin, based in Omaha, Nebraska, finds fashion rules outdated and said they ‘limit us and our creativity which is what personal style is all about.’ 

Her approach to personal style is ‘helping women trust their own instincts,’ and she said a big part of that is ‘recognizing how many rules you are following that are stopping you from the style you truly want.’

Don’t be afraid to pair black and navy 

Erin told FEMAIL this previously controversial pairing is actually a ‘timeless very chic color combination,’ and advised that ‘an easy way to tiptoe into this is to start with accessories,’ like a navy blue blazer with a black belt, shoes and a matching handbag.

Erin’s also a fan of wearing lighter hues together, which ‘feels easier because the colors don’t feel like they match or compete with each other.’ 

Rita Ora proved black and navy is actually an easy style pairing, showing off a navy minidress with oversized sleeves paired with thigh-high black boots

Rita Ora proved black and navy is actually an easy style pairing, showing off a navy minidress with oversized sleeves paired with thigh-high black boots 

Image consultant Julie Kraus, based in Scarsdale, New York, often shares videos with her tips about how to break fashion rules. 

Julie told FEMAIL: ‘Sometimes the most interesting outfits are the ones that break the rules.’ 

‘The key to pulling off a black and navy look is to make sure the color of the navy is obviously contrasting the black,’ Julie explained. ‘In other words – you want the navy to read as blue, without questioning if it’s actually black. 

‘Look for a brighter navy and it should do the trick. This way, you have a black and navy look that’s intentional as opposed to looking like it could be clashing.’

Try out black and brown ensembles

Nicole Richie proved black and brown work together when she layered a brown leather trench coat over a a patterned dress with black heels

Nicole Richie proved black and brown work together when she layered a brown leather trench coat over a a patterned dress with black heels

Sabrina Yoo said when the color combination is done right, 'it can create a rich, earthy, and elegant look,' as seen on Olivia Munn, above

Sabrina Yoo said when the color combination is done right, ‘it can create a rich, earthy, and elegant look,’ as seen on Olivia Munn, above 

Erin says this is a very easy fashion rule to break, and advised starting by pairing tan or cognac accessories with a black dress. 

When it comes to partnering colors that aren’t supposed to go together, Erin tells her clients, ‘Don’t let the color have all the power – we tell our clothes what to do.’ 

Sabrina Yoo, 25, the creative director of the women’s fashion brand Amissima US, also approves of mixing black and brown. 

Sabrina said when the color combination is done right, ‘it can create a rich, earthy, and elegant look.’

‘Consider pairing a brown leather jacket with a black mini skirt or a black sweater with brown trousers – it’s all about balance and the right accessories.’

In general, Sabrina pointed out that many of these fashion rules are outdated especially since ‘so many trends, many of which are polar opposites, coexist at the same time,’ which makes it impossible to keep up with all of the frivolous regulations. 

New York City-based Danielle Olivera, who stars on Bravo’s Summer House, recently launched the digital styling app Donne to connect people with experts who help digitize their closets. 

She thoroughly agrees that it’s time to start breaking fashion rules (the only one she sticks to is just wearing flip flops at the beach or pool). 

Danielle said she finds black and brown together ‘so chic when the right balance of both is incorporated into an outfit,’ and advised, ‘always pair with other neutrals to achieve this.’ 

Dare to wear double denim 

Rihanna proved double denim is quite chic when she stepped out with A$ap Rocky in October in New York City

Rihanna proved double denim is quite chic when she stepped out with A$ap Rocky in October in New York City 

Gwyneth Paltrow proved double denim can be ultra-chic in an ensemble from up-and-coming luxury fashion designer Amir Taghi

Gwyneth Paltrow proved double denim can be ultra-chic in an ensemble from up-and-coming luxury fashion designer Amir Taghi 

It's time to dare to wear double denim - and you won't end up looking like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the red carpet

It’s time to dare to wear double denim – and you won’t end up looking like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the red carpet

It’s time to dare to wear double denim – and don’t worry, these stylists guarantee you won’t end up looking like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake on the red carpet. 

Erin is a self-declared huge fan of denim on denim and shows her clients how to embrace the previous fashion faux pas.  

‘I think if you start with jeans and a top that are too close together in terms of the color of the wash, it can feel too matchy,’ Erin advised. 

‘Start with jeans and a shirt, or denim jacket, that don’t match or that are far apart from each other in terms of the color of the wash.’

Erin suggested pairing a dark denim jeans with a lighter blue chambray shirt or a medium wash denim jacket with white or super light jeans. 

‘The more contrast the better – but it’s also not wrong to wear matching denim,’ Erin continued. 

If you don’t feel like going full cowboycore, make sure to skip the cowboy boots, fringe, and turquoise jewelry. 

Mix metals 

'Many of my clients have heirloom jewelry...  they want to wear all the time but they don't because the rest of the jewelry they own doesn't match,' stylist Erin said

‘Many of my clients have heirloom jewelry…  they want to wear all the time but they don’t because the rest of the jewelry they own doesn’t match,’ stylist Erin said

Were you always told you have to pick gold or silver jewelry and stick with it? That’s no longer the truth, and plenty of trendy pieces lean into mixing metals. 

‘A great way to ease into mixing metals is to find a piece of jewelry that already has both silver and gold,’ Erin proposed. 

‘A necklace is a great piece to do this with because it can act as the foundation that will tie all of your other accessories together and then you can add gold or silver earrings, rings, bracelets.’ 

‘Many of my clients have heirloom jewelry, wedding rings, and watches that they want to wear all the time but they don’t because the rest of the jewelry they own doesn’t match,’ Erin continued. 

‘That’s a rule that is holding them back from wearing and enjoying a piece that is really meaningful.

Sabrina agreed that there’s no reason to avoid the blend because ‘combining different metals can add depth and interest to your overall look. 

‘The key is to carefully balance the pieces so that they appear intentional,’ Sabrina said. 

‘The goal is to create a cohesive look with varied textures and colors. When in doubt, layering is the answer.’

Forget about figure flattering 

Erin explained that only opting for flattering silhouettes 'can really hold women back from evolving in their style'

Erin explained that only opting for flattering silhouettes ‘can really hold women back from evolving in their style’

If you’re always looking for the most figure flattering outfit, it can hold you back from finding your own personal style or trying out trends. 

Erin said the biggest rule her clients have a hard time breaking is ‘allowing themselves to wear things that make them look bigger than they are.’

‘So many of us have been conditioned that the ‘right’ way to dress is to dress in a way that makes us look as small as possible,’ Erin continued. 

Erin explained that only opting for flattering silhouettes ‘can really hold women back from evolving in their style.’

‘Women tell me that they want to try a wide leg jean or an oversized button down, but they “can’t” because someone told them that it will make them look bigger.’ 

Stylist Julie agreed, and said that always needing to define your waistline is a myth. 

‘While Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala outfit might have society thinking otherwise – no – not every outfit has to define your waist,’ Julie quipped. 

‘In fact, if you don’t have a lot of natural indentation around your waistline, when you try to define it, you might feel boxy. Instead, dress for your natural shape.’ 

‘If you’re more rectangular without a lot of curve through the waist – go for styles that mimic that shape with straight cut garments that fall to your hip and your clothing will start to feel like home,’ Julie recommended. 

Wear white after Labor Day

'I love wearing white year-round and encourage my clients who gravitate towards white to do the same,' Julie spilled

‘I love wearing white year-round and encourage my clients who gravitate towards white to do the same,’ Julie spilled 

Sure, it was always a rule to avoid wearing white after Labor Day, but is that still true? 

In a world where white sneakers reign supreme and winter white is a favorite with celebrities like Anne Hathaway, it can seem a bit archaic to save the hue for certain seasons. 

Julie told FEMAIL, ‘I love wearing white year-round and encourage my clients who gravitate towards white to do the same.’

She suggests head-to-toe monochromatic looks or white sweaters, or even incorporating the color with a bag or shoe to brighten up an otherwise dull look.  

Danielle is another fan of wearing white all year-round. 

The reality star thinks that the rule is outdated and is ‘very much here for breaking it, especially in the winter.’ 

Wearing black isn’t always the most flattering option 

Julie explained that 'wearing black and dark colors are not the only way to achieve a flattering look,' especially since 'often when women wear black it¿s to hide something'

Julie explained that ‘wearing black and dark colors are not the only way to achieve a flattering look,’ especially since ‘often when women wear black it’s to hide something’

While black is always flattering, Julie explained there are different ways to camouflage specific areas of your body

While black is always flattering, Julie explained there are different ways to camouflage specific areas of your body

Perhaps you always reach for your little black dress when you’re looking for something slenderizing. 

However, Julie explained that ‘wearing black and dark colors are not the only way to achieve a flattering look,’ especially since ‘often when women wear black it’s to hide something.’

‘If you want to camouflage a specific area of your body, keep the lighter color where you want to draw attention and the darker color in comparison on the area in which you wish to camouflage. 

‘It’s easy to mix things up with a cheerful, bold print, especially in the summer months.  

‘High density prints are another great way to keep the eye moving so it doesn’t settle on any spot in particular,’ Julie said. 

Danielle’s a big fan of wearing black around New York City, but also thinks ‘darker colors like navy, chocolate brown, and maroon will do the trick,’ especially if it’s a monochromatic look. 

She is also a big fan of bold, vibrant colors that make people look (and feel) their best, which is always flattering. 

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