Simply Chic: Fashion myths transform into reality

When getting dressed, many people think they must keep the “rules” of fashion in mind, such as never wear horizontal stripes, never mix patterns or always match shoes and purses. Well, what if some of these rules are actually myths? Some fashion “facts” can be stretched, and in some cases broken.

It is known that horizontal stripes will widen a shape, but according to Diana on, these strips can help narrow shoulders, slim hips and reduce chests.

The use of prints involves another rule that depends on height and weight. Diana makes two observations: If you are small, large prints will make you look smaller. If you are big, small prints will make you look larger. An easy fix is to match patterns to proportion.

Mixing patterns can also be tricky. Most people have trouble pulling it off, but gives three tips to keep in mind while picking patterns: If the colors are different, the design should be the same; if the design is different, the colors should be the same; and if one print has a large shape, the second print should be smaller.

Are open-toed shoes only for summer? On, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear explain that open-toed shoes can be worn all year, especially in metallic colors for the winter.

No white after Labor Day? White pants are too “spring” for the winter, but Stacy and Clinton say white shoes are appropriate any time of the year.

Shoes should always match your purse, right? Wrong: Just make sure your purse and your shoes go with the outfit. For example, a dress with green and pink flowers can be worn with green shoes and a pink purse.

One of the biggest fashion rules is not to mix brown and black. This is one of those myths that can be stretched. Chocolate brown is too dark for black, but a camel-brown jacket and black pants is a killer combo for winter. However, I do believe that black shoes and a brown belt are no-nos.

Gentleman, a few rules can be broken for you as well.

According to the, men believe their belt and shoes must be the same color, but they really just have to be in the same color family.

Also, many believe a steel watchband goes with everything. In reality, a leather watchband is the only kind acceptable for formal occasions. Don’t forget about those cufflinks and tie bars, which many think are out of style – nothing adds more style to a plain suit.

There are millions of rules out there, but most of them can be broken. You should dress so you look and feel your best, so a rule that applies to your best friends might not apply to you.