Let’s be honest — we all have outfits we look back on with a slight pang of regret. We’ve definitely held onto pieces a little too long or tried trends that didn’t work out. No one is perfect, especially when figuring out personal style through trial and error. There is a silver lining to making fashion mistakes: You have the chance to learn from them. Below are some common fashion faux pas and how to avoid them.
First off, some of the old fashion rules are now irrelevant. “No white after Labor Day” no longer applies. In fact, I love wearing white jeans in the fall. Also, the rule of matching shoes with your bag is outdated. With so many bold accessories out there, it’s perfectly acceptable to mix things up with your heels and purse.
Speaking of heels, another common mistake is suffering through uncomfortable shoes. Never wear shoes you can’t walk in. No matter how gorgeous they are, if you’re wobbling around like a newborn deer, there’s nothing fashionable about it. Instead, opt for polished loafers, or even colorful kicks. Shoes have become much more casual, 5-inch stilettoes with platforms are now looking dated, so embrace the more leisurely trends and invest in a walkable shoe.
Overall, comfort is key to avoid the common fashion mistake of wearing the wrong size. First, all sizing is different across brands and labels. A size eight from one store can be more fitted than a size 8 in another store. Which means you NEED to try things on when shopping AND look at fabric content for stretch. For slimmer fitting garments, consider going up a size. For baggier pieces, go down a size. When shopping online, carefully read the product descriptions and user reviews to help you gauge the right size for you. Remember, size is just a number. Don’t focus too much on the tag, instead how the clothes make you feel.
While some of the old rules no longer apply, there are still some traditional fashion guidelines that are still in play. Having visible panty lines (VPL) and an over-exposed bra are still no-nos. Again, fit comes into play. Clothing that is too tight will run more of a risk for VPL, while ill-fitting tops, like low-cut tank tops, increase the chances of flashing your hook-and-eyes. So try things on and check to make sure your undergarments stay under wraps.
Once you have the proper fitting pieces, don’t forget to accessorize. Obviously, you’ll have shoes, but jewelry can really make or break a look. Especially if you tend to wear basics, a well-chosen necklace or pair of earrings can elevate those basics into a chic, minimalist outfit that gets the job done, without trying too hard. But, be careful, one or two pieces will do. When you start piling on the third bangle, you may be making the following fashion mistakes.
Throwing on a bunch of stuff hoping to make a nice outfit. Trying to incorporate too many pieces can become both physically and visually cumbersome. The eye doesn’t know where to look when you have more than two statement items. Instead, have a “main attraction” for your outfit, and then carefully select supporting pieces that go well with your “headliner.”
Another common mistake is copying trends to a T. There was a time that I found myself guilty of being so into a new trend that I would feel the need to dive into it head first, regardless of whether it suited my style, or even looked good on me. Thankfully, those days are behind me, and I have since learned to exercise caution and a bit of creative thinking when it comes to trends. It’s better to dip your toe into a trend, especially the more outlandish ones. Find your angle into a new style by road-testing it via a rental service like Rent the Runway, Le Tote, or Stitch Fix.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that it’s always better to stay true to my own aesthetic. I take the time to figure out what silhouettes are the most flattering and comfortable for my body and wear pieces that fit into my lifestyle. The overarching rule here is always to be true to your own style because there’s no mistake when you feel confident and look happy.