As fashion editors, we obviously do a lot of talking about fashion advice you should consider following, like the color combos worth trying and the benefits of reducing our closet to a streamlined capsule wardrobe. But sometimes it’s even more interesting to consider the advice we recommend not following—including some we’ve received ourselves.
In the name of straight-up curiosity, the Who What Wear editors had a chat among ourselves to share and learn the worst fashion advice we’ve ever been given. Whether it’s a tip from an unnamed personal source or just something we read during our studies of the fashion world at large, these nonstarters are just not worth heeding. (But we have some ideas regarding what is.) Ahead, read the worst fashion advice our editors have ever received.
“The worst fashion advice I’ve received is to never mix jewelry metals. Now I think wearing silver, gold, and rose gold jewelry pieces together looks cooler than simply sticking to one metal.”
Instead: Mix metals within the same type of jewelry, e.g., try wearing multiple rings that are different metals, or wear several necklaces that are different metals. This looks a little more intentional than wearing a gold necklace, a silver ring, and a rose gold bracelet, for example.
“‘Don’t wear anything boxy if you have a big bust.’ I hate this piece of advice. Actually, I hate a lot of old-school pieces of advice for dressing for your body type that assumes every woman wants the same end results from her outfits. I happen to like boxy pieces for their ease, comfort, and the ability it gives the wearer to play around with silhouette and shape.”
Instead: Don’t feel restricted by the confines of what it means to “dress for your body type,” and instead wear pieces that you naturally gravitate toward.
Available in sizes 0 to 4.
“The worst advice I’ve heard is not to buy something if it isn’t practical. Fashion should be fun, and fun doesn’t always mean practical. Life is short, so go ahead and buy those light pink suede shoes and don’t look back!”
Instead: Spend your money wisely, investing mostly in classic pieces and letting yourself splurge occasionally on trendy items.
“The worst fashion advice I’ve ever received is to wear something just because it’s cool. Despite my love for fun trends and hype-y Instagram pieces, I’ll only wear or buy something if I actually like the way it looks on me and if I feel comfortable in it.”
Instead: Pause and decide for yourself if you genuinely think an article of clothing, pair of shoes, or bag is cool without someone telling you it is.
“Why I ever followed this ‘fashion rule’ is beyond me! Any fashion advice that starts with ‘You can’t wear’ is basically the worst (unless it’s regarding office attire or dress code for an event). If you feel confident that your outfit is appropriate, then go for it!”
Instead: Go for a denim-on-denim look by mixing colors, and different textures give the combo a fresh spin.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes 24 to 32.
“Someone once told me when I was little to always match your shoes to your bag. It weirdly made me hesitant to not match my shoes to my bag when I was headed somewhere important even though I knew it didn’t matter. That rule is pretty much extinct and irrelevant if you ask me. If you want to match your shoes to your bag, go for it, but don’t let that weird ancient rule restrict you.”
Instead: Try injecting contrasting colors into your look for a more dimensional effect.
“I was talked into re-selling some of my old bags (think 2000s Louis Vuitton and Prada). Now that they’re back in style, I’m really regretting it.”
Instead: Hold onto investment purchases because everything comes back around eventually.
“Somewhere along the way, I remember reading that mixing black and brown is equivalent to a cardinal sin. I really took that to heart and avoided the combination for years, which I realize is just silly because I’ve seen so many well-done iterations of that color combo.”
Instead: Stick with deeper shades of brown, and mixing textures helps, too, like wearing black skinny jeans with a brown suede jacket, for instance.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Anna LaPlaca.