"Rules are meant to be broken, as the saying goes. But I'd argue that they have to be broken," says Clinton Kelly, Landcruisers's contributing editor. Otherwise, fashion would never evolve. Men would still be wearing top hats, and women would be hiding their bare ankles. So whether it's styles you're not "supposed" to wear for whatever reason or trends you think you can't wear (you can!), remember that the most important thing is that you feel great about how you look." Take a few tips from our style guru on the best wardrobe essentials.
Clinton says: My motto for Seasons 1 through 10 of What Not To Wear: "There's nothing an A-line skirt can't fix." Granted, this skirt is pleated so it's not technically an A-line, but the pleats are sewn down, so it behaves like one. It floats away from the body rather than hugging it, which is helpful should you want to camouflage your hips, thighs, or both (or your lack of hips and thighs). Or you could just wear it because it's a pretty reminder that picnics and gardening and chirping birds and longer days are all in your immediate future.
Clinton says: If an off-the-shoulder neckline makes you feel a little sexy, you should wear one, because feeling good is pretty fun. Same goes for ruffles, fringe, lace, sequins, whatever. You do you, as long as it’s the most fabulous version of you.
Clinton says: At one time, above-the-knee skirts were an absolute no-no after 40. Guess what: It’s no longer that time! So wear whatever length looks best on you. Really.
Clinton says: A loose-pleated, princess-cut dress creates the illusion of curves while skimming over hips.
Clinton says: How much skin you expose on any given day should be decided by you and no one else. If you feel good about your décolletage and/or arms, don’t cover them up. Bring along a trusted cardigan if you’re likely to experience a temporary dip in temperature or self-confidence.
Clinton says: Despite popular belief, there are no age limits on trends. In fact, sporting a pair of modern jeans is the perfect way to show the world you know what’s up. For a look that’s more grown woman than wannabe teen, pair ankle-length frayed jeans with any blazer you love.
Clinton says: You'll be on trend (and comfortable) in this soft leather when you wear it in the richest hues, like red, indigo and purple. If you're not into a suede jacket, try shoes.
Clinton says: To get the most bang for your buck, look for darker denim jeans without tons of bells and whistles. They’ll work
for casual events, day or night, and maybe even the office.
Clinton says: A simple straight leg is universally flattering and timeless. A touch of spandex helps this cotton pair keep their shape. Tailoring is the trick. If a piece fits everywhere but the length, that's an easy fix.
Clinton says: Leopard print goes with stuff you already own! You could pair a skirt with any solid turtleneck in your closet and your favorite pair of black or brown boots. It can also be dressed up or down—a leopard-print shoe or purse will play well with both fancy and casual outfits. And this print roars, "I'm fun! I'm up on the latest trends! And I love a classic too!"
Clinton says: The pattern of picnics! It's everywhere. Don't want to look like a table? Try blue, gray or black checks instead of the usual red.
Clinton says: Not sure how to wear pattern? Pick one with an easy-to-match base color.
Clinton says: This comfortable heel instantly makes legs look longer and leaner.
Clinton says: It's a well-known fact that Army green and violet is the chicest of all color combos. And by "well-known fact," I mean "my firm opinion." Seriously, have you ever tried it? Because you should. And while you're at it, try Army green with lemon yellow. You're welcome in advance for the flurry of compliments that will come your way.
Clinton says: Layer a standout necklace over a plain top or dress to bring the eye up and in.
Clinton says: I love mi traditionally masculine pieces with feminine ones. Try a leather jacket with a beautiful pleated skirt to make a really interesting statement.
Clinton says: If you're losing weight, have a bra fitting after every 10 lbs. you lose. And remember the band of the bra should do the work, not the straps." The raised band one this one helps smooth under your arms.
Clinton says: Wear flowy pants with a little heel—a wedge, perhaps—to make your legs a couple of inches longer. "But what do you wear on top," you ask? Something semi-fitted, like a T-shirt that isn't vacuum-sealed to your body. Tuck it in if you want to bring attention to your waist; leave it untucked if you don't.