Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

5 Fashion Rules You Can Totally Ignore

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I think one of the reasons people get intimidated by fashion and shopping and clothing in general is that it feels like there's a lot of rules. It's like, am I "allowed" to even wear this?

Well, first of all, clothing is not a privilege. You're not banned from wearing something because of your hair color, body type of level of fashion prowess. In essence, you can wear whatever the heck you want as long as your bits are covered. Will it be flattering? Ehhh, that's up for debate. But there's no reason to be intimidated. Clothes are inanimate objects. They are not your problem.

Being worried what other people think: There's your trouble.

Sometimes I have to laugh when I look in my closet. While I do have a pretty clear aesthetic that I gravitate toward (structured, tailored, dark) I do have a bunch of really fun out-of-the-box pieces that I wear and people must think "What the heck Jae?" But in the end, they make me happy, so I buy 'em and wear 'em regardless. Seriously, today is an around-the-house day, and I'm wearing tie-dye Nike leggings and neon high tops.

Of course, there are always those "rules" that websites and magazines kick around that make you feel even more unsure of yourself. But that's probably about the point in time the clothes start wearing you. So here are some "fashion rules" that you can totally toss out the window. Not only are they archaic, but they could be stopping you from wearing stuff that you really love and that makes you feel awesomely confident.

1. Don't Wear White After Labor Day

What an idiotic rule. First of all, I can never actually remember when Labor Day is, despite the fact that it's my husband's birthday. So chances are that if I see someone wearing white, I'm probably thinking "Wow I wish I could wear that without getting ketchup all over" instead of "EXCUSE ME Labor Day already happened." Wear it whenever you want.

I will note that when I do wear white in the fall or winter, I tend to swing to the "winter white" family, which is more of an ivory and pairs best with jewel tones. Summer is better for optic white, which is white with a little blue in it and looks better with pastels.

But honestly, either way I don't care. And if someone does care, they need a hobby OMG.

2. Match Your Purse, Belt and Shoes

You know, because we live in 1956 Connecticut and all. But really, you don't need to match one or all three of these accessories. When things match a little too perfectly all the time, you come off as a deranged perfectionist, rather than a capable fashion-forward human being.

Also, I know bags are some peoples' "thing," but I literally NEVER change out my purse to match my outfit. I carry one bag because I'm lazy and messy and changing it each time I put on a brown belt is actually my idea of torture. So don't feel like you have to.

3. Short Girls Can't Wear Long Things

I remember when maxi dresses became a thing and lots of short girls were like "Oh, ho hum, I can't wear that because I'm short" because apparently trends are only for stompy skinny models.

Wrong. Wearing "long" clothes is more about waist placement than height. Literally anyone can fake being tall when the legs are elongated, so if you want to wear maxi dresses, midi skirts or even skinnies, just visually raise the waist. Wearing a higher-waisted pair of jeans will mitigate height (especially when worn with heels). Or, wear an empire waist maxi (belt it if there's a ton of volume) and then do a pair of wedges, with the skirt falling all the way to the floor.

Also, people who say short people can't wear certain things are dumb. Fashion is not a rollercoaster. There is no height requirement.

4. Only Wear the Metal That Looks Best for Your Skin Tone 

This reminds me of like, old timey housewives who had their "seasons" done and then only wore those colors. So crazy! It's another "wear what makes you feel the best" issue. You shouldn't feel shut out of wearing gold because someone told you that your skin is cool toned. Accessories shouldn't be that hard. To be honest, I probably look best in rose gold but how crazy would if be if I demanded everything in that one shade? So weird.

Also, mix your metals. It's cool and you can thank me later.

5. Always Belt When You Tuck

Sometimes I really hate belts. So I extra hate the doctrine that if you tuck your shirt, you have to wear a belt. It's so random. Sure, it might look neater, but what if I'm not going for neat? Also, I feel like belts can make an otherwise cute and casual outfit look a little overworked. So not necessary if you don't feel like it.

So, there you go. That's five fewer things you have to worry about when getting dressed in the morning. You can now go back to worrying about things like whether or not stains will wash out of your favorite pants and whether your kid is going to accidentally pull your shirt down in public.

You know, normal stuff.

Ask Jae!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Who WOULDN'T take fashion advice from this girl!?

When I started this blog back in the winter of 08/09, I did it because I was always having friends ask me questions about style, jewelry and fashion in general. It was just a place where I thought they could go and grab quick info on... well, not dressing like a mom. Since then, my style has completely evolved (seriously, I look at some of my old posts and I'm like oh dear, what was I thinking?) and gained a ton more readers (no longer my tiny circle of friends!) but I still get questions all of the time. And since I never want this to be a "everyone come see how good I look" blog, I have to get that perfect balance of advice, bad clothes, outfits and all the rest to make me feel happy inside.

So today is a great day for cleaning out my email inbox to address any concerns you have fashion-wise. Keep 'em coming, because if I don't answer them publicly, I definitely will shoot you an email. I'm super nice like that.

Here we go guys, it's time for Ask Jae! (Ps I always wanted to be a Dear Abby type. This is me living out my dreams.)

Kate (and a ton of Facebook fans) asked about boots for wide calves. I hear this question ALL of the time and it's something that I even have issues with. I have a pair of boots that are crazy tight and I'm always stuffing my legs into them like I'm putting a tent away after camping. That was a fantastic visual.

Alright, here are your options. Shop for boots in specifically wide widths. has an awesome selection of wide boots and you can narrow down your search easily. Another think is to look for boots with stretch. Here's a hint: if the boot can stand up on its own, it's really stiff and doesn't have much give. Look for a thinner construction with interest like ruching, which is really just in place to hide the fact that the boot is stretchy. Another product you might be interested in is the Boot Band. It's an insert you zip into the boot to give you a little more wiggle room. Also, if you have larger calves, look for a flat riding boot or a skinny heel. As my friend Kate noted in her email, anything else WILL make you look like a Clydesdale. Which is no bueno unless you want to work for Budweiser.


Ashleigh, who is my IRL friend, asked about how to match jewelry to your outfit. Personally, I'm not a jewelry planner. I play it like a date and just go with what feels right. But I do have a few rules that I typically follow. I don't like jewelry to be close to each other, so I rarely wear earrings and a necklace together. I like the emphasis to be on the actual design of the jewelry, so I don't like it to be competing with other stuff. When it comes to matching necklaces to necklines, consider the space you have to fill. In general, if you're wearing a minimalist look, it's OK to go with chunkier jewelry. But busy clothes call for little jewels or nothing at all. It's all about balance, people.

Jamie asked what I thought were "must haves" for your wardrobe. I wrote about that like, two years ago, but the list could use some refreshing. I would definitely start with a dark wash pair of boot cut jeans. I'm also think a crisp white button-up is a perfect layering piece and think that a slim-cut cardigan must be in there too. A pair of basic heels and a pair of flats are definitely necessary, and I really think you should have an amazing jacket. Leather, trench, whatever, just something more than a parka, please.

Shawna asked what I recommend for long-waisted, normal-legged peeps to avoid drop-crotch. Two words: trouser. jeans. Because you have a long waist, you really need to bring up your natural waist to look more balanced. Trouser jeans hit higher on the hips so your torso looks shorter and because they're meant to hit around or just below the belly button, you won't get saggy crotch. Saggy crotch makes me sad.

Nicola was worried that she can't wear dresses because she's short, chubby and adverse to heels. Never fear, Nicola. First, stop calling yourself chubby. Babies are chubby. You are delightful. Secondly, I totally recommend a pair of pretty flats in place of heels. I wear mine with skirts and dresses all the time as a jeans alternative during the week. I just bought some cute lace flats and I'm excited for it to warm up so I can wear them with casual skirts. Just wear them when you try on stuff -- it's easier to get the picture when you have the right shoes. Trying on skirts with runners or socks is GROSS.

Wendy wants to know how to hide the fact that her pants are a little tight in the tummy as she works to lose weight. Wendy, it happens to the best of us. You've seen the post where I wore my fat day special, right? Totally works with jeans. Just grab a loosey, chiffon-type top and wear it with a slim-cut blazer or cardigan. It's how you wear loose clothes without looking like a total slob. Crisis averted.

Ashley asked whether or not it was OK for shorties to wear maxi dresses. That, my friend, is a super emphatic YES. I'm an astounding 5'4 and I would die without my maxi dresses. In fact, they give you a nice, lean line that can actually put a little height on you. Just try choosing a maxi that is long enough to hit the floor (shouldn't be hard for us shorties) and then pair it with some cute wedges. It's totally on-trend and it'll give you a couple extra inches of height, even though that freaks my husband out. lol.

Debbi asked about necklines for different face shapes and body types. Check it!

And finally, Nelda, a girl after my own heart asked about decorating a log home. I know this has nothing to do with fashion, but I thought I'd give her some ideas on dressing her abode, since log homes are weird. I am very against my house looking "cabiny." We have a cabin and that can be cabiny. My house doesn't need to have animal heads on the walls. It's too kitsch when you already live in a log home. Since the logs are really heavy, you can't really be minimalist with decorating. I like black wood, heavy pieces and furniture that can hold its own against the size and color of the logs. You can check out my personal blog for some random house pics (I've posted a couple here too) but basically I look for bold, oversized furniture. Also, the entire house is painted in the same palette... I don't think a log house lends itself well to different colors in each room. I just customized the palette for each room -- my room is tan and a deep, browny green, and the kids' room has the same two tone paint but with red plaid accents. Does that help?

That was both fun and long winded. I hope everyone learned as much as I did. I actually didn't learn that much, but I am excited that email inbox is cleaned out for like, the next five minutes at least.


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