This fashion rule is not only a very limiting one, but it can cause endless frustration for the perfectionist in all of us. What better reason to kick it to the curb?

Fashion Rule #3: When putting together an outfit, the colors much match exactly.

When searching for the right pieces to pair with a patterned article of clothing – a solid top with a patterned skirt, for example – it has been practice to select only colors that match EXACTLY to the colors in the pattern. However, I am here to tell you that you need no longer be restrained by this practice.

While it certainly is thrilling to find the perfect match, especially when the discovery is made at a different retail location, relax in the knowledge that it doesn’t HAVE to happen. Instead, feel free to pair colors with slightly lighter or darker versions of themselves. They still technically match and the subtle variation in color will add more depth and interest to the outfit.

My only recommendation here is to select colors with the same strength in order to maintain cohesion. For example, if the patterned skirt is composed of bright, punchy colors, be sure not to venture too deeply into the pastel shades when pairing something with it. Of course, you can go slightly lighter, but muted tones won’t look quite right next to the saturated ones.

Check back soon! There is one more fashion rule still to break…

~Marisa, Director of Styling, Second Time Around