From Runway to Closet

Style Rules Debunked: 5 Flattering Clothing Myths

by Rebecca Casamayor

Who was decided that stripes can’t possibly be flattering? Who made the rule that short women should never wear jumpsuits? The fashion world has a habit of turning gossip into myths and myths into legends, which means that many of the style rules we’ve come to respect could just be based on something someone’s mom once told her!

Luckily, rules are made to be broken, and you can have a lot of fun breaking rules when you’re getting dressed. However, some myths have a little more substance to them, and you can actually glean some great styling pointers from them. Here’s the truth behind five fashion myths.

Myth 1: Wearing All Black Is Slimming

False! Black is slimming—but only if you’re wearing it the right way. Sharply tailored black suiting and figure-skimming black dresses will always have a tailored feel, but the cut matters as much as the color. Wearing layers of loose black clothing might have the opposite effect you’re going for in photographs. The color of the fabric absorbs light, which means that you can’t see the definition between layers and could end up looking bulky.

Myth 2: Jumpsuits Aren’t for Short Women

Definitely not true. While many women, both tall and short, seem to avoid jumpsuits, they’re actually one of the most flattering pieces you can wear and they’re a great alternative to a dress during holiday season. The trick is to find the jumpsuit with the right proportions for you. Taller women with longer torsos will look incredible in a wide-leg style, while shorter women should try something with a defined waist and perhaps a cropped hem.

Myth 3: The Wrap Dress Is Universally Flattering

True! A wrap dress works on many different figures because it will always find and highlight the slimmest part of your natural waist. Hybrids of wrap/shirt dresses are perfect for the office, while t-shirt styles will take you from work to cocktail hour with ease. Jersey knits are the most flattering, and you should experiment with different hemlines throughout the season.

Myth 4: Only Show Cleavage or Legs, Not Both

No quite. You should show as much skin as you feel comfortable with. However, different venues have different rules about what’s appropriate. Before getting dressed, ask yourself: Where am I going? Who will be attending this event with me—friends, family, colleagues? Will I be dancing, reaching, or engaging in other physical activity that could cause a wardrobe malfunction? Wearing a close-fitting outfit like a body-con dress will allow you to show off what you’re proud of and feel confident without showing off more than you want to.

Myth 5: Stripes Aren’t Flattering

False. Like wearing black, the proportions of the overall garment and the quality of the fabric are what really matters. Horizontal stripes on a well-cut dress in a beautiful, figure-flattering fabric will look as great as a solid color. Other factors like the contrast, thickness, and spacing of the stripes will also be determining factors.

From jumpsuits to tailoring, there are plenty of flattering clothing myths in the fashion world. Luckily, most of them aren’t true! So don’t be afraid to break the style rules you’ve heard. If you’re confident when doing it, no one will question you anyway!

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