Fashion Rules are made to be broken

LONDON - November seems to be the month when all fashion revelations come to me.

I don't want to say it is my 'lucky'' month, however, I feel like it is the time when my visions for the next year are nicely set out.

For the last three years everything I have ever dreamt of has come to pass.

I have consciously made a decision to bless individuals that I connect with throughout the year. I am so excited about the Zimbabwean fashion industry at the minute.

While there are many controversies regarding fashion weeks and designer shenanigans, from where I stand ''zvirikufaya''. A big melting pot is brewing and change is definitely coming.

I have recently become close to one of Zimbabwe's most stylish ladies. I am not into designer clothes at all, and when I see someone putting together practical, simple and beautiful clothes and pulling it off, they have my respect.

Lisa Chiwira has featured on 263 Voices column under ''Style Panel'' in the past, and aside from blogging and dressing celebrities in London under her brand ''Elceechic'', she is breaking fashion rules on a regular basis.

This week Lisa gives us an insight into how these rules are broken and how fashion is not defined by society but by personal style.

Lisa writes:

'My fashion enthusiasm started way back in the eighties when I would flick through my aunt's fashion magazines in awe of the beautiful clothes I saw. In my head I would carefully disintegrate each page of the magazine putting together the outfits as I felt they should go and fantasise about wearing them. From a very early age I was allowed to pick my own clothes and I remember the eighties punk trend and the break dance era when crop tops were so cool. My imaginary creations became the visuals which I relate to even to date.

Sometimes I would sit for hours listening to my mother and her sister talk about coordinating their clothes, and I always wondered why it was important for them to wear the same blue from head to toe. ''Matching,'' as it was referred to then, was a societal fashion rule that set a certain standard on how women especially coordinated their colours. I look back now and imagine that it must have been like the ''sin of Eve'' if one wore a colour slightly out from the primary one.

I find that fashion rules are exhausting and they limit one's imagination. I am a big rule breaker and in some cases, I look like I have crossed the fashion police line, but it pays off!

Rule 1: So whoever said you can't wear tights with sandals obviously never tried it. The tights and sandal look has been around for some time. Remember, tights go around the toes. Leggings don’t. You also get to wear your sandals all year round. Tights and sandals can be worn with anything from your pencil skirt to trousers.

Rule 2: Of course I can wear black and dark blue. While those colours almost look the same, some fashionistas have pointed out that it is pointless to wear colours that highlight the same effect; however, if worn with white or pastel colours they will brighten up your outfit.

Rule 3: Don't mix gold and silver jewellery. Well the gospel according to me says you can. I think this is actually a very fresh way to wear jewellery. I am not a fan of gold jewellery so the combination of gold and silver makes it more forgiving.

Rule 4: Wear metallics only at night. Ok here we go! My experience of wearing ''bling bling'' during day time has been followed with highly disapproving looks. This is perhaps the colour, besides red lipstick which is associated with prostitution. Metallics are fun, and the connotation attached to them is hilarious if not ridiculous. Having a metallic element is one of the easiest ways to elevate a simple outfit at any time of the day.

Rule 5: Trainers are only for the gym. Back in the day there was the very much hated look of wearing suits or jeans with trainers. It was regarded as so uncouth. Well hello! As worn by fashion bloggers the Chanel Autumn/Winter 2014 collection has come bearing trainers. Who would have thought that a look hated by many women is now giving a very modern twist to dresses and suits. Never say never!

There are many more rule breakers in fashion that follow the five I have highlighted this week. The lesson here is not wear it the way I say. Women must begin to have more fun with their clothes. It is about the ability to stop obsessing about the ''DO NOT'' and just going with the flow. Fashion should not be taken too seriously. It is all about taking risks.

Remember rules are made to be broken.  Look good effortlessly!

For more rule breakers follow Lisa on Instagram: @elceechic

*Pamela is a Zimbabwean fashion journalist and fashion accessory designer based in the United Kingdom. She can be contacted on

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