Life & Beauty Weekly: Hair & Beauty

By Stacie Stukin for Life & Beauty Weekly


When it comes to fashion, it’s easy to play by the rules, but you may end up looking pretty much like everybody else. Instead, why not defy the conventional dos and don’ts in favour of expressing a more updated, authentic you?

“It’s important to have your own fashion rules, because rules were made to be broken,” says Jessica Biffi, fashion designer of the Jessica Biffi label and first place runner-up on season two of Project Runway Canada. Here’s a roundup of Biffi’s favourite rule-bending advice:

Pair Brown with Black
Wearing head-to-toe black or brown can look harsh and evoke the formality of a stodgy uniform. “Mixing basics like black and brown can look really great, and it gives a very polished look on old classics,” says Biffi. One of the best ways to give visual interest to an otherwise monochromatic look is with accessories. Wear a brown pump with a black suit, a black bag with a brown coat, a chocolate belt with charcoal trousers. “The look has a very retro feel, and is something that you would see on Elizabeth Moss (who plays Peggy on Mad Men), both on and off the show,” says Biffi.

Mix Your Metals
The days of the verboten mix of gold and silver accessories are gone. Jewellers like David Yurman seamlessly incorporate gold and silver into their designs, and who doesn’t love the classic Cartier Trinity ring with its combination of three different colours of gold? Start off by pairing gold and silver bangles or wearing a chunky stainless watch with gold details. Ready to get a bit bolder?  Wear hoop earrings that don’t match your rings, or layer necklaces in different colors and textures.

Dress Up and Down
Fashion and personal style are all about mixing and matching different sides of oneself, says Biffi. “Maybe you mix an expensive accessory with a cheap and cheerful dress. Bringing the high and low together gives you a chance to change the look of the overall outfit to create something new,” says Biffi. “With creative uses of new pieces and our existing wardrobes we can create inspired looks that are unique and fun!”

Mix Up Your Clothing Seasons
Fashion pros are no longer packing away their summer wardrobes when autumn comes. “I wouldn’t call it ‘out-of-season,’ but rather mixing favourites in the current season’s trends,” says Biffi. “By finding new ways to wear them, these pieces get new life.” Toss a cable-knit wool sweater over a silk tank dress; layer a black, ivory or grey cashmere tee under your favourite brightly coloured summer maxi dress; or pair a sheer skirt with knee-high boots.

Double-Dip Denim
With a new wave of denim in different weights, cuts and shades, you can mix and match to create a fresh look. Balance and contrast will break up your denim with different layers and give you room to play — without looking like you’re wearing a denim suit, says Biffi. Pair a sleek denim pencil skirt with a denim jacket in a heavier weight or an inky tailored jacket with jeans in a lighter shade. Get creative and stay comfortable — just remember the ultimate denim do: vary the colour and weight of fabric on top and bottom.|

Stacie Stukin writes about health, beauty, design, food and travel for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Yoga Journal and Natural Health. She is the co-author of Alabama Stitch Book.

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