welcome. rachel.

Hey Cake & Valley readers! A huge thanks for having me and putting up with an outside-the-box post.  You can check out my blog here, where I write about everything from food to DIY projects, root canals, running and more, as my husband and I navigate life as newlyweds and (dog) parents.

In real life, I work as a dietitian helping clients lose weight. The more people I work with, the more I realize nearly everyone has a list of "do's and don'ts." The rules we create about what, when, and how much to eat help us navigate a world of never-ending food decisions. So in a roundabout nutrition nerd way, that got me thinking...is the same thing true for fashion? Do I have rules that define my sense of style? 

It didn't take me long to realize that I do. I'm far from a fashionista, but here I'll share the rules that help me navigate the world of never-ending fashion decisions. Similar to food rules, I think it's great for these to evolve as we learn more. So, no rights or wrongs here, just something to (hopefully) get the creativity flowing.

How to Avoid the Fashion Police
#10  As a fair(er)-skinned brunette, never ever be caught in red. Ick.

#9  Avoid crew necks at all costs- they only make my athletic shoulders look boy-ish.  Gimme a scoop or a V, or else.

#8   Pick your pockets. Years ago, a premium-denim-loving friend of mine explained that the major difference between expensive and cheaper denim is the placement of the pockets. And while to this day, I still can't afford rarely buy premium denim, you better believe I make sure any and all pockets I purchase are square on the tookus-- it helps hide, ahem, the width of your hips. 

#7  Some accessories are best left permanent, just make sure your bestest friends are there for the memories as you get your ink done. yes, that's me holding valley's hand.
#6  RTFM.  As my computer nerd engineer husband always says with regards to new electronics, don't be afraid to Read The ___ Manual!  I'm the first to admit I wasn't born with fashionable know-how and therefore have learned to take full advantage of the many resources like YouTube, fashion magazines, blogs and more to my advantage. Case(s) in point- I've googled the Color Wheel (not kidding), YouTubed blush application methods, and taken many a lesson from Cake and Valley's bangle-wearing ways. 

#5  Live in color! I've lost many years dressing in neutrals, tints, tones, and shades, but thankfully I've learned I actually love living in color.  I even tell my girlfriends this rule and they help me resist the urge to buy yet another gray cardigan.  Oh, and my favorite color purchase? TEAL mascara! I rarely leave home without it.

#4  When traveling...to not drive your husband nuts and bring ridiculous amounts of luggage, simply pack what you know.  Only bring compliment-evoking, body-flattering, feel-good outfits that are tried and true. I get the carry-on-only high-five every time. 

#3  If you don't love it in the dressing room, DON'T buy it. Similarly, even if it's not necessarily "trendy" but you love it all the same, then DO buy it. Heck, buy two. Imagine if your closet was a collection of things you LOVED. You'd never leave the house feeling frumpy again.

#2  Rules were made to be broken. Okay, not all of them (I vow to never wear red), but many of them. Think of all the mixing and matching of patterns and prints and previously taboo color combos that's going on these days. Perhaps one of my favorite simple tricks? Dressing in monochrome. Who knew multiple shades of gray (no, I'm not talking about the book) could be stylish?

#1  As often as possible, surround yourself with good (it doesn't hurt if they're fashionable) friends. They are by far my best accessory. 

Now, we're dying to know. What are your style rules?

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