5 of Mom's Style Rules to Break, Right Now!

Admit it: Your Mom was right about a lot of things (always write a thank-you note; that Trent was no good). But when it comes to style, some of that old-school advice she gave you is holding you back from being your most fabulous self. So here are 5 rules that no longer apply—and how to politely respond when Mom asks if you’re really leaving the house wearing THAT.

Clinton Kelly Break Mom's Style Rules

Mom says: Your shoes must match your bag.

You say: Sorry, Mom: Matchy-matchy has been over since I grew out of Garanimals. It’s much more chic to accessorize with complementary textures and patterns, like pairing a tan suede bootie with a snakeskin clutch or a metallic sandal with caramel leather bag. And let’s be honest: Do you really want me going out in head-to-toe black leather? I thought not.

Mom says: You can’t wear black and navy together!

You say: Sure you can, Mom. Designers do it all the time—haven’t you ever seen a blouse with both black and navy in the print? The key is intention: A really dark navy blue paired with black might make you look like you got dressed in the dark—but a lighter, bluer shade of navy paired with black is no problem. Same goes for black and brown. You can do it!

Mom says: Only wear gold with gold and silver with silver.

You say: Actually, mixing metallics is a huge trend. When you’re layering accessories, like necklaces, bracelets or rings, a whole stack of the same can get kind of boring. Plus, if you want to get technical about it: All metallics are neutrals and all neutrals go with other neutrals. So there.

Mom says: You can’t wear white after Labor Day (or before Memorial Day).

You say: Hello, it’s not 1952. You can wear white all year; what matters is the material you choose. You don’t wear a gauzy linen peasant dress in February because you’ll freeze your ass off and look like a jerk, but white in a seasonally appropriate material, like corduroy or wool? No problem. White garments that are closer to cream or ivory tend to work better in cold weather, too.

Mom says: You can’t wear denim with denim.

You say: Well, maybe you can’t, but I can! Denim has evolved way beyond those light-wash Levi’s. When you pair denim in different colors and weights together, like topping maroon waxed jeans with a lightweight chambray shirt, there’s enough contrast that you don’t look like you’re wearing the Texas Tuxedo. But chambray tucked into a light-wash jean? Just because some kids are doing it, doesn’t mean I have to do it, too. I learned that advice from you, Mom.


#fbf to 1994 (ish) with my buds, @richardwiese and @wendirogerstv Bought that sport coat on sale for about 20 bucks because that’s all I had in the bank. Was 10% wool and 90% “other.” Got caught in the rain with it and smelled like wet dog ass all night.

Nine years ago, I made a vow to live my life based on three guiding principles: Love, Awe and Gratitude. Today, instead of feeling sad, angry or anxious about The Chew’s cancellation, I will look through the lens of Gratitude and thank: My cohosts, @chefsymon and @carlaphall, for being two of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The crew and staff of The Chew for being so dedicated, hardworking and collaborative. Our viewers for allowing us into your homes each day to share a laugh and a recipe — and a cocktail. It’s been a fun run and I am so freakin’ lucky to have been a part of it. Much love, CK ❤️

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