From a fashion perspective, I have a lot working against me. First of all, I'm in my 50's. Over-the-hill as far as many in the fashion world are concerned. Secondly, I'm barely 5 feet tall. That in a world where 6 feet is more the average. Given my stature and my age, so many things should be off limits to me. Wide-leg pants? Oh no! Maxi anything? Forget it! Flats? No way! Minis? Too old! Oversized sweaters? Ugh!
Over the years, I haven't exactly been brimming over with self-confidence. Quite the contrary. I've always been quiet, shy, and reserved. But when it comes to fashion, I've always been a daredevil. I've never lacked the confidence to wear exactly what I like. So rules be damned. Go ahead and wear whatever makes you feel good, and confident, and strong. My fashion icons are people who buck convention. They are on best dressed lists (and sometimes worst dressed lists) because they boldly defy all the fashion rules.
Take the Olsen twins for example. They are both around 5 feet tall, and their signature style embraces over-sized pieces, long dresses and coats, and flat shoes. Yet they are the darlings of the fashion world. They run hugely successful labels The Row and, Elizabeth and James. Their personal fashion choices are always on point, even when described as "homeless chic".
Fashion entrepreneur Mira Duma is another diminutive fashion superstar. Often photographed wearing the hottest styles straight off the runway, despite the fact the designs were made to look good on much taller models. She wears them with confidence and a lot of panache. Instead of drowning her, they actually make her look taller.
Ashley Graham is not only stunningly beautiful, she is a trailblazer. She has become the voice for plus sized women everywhere. She is unlike any other model. Even better, she absolutely refuses to be. She is proud of her curves and shows them off in tiny bikinis and body-con clothes. She has shown the world that big can be beautiful and has inspired many women to do the same. No need to hide behind loose clothing, long sleeves and covered legs. Big and bold is beautiful and should be celebrated by enhancing, not hiding those curves.
Does anyone know how old Cher is? She is an age-defying 71 years young. True, Cher's unconventional fashion choices have landed her on more worst dressed lists than best. I would bet she relished every single one of them. Many of her outfits have been more costumey than fashion forward, but that's what makes her so inspiring. Who is going to tell Cher that she is too old to wear body skimming or barely there Bob Mackie creations? I admire that self confidence and wish I had just a small bit of it myself.
Finally, it is not possible to write a blog about defying fashion rules without including 96 year old Iris Apfel. With her signature glasses, bold jewelry, and unique outfits Iris Apfel is the epitomy of rule defying style. She is beautiful, brave, bold and a true inspiration.
So what do all these women have in common? Quite simply, they do not let anyone tell them how they should look, act, or feel about themselves. They set their own rules and they look incredible doing it.