Rules, shmules! Is there anything more boring — or breakable — than fashion "Dos" and Don'ts"? In a new video for Glamour, model Ashley Graham wears fashion "Donts," rocking everything that plus size women have been told not to wear. Warning: Rules will be shattered as she demonstrates just how to wear all those looks that she has previously been warned just won't work for her body. The best part? The words "plus-size," "pear shape," and "problem area" are not welcome.
The Brooklyn-based model, who is also a designer and a body activist, greets cameras with rollers in her hair and the cutest pajamas ever, with an energy level that seems to defy the 7:45am call time. She finishes up her breakfast — a green smoothie and a bagel, natch — before heading up to her room to demonstrate some looks.
She shares a couple super-cute brunch outfit ideas (don't get it twisted, brunch is as much about fashion as it is about bottomless mimosas), two takes on a work look, and a pair of date night outfits — sequins and chambray included. "All those things that everybody told you you couldn't wear, I'm going to show you how to wear it," she declares. The moral of the story? You can rock whatever you want.
Here are some of Graham's top tips for ignoring the rules and making curves work for you.
1.) Crop Tops & Horizontal stripes? Yes You Can.
"When I'm headed to brunch I really like to show off my shape," she explained to Glamour. She does so flawlessly, in high-waisted fitted jeans and a breezy crop top with horizontal stripes. In the video, she demonstrates how the waistline of the jeans and hemline of the crop-top work with what she's got to accentuate what she loves.
2.) Fit Matters, Color Doesn't.
The one caveat to shunning color rules is to make sure whatever color you choose, the clothing is the right size. "As a curvier girl, I was always told you cant wear [white], it's going to make you look bigger. Please! As long as you have clothes that fit you properly it doesn't matter what color they are!"
3.) Your Tailor Is Your Friend.
The right tailoring can turn a boring or conservative suit look into something fun, youthful, and body-celebrating. "I don't always get to wear a suit to work, but when I do I make sure it's tailored to the T! Ladies, do not be afraid to make friends with your tailor. We're always trying to disguise what's actually going on underneath all of this but you can do it in a very classy, professional way."
4.) It's All About Balance
"Work clothes" is all too often synonymous with "snooze-fest," but it doesn't have to be! Throw some prints into the mix to liven things up, just be sure to keep it classy with a solid piece. "I always believe that if you have a print on its great as long as you have a solid contrast, just to balance it out, to make it look perfect classy and clean."
5.) Accentuate The Waist In A New Way
Belts can break you up, but a light-weight shirt or jacket is more fluid and works with your waistline, not against it. "To create a waist, I really love to put on a jacket or a shirt, tie it at the smallest part of my waist to really accentuate my hourglass figure Contrasting colors really help too to accentuate every curve in your body."
6.) Mix It Up
This is where your favorite chambray shirt comes in. "Another great look [is] an oversize jean skirt that's button down, tied at the waist with a really tight sexy pencil skirt and this one with tons of sequins makes this look perfect for date night."
Check out the full video below, and when you're ready to hit your own closets, don't forget Graham's most important advice "Ladies don't forget to rock your curves in every single outfit you get to wear."