Think you have to be Donatella Versace or Rachel Zoe to be in style? No way! Anyone can be fashionable, as long as you know how to mix flattering trends with your own personal tastes. Here is a top ten countdown of the fashion myths I just have to debunk.

10. Fashion has to be expensive. As stores like H&M have proven, cute accessories, tops and skirts can be found at low prices. You can also score sweet deals at thrift stores. After all, vintage is always in.

9. If it’s trendy, you should wear it. Not all trends look great on everyone. Choose styles that suit your body type and personal preferences. Successful style trailblazers like Rachel Zoe make a name for themselves because they think outside of the fashion box.

8. Don’t wear too much color. Vivid colors can brighten up your look— while also making a bold statement. Don’t be afraid to play with brilliant shades of red, pink, purple, green and jewel tones; just don’t wear too many contrasting hues at once.

7. If models can wear it on the runway, you should be able to wear it in the real world. Wrong! As countless fashion shows have proven over and over again, some outfits were designed for the sake of art and have no place in the real world. Avoid anything with a massive amount of sequins, feathers or (shudder) shoulder pads.

6. The more skin you show, the better. As beautiful and classy starlets like Jessica Alba and America Ferrera have proven, classic, flowing gowns that are both lovely and somewhat conservative show maturity and confidence. Leaving something to the imagination is always a good thing.

5. If it’s expensive, it has to be stylish. Spending $350 on a pair of jeans doesn’t mean that they’re better than less expensive denim. Don’t automatically assume that something is stylish because it holds a hefty price tag.

4. Brand names are better. Brand names are great, but you don’t have to wear them to look fabulous. Despite the countless starlets who spat off prestigious designer names on the red carpet, there’s no need to purchase expensive designer handbags or jackets to remain fashionable. Gorgeous vintage dresses, purses and shoes can be purchased at low prices on sites like eBay.

3. Don’t wear something if it’s from a previous season. Classic pieces, like a simple and black cocktail dress, neutral-colored cashmere scarf or a well-fitted pea coat, never go out of style. Legendary beauty Jackie Kennedy was known for wearing her favorite outfits more than once. If you love wearing something, don’t let it go to waste by only getting a few uses out of it.

2. If a celebrity is wearing it, then it will look good on me, too. Don’t forget that many celebs end up on worst dressed lists. Just because some A-list actress wears leggings with an over-sized T doesn’t mean that it will be equally flattering on you. Remember, celebs have stylists who are paid to make them look good.

1. I’ll never be able to afford to be in style. Interested in adding to your wardrobe? Start from the ground up. Buy a few simple, classic pieces, like several cotton Ts in bright colors, a few pairs of dark denim jeans and a tailored jacket. Keep an eye out for inexpensive accessories that can enhance your everyday ensembles. Fashion doesn’t have to drain your wallet.

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Travel, September 2015
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