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Break the rules of fashion

Street-style stars Giovanna Battaglia and Taylor Tomasi Hill on their favorite rules to break

“I often get calls and e-mails from friends, family members and even strangers asking if they can wear navy with black, and I sort of giggle to myself. Of course [you can]!” says Marie Claire Style and Accessories Director Taylor Tomasi Hill, a self-professed style chameleon.

Most may not know her name, but fashion-lovers surely recognize her face. Taylor’s bold, singular way of dressing has made her a regular on the pages of fashion magazines and street-style blogs the world over.

“I wouldn’t say any of the traditional fashion etiquette ‘rules’ apply to my day-to-day dressing,” she adds.

Giovanna Battaglia, fashion editor of W magazine and an equally popular street-style star, agrees.

“Rule is a word that goes against instinct. Fashion is a world where the rules change every season,” she explains.

The two women talk us through their approach to dressing.

1. Break out your evening wardrobe for day

“I think wearing white lace in the morning looks lovely and that gold dresses and embroidery looks better worn in the day than at night. A silver skirt and a gold-foil blouse, for example, looks amazing,” Battaglia says.

2. Combine contrasting prints freely

“Some say mixing prints is a no-no, but for me and for fashionistas all over the globe this has been a huge trend as of late. As long as the prints work together and don’t compete, you are on your way to breaking one of the rules — but in a good way,” Tomasi Hill says. Battaglia adds, “One of my favorite things to do is pair up a polka-dot top and a floral-print skirt. As long as you wear something in a bold way, it works.”

3. Do wear black with navy

“Black and brown together — some would say ‘eeeek,’ I say ‘chic,’” Tomasi Hill says. Outfits that mix navy, black, brown and gray??She says thumbs up.

4. Repeat with wild abandon

“Sometimes I will wear the same skirt to work four days out of five, always in a different way. I’ve become addicted to seeing how many ways I can wear it,” Tomasi Hill says. “I’ve often thought I should do this for fashion month as it would certainly cut down on the packing process.”

5. And wear it like you mean it

“During the week, I like to really dress up, especially for work. It puts me in a good frame of mind,” Battaglia says. Taylor also dresses to win: “My first job in fashion was at W magazine. My boss at the time told me to dress for the job you want in the future. I live by this rule.”