Fashion Rules: What to Follow and What to Break

I’ve never been a fan of rules–not love rules, the order of operations, or the Rules of Attraction. The silver lining in an iron-clad code of conduct is finding ways to break them. Fashion, like any entity, comes with a long list of do’s and don’t’s. If you’re rebellious like me (okay, less rebellious and more defiant) doing what you are not supposed to do is highly appealing. The finesse comes in finding the line between tacky and daring.

Unsure of what rules to break and which ones to follow? I’ll walk you through it…

Fashion Rules to Break

1. Never pair black with brown.

Same applies with nude, gray, and navy. These colors are all neutrals, and can be paired together as long as the shades are different. Where chocolate brown and black might look funny together, a shade in camel or tan would look just fine. Try wearing a navy dress with a brown belt, or black tights with brown boots.

2. Don’t mix metals.

If you’re a sorority girl, it’s reasonable to assume that you’re very familiar with a little jewelry design house known as David Yurman. If he thinks mixing gold and silver looks cool, who am I to question his expertise?

3. Don’t wear white after labor day.

Another silly, dated rule. There’s nothing lovelier than a knee length white or cream wool peacoat. To make sure that you’re on the right side of this rule, make sure the fabrics are heavy and wintery, like leather, wool, down, etc. White denim or linen will probably look too summery.

4. Don’t wear two different prints in one outfit.

I would be a walking disaster if this still held true. Mixing striped with floral prints or plaid with animal print can look awesome when paired in a tactful way. It’s daring, but when executed correctly can look SO cool.

5. Match your bag and your shoes, and your lip color to your nails.

Not only is this rule ridiculous, but it’s also entirely impractical. What kind of person has enough time to re-paint their nails constantly or only buy shoes and purses in pairs? When things get too matchy-matchy, you risk looking like a Stepford wife.

6. Don’t wear tights with open toed shoes.

Strappy stilettos and tights might look funny, but tights with peep toe pumps or wedges are completely acceptable. Be sure to hide the seam under your toes though!

7. Never wear boots with shorts.

Most of us Sooners are from Oklahoma or Texas. The “Daisy Duke” look is bound to happen from time to time, especially on game days. In addition to that, I think a pair of over the knee boots look stunning with a dressy pair of shorts (tights optional). What looks absolutely ridiculous is when girls pair Uggs bare-legged with Nike shorts. Don’t do it girls, for the love of God!

8. Never let your bra show.

When done tastefully, a peak at your bra can look super sexy instead of slutty. A bandeau bra with a loose tank top, lacy number with a low-cut top, or a bra with straps under a strapless dress of the same color are fearless ways to break the rules. What doesn’t look so cool is a fancy bedazzled bra under a clingy t-shirt.

Fashion Rules to Follow

1. Don’t wear sandals in the winter.

Flip flops, gladiators, and espadrilles should never see the light of day from November through February. Strappy stilettos are fine, but any shoe that exposes most of your foot should probably be saved for warmer weather.

2. Don’t wear white to a wedding.

This is beyond tacky and disrespectful. Don’t worry, your day will come.

3. Don’t wear running shoes with jeans.

Converse, Vans, Nike Dunks, Keds, Pumas, and shoes like these all look fine with a pair of jeans. What looks ridiculous are the shoes you wear to the gym, or your Shape Ups.

4. Don’t wear pajamas in public.

I’ve made my stance on this phenomena clear. It’s just as easy to slip on a pair of yoga pants, or sweat pants if you absolutely must.

5. Leggings aren’t pants.

I get on my sister about this on what seems like a daily basis. If you’re wearing leggings or jeggings, make sure your top covers your bum! Make your top hit at LEAST mid-thigh to be safe. Camel toes are never chic.

6. Don’t Wear Uggs in the Summer.

They’re ridiculous as is, but it makes absolutely no sense to wear them in weather above 60 degrees.

Thoughts on the subject?

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3 Responses to Fashion Rules: What to Follow and What to Break

  1. Kerry says:

    I agree with your take on all of the rules…especially numbers 3, 4 and 5. At the university I went to for grad school, 90% of the female student body is wearing PJ pants OR leggings OR Nike shorts with UGGS at all times (ok, they switch to flip flops when temps are above 60). The only difference between the leggings photo you posted and the girls up here is that they prefer a black North Face jacket to a denim one. It’s painful to see and one would think that the leggings/UGGs/NorthFace jacket is some sort of required uniform for all students.

    Personally, I think yoga pants and sweats are not appropriate for anything other than working out.

  2. Pingback: Strappy Stiletto

  3. MiniMoo says:

    I agree with most of the fashion advice except for not wearing running shoes with jeans. I collect scrap metal to add to unemployment and I feel very unfeminine in mens work boots.

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