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7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking

3 Sep

Labor Day. The end of summer, the last pool party of the season, and the official day to transition to a Fall wardrobe. That is, if you live in the Northeast in 1964. These days, especially down South, we still have plenty of summer to survive through before we break out the sweaters and boots. And we’re not partial to fashion rules to begin with, so before you get busy packing up your linen and white shoes for storage, read on for the 7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking.

#1. No White After Labor Day
I must admit, I was a stickler for this rule in my younger days. White shoes and bags were meant to be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with the lone exception being Easter Sunday. My girls used to roll their eyes (imagine that) at me when Labor Day came and I would not allow them to wear their white sandals anymore.  I have to say, I’m still not a huge fan of white shoes, probably because there’s still that small part of me that really wants to follow that rule! White pants, jackets, skirts, etc however are a different story. A big trend that we saw this summer continues in to fall and that is head-to-toe white. It’s even more interesting when white is paired with ivory, beige, eggshell, or cream. It’s a sleek, contemporary, cool and effortless look that can transition you in to fall when paired with ankle booties or darker colored tights. And really, what’s classier than ivory cashmere?

#2. Shoes, Bag and Belt Must Match
The iconic 50’s woman with her black alligator shoes and matching bag is the epitome of classiness in my opinion. Fashion at that time was simple and elegant and there were rules that were NEVER broken, and if they were, you were clearly a hooker and should never be seen in public. Well, turn on that red light, because we are clearly shattering this rule to pieces. I’m not even sure there are any guidelines to this question of accessories other than they should just “go”. A contrast bag, shoe or belt can give an otherwise simple outfit a pop of interest. I would avoid going totally 80s however with a different bright colored bag, shoe and belt in the same outfit. That might get you a fashion citation. We are not saying never match bags/belt/shoes, but don’t be afraid not to!

#3. Don’t Mix Black with Brown or Navy
OK, yes, they are all neutrals and in Fashion 101, you were taught to combine a neutral with a color to form the basis of an outfit. Now it’s time to go to Fashion Graduate School and experiment with combining neutrals. We have no problem pairing any of the above colors with white or ivory, but because they are all dark, it scares us a little to pair them together. Your favorite LBD can be made a bit more casual by pairing with brown boots. Or, dress up a navy suit with fierce black satin stilettos. One of the most favorite dresses we ever had at the store was a brown lace dress accented with a black belt. Probably very fashion forward at the time, but elegant and timeless nonetheless. And, because they ARE all neutrals, you can live on the fashion edge by throwing another color in to the mix. A black pencil skirt paired with a brown silk blouse and chartreuse pumps will definitely make people take a second glance. Ooh, I might have to try that!

#4. Don’t Mix Metals
As in your jewelry. This rule has probably been one of the easier ones for people to break over the last few years. Jewelry is such a personal thing for people to wear, they just tend to wear what they love regardless of metal tones. And honestly, that’s the way it should be.  Jewelry is usually the first sign of a person’s personality, and because of that, is rarely is ever judged by “Fashion Police”. Yes, it is possible to go overboard at formal occasions; we’ve all seen the Red Carpet Divas so overloaded in their loaner Harry Winston jewels that they can barely get the arm up to wave. But in every day wear, wear what you love, mix and match, make a statement and be bold about it!

#5. Canadian Tuxedos are a No No
I was not familiar with the reference to Canadian Tuxedo until I started researching for the blog. Apparently, the term was made popular in the movie Super Troopers when a Sergeant wears jeans and a denim jacket. Still not sure what denim has to do with Canada, but denim, like black, navy, brown and white are neutrals, and therefore can follow the same rules as you would when wearing any other outfit of the same color. Mix hues, mix textures, add a visual interest in a scarf or belt or killer boots.  A dark denim shirt with super faded jeans is chic and unexpected. Pair with flat sandals for a casual look or fierce black spiked booties for a night out. Likewise, a denim skirt and tailored jacket is a great suit alternative for the workplace and could even be closer to the same color value.

#6. No Tights or Socks with Open Toe Shoes
Now, hold your horses. I know what y’all are thinking. But before you get your knickers in a knot, notice I said tights or socks; NOT pantyhose. Pantyhose with open toe shoes will now and forever be a fashion faux pas. Just don’t do it. Notice also I said open toe shoes; NOT sandals. Every so often, we do see socks or tights on the runway with sandals and in my opinion it takes a very brave person to pull that look off. If you are so bold, then by all means, go for it. For the rest of us, however, socks or tights worn with peeptoe booties , pumps or wedges are a great way to wear extend the life of those shoes that you might only wear in spring and fall. There are so many fun colors and patterns emerging in hosiery that deserve to be shown off. Plus, an extra bonus is that you don’t have to have your pedicure in tip top shape!

#7. Sequins are Only for Evening or Holiday
We saw this trend emerge several years ago, and it just continues to build steam. So, if you are late to the party (haha!) never fear, it’s not too late to catch up. I see this trend as a protest almost to how casual our dress has become over the last few decades. Workplaces have become more casual, people don’t dress up to go to concerts or other events as much, jeans at least in Texas, have become appropriate to wear just about anywhere. In addition, our busy lives have made it so that we are often running from work to evening events with no time to change clothes in between. Outfits that can take us from day to evening with very simple modifications are must haves in today’s world. As with every trend though, moderation is everything. That green sequin Ariel disco dress we posted a few weeks ago would probably not go over too well in your office. But don’t be afraid to show a little shine underneath a blazer or cardigan.

Happy Fall Everyone!
Some images courtesy of Pinterest: Nina Garcia and Harper’s Bazaar