Tag Archives: fashion faux pas

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

Vintage Cowboy Boots 101

27 Aug

As we approach September and college football season (Go Frogs!), we thought it was a good time to give you a do’s and don’ts guide to wearing cowboy boots. We’ve heard a lot of nasty rumors lately about cowboy boots being paired with everything from yoga gear to Nike shorts. While I love the fact that some girls think that their cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes in their closet, it saddens me that they are losing their rank on the fashion totem pole by being worn with athletic gear. So, read up and then go look in your closet to discover the vast possibilities in your wardrobe that will give new life to your favorite Tony Lamas.

DO: Jeans—the obvious no-brainer choice. Whether they are skinny jeans tucked in to show off  that fancy TCU Horned Frog inlay or tucked out (yes, that is a real term) boot cut jeans that give that pointy toe something to peek out of, jeans are the easiest and most conservative option to pair with your cowboy boots. And for those of you outside of the great state of Texas, don’t be shy about wearing those boots in Washington DC, or Seattle, or NYC. We’ve sold many a pair of boots to Yankees who are not willing to settle for the “fashion” cowboy boots you see in stores these days. What a better souvenir from your visit to the great state of Texas than a pair of authentic TEXAS made cowboy boots?

DO: Dresses/skirts—the uniform of the 15-25 year old. OK, yes, I admit. I am not 25 and I do wear my cowboy boots with dresses. So, the trend may have STARTED with this age group, but like anything else, trends migrate to those older and younger. And as long as you didn’t wear the trend the first time around, it’s OK to wear it the second time around. You will typically see this trend at its finest at any college football game in Texas. I have my suspicions that it has also spread to other states in the South, and will be able to confirm that when my new college freshman daughter reports back about the reactions she got when wearing her garnet and red snakeskin cowboy boots to her first Gamecocks football game. She’ll either fit right in, or they will know she’s from Texas. Either way, I see it as a win/win. So, the trend may have started with this young crowd, but rodeo queens were wearing their elaborate cowboy boots with full riding skirts way before anyone thought to do it with a cute little babydoll dress. Why else would bootmakers put so much time and effort in to fancy inlays and stitching just to have them be covered up by jeans? Some boots were made to be shown off and there’s no better way to do it than with a cute dress or skirt.

DO: Denim cut-offs—the Daisy Duke phenomenon. Ahh yes, Daisy Duke. Introduced to us in the 80s by Catherine Bach, and revived in 2005 by Jessica Simpson, she was tough when she needed to be and a Southern Belle when, well, the rest of the time. Although I’m not a fan of the cowboy boots with cut-offs look, I can see its appeal. It’s hotter than a stolen tamale here in the summer and we do not believe in putting our boots away just because it’s a bit warmish. So, jeans are too hot, skirts/dresses are too fancy, the next best alternative is cut-offs. Probably a trend best reserved for that age group I mentioned above. I’m sure not brave enough to pull it off!

DO: Wedding dresses—seriously. Probably only in Texas, but I’ll welcome any challenge to that assumption, will you see brides and entire wedding parties wearing cowboy boots with their dresses. One of my favorite customers asked us last year to outfit her entire wedding party in cowboy boots. It was a ranch wedding, and I think we hunted for boots for her bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, cousins, etc for 6 months in order to get her exactly what she wanted. The result was more than we could have ever asked for, and we were proud to be a part of it. So, be bold! If you just can’t make yourself wear boots down the aisle (or, mom has a different opinion about that subject), then fling off those Jimmy Choo’s once the “I dos” are said, and slip in to your comfy boots for the reception. Trust me, by the time the Cotton Eyed Joe comes around, your feet will love you for it.Courtesy of Meegan Weaver Photography

DON’T: Nike shorts/yoga pants/athletic gear. Like I said above, I love that y’all think that your cowboy boots are the most comfortable shoes in your closet and can be thrown on with anything. But please, don’t. They deserve a little respect. I’m still not even a fan of Nike shorts with Sperrys, but I digress. Athletic shoes with athletic gear. Done.

DON’T: Dress pants. Thankfully, we haven’t seen this yet, so we are gonna kill that rat before it ever gets in the dog food.

DON’T: Cocktail dresses. Unless the specified dress of the party is “Western Chic”, “Cowgirl Cocktail”, or “Texas Classy”, I don’t care how blingy your boots are or how much money you spent on them, take this opportunity to hightail it to Neiman’s and buy yourself that fabulous pair of Manolo’s you have had your eyes on. After all, a girl can’t live on cowboy boots alone.

Fashion Faux Pas

20 Mar

It’s about time we talk about FFP, or Fashion Faux Pas. There are plenty of fashion criminals out there and we figured it’s about time we point some of them out!

WANTED! FFP who wears a color that is…well, “not their color”:

Kalen’s personal preference of purple is pretty well known. Her non-preference, purple with red. This is why when I saw this picture of the always (almost) stunning Christina Hendricks, I had to include it. This purple with her striking red hair that we love so much, is just not working. Maybe it’s the shade that makes it not work. There’s got to be a red-head out there that makes purple work. I have faith.

Back to basics, not every color is flattering on every body. There’s skin color, hair color, your heritage all to consider. For me, nude is BLAH. It totally washes me out. I LOVE the color, with a little hint of peach or pink. Works on my feet, not so much with my olive skin tone. Every one has a color that makes them shine, just remember, it’s not EVERY color.

WANTED! FFP who thinks this world and the high-fashion runway world are the same:

Rule number one: Just because you see it on the runway, does not make it ok to wear out in public…this rule obviously does not apply to Lady Gaga. Even Lady Gaga has to run out for coffee on a Saturday, and I’m sure her bird nest headpiece is not going with her on this Starbucks run. The fashion world is closely tied to the art world. Designers treat their “pieces” like works of art. They are over the top, eccentric, and catch the eye. This is in order to get the gossips going. Every designer wants to be talked about, so when you see a model walk down the runway in something that you’re pretty sure will not fit in your Mini Cooper, please know it’s only to get your attention. People still talk about things Jean Paul Gaultier put in his shows in the 80’s and 90’s. They even dedicated a museum show to it! Fashion is art to designers, and while it’s fun to look at and talk about, it’s not ok for you to wear it out to your local TGI Fridays.

WANTED! FFP who thinks they can wear ANY and EVERY thing:

Leggings are not pants. Spandex was not made for everybody. Not everything is flattering on every body. Just because skinny jeans look good on my 19 year old cousin, doesn’t mean they will look like that on this 31 year old body…post child. I’ve also learned the a shirt that stops just below your breasts and then flairs out, will always and forever make you look pregnant. This is why pregnancy tops are made like this. If you have large breasts, you are also limited in what you can wear. The woman with double D’s and an extra small shirt is not fooling anyone. If you sneeze, we know we are going to see those, ladies!

Let me also take a minute to explain something else: there is a fine line between sexy and slutty. Case in point, this chic to my right. This was taken off Google images, at what I am pretty sure was the Royal Wedding. The only person I know to pull off this look was Britney Spears, pre-children, late 90’s, and during a performance show. This lady is neither Britney, nor performing. This makes her a FFP. Keep dress like that where it belongs, at a funeral, so that someone can say ‘Oh so and so would be rolling over in his grave if he saw her dressed like that!’ It’s entertaining at least for the rest of us.

WANTED! FFP who thinks it is okay to wear cowboy boots and shorts:

Please pardon me for a minute while I pick on the Aggies. As a Longhorn, myself, I never understood why it is socially acceptable for MEN to wear shorty shorts and cowboy boots. Apparently it’s to wear during the Chili Cook Off…? Please correct me if I am wrong here! My good friend Brandi, poor thing, is a Aggie. I know, I know, she can’t be changed, but I still love her. She found this adorable picture for me of her son Luke. Luke was 3 in this picture. Luke has since turned 8, but I’m sure this picture will come out when it comes time for his Mom to embarrass him on prom night. Sorry Luke, the internet is forever. Needless to say, adorable right? At 3, adorable. At 21, not so much. We’ll give you a pass one day a year for your Chili Cook Off thing, after that, we’ll point and make fun of you and laugh.

(By the way, I couldn’t find any Aggies online with pics of this such look, so feel free to share if you have any. Thanks so much!)

WANTED! OFFP, or Orange Fashion Faux Pas:

Like we mentioned before, orange looks great on certain people. This is not the type of orange we are talking about though. I’m talking about the fake tan orange people turn and think looks good. As my one of my favorite actresses Natalie Portman said in No Strings Attach, ‘Someone call Charlie Brown, tell him we found The Great Pumpkin’. Tan is ok, or if you prefer pasty, hey to each their own. Orange, never ok. Just wanted to be clear on that.

Well now this concludes our first ever Fashion Faux Pas WANTED list. I’m sure there are plenty more to chose from, and I’m also sure this won’t be our last visit to said list. As fashions come and go, we can always look back and laugh and be stunned in disbelief that we wore that. Fashion is cyclitic though too. As we’ve learned in the world of vintage, just because it “goes out of style” doesn’t mean it won’t rear its ugly head again.