Wednesday, February 24, 2010

breaking the rules

In general I don’t believe in “fashion rules.” But I suppose it’s important to know and think about these things, and wonder why they were rules in the first place (or why they have become commonly accepted practices in our culture), and then dismiss them accordingly. However, it’s also important to have a freedom of expression rather than worry about what rules we are trying to conform to in order to “dress well,” because after all, should society tell us we dress well, or should we feel we dress well for ourselves?

1. Never wear white after labor day. This is seriously the dumbest rule I’ve ever heard. There are plenty of great white clothes and accessories for fall/winter. Should we all dress as dark and depressed as the weather? Perhaps a pastel or two in the winter or fall would pick us up a bit. Colors do not necessarily match functionality (black might keep you warmer, but if you have a white coat you can still be warm. Layers, layers.). Also, if you live in a warmer climate white all year round makes complete sense.

2. Always match and never wear black and brown (and/or navy). I break this rule all of the time. Black and brown can look great together if mixed up correctly. Plus if you match too much you look like the teacher from the Magic School Bus.

3. Don’t own lots of black (unless you’re a Goth or a New Yorker). I am neither and I love black. It’s a basic and it matches with everything. I wear it any time of the year as well. Rock what you’ve got. Spend a lot of money on basic blacks that you can keep forever.

4. Buy clothes that fit. I have to agree with this. Certain styles fit certain shapes better. End of story.

5. Wear correct undergarments. I agree with this too. No one likes a panty line. Or wants to see black underwear through your white shorts. And a good bra can boost your assets. (Although, I'm under the belief that seeing your bra is ok when done right.)

6. Cover up. As applicable. Everyone likes a little mystery, but we also like to have a taste.

7. Never mix metals. This trend has been emerging. Mix what you want.

8. Match your purse to your shoes. I had never even heard of this until I searched the internet. Who matches purses and shoes?

9. Never wear tights with open toed shoes. This is broken all the time and it’s totally worth it. It gives you a chance to wear your spring shoes all year round. (I also like Chole Sevgny’s quirky use of socks with dress shoes.)

10. Keep in mind time and place when dressing. Yes, I suppose this is common sense. If you are at work you are not going to wear your pajamas and if you are going to play baseball you will probably not wear a formal evening gown. (However, there are always exceptions, and arguably you cannot teach common sense, and practical application differs from person to person.) Although, if you feel comfortable wearing heels to a baseball game, who am I to tell you no? Rock the style you fell good in, even if it means being bold sometimes. People will read your confidence.

Breaking the rules all amounts to confidence.

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