Let’s face it, dressing stylishly can be challenging. There seems to be so many rules spoken and unspoken about what looks good together, what doesn’t look good together, what should never be worn, and what should just be thrown in the trash. Not to mention trends and styles are constantly changing! Let’s reexamine some of these common fashion “don’ts” and see how they have stood the test of time. Even for the safest dressers, here are 3 fashion rules that you shouldn’t be afraid to break.
- Denim on Denim
Also known as the Canadian tuxedo. This trend is deeply engraved with pop culture. Singer Bing Crosby is said to have brought the style into the spotlight after being denied a stay at a nice hotel because he was underdressed and unrecognizable in his all denim getup. When Levi Strauss heard of the incident, they launched a campaign with him featuring their new denim tuxedo and it instantly became an iconic look even through the 90’s. Today, many will tell you that the Canadian tuxedo belongs exactly there—the 90’s. What if I told you there was a way to wear all denim without looking like you just got off the saddle? Here are some quick tips to styling a denim on denim look.
Try playing with different shades of denim. Instead of struggling to match your top and bottom perfectly, try using completely different shades of denim to break up the outfit and add a little dimension to the look. For example, dark wash jeans with a light wash top.
The easiest way to style denim on denim is with jeans and a denim jacket. You can wear a solid shirt underneath in any color to add a bit of flair, but let the denim be the focal point. It's best to keep your top understated so the denim can be the star of the outfit.
Too hot for a jacket? Try wearing a chambray top with your jeans to achieve the same look. The material looks just like denim but it is constructed to be much lighter and more breathable.
- No White After Labor Day
This is a rule we’ve all heard before and frankly, followed without ever questioning. No one knows for sure WHY but apparently the only appropriate time to wear white is after Memorial Day and before Labor day. Common explainations are purely practical. Long before air conditioning and tank tops, even casual clothing was pretty formal. This made for issues during the summers when it became very hot, and the average American was wearing three layers of clothing. White fabrics tend to be lighter and more breathable, so it’s the easy color of choice for those hot months. Many speculate that this fashion rule also became incorporated into common ettiquite due to the fact that white clothing is much easier to keep clean when there’s no rain or mud around. With that logic, when fall weather comes around, white clothes are no longer practical or necessary. In a modern society we’ve evolved past the need to constrain lighter colors to one season. In fact, I’d argue that white is a great base color for every season. Here are some ways to wear white outside of the summer.
A white dress shirt or button down is a great staple for your closet! It matches with everything and is an easy way to appear clean cut. Wearing an all white top (that is stain free) is a great way to look fresh and professional.
White sneakers are the perfect shoe to dress up or down. Again, because they’re white they are versatile enough to go with most outfits. Make sure you keep your white sneakers fresh by wiping them down after every use. White sneakers are snazzy, but gray dirty sneakers? Hard pass.
- Blazers and Shorts
This faux pas has also been around for a long time and seems to just make sense. Shorts are casual, blazers are dressy. It’s simple enough, but in the last few years it's actually become a fun way to mix street style with more professional wear. Major brands like Prada and Stussy featured this combination in recent shows and the trend is sticking with those who like to push the boundaries. Even popular celebrities have been rocking this ultra-casual take on a normally formal article of clothing. Adding a blazer to a casual shorts outfit could be perfect for daytime looks. Follow these tips to make sure you pull off this daring styling choice.
Don’t overthink it! This is a casual outfit, keep it simple with a henley or t-shirt and shorts. Add a belt if you plan on tucking in your shirt. Don’t try to pass this off as a formal or professional outfit. If the occasion calls for a suit, this is not the time or place to try out this trend.
The styling choice is interesting enough, don’t try to mix in too many loud colors or patterns. If you want to do a pattern, keep it condensed to just one piece of clothing.
Pair this outfit with shoes that hit at the ankle. I recommend a sneaker, casual oxford shoe, or a loafer.
It can be fun to break the rules sometimes and your closet is a great place to start. You’ve got to experiment with different styles, colors, and trends every once in a while if you want to develop your own signature look. At the end of the day, fashion is a way to express your personality. Everytime you get dressed you’re deciding how you want others to view you. Fashion rules are completely arbitrary. Wear what makes YOU feel like YOU.