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8 Fashion Rules That You Should Break NOW!

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Chloe Batchelor
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Every year on the Tuesday after Labor Day, I put my white pants in the back of the closet. While these pants are a staple of my summer evening wardrobe, everyone knows that you cannot wear white after Labor Day. It’s a well-known fashion rule, and in all aspects of my life I am a rule follower.

But it turns out that rules can and should be broken when it comes to fashion. Nina Hostetler, a stylist at Stitch Fix, says, “The rule ‘No White After Labor Day’ is outdated — white can absolutely be worn year round.”

Hostetler suggests that instead of ditching the white after the summer season, women change the fabrications. She explains: “I recommend rocking what we call ‘winter whites’ in the fall and winter months, as they’re more warm and creamy in tone. For example, a cozy cream-colored sweater or blazer with denim bottoms.”

So, if you can wear white after Labor Day, what other fashion rules should you start breaking today? Let’s dive into eight.

Matching your handbag to your shoes

Priya Virmani, fashion stylist and owner of Privée by Priya, says, “Matching the shoes and handbag exactly can be extremely difficult — and if you start to do shades of the same color, it just throws off the whole outfit.” Instead of matching your handbag to your shoes, Hostetler suggests embracing one color from your clothes down to your shoes. She explains, “Shoes should always anchor your outfits appropriately, while handbags are an excellent way to pull a contrasting color from your blouse or dress or add a pop of color to a neutral outfit.”

Belt bags (aka fanny packs) are for tourists only

“If you lived during the ’80s, you’re no stranger to the fanny pack,” says Hostetler. “While we may remember them as bulky bags that resembled a camera case, I can safely say that we’ve evolved this practical piece to be more fashion-forward.” Choose a sleek leather belt bag in black or camel. Wear a belt bag around your hips, or a more popular trend in recent years is to sling it over your shoulder and wear it as a crossbody.

Wear gold or silver jewelry, but not both together

There is no need to choose between your gold or your silver jewelry. Mixing metals is very much a fashion do. Virmani says, “It totally works to wear bracelets of mixed metals on the same wrist or gold rings with a silver watch.” Hostetler adds, “You also may be feeling tied to match a wedding band that is either white gold, silver or gold, but I find that our accessories never lie close enough together to create discord. Just make sure the pieces you are wearing have similar attributes that tie them together.”

Don’t wear navy and black together

Navy and black actually pair well together and can make for a flattering combination. The key is not to pretend that they aren’t two different colors and instead embrace the difference. Hostetler says, “Try pairing strappy black heels with a blouson-sleeved midi dress in navy for your next special occasion. Or opt for black trousers with a navy polka dot blouse and nude flats.”

Graphic tees and ripped jeans are just for teenagers

“Whether you’re a rocker at heart or just love to rock a carefree and casual aesthetic, ripped jeans and graphic tees are right for you,” says Hostetler. The key is balance; pair torn jeans with a less- distressed style T-shirt. Virmani explains, “Avoid heavily shredded denim or oversized logo tees. Instead, choose elegantly ripped jeans denim with a logo tee from a concert or favorite restaurant or city.” Hostetler adds, “A little tip I recommend is to give your top a French (half) tuck or a little knot to maintain a cleaner look.”

Never wear denim on denim

Virmani admits that wearing denim from top to bottom can be tricky, but it is able to be done fashionably. She explains, “The easiest way is to make sure they are different shades. Try dark wash jeans with a lighter oversized denim shirt or jacket.”

Sneakers are only for the gym

Remember that scene in Working Girl where Melanie Griffin commutes in sneakers but immediately changes into proper shoes once she gets to work? Today, it’s completely acceptable to keep your sneakers on all day. “While you may not want to wear athletic trainers with dress slacks, plenty of sneaker options can be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe,” says Hostetler. You can pair a low-profile sneaker in a solid neutral with slacks. Or try platform sneakers, which look great with sundresses or skirts and tees. 

White shoes are only for medical professionals

Contrary to what you may have thought, white shoes are not just for nurses. Just like white pants, white shoes are a year-round wardrobe staple. A white (nonathletic) sneaker looks great with jeans and skirts in the spring. In the summer, try a strappy white patent heal with dresses. Choose a lug sole boot or leather mule in a cream color for fall and winter.