4 Fashion Rules That Are Meant to Be Broken

Because who needs rules anyway...

If you’ve been alive since before the advent of Instagram and TikTok, I can guarantee that you remember a time when there were spoken (or unspoken) rules on dressing without committing a fashion faux pas.

For many of us, these antiquated rules were passed down to us by our mothers and grandmothers. While certain dress codes are still in place, as there are times and places where certain things should or should not be worn (like a bathing suit to a place of worship), when it comes to those silly little fashion rules, they simply do not exist anymore.

As we move away from gender norms and what should be worn when and by whom, we’re also moving away from feeling confined by fashion rules, unspoken or otherwise. With the ever-evolving trend cycle and a multitude of aesthetics existing at once, the fashion landscape is quickly changing, blurring the lines of set style guidelines.

Fashion rules no longer exist; the only rule to follow is to feel happy and confident in your fashion choices. In 2024, really, anything goes.

Mixing Prints and Patterns

Mixing prints and patterns is one of the oldest fashion rules in the book (but also one of the ones we’ve been breaking the longest.) Going pattern on pattern or pattern on print is not only eye-catching and fun; when done right, it’s a surefire way to ooze fashion-girl cool.

While it takes a bit of trial and error, an easy way to start is to mix a pattern or printed bag with an outfit made up of a patterned item.

It also helps to mix prints of varying scales; if one is large, try making the other small. I personally also love mixing stripes with florals. Another easy way to nail it is to stick to one color scheme, like Grece above, who paired a printed Speedy with a red plaid shirt.

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Louis Vuitton Cerises Speedy 25
LOUIS VUITTON Monogram Cerises Speedy 25
$2,260 via Fashionphile

Wearing White After Labor Day

We’ve all heard it: retire your whites after Labor Day and bring them back out once Memorial Day rolls around. But where exactly did this rule originate? Historians can trace it back to the Gilded Age, when the rich would summer in warm-weather climates, heading south with trunks full of white linens.

Once the summer ended and the elite returned to big cities, the white clothing that worked so well in the countryside was impractical for everyday life, thanks to the dirt roads and horse excrement lining the city streets. “White, while perfect for the country, it is, because it soils so easily, impossible for town wear,” Vogue wrote in 1925.

Prada Cleo Shoulder Bag 1
Mary Leest during New York Fashion Week, February 2022

Those days are long gone, and while wearing head-to-toe white the day after a snowstorm in New York is certainly asking for trouble, on a nice sunny winter day, is there anything chicer and more effortlessly appealing than a monochromatic white look?

There is also something so innately luxurious about a neutral-colored bag, especially a white one, so go ahead and wear your white bags all year round.

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Prada Cleo Shoulder Bag
PRADA Cleo Shoulder Bag
$3,260 via Prada

Wearing Black With Brown

One of the oldest rules in the fashion book is that wearing black and brown together is a no-go. It is said to be one of the biggest fashion faux pas for color pairings. I genuinely wonder who came up with this one…and why. When paired, black and brown can be one of the chicest combinations!

At first thought, two dark, stormy neutrals paired together might seem a bit stark and in your face, given the contrast. But, if you play with textures and shapes, your outfit will scream chic.

Prada Show Goer Black and Brown
Black and brown was a welcome combo on the streets of Milan during fashion week.

Don’t believe us? Just ask Miuccia Prada, who has been exploring the pairing on the runways for over 20 years, well before it was considered trendy. Ever an innovator, Miss Prada has always been a bit of a fashion rebel, so it’s really not all that surprising.

A surefire way to nail the combination is to start with your accessories, so pair that Celine Triomphe Canvas or Louis Vuitton Monogram with an all-black look. You won’t be disappointed! Or look for a bag that has both brown and black leathers, which will seemlessly tie together an outfit consisting of both hues.

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Black and brown Chloe Marcie Bag
CHLOE Marcie Bucket Bag
$2,250 via Neiman Marcus

Invest Only in the Classics

I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it: don’t be afraid to spend a lot of money on quality items that don’t feel like classics! Fashion is meant to be fun, and while a tailored beige trench coat, black shift dress, nude kitten heels, and a Chanel Caviar Flap are all classics that will stand the test of time, it isn’t written in a manifesto somewhere that these are necessities that everyone must have.

There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of money on an item – be it a bag, a coat, or a pair of shoes- only to realize that it doesn’t fit your style or needs some time down the line. So go ahead and invest in the items that feel the most like you, sparking joy at the thought of being able to reach for them time and time again.

Is it Ok to Invest in Non Classics
Never forget that fashion is meant to be fun!

Go with your gut, always. Invest in the items that speak to your personal style and taste. Don’t worry about what’s classic, but don’t worry about what’s trending either; worry about what you’ll get the most wear out of.

I have more classic bags that feel elevated and chic, but they’re not the bags I reach for the most. The ones I reach for the most are a bit louder and more fun. The ones that feel like an extension of myself, like this Saint Laurent bag, which remains on my want list!

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Saint Laurent Printed Bag
$2,850 via Luisaviaroma

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5 months ago


5 months ago

Love the Prada, anyone know what bag it is?

Vlad Dusil
Vlad Dusil
5 months ago
Reply to  Susan
5 months ago
Reply to  Susan

Google says it’s the “supernova” bag