8 Fashion Rules You Should Follow

Fashion rules are made to be broken… except for these. These are the ones you should obey.

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I wrote a few days ago about fashion rules you should break, and today I’m going to go in the opposite direction, with a list of the top 8 fashion rules that everyone should follow.

While most of those old fashion rules are outdated and stupid, there are a few that have stood the test of time. Those are the ones I’m going to focus on in this article.

Also, just for fun, I’ve included a few new rules of my own in this list. My rules may not be time-tested, but I think you’ll agree that they are definitely worth following too.

1. Never wear white to someone else’s wedding.

Yup, this is one old-fashioned fashion rule that definitely still applies today. While most of us college girls won’t be attending our friend’s weddings for many years, this rule is still important to know for the future.

When you wear white to someone else’s wedding, you’re basically upstaging the bride on her special day.

Even if you look fabulous in white or if the bride isn’t wearing white, you still shouldn’t wear a white outfit to a wedding that isn’t yours. It’s just about respect and being a good guest. Remember this rule and don’t break it.

2. Pajamas should never be seen in public.

I’m a big believer in this rule, and I even wrote an article about it last year.

Basically, I think PJ’s in public is a trend that way too many college girls and even older women follow, and that needs to change! It’s such a bad choice as far as clothing goes, and really shows that you don’t care at all about how you look.

I won’t go into too much detail on this – you can read my rant about pj’s in public if you want, but let’s just say that pajamas are great for lounging and sleeping, and not appropriate for anything else.

3. Never wear “double denim.”

A nice pair of jeans can go with almost anything. The one thing they don’t go with? A denim jacket. (Or denim top, or denim hat.)

Yup, denim on denim is never a good idea (see the picture of Britney and Justin on the left for proof of this fashion crime in action.)

Why exactly is this combo so horrible?

Assuming you aren’t a cowgirl and don’t work at a rodeo, there’s just no reason to wear an all-jean, matching outfit in public. It looks tacky and costume-y, and isn’t modern in the least. That’s just the way it goes – matching denim on the top and bottom is too much and looks bad.

The exception to this rule is wearing mismatched denim pieces together. A white denim jacket paired with dark wash jeans, for example, can look fresh and modern. But matching denim on the top and bottom is always a no-go in my book.

Jeans are fabulous, and so are denim jackets. They just don’t work when you match them together. You have to pick: either the jeans or the jean jacket, but not both.

4. Don’t wear flip flops if there’s snow on the ground.

Okay, this isn’t an actual time-tested fashion rule, but it’s one of my personal rules that I think everyone should follow too. Think it’s obvious? It isn’t. I’ve seen this done on college campuses.

Let me just start by saying that flip flops are great – they’re comfortable, come in zillions of colors, and don’t cost a lot of money. They’re fabulous in spring and summer, and are ideal for a day at the beach.

But. Flip flops are NOT winter footwear. They don’t even cover 1/6th of your foot! Wearing them in the snow is ridiculous and looks really painful. Please do your feet a favor and keep them covered up until it’s warm out.

5. At work, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

I mentioned this rule earlier this year in my article about what to wear to a job interview, and thought I’d repeat it here. When it comes to your career, it’s always a good idea to dress too well, as opposed to not dressing well enough.

Okay, it might be a little embarrassing to be over-dressed for work. But it always makes a better impression than looking like a slob. When you think about it, it’s really a no-brainer. No one ever got ahead looking way too sloppy.

The next time you’re not sure what to wear to a job interview, or what to wear to an internship, just remember this rule and overdress instead of underdressing. Worst case scenario? You’d look too good. That’s not bad at all.

6. Running shoes don’t go with jeans.

Running shoes

This is another one of my personal fashion rules, but I think most fashionistas would agree with me that running shoes and jeans are a don’t!

I love her to death, but my mom wears this combo a lot, and I am always on her case about it! Some people still don’t get that athletic shoes – like, those specifically made for athletic wear – aren’t a substitute for all-purpose casual shoes.

With cute shoes like boots, ballet flats, and even casual converse sneakers at your disposal, there’s just no excuse to rock athletic shoes with jeans.

Running shoes are only appropriate at two times: when you’re at the gym and when you’re going for a run. Wearing them at any other time just looks awful and inappropriate. Add in some jeans, and it’s a true fashion disaster. Don’t let this happen to you!

7. You shouldn’t be able to see your underwear through your clothes.

Yes, panty lines and see-through shirts are still fashion don’ts, and I don’t see this changing any time soon.

Panty lines are one of the worst fashion crimes out there, and it’s shocking to see women who still have them. What woman today doesn’t own a thong? If your pants are tight or light-colored at all, you need to be wearing a thong to avoid ugly panty lines. If you don’t like thongs, either get different pants, find seamless boy shorts, or get over your fear! They’re way more comfy than they look, if you buy the right brand.

See-through shirts with brightly colored bras are just as bad. While the combo might look great on the runways, it usually doesn’t work for everyday life. If you’re wearing a white shirt, make sure to wear a nude bra underneath. Not leopard, and not neon purple. There are some things a woman just needs to keep to herself!

8. If you don’t feel comfortable in it, don’t wear it.

I saved the most important rule for last. If you don’t follow any of the other rules, please follow this one. No matter the occasion, if you aren’t feeling an outfit or piece of clothing, don’t wear it.

The purpose of fashion is to make you look and feel great. If you’re wearing something you hate, it’s going to show all over your face. Your confidence will be lower than normal, and you’ll be constantly focused on your outfit instead of having a great time.

This rule also applies to trends. No matter how much you loved a top you saw on Gossip Girl, if you try it on and hate it on you, don’t get it. All trends aren’t right for all people, and you should never feel bad skipping out on the latest fad if it doesn’t flatter you.

No matter what anyone says, always follow this one rule.

Your Thoughts?

How do you feel about these fashion rules – would you ever break them, or do you agree that they are fashion basics? Let me know what you think & discuss these fashion rules by leaving a comment below.

67 thoughts on “8 Fashion Rules You Should Follow”

  1. I would just like to remind people that the shoes the author is referring to in Rule 6 is ATHLETIC shoes. Not all sneakers can be considered athletic shoes.

    The shoes that are specifically designed to enhance running performance should not be worn casually (aside from the fact that they really do look bad with daily attire) because they can actually ruin the shoes! The shoes are meant for performance, not casual affairs.

    This [Rule 6] EXCLUDES sneakers that are meant for casual dress, such as Puma’s, Reebok, etc. These sneakers can give excellent support for feet and be much more comfortable than flats, heels, or anything in between, and are still so much better looking than running shoes.

    Really, it makes me sad to see people wear them daily. My boyfriend does it; he spends so much money on each pair of running shoes and they only end up lasting a few months because they get worn down so much, what a waste.

  2. My favorite one…no running shoes and jeans. THANK YOU! This is one of my [many] fashion pet peeves. It drives me crazy when I see someone wearing this. Gym shoes should only be worn to the gym…they have that name for a reason.

  3. I’ve NEVER heard of rule #6 before. I break it all the time, and I think I’ll continue to break it, as I really don’t own that many pairs of shoes. Plus, I think function (i.e. comfort) trumps fashion in that respect.

  4. Well! I learned something from this article for sure… and I have one to add. Going one step further than “7. You shouldn’t be able to see your underwear through your clothes.” I don’t want to see your bra straps or underwear, ever, period. Wear a strapless bra with that tank top. Get low-rise undies to go with those low-rise jeans. WTF people! This irks me to no end. 😀

  5. I thought i was so weird for refusing the jean/athletic shoe combo. I never think it looks right and SO many people wear so i figured i was just being silly. Im so glad my fashion sense is right every now & then!

  6. I don’t know why people argue about the jeans with athletic shoes rule. I understand if comfort is a big factor, but there a lot of cuter, more comfortable shoes out there!

  7. I completely agree with the no see-through shirt + colored patterned bra. It really, really annoys me to no end. I know in the summer it’s annoying to layer something underneath because it’s so hot, but these people just do it on purpose! So not cool. Designers should make their shirts a tad thicker, too, I think.

    Like many others, my feet need support and since I haven’t yet gotten around to buying some insoles, I either wear good shoes (Converse really doesn’t count, they don’t do much for me) or soak my feet in some hot water at the end of the day, it always feels better.

    Great blog.

  8. @ justine: I don’t think it’s that you can’t wear ANY kind of tennis shoes, just please not the ugly kind. There are totally cute sneakers out there… just as long as they don’t look like running shoes.

  9. I have to disagree with the running shoes and jeans thing…. I have muscular problems with my feet so I have to wear special-ordered athletic shoes pretty much all the time. If I wear sandals or flats for longer than a few hours, my feet are screaming in pain. Besides, my athletic shoes are a cute color and I don’t see what’s wrong with them!


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