Photo Credit: Shira Rosenbluth
Shira Rosenbluth

Fashion rules have existed for years, but it’s now 2017 and fashion rules are mostly antiquated, outdated, and just begging to be broken. You were probably told that your bag should match your shoes, you shouldn’t wear navy and black together, not to wear stripes if you’re curvy, and, of course, the famous one, never wear white after Labor Day. Let’s stop paying attention to those rules, as they’re pretty much irrelevant at this point.

1. How to Wear White After Labor Day


Your mother may have told you not to wear white after Labor Day, but it’s time to ditch that notion. These days, people are starting to realize that fashion is a form of self-expression; people are wearing what makes them feel confident and happy as opposed to what might be conventionally flattering or safe.

Of course, unless you live in a warm climate, you may not want to wear a little white dress and sandals in January. I’m sure frostbite is no picnic! But there are so many ways to wear white throughout the year – no matter the climate – while still dressing appropriately for the weather. In the fall, pairing a white skirt with a chunky knit will make your outfit more season-appropriate. Swapping sandals or flats for ankle boots goes a long way as well. You’ll also probably want to save your white linen for beach season and instead consider cozy white sweaters, crisp white denim, and white wool coats instead.

2. Dressing to Look Slimmer

How many times were you told to stick to black and avoid stripes so that you look your slimmest? I know I was given that unsolicited advice more than once and I’m here to say that it’s time to move past it. If I only wore black and avoided stripes, along with everything else that was “unflattering” in my closet, my wardrobe would be so dull and uninspiring. I love wearing bright colors and fun prints and I’m not going to give that up for the sake of looking slimmer – and neither should you. Let’s wear more of what makes us feel good and not obsess over whether something is conventionally flattering.

3. Matching Your Shoes to Your Bag

Remember the days when you had to color coordinate your shoes perfectly to your bag? While it can occasionally be fun to go the matchy-matchy route, it’s far from a fashion faux pas if you decide to opt out. For a more modern look, don’t be afraid to choose bags and shoes that compliment each other as opposed to being the exact same shade. If you want to match your shoes to your bag without looking dated, add texture such as velvet, tweed, or satin to either your shoes or handbag to elevate your look.

4. Wearing Navy and Black Together

I grew up knowing that navy and black couldn’t be paired together. Maybe it’s because they look similar enough to easily be mistaken for one another, but I just knew it was a fashion no-no. However, navy and black can look very sophisticated and modern when paired together and, more importantly, let’s not get too caught up in those outdated rules telling you what you can and cannot wear. If you’re feeling uncertain about how to pull it off, try one pop of navy – like a navy silk shirt – against an all black outfit. Some other ideas can be a black leather jacket with a navy dress underneath or a navy and white striped top with a black skirt.

5. Mixing Prints

Don’t be afraid to mix prints as it’s definitely no longer a fashion taboo. It’s helpful when you take color into account when print mixing, so look for prints with colors that are complimentary to one another. One easy way to mix prints, and look put together, is by wearing a lighter color print with a darker one. And don’t be afraid to wear a similar print in different tones; for example, pairing a few gingham pieces together in varying shades. It’s probably a good idea to go for streamlined and simple silhouettes since the print mixing can be a lot on its own. But, of course, if you’re comfortable adding a bold silhouette too, go for it and own it!

While fashion rules were relevant at one point, fashion is now making a shift toward celebrating individuality and personal choices as apposed to “approved” trends. Yes, runway season brings about trends for each season, but they’re no longer the be-all-to-end-all when it comes to how we choose to dress. So instead of focusing on whether or not you’re allowed to wear white after Labor Day, have some fun with your fashion choices, get creative with it, and do what makes you feel confident and comfortable.


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Shira Rosenbluth, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in New York City. She has a passion for helping people feel their best in their body at any size and specializes in the treatment of disordered eating, eating disorders, and body-image dissatisfaction using a weight-neutral approach. She’s also the author of, a popular body positive style blog. You can find her on Instagram @theshirarose. Find more about her therapy practice at