8 fashion faux pas and why they’re bullshit

You know it, I know it. So let’s do it.

As I stood there in line with my Nairs strips, Cetaphil moisturiser and dry shampoo, I naively thought the girl in line next to me was admiring my outfit. I was having one of those good days when my hair was behaving, my shoes were comfortable and I was excited about cancelling plans later to stay in. When she opened her mouth to speak, a large grin was on my face. 

“You know, you should really try wearing vertical stripes,” she offered. “Those horizontal stripes make you look wide.” 

I stood there stunned, the grin wiped from my face and replaced with a quizzical glare. 

“Uh, OK lady,” I responded, still shocked at someone so brazenly offering fashion advice to me in the checkout line at fucking Priceline. 

“Sorry I’m not conforming to your perfect little rule book about fashion,” I thought, but didn’t say out loud because I’m deathly afraid of confrontation.

That day I realised something: I’m officially done with these so-called ‘fashion faux pas.’ You know, those silly little sayings we have in the back of our head every time we dress: busty girls shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes; less is more; don’t mix black and blue; clashing prints is trashy; or my personal favourite, you shouldn’t wear sequins in the day time. Ugh. Come on now. 

It’s time to throw out that outdated rulebook. It’s bullshit. You know it, I know it. So let’s do it. Here’s a few trends we reckon need a second look in. 

Socks and sandals

Chubby old man at Disneyland. That’s what you’re imaging when I mention socks and sandals, isn’t it? I mean, you’re not wrong there. That’s almost the dictionary definition of socks and sandals. But isn’t it time we updated that dictionary? There’s really no reason why you can’t pair a pair of funky looking socks with those summery Birkenstocks. The same goes for those wedges/open toed sandals/summer heels that have made their way towards the back of your closet thanks to the chilly weather. But those shoes deserve to be worn with socks. It makes them more interesting, more weather appropriate, and lessens the chance of skin-rubbing blisters (thank god), so it’s a win-win either way. 

Mixing silver and gold jewellery

Seriously, who even cares about this? Maybe your grandma might wince at the sight of the ungodly pairing, but everyone else won’t even give it a second thought. Mix your silver and gold. No one cares. 

Picking the ‘right’ sunglasses for your face

It really infuriates me that we’ve gotten into our heads that there’s a “right” and a “wrong” when it comes to covering up our eyeholes. As far as I can tell, sunglasses do two things really well: they protect you from the sun’s UV rays (yay!) and they help you appear less hungover at Sunday brunch (double yay!) So the real question I’m asking is: why don’t you like your face? You know those sunglasses are fine, but you’re fixating on something about yourself in the decision making process and blaming it on the shape of the glasses. Quit stressing: if you like the glasses, and they fit around your head without squeezing your brain, then get them. They look good, I promise. 

See-through dressing

“Um, your bra is showing”. Ah derrr. That’s the point. See-through clothing has filtered in and out of our sartorial vocab for a while now, but for some reason it still seems really offensive to remind others that boobs exist. Think about it: so much of women’s fashion works under the assumption you’ll be wearing a bra underneath this item of clothing. But if the bra shows, it’s considered untidy and tacky, and going without a bra (heaven forbid) insinuates you’re shamelessly placing yourself on display. But come on now, haven’t we had enough of this internalised misogyny? It’s time to embrace see-through clothing for what it is: a whole lot of fun. There’s nothing wrong with showing a little bra under a sexy mesh tank, and actually, didn’t you buy that special little lace bralette for that exact reason? Also, the bra-free decade is upon us; so let the good girls fly a little. You know, #freethenipple and all that.

Same thing goes for showing a little side boob

Come on, it never hurt anyone. Live your life. 

Wearing something that’s not your ‘style’

Like dressing girly when you’re a real tomboy, or trying on colour and prints when muted tones rule your wardrobe. No one can explain why we’re drawn to something different to what we wear every day; maybe we just want to see how the other half lives? But above all else, we shouldn’t be condemned for trying something different or outside our personal style. Personal style is an illusion anyway. 

Wearing dresses with pants

Look, sometimes my legs get cold, and because I’m officially done with squeezing myself into yet another pair of opaque stockings this winter, pants are now the MVP of my wardrobe. They go with everything and wearing them under dresses, especially if they have some cool print on them, is just how I want to live my life right now. Also, yes. I know I look like a high school art teacher, but that’s the aesthetic I’m going for, so don’t ruin it for me. 

Big girls can only wear high-waisted bikinis

At some point in fashion history it became unsightly to see the bottom half of a woman’s stomach. Blame it on the ’50s revival (or blame it on Taylor Swift) but all of a sudden, high-waisted bikini bottoms were everywhere. Lining the shelves at Seafolly and populating on beaches nationwide. And like sand through the hourglass, we caught on. We caught on hard. Apparently high-waisted bikinis were the only way to look sweet, pure and demure on the beach.  Soon enough it became evident that a certain kind of girl would never be able to wear low-cut bikini bottoms again. The swimwear industry decided bigger girls shouldn’t even be given the option of an alternative, simply because covering up half of our stomachs was more ‘flattering’ than seeing a little muffin-top overhang. I’m sorry, but I call bullshit on that one.

Actually, I’m calling bullshit on every single one of these so-called fashion ‘rules’. Get them out of your head, and quick. Because when we start aligning ourselves with what someone else deems ‘good’ or ‘appropriate for your body type’ then we’re not accepting ourselves for who we are. We’re inviting low self esteem to come over, wreak some havoc and leave us broken on the way out. Nuh-uh. Not today, Satan. 

Fashion rules suck. Dress however you damn well please.

Illustration by Twylamae whose style includes this glorious Kim Kardashian naked selfie tee.

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