Rules & Regulations: Of Style

There are so many rules and regulations in life.  If some of those rules and regulations are broken, hefty fines and/or jail sentences are soon to follow.

With so many freedom or financial contingent laws to abide by, your style should not be a potential felony.

I’ve never been one to follow rules, stylistically speaking (I am a law-abiding citizen I should add.)  

This rebellious state wholly derived out of two necessities:  

  1. I always forget the rules.
  2. For years I didn’t have much to choose from.

I did not always have closets bursting at the seams with garments.  For quite some time, I was the epitome of “minimalism.” I had a few hangers with pieces that I had to wear (on heavy rotation) and reinvent to create new looks.  If I wanted my BLACK dress to appear different, I had to layer it with a BROWN or NAVY jacket.

GASPS! Black and brown!

Oui mes amies, I did the unthinkable. 

Oddly enough, whenever I wore this prohibited color combination, I always received compliments. I’d hear “I would have never thought to wear black and brown together.”

I have always found this so odd because leopard print is the ultimate black and brown, and no one ever clutches their pearls at the color combination of that print.

Shall I proceed with dated style-rules?

That ship has sailed, as in not wearing white after Labor Day.  One of my most coveted possessions eons ago was a white cashmere coat I’d thrifted. Side note: a few years later when I purchased my first home the (then) boyfriend took the wrong bag to the Salvation Army for donation. Oui mes amies, the cashmere coat was inside.

After I purchased the decadent cashmere coat, I thought to myself “when else would I wear a coat but after Labor Day?”

I was thoroughly confused and could not grasp the concept of not wearing this belle because of its color, in the only season it would be appropriate to wear in.

The first time I wore le outlawed hued coat in November, I was terrified.  Of what, I still have no clue.

I’m uncertain if I thought Anna Wintor or Andre Leon would suddenly pop out of a WMATA trashcan at Metro Center to issue me a citation or what.  But I do remember being very insecure about breaking this style “rule.”

As I walked the streets of Chevy Chase, wait. Let me re-phase that. As I walked along the streets of Chevy Chase (an extremely affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of DC) one fall afternoon, I discovered a fellow outlaw-i.e. a woman adorned in the same rebellious hue.

In true Jessie form, I befriended her.

After exchanging pleasantries and several random subjects, I asked her what prompted her to wear white after Labor Day? She informed me that she did so to be nothing more than a misfit. She was born and raised in NYC and spent her summers upstate. In true Bostonian Brahmin fashion her mother only permitted the children to wear white while in the country. Those of status only wore white in the summer while in the country as a means to keep cool in the sweltering heat (this was pre-central air.)

She shared that she too had purchased a strikingly gorgeous white piece in her youth (a sweater) and was forbidden to wear the garment. Her mother would not allow a child of her name to be seen wearing white in the city.

After realizing that I was late for work I had to abruptly end our tête-à-tête (of course we exchanged numbers) landlines to be exact.

Although I was elbow deep in human cavities (I was an apprentice embalmer at the time) I could not keep the style conversation out of my mind.

When I got home, I logged into my neighbors WiFi (oui mes aimes, I couldn’t afford an additional bill at the time.) I began to research fashion do’s and don’ts, along with their origins. Most of the style “rules” we dare not to break, are directly related to the fashion industry prompting consumers to well, consume more.

Think boys wear blue, girls wear pink. No such things existed before the 1940s.

How about not being caught dead in socks and sandals? Wearing socks with sandals has been in vogue since the Zhou Dynasty.

My fashion rule is:

If you have it, and you love it, wear it!

As I campaign to not have a closet filled with fast fashion, cost-per-wear justifies the price tag. If that means layering a well crafted sleeveless shirt over a turtleneck in colder months, by all means, do so.

Wear navy and black. Sparkle in sequins during the day. Mix silver & gold. Frolic in a fur on casual Friday. Adorn yourself in whatever makes you feel confident.

What fashion rules do you break?

Ciao for now!

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