Many people consider following fashion rules as faux pas. With the emergence of personal style bloggers, gone are the days that we need to match our belt, bags, and shoes. People have embraced wearing various prints in one outfit. We are now allowed to wear different colors and hues from head to toe. Wearing cropped tops with short shorts has finally been accepted. The age of fashion liberty has finally come.
But are we really that free to wear whatever we want to wear? Is there such thing as total fashion liberation? Do we no longer follow the rules that once caged the fashion industry?
Personally, I am not a big fan of following rules. I feel rules suppressing and prevents me from being who I want to be. But don't get me wrong though because I have always been a good kid (in school and in real life). I never got into trouble or if I ever do, I make sure not to get caught (if I have young readers, I am not promoting deviance, okay!). What I follow are social norms - not rules. I follow things that are accepted by my family and my peers. Whether it is rules in life or rules in fashion - I always make sure to be socially accepted.
But the thing with fashion nowadays is that we are free to express ourselves through the things we wear. We are free to become who we want to be through our clothes. It doesn't matter if you want to go print or color overload. It doesn't matter if you want to look like your favorite anime character. It doesn't matter if your outfit is socially acceptable or not. What matters is that we are free to express ourselves and we are free to be comfortable in our clothes.
But are we really that free to wear whatever we want to wear? If you ask me, I say not really.
Hat: Peaches on Top | Striped Top, Necklace, and Earrings: Forever 21 |
Shorts: Clothes for the Goddess | Silver Glitter Slippers: Zara | Clutch: Accessorize |
We are free to wear various articles of clothing up to a certain extent. Wearing a bikini to the mall is still plain odd and promiscuous. Wearing couture to work is too flamboyant and showy. We may be freer because we have more variety of clothes to choose from but we are far from reaching total freedom. Freedom in real life anyways, cannot be considered as total freedom. We are still bound by social rules and norms we have to abide by and it hinders us from wearing whatever we want. And besides, there is that word "decency." Who will ever consider wearing a swimsuit to a meeting decent, right?
While I clearly mentioned that I do not most of the time like to follow rules, I do have a few fashion rules that are self imposed. These rules are sometimes suppressing which is kind of depressing but given certain circumstances, i have to follow them i.e. commuting and I do not want to attract too much attention or I might become a victim of something (rules are for protecting myself). These rules may be different from yours but they work well for me:
In all honesty, I only patronize a few prints: stripes, florals, and polka dots. I rarely wear other prints especially animal prints (I don't find them flattering on me and they are just far from my personal style). Furthermore, I am not very fond of the "print-on-print" trend mainly because I find them dizzying. But that does not mean I have never tried it because I have (up-coming posts will prove that). And if I were to rock this trend I follow a few rules to make sure they don't look too clashing and a hot mess:
- Size variations - I make sure that the sizes of prints aren't the same. Either the top will have a smaller print or the bottoms. Then the other will have a larger print.
- One neutral color - I will choose one of the clothes I wear in a neutral color to balance the look.
- Same size - if I were to wear the same print, like polka dots for example, I want them to be the same size. This makes the outfit look like a one piece; as if I am wearing a romper or a playsuit or a dress.
- Same color family - if both the top and bottom belong to the same color family, the outfit will look coherent.
This has got to be the best trend the fashion industry has ever graced (at least in my opinion). In case you haven't noticed yet, I am not fond of monochromatic outfits. I loathe black and white (which is a trend this spring/summer that I absolutely hate!). And if I were to wear something like that, I make sure to have a pop of color. There should always be some color in my outfits. My friends actually know me for wearing colorful outfits. But color blocking is something that some people are afraid to try mainly because they think it will make them look like a clown. But I believe otherwise. Wearing colorful outfits can make a person actually look more vibrant and approachable. It just gives you more life! Here are some rules you may try to ease in to this trend:
- Same color family - choosing one color family in various hues is a great start. You can go for mint green and pine green in one outfit and look coherent. That is already considered as color blocking.
- Complementary colors - check your color wheel and find the complementary color of your choice. Red and green are both complementary colors and so are purple and yellow. If you don't have a color wheel, Google can always provide you with one.
- Black and white - they are complementary colors though none of them are actually colors. But it is a start and you can never go wrong with black and white.
- Experiment - with color blocking, I think it is all about experimenting on what colors look great together. Blue and red are neither colors belonging to the same family nor are they complementary colors but they work well together (just like in my outfit, yes?). Try different colors and see which works well together for you.
Dare to Bare
Clothes that were once prohibited are now allowed on the streets. Clothes that my father thinks looks like underwear and trashy are acceptable in the fashion industry. Baring more skin has become commonplace already. I am not against women who like to bare more skin because with the intense heat of the summer season, I can't really blame them. If going out naked is socially acceptable I would have done it myself! But I believe there is a limit to what we can bare especially since we live in a dangerous world and you never know when you will become the next victim.
- Don't show it all - of course, as I already said, going out naked is prohibited. But seriously, girls should never show too much. It attracts criminal minds and we don't want that. Learn how to keep everything balanced.
- Bare one part at a time - if you want to show your mid section, cover your legs a bit more like wear pants or trousers instead. If you want to show your legs more, cover your mid section. Or, if you want to bare both, I would suggest wearing a cover-up for more coverage.
- Choose the right place and time - I think wearing clothes that bare more skin is appropriate at certain places and time only. Consider the event and place you are going to before you decide to bare more skin.
In essence, fashion will always have a set of norms we will follow whether it is consciously or unconsciously. While there is no longer a general set of rules we have to follow, there is an established self-imposed norm we follow on our own. We are very far from achieving total fashion liberation and I highly doubt I will even live to see that happen. Perhaps in my next life? But for now, I will enjoy what I can wear and hopefully, you enjoy these outfits as well.
What rules in fashion do you follow?
Happy weekend! :)