I am a fashion-challenged person. My parents trained me to put on pants before leaving the house, but that’s pretty much where my sartorial education stopped. For most of my adult life I have wallowed in fashion confusion, unable to keep track of the rules governing when and where I was allowed to dress a certain way.
A lot of that confusion, I now realize, was because said “rules” were arbitrary—and stifling. Plus, people much cooler than me seemed able to break the rules with impunity, wearing things that were supposed to be “wrong,” and not just getting away with it but looking spectacular in the process.
As it turns out, the joke’s on all of us, because most of the once ironclad rules of fashion were abandoned by the cool and the trendy long ago; those of us who are less cool and untrendy are just getting the memo. Here are a bunch of old-school fashion “rules” you don’t need to follow anymore, fellow kids.
Ah, yes, the oft-derided “Canadian Tuxedo”—denim on denim. This was once my uniform of choice, and I was routinely told I looked like a dirtbag, because there was a time when layering denim was considered low-class or the province of criminals and actual working cowboys (but then, there was also a time when jeans themselves were considered low-class and rebellious).
Today, however, we can follow in the trailblazing footsteps of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake and wear as much denim as we like. It’s advisable to get some variety into your denim pieces so you don’t look like you’re literally wearing a denim tuxedo of some sort, but even that is more of a guideline than an actual rule. Go ahead and pair a mid-tone jean jacket over dark denim. You feel cool, because it looks cool.