As the lazy days of summer finally roll around, the last thing we want to think about are rules and restrictions. This season, it’s time to kick back and break free from these 12 sartorial shackles—your wardrobe will thank you.
Rule to Break #1: Horizontal Stripes Aren’t Flattering. When dresses, tops, and bottoms fit well, it doesn’t matter whether they come in stripes or solids—find a great cut (like Girl With Curves did) that fits you and any pattern can be a fun, flattering summer go-to.
Rule to Break #2: You Can’t Wear Shorts to Work. Take a tip from Hema Persad—a pair of long tailored shorts with a boxy blazer can be a fantastic choice when you crave a break from skirts and dresses.
Rule to Break #3: Navy and Black Do Not Go Together. Combining shades of blue with black—just like Luella & June does here—adds dimension to an otherwise understated outfit.
Rule to Break #4: You Can’t Wear Leather in Summer. Try pairing leather shorts with a printed silk blouse for a chic date-night look—Lovely Pepa’s will take her seamlessly from day to night.
Rule to Break #5: Ankle Straps Aren’t Flattering. If you’ve always wanted to wear strappy sandals but feel like they make your legs look shorter, skip the mini and try styling them with cropped pants or a midi skirt instead. Kayture’s outfit proportions here are spot-on.
Rule to Break #6: Bikinis Are Sexier Than One-Pieces. You don’t need to wear a two-piece to drop jaws on the beach—there are so many one-piece swimsuits styles available today that would make the cast of Baywatch blush. Look for a diagonal placement print for an extra dose of curve flattery—just like this one from We Wore What.
Rule to Break #7: Store Your Boots Until Fall. If you can’t resist wearing your favorite fall ankle boots, throw them on in the sunshine with a minidress or A-line skirt. It works like a charm on Nette Nestea.
Rule to Break #8: Wear All Your Whites Before Labor Day. White has become season-less, but it’s all about the fabric that you choose. Wear your boxy linen blouses now and save your white shirtdresses for layering with sweaters when the weather gets colder. Get inspired by Hello Shopping’s look and try white and ivory layered texture-on-texture.
Rule to Break #9. Fringe Is for Music Festivals: Fringe doesn’t need to be costume-y. Look for small, refined fringe details on bags and shoes—like the subtle touch on Gal Meets Glam’s suede sandals.
Rule to Break #10. Khakis Are for Dads: Khakis can actually be perfect for a casual date night or dinner with friends. Style them with stilettos and a chic clutch—like Haute Inhabit does. Bonus? Loose pants are super-comfy.
Rule to Break #11. Sneakers Are for Working Out and Running Errands: We believe in wearing sneakers often—and with pretty much everything. Proof: Agoniiya’s fancy black-and-gold top goes great with Converse.
Rule to Break #12. Denim on Denim: Has anyone out there NOT tried pairing denim with denim? What are you waiting for? Try a smart tailored sleeveless top with summer’s staple distressed cutoffs—just like Love Brown Sugar.