18 Fashion Don'ts The Olsen Twins Made Doable

As they move into their third decade as trendsetters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have discarded more styles than most of us will ever try — who could forget Ashley's lady-tux phase, or Mary-Kate's flannel-covered hipster years? But, the twins' talent is that they have the finesse, not only to break fashion rules and pull off even the most ill-advised trend, but to make us all want to try it, too. (And yes, that includes our brief, torrid love affair with boho.)
Ahead, we pay tribute to 18 times when the Olsen twins made a fashion don't look like a major do. What can we say? When you got it, you got it, dude.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Maxi dresses don't work on petite girls.
The Olsen twins have no time for narrow-minded, height-based strictures on their fashion choices. And, as Mary-Kate showed by wearing Givenchy at the 2011 Met Gala, a long dress can make a petite woman look downright stately.
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Photo: Christopher Peterson/Getty Images.
One big bag is okay. Two, and you'll look like a bag lady.
Just try to keep Ashley Olsen away from her torso-sized Birkin and her jumbo Chanel.
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Photo: GVK/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images.
Layers overwhelm a small frame.
The Olsen twins are maximalists at heart — and, while Mary-Kate's layering finesse has come a long way since her everything-but-the-kitchen-sink NYU days, she's still not one to let a fashion decree keep her from a style she loves.
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Photo: Henry Lamb/BEImages.
Don't wear a jacket longer than your hem.
Heading to a Letterman appearance in 2008, Ashley Olsen's embrace of this fashion don't looks like the ultimate in business-babe chic.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
T-Shirts have no place on the red carpet.
Sharon Stone pioneered the wearing of Gap shirts on the red carpet, but Mary-Kate brought the high-low mix to a new level when she wore her deep-V tee to the premiere of Weeds in 2007. Certain fashion editors (ahem) may have spent a year emulating this outfit, giant cross and all.
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Photo: Doug Meszler/Splash News.
Double denim is a no-no. Birkenstocks are an even bigger no-no.
In 2011, long before the rest of the fashion world cottoned on to the ugly-shoe trend, Ashley Olsen proudly sported her Birkenstock Gizeh sandals, accessorized with a one-two punch of denim. She makes an excellent case for both.
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Photo: Ben Tsui/Splash News.
Leggings aren't pants.
Mary-Kate clearly didn't get the memo. Or, she read it, and doesn't care.
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Kitten heels are only okay on Mad Men.
Both twins routinely opt for the kind of pointy-toed kitten heels that top many people's lists of fashion "never would I evers." But in the chic, all-black outfit worn here by Ashley in 2012, the shoe looks like the kind of understatedly elegant choice Audrey would approve of.
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Photo: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images.
Hats should be worn on one's head.
This one's so self-evident it's hardly even a rule. But, in the mid-2000s, the Olsen twins were way into the super-slouchy beanie — worn so far back on the crown of their heads we wondered how they stayed on. And then we all followed suit. Many hats were lost to the wind.
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Photo: Josiah Kamau/Getty Images.
Take one thing off before you leave the house.
Sorry, Coco, the Olsens can't hear you. In fact, maybe this outfit could use one more beaded bracelet, or bag.
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Photo: Henry Lamb/BEImages.
Circle sunnies should stay in the '60s.
Sure, they're a hipster staple now. But, there was much chatter (and much shade thrown) when Mary-Kate started stepping out in small, circular sunglasses in 2008. She probably did the most to single-handedly revive this style since John Lennon.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Dress your age.
Ashley Olsen's 28 now, but for a few years, she's favored the kind of sophisticated tailoring and minimalist color palette often associated with business women twice her age, which actually makes sense considering she's a self-made millionaire who sits at the helm of several successful businesses. And, no one can deny that dressing older looks great on her. (Further proof of Ash's love of kitten heels, too.)
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Photo: Erik Pendzich/REX USA.
Your earrings should always match.
Mary-Kate's jewelry game often goes unremarked upon, but as she moves away from her bauble-ring and cross-necklace years, we've noticed her growing penchant for interesting earrings — made more interesting by her artful mismatching of a gold, button-style with an elaborate drop earring here.
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Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images.
Don't clash your prints.
Mary-Kate gets all the credit as the eclectic twin, but in 2010, Ashley showed she's game to try a risky mix of leopard and plaid, too — and the boho-grungy thing works on her.
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Photo: KCSPresse/Splash News.
Choose one statement accessory.
But who can choose? Certainly not Mary-Kate, whose blinding-white, oversized shades, multiple cocktail rings, oversized leopard scarf, and supersized studs attest.
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Photo: Raymond Field/Steve Wake/Splash.
Coffee cups are not accessories.
Oh, but in the Olsen twins' world, they are — as seen here, where they add a certain je ne sais quoi to an otherwise-basic outfit. The Olsens have never been ashamed of showing their caffeine addiction to the world — there's a reason no Mary-Kate or Ashley Halloween costume would ever be complete without two Venti cups! (Bonus points for Mary-Kate's much-mourned turban phase.)
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
The mullet hem.
Chances are, you tried this trend in 2011 in the form of a filmy, flimsy nylon dress, then retired it when you realized there was no good reason to leave the front half of your legs cold. But, doesn't Mary-Kate make the bi-level gown look — dare we say — cool again?
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Photo: Henry Lamb/BEImages.
Partner dressing is for toddlers only.
The Olsen twins haven't dressed identically for public appearances since their It Takes Two days. Still, their outfits often subtly call back to each other — like their matching chandelier earrings, flared sleeves, and criss-cross-strap shoes here show. That twin bond can't be broken.
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