10 Fashion Myths To Stop Believing Now

We don't want to say the rules don't apply to us. But, when it comes to fashion rules, most have been on the books since your grandma was standing in front of her wardrobe, contemplating which dungarees to don. So, maybe it's time to take inventory of our long-held beliefs about over-knee boots at work, sparkle for daywear, and the punishable crime of white after Labor Day.
Great style is about being fearless — so don't let your dread of make-believe fashion missteps keep you shackled to these 10 stodgy style myths. Ahead, we prove that inside every "don't" lurks a major "do."
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Photo: Courtesy of Reformation.
Horizontal Stripes
Plenty of women avoid horizontal stripes out of the misguided fear of looking wider. But, a couple tweaks to the usual formula can make all the difference (even for those of us who don't have the model body shown here). Just choose a dress with thinner stripes and a primary color of black, and show your stripes without fear.
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Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew.
Double Denim
At this point, the "skinny jeans and light chambray shirt" combo is common enough to not prompt Canadian tuxedo jokes. But, don't be afraid to add some dimension to your denim when trying the look. A faded, wider-leg jean and rugged denim top look cool on their own, and paired with a sleek heel and coat, we guarantee no one will mistake you for a ranch hand.
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Photo: Courtesy of H&M.
Dress Over Pants
Chances are, you did this in high school because it looked really rad on the Delia's models. And chances are, you've added it, along with JNCOs and ball chain necklaces to your "never again" list. But, with a slim-cut pant and asymmetrical-hem dress, the look is strictly futuristic, not throwback.
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Photo: Courtesy of Nasty Gal.
Athletic Wear At Night
Somewhere between Norma Kamali, Donna Karan, and Alexander Wang, it's become okay not only to spend all day in your comfy clothes, but to take 'em out at night, too. Just keep the proportions slim enough so people won't mistake you for a girl on a late-night bodega run.
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Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
Navy & Black Together
Some of the most dedicated brights-mixers and print-clashers we know still insist that navy and black are a never-wear combo. Our advice? When mixing two similar tones, try a slightly cropped top — that sliver of skin will help your outfit read as separates, rather than like two blacks that don't quite match.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Dreslyn.
Sweats Outside The Gym
Besides Seamless, fashion sweats are possibly humankind's greatest achievement of recent years. We especially love a printed pair — like these by Rachel Comey — because they're as comfy as your typical gray sweats, but make it very clear you're not about to down a protein shake and go do planks.
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Photo: Courtesy of Adam Selman.
White Shoes With Black Hose
Nine times out of 10, our shoes and hose match because, hey, black is easy. But, a pair of white shoes can serve as the perfect, mod-ish finishing touch for a graphic outfit. Keeping them scuff-free, on the other hand, is a whole different challenge.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sea.
White After Labor Day
This one's no longer the major faux pas it was in Emily Post's day. But, we think it's time to put to rest even the usual advice about wearing creamy, "winter" off-whites. Layers of bright, crisp whites work year-round, and anyone who tsk-tsks can go back to hand-addressing correspondence with their quill pen.
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Photo: Courtesy of Forever 21.
Sparkle During Daytime
We have brands like J.Crew to thank for making the world safe for jewel-embellished sweaters and skirts. But, don't be afraid to amp up the look with major, all-over sparkle. Paired with relaxed separates, even a sequin top won't look too Vegas for daylight hours.
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Photo: Courtesy of Net-A-Porter.
Over-Knee Boots At Work
If ever an innocent accessory had a bad rap, it's over-the-knee boots. But, you can banish them of all their Pretty Woman connotations by pairing them with your most demure separates, and a skirt that comes just below the knee — it still looks cool and a little sexy, even without the flash of thigh.
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