Growing up my Mother and Grandmothers lived by a series of fashion rules they considered inviolate.
1. No white after Labor Day or before Easter.
2. The same rule applied to patent leather.
3. Do not mix navy and black.
4. Pearls were to be worn during the day and diamonds at night.
5. Purses matched shoes.
Most importantly, you dressed to go shopping, do lunch, or go to the grocery. Lululemon, was a definite no in the eyes of my Mother and Grandmothers. I’ll never forget my sophomore year of college. Sent home by the infirmary with strep throat, I arrived in sweatpants and a UNC sweatshirt; the outfit of any self-respecting college student. My mother was horrified. When it was time to return to college my Dad intervened on my behalf as I attempted to leave for the drive back to Chapel Hill in sweats. Mom was distinctly offended by my tee-shirt and sweatpants. She ultimately relented to my Father’s wisdom that I would only be seen walking from the car to my dorm room. Somehow this wisdom ruled in my favor.
I routinely break rules 3, 4 and 5. My go to earrings are diamond studs. I wear them day and night along with a necklace made from my grandmother’s engagement ring. So much for the rule of no daytime diamonds. Diamond hoops are my fall back to my studs.
My mother gifted me with beautiful pearls that are also part of my daytime rotation. Interestingly enough, I rarely wear pearls at an evening event. Maybe that part of my fashion education took hold? More likely, I have dressy earrings I prefer for evening events.
I love navy. I think that may be a southern thing but prior to living in New York, navy was a wardrobe staple. Then I moved to the City. There is something special about living in New York. After about six months, I noticed that my closet was full of black. Then I found myself mixing navy and black. I love the combination. Maybe it fits me, southern with a love of the City sophistication? If the Parisians and Coco can mix navy and black, it can’t be all that much of a fashion faux pas, can it?
I routinely rebel at being matchy, matchy. I usually select my bag based on what I need for the day. I grab a tote for work days and a smaller bag when the occasion permits. My bag tends to be in the same color scheme of my outfit but rarely matches my 👠 (shoes).
The white and patent before Easter and after Labor Day, this is the one rule that I find to be unshakable. I love white jeans. I live in them, as appropriate, in the summer but come Labor Day, they get put away. For those that might suggest there is an exception for warm climates, it does not fly. Have you ever been to Charleston? This is home to the maternal side of my family and the white rule stands firm no matter how high the needle on the thermometer registers. Somehow the white rule is the one that I still see as a faux pas. It was enforced by my sorority with the clear indication that one should know better. In the end, I guess some rules are inviolate.
P.S. Lululemon is a regular thing in my house.