Ignoring our own advice: How to break fashion rules with confidence

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As fashion columnists, it might be against our better judgment to tell you to disregard fashion rules.

However, we happen to be in the short span of our lives when we are completely at liberty to experiment with personal style choices. The dress codes of high school have disappeared along with our most awkward years and what lies ahead are some of the best–and worst–wardrobe choices.

The late teenage years and early twenties are the prime years for dipping your fashion paintbrush into several different style pots. While some are dedicated to the running shorts and T-shirts look before the time comes when they have to dress up for a regular 9-to-5, others go confidently in the direction of freedom that comes with college.

For many of us, this is the first time when we don’t have to suffer through passive aggressive glances from parents hinting that we really shouldn’t leave the house in that outfit. We are also in that wonderful period when we, to quote Britney Spears, are not girls, but not yet women. We seek out items that are full of nostalgia from our nineties upbringing. Why else would jelly shoes and overalls be making a comeback in the fashion world this spring?

So, when you’re shopping and you find something you absolutely have to have in your closet, but think that others won’t appreciate the item, we say go for it. For example, every girl at some point in her life has wanted a pair of twinkly shoes. Regardless of your own personal style, there is a certain magic contained within these light up shoes from Sketchers.

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They glitter. They sparkle. They light up. Not to mention that they have Velcro straps and rainbow colors. Some may think that these are strictly “kid’s shoes.” If that were the case, why do they come in sizes that fit grown women feet? They’re fun, an amazing conversation starter and practical in a “slip-on-and-go” sort of way.

Aside from enjoying some more childish pieces in our wardrobes, we also encourage you to go after any style that you find appealing. Whether or not you think you’ll be teased for wearing something that is too “hipster” or for being dressed up is beside the point.

Being interested in and passionate about almost any intellectual pursuit, be it music, art or literature, will most likely get you called a hipster at some point. Why not embrace the culture that we are immersed in at Maryville College and dress the part?

While fedoras have become a cliché standard for the hipster set, there’s nothing wrong with pulling out a favorite hat and donning it to class. Beanies and vintage inspired styles are a great route for the anti-Fedora crowd. If dressing well or shopping at thrift stores means that one is a hipster, then maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.

In the end, our message is to wear what you want, what makes you happy, comfortable and yourself. Even the most dedicated fashionistas need a day to take themselves a little less seriously. The big secret is that having style and being interested in fashion doesn’t mean you have to dress for a part every day. You are allowed off-day outfits, you’re allowed some strange outfits, some downright unfortunate choices, some light up shoes, some hipster trends and a whole lot of whatever you want.

So, take advantage of our potentially rule-breaking fashion advice: wear what you like, like what you wear. And, as always, paired with confidence and a smile, you’re sure to work any look.

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