Break the Rules

Whether you’re sitting in your gynecologist’s waiting room, incessantly pushing your legs in elliptical motions at the gym, or bored and alone on a Friday night with a full bag of freshly popped popcorn, you can count on myriad fashion magazines to be loyally by your side. The headings make promises like “Look Better in Ten Days,” “Flatten those Flabby Abs,” or “Look Like your Favorite Star.” We trust such advice and depend on it in times of need. Then of course there’s the Style Network and the notorious E! Entertainment Channel to dictate what’s in and what’s out that moment in time, and for those who dare to wear what is “so five minutes ago,” will be arrested by the ??ber intimidating fashion police. Some of us take these forms of advice, while others choose to ignore what they consider the epitome of shallownessWhat happened to personal style, creativity, and originality? “Fashion Rules” is an oxymoron; the only “rule” should be to follow your personal taste. Look at Carrie Bradshaw for style’s sake. No, Ms. Bradshaw is not a member of the Colgate student body or faculty for those who are media-deprived out there, but the one and only fashionista herself: the wavy locked Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City. Carrie has no fear. Clearly her income as a sex columnist helps fund her fabulous collection of “Choos,” but we can all learn something from her mix and match taste that is effortless, fun, comfortable, and most importantly, void of any rules. A peer of mine recently approached me with summertime capris and suede (amazing, Ralph Lauren cowboy-esque I might add), stiletto boots, and a disgruntled look on her face. “Would it be wrong to wear these together?” she asked. Wrong? Wrong?! WRONG?! Oh, now this is a sign of a fashion victim. She is risking a loss of creativity. Freshman, Megan Mcgillicuddy advises “If you don’t love it, then don’t buy it because you’ll never wear it.” Although she likes to have her own sense of style, it doesn’t hurt to get ideas from others whether they are her peers, strangers on the street, or fashion icons. She advises to look at someone who has similar features or else you won’t be working to flatter yourself. Margaret Morgan, also a freshman, sticks with a basic look and then simply “plays it up or down” depending on the occasion. Most of us are too shy to wear purple tights and a tight mini like Ms. Bradshaw, but on the weekends, why not let loose? Fashion is about freedom of expression. As much as one might deny it, we all have biases and often judge others based on the notorious first impression. Most seniors would agree here; your choice of attire while at an interview will set a specific tone.Designing the way you present yourself to the world is an art form. Clearly, just because you have boobs and are categorized into the feminine sex does not automatically mean you will find enjoyment in the fashion industry. This is not a problem, but do not judge shopping and style as shallow or materialistic. Many of us choose to wear beautiful lingerie under our clothes, even when we are not “getting any.” Why bother going to Victoria’s Secret to get the Angel’s Balconet, turquoise, lace bra for $38 minimum when no one is going to see it? For your own sense of style and inner, or under, beauty. To look sexy we must feel sexy first. The same goes for nail polish. The name of the color may nudge you to paint your nails a certain color just because it is so descriptive of your emotions or desires. Look at OPI’s various lines that include “Dulce de Leche,” “Don’t socra-tease me,” “Italian Love Affair,” “Las Vegas Strip Poker,” or “Pink-ing of you.” Live vicariously through your nail lacquer. Be dramatic one day, conservative the next. Pair those capris with knee high boots, sport bangles up to your elbow, dangle strands of antique beads around your neck, and depending on your income, sport diamonds with jeans. Mix and match. Shabby-chic. Preppy-punk. Polished and edgy. Get yourself noticed in the New York Times Sunday Style Section by walking the streets in a fancy champagne-gold taffeta skirt and a white t-shirt. Throw on a fur caplet, whether vrai or faux, you’ll make a statement. Throw on a maritime sweater with anchor buttons and a pair of ballet flats. Cowboy boots go with anything and everything. Freshm an Joelle DiNardi recalls her childhood days of dress-up; “I figure, why not wear a dress over jeans, or tie a shawl around my torso as a tube top?” If it looks good, if it feels good, then go for it. As Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful”. Keep in mind one piece of advice, not a rule, but advice. Money doesn’t buy style, creativity and confidence does. So pick up those shoulders, emphasize good posture, and wear what you love. Don’t buy what looks pretty on a hanger or what color happens to be your favorite. If that pale icy pink eye shadow is the prettiest in the NARS collection, it does not necessarily mean it will look the prettiest on you. Rather, it will most likely wash you out. Go for the dirt brown cinnamon enhanced hue that will bring those piercing brown eyes out of their sockets. Wear black with blue if you choose, wear as much white as you want between Labor and Memorial Day, wear UGG’s if they keep you warm (just make sure they’re made in Australia and not China), and throw up that hair like its 1982. Take it or leave it. It’s your call.