Friday Fun: Unapologetically Breaking Fashion Rules

Yes, I wore seersucker after Labor Day.

If you know me, you know I’m a big believer in a lot of rules of fashion. My shoes always match my belt, I never wear navy blue and black, and I never button the bottom button of my blazer. I even wrote a post once about some simple fashion rules– a post for which I was vilified on GovLoop. I’m in no way the world’s snazziest dresser, but I pay attention and probably try a little harder than most guys do.

So for a lot of folks, this Sept. 12 photo might be a shocker. Rules apparently dictate that seersucker and madras plaid (why would you wear that anyway?) should not be worn before Memorial Day or after Labor Day — the same rule that governs the wearing of white. I consulted Facebook and Twitter and most people seemed to agree, but I wore it anyway. The reason why is simple: it’s a dumb rule.

This is how some Facebook friends reacted when I asked if I was allowed to wear seersucker on Sept. 12.

The “rule” regarding white shoes, linen, seersucker, madras and whatever-the-heck else probably exists to make sure you wear summer fashions in the summer (though some attribute it simply to snobbery). Memorial Day and Labor Day mark the boundaries of summer in certain situations, like the operating dates of swimming pools. But guess what — it was hot as all-get-out on Sept. 12. Coincidentally, it’s also hot in the summer. Do these fashion rules not account for global warming? Or what if I travel to Argentina in December? Am I really going to have to leave my seersucker pants behind? What kind of international message does that send? Sorry, Argentina. You’re great, but not good enough for my summer outfits.

I’ve heard a quote attributed to Ed Murrow that says it’s OK to break the rules if you know why you’re breaking them (I wish I could find it because I use it all the time). This is one of those instances; I chose to wear a lightweight summer fabric on a post-Labor Day day that had a high temperature of 88. I stayed cool and I feel like I looked pretty darn good.

I also jaywalk and occasionally violate the rule of thirds when I take pictures.