When I look back at pictures of myself during my twenties, it's easy to think, "Oh em gee, I can't believe I looked like that." My fashion sense has definitely improved with age, but I've actually come to a point where I can see my fashion faux pas and embrace them, because they made me who I was then and even continue to influence who I'm becoming.
Regret isn't something that I want to live with — in any facet of my life. So I've chosen to not fret over what my twenties looked like sartorially speaking, and see my faux pas in a more positive light.
A fashion faux pas is generally defined as the breaking of some long-standing fashion "rule," like wearing black with blue or wearing white after Labor Day. In other words, it's participating in a fashion trend that someone, somewhere has deemed ugly or bad.
I have to admit I definitely broke some of the rules in my twenties, but I'd prefer to see that as being progressive rather than clueless when it comes to fashion. I've put together a list of some of the things I wore in my twenties that I think are commonly used by other young women as well, in hopes of encouraging you to not worry so much about made up "rules" and instead embrace your "missteps" (which is the literal translation of "faux pas").
1. Wearing Plastic Accessories
I think many people define plastic accessories as headbands, jewelry, or even shoes reserved for kids. But why not bring a little something leftover from your childhood into your twenties?
In actuality, I couldn't wear plastic headbands as a kid because I was quite overly sensitive to way they fit me back then, but that changed in my older years. So hey, I suppose I didn't have to miss out in the end!
Furthermore, plastic jewelry just goes by a different name when you're older — it's called costume jewelry. And like the name suggests, it's just as fun as you age!
2. A Slicked Back Bun
In an effort to not have to worry about my hair, I'd often wear it up in a bun. Granted, I might dress it up with a cute headband now, but there's nothing to be ashamed of for getting my hair out of the way — even if my slicked back bangs don't really offer any pizzazz.
Not being ashamed of that much attention brought to your face shape and forehead is totally a positive thing.
3. Breaking "Colors That Match Your Hair" Rules
I was always told that as a ginger, I shouldn't wear pink or red. And I never understood why. I suppose it's because it's too much of the same basic color, but I always felt so Pretty in Pink with my hair color and skin tone. And I have this amazing red dress that I'm not going to let go to waste because I have red hair.
My opinion is that if you love the color, your hair and skin shouldn't dictate what you can and can't wear.
4. Sandals (Or Flip-Flops) In The Winter
This picture gets me every time. It was 2006, but my hubby and I managed to still look very '90s here. Socks and sandals is also a similar faux pas that would go in this same category. Clearly, my feet weren't as cold as the rest of my body. And also, those sandals were super comfortable, so I'm sure I just couldn't let go of them for winter.
Lots of friends in college would also continue wearing their flip-flops with jeans around campus in the colder months. And hey, the way I see it now is that even if it might have seemed crazy to our professors, comfort and convenience were totally more important.
5. VBO (Visible Belly Outline)
I'm so happy this "faux pas" is becoming more and more accepted. It's definitely not a misstep in life to have a belly, and I'm happy to embrace my curves.
Sure, the band in that dress accentuates my tummy, but why shouldn't a tummy be accentuated? It's absolutely beautiful. Please, please, please ladies: Never apologize for your shape.
6. Showing Your Bra Straps
I love a loose fitting tee that falls below my shoulder, and there's pretty much no way to keep my bra strap from showing since wearing strapless bras is impossible for me with well-endowed breasts. So, I'm happy I never sacrificed my desire to wear baggy tees just because I'd be showing my bra strap.
7. Oversized Sunglasses
I think this one is purely a so-called faux pas because oversized sunglasses became so completely common (read: boring). But just because people everywhere are doing it doesn't mean I can't if I want to. And that goes for then and now.
8. Glitter Nail Polish
Also often regarded as "something for kids" in some people's mind, glitter is always a girl's (or woman's) best friend in my book. I wasn't afraid to let a little sparkle out on into my adulthood, so you shouldn't either!
9. Wearing A Maxi Skirt As A Dress
I've done this with more than one maxi skirt, and you know what? I'm not ashamed! I wanted that skirt a little higher, so a dress it became without hesitation.
Sure, the shape of the skirt is tailored to be a dress, but in my opinion, I totally made it work, and that's really all that counts. It's super comfortable, too!
Images: Christie Drozdowski