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4 Style Rules You Need to Break This Summer

This summer is all about enjoying getting dressed again, so you shouldn’t let pre-pandemic style rules hold you back.

By Caitlin Abber

Something I love about this “optimistic in-between” is how boldly everyone is dressing. People are pulling out all the stops; they’re refreshing their pre-pandemic wardrobes with eye-catching upgrades, stocking their closets with dresses, and baring their decolletage, legs, and midriffs (and if they’re fully vaccinated, their beautiful faces, too). And since there’s no going back to who or how we were before the pandemic, they’re also taking antiquated style rules and smashing them to smithereens. Recognizing how people are interpreting this momentous shift through their fashion and self-expression is a reminder of how meaningful and personal clothing can be, and it’s really, really fun to see.  

So, which old rules are we smashing right now? We’re so happy you asked! We went ahead and styled four of our favorite rules to break, modeled by some M.M. team members who aren’t afraid to go against the grain. These styles aren’t as wild as, say, wearing a prom dress to the grocery store, but they’re a great place to start. 

“Only Wear One Bold Color at a Time”

Why limit yourself?. For the rest of the year (and probably after), we’re going full technicolor (and as you can tell by these photos, our Director of Production, Susan, is beaming). We’re pairing bright yellows with vibrant blues, like the Leslie tee in sunshine and the Rowan flats in ultramarine. The key to breaking this rule with ease is adding in some neutrals for balance, so we went with the Caitlin shorts in tusk and an ivory accessory, like the Briar or Wanda earrings. You know what else would look great with this outfit? A bright red lip, because more is more.

“Horizontal Stripes Aren’t Flattering”

Stripes are basically a neutral, which means they’re flattering on everyone. And what does flattering mean, anyway? (That’s a think piece for another time…) For now, I’ll just say this: If you like stripes, you should wear them. And if you really, really like stripes, wear them twice, as M.M.’s Graphic Designer, Yan, does here. The striped Alina tee is a team favorite, and it looks sailor-chic tucked into a pair of high-rise, wider-legged pants, like the Horton. Instead of a solid sweater for a little extra warmth, Yan wears the Samara in—you guessed it—a navy-and-ivory stripe.

“Don’t Mix Seasons”

Isn’t it funny that some of us think nothing of wearing a T-shirt and jeans but feel weird about wearing shorts and a long-sleeved shirt? What are arms, if not the legs of the upper torso? If you have a favorite fall or winter top that didn’t get enough play this year, now is the time to bust it out without apprehension. Lisa, M.M.’s Director of Buying and Planning, pairs the employee-favorite Axam top with the Fletcher shorts and the elegant Ella sandals. She tops the whole thing with the Scotte jacket before heading out for one of many long-awaited reunions with friends who haven’t seen her—or any of her clothes—in months.

“Black and Blue Don’t Go Together”

If we could write a New York Times op-ed against this rule, we 100% would. Black and blue (especially navy) isn’t just an interesting pairing for us—it’s practically a way of life. We love the way the two colors bring out the best in each other. And when we find out people still believe you can’t wear these two colors together, we get really excited to prove them wrong. Take this all black-and-blue look on our Junior Graphic Designer, Cindy. She’s wearing the Leslie tee with the Hockley jeans, both in black, and she elevates the ensemble with bright splashes of blue by adding the Chadwick sweater in shoreline and the Briar earrings in Indigo. All in all, it’s a moody but vibrant take on one of our favorite renegade pairings.

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and

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