With the whole no-white-after-labor-day rule having finally met its demise, a slew of other fashion commandments have come under scrutiny. But why should someone else’s seasonal clothing regulations damper your cold-weather swagger? Fall and winter seem to be hit the hardest with painfully outdated style “don’ts” that, frankly just take all the fun out of getting bundled up. With the start of the new year in full swing, there’s no better time than now to bust through those fashion barriers. Here are nine snoozy winter style no-nos and the best ways to totally forget them.


1. Shorts are a no-go. Not exactly. If you can rock a skirt once the temps take a plunge, shorts should be fair game too. To winterize the leg-baring bottoms, pair them up with knee-high stockings or a pair of warm, woolen tights. Longline cardigans and oversized sweaters will keep the whole look feeling cozy and create balance on top. In the shoe department, knee-high and ankle boots always look chic.

Zara Jacquard Bermudas ($36)


2. You can’t wear socks with sandals. The socks and sandals thing is a runway favorite, but it can totally work IRL too. And it’s genius. You get to wear your killer open-toes all year round while keeping toasty and rocking a cool Burberry 2010 vibe. To pull off this look, stick with heels in sturdy fabrics like leather or velvet and pass on your summery espadrille wedges or anything too beachy.

Urban Outfitters Stripe and Polka Dot Crew Sock Multi Pack ($16) + Charles & Keith Elastic Band Slingback Heels ($54)


3. It’s too cold for crop tops. Please. Rock that crop top no matter the weather by putting those on-point layering skills to work. Slip it under cardigans, coats and more to turn up the heat when temps take a dip. High-waisted skirts and trousers will keep your midriff covered and your outfit looking fly all season long.

Reformation Jesse Top ($48)


4. Weatherproof boots are bulky and ugly. Okay, there may have been a time when all-weather boots weren’t exactly what you’d call high fashion. But we’ve come a long way since those Moon Boots you wore as a kid. From moto boots that show torrential downpours who’s boss to riding boots that can handle more than a light dusting of snow, keeping feet warm and dry no longer means having to say sayonara to your sartorial sensibilities. The proof? This super slick leather pair above.

Blondo Zena Waterproof Riding Bootie ($200)


5. Bright, bold color is only for spring and summer. During the darkest time of the year, bright color is a more-than-welcome addition to any wardrobe. It’s tempting to dress in head to toe noir, but cheerful shades of yellow, green, fuchsia and the rest of the rainbow can be a breath of fresh air. Fun pieces like this cobalt blue peacoat will help keep those cold weather blues at bay and put a bit of bounce back into your step — stat.

J.Crew Wool Melton Short Peacoat ($298)


6. All black is boring. Sometimes it’s fun to embrace the moodiness of the season and don a monochromatic ensemble. There’s something timelessly chic about an all-black outfit that just screams effortless. For maximum impact, play with textures and silhouettes, like pairing sleek leather trousers with oversized chunky knits.

Mango Stud Trousers ($80)


7. Puffer coats can’t be chic. Your fave designers and high street brands have finally gotten the memo: Below-freezing outerwear need not be frumpy. Thanks in part to the polar vortex, the puffer coat has gone through a major makeover. Sleeker, more stylish toppers are becoming the rule rather than the exception, meaning you stay super warm without sacrificing your game. These aren’t your average puffers.

ASOS White Padded Jacket in Satin ($163)


8. Bulky layers are the only way to stay warm. Wrong. Next-level technical fibers are making lumpy, bumpy layers a thing of the past. Uniqlo’s HEATTECH line is the perfect example. Lightweight, streamlined pieces are understated, but extremely effective. They lock in heat without all the bulk.

Uniqlo Heattech Crew Long Sleeve T-Shirt ($20)


9. Over-the-knee boots are hard to pull off. Sure, the higher reach of these surprisingly practical boots can veer into Pretty Woman territory, but styled with class, they could be the most-reached-for pair in your chilly-weather footwear arsenal. Call in a rad pair of over-the-knee boots to warm up your skinny jeans and oversized, fuzzy sweater or winterize a flowy skirt.

Free People Carlisle Suede Over the Knee Boot ($228)

What fashion do rules do you love to break? Share it with us on Twitter @britandco!