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Fashion Maven: Red alert: Violating the school dress code

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By Alexandra Hehlen

You’d think I would know almost everything when it comes to the rules of fashion: what to wear, when to wear it, where to wear it, you name it.
You’d think I would be able to whip up an outfit every morning that follows all those rules — to include the school dress code. I thought I could too, but this week something went terribly wrong.
That’s right, the Fashion Maven violated the school dress code.
You’re probably thinking short shorts and spaghetti straps, aren’t you? No, my skirt was five inches above the knee instead of four, and my tank top straps were an inch wide instead of two.
Nevertheless, I was called into the office, urged to sign a contract and obligated to change into a new set of clothes — not mine, but the school’s.
Given that I am a fashionista and that I received the luck of the draw with the clothes provided to me that day,
I created an outfit that looked at least mildly stylish. Still, the experience will haunt me forever, and it has driven me to tell all my readers about how to dress stylishly within the parameters of the dress code.
For those of you who are unsure of the school’s rules for clothing, here’s the short list:
• In general, skirts or shorts can come up to four inches above the knee;
• Tank top straps must be at least two inches wide;
• See-through clothing or clothing with holes cannot be worn even with a tank-top underneath; and
• Wearing leggings underneath shorts or a skirt that is too short is not allowed.
These are only a few of the rules, but they are the ones that are predominantly violated.
Let’s start with bottoms. We’ve all still got summer fever and I don’t blame you for wanting to wear your cute skirt or some adorable shorts.
The next-best option, other than wearing a longer skirt, is capris. Not long enough to be jeans and not short enough to be shorts, you can buy capris in many different styles. For a sophisticated look, wear some dark-wash capris with a colorful top.
To add a splash of color to an outfit, don’t be afraid to sport jean capris in a vibrant hue.
Instead of wearing a plain tank top without anything over it, I like to wear it underneath a top that has a low cut.
This has a double benefit. A colorful tank top can brighten up an outfit and it can also prevent violating the dress code for clothing items that are too low-cut. Just remember that what you wear over the tank top should have two-inch straps or sleeves and should not be translucent.
In any case, it is essential to have a back-up outfit in your car or locker. If you do get called out for the dress code — or even if you just spill something on your jeans — it is always a smart idea to have an extra change of clothes on hand.
I definitely learned my lesson and I have found that the dress code rules may seem strict at first, but they are actually just as important as any of the other rules we’ve got to follow in the fashion world.
Let’s keep the mini-skirts at home, the running shorts at the track, the spaghetti straps at the pool and dress code violations out of sight.

To see some dress code appropriate outfits, gain fashion inspiration and get access to an archive of all my fashion columns, visit my blog at enstylopedia.tumblr.com.