Breakin’ the [Style] Law Giveaway


Last Saturday, jcpenney unleashed me on their local store with a gift card and a mission: create an outfit based on a style law that you love to break — or wish you broke more often. Several options went through my head, like “stripes and plaid are really bad!” or “thou shalt not wear mini skirts after age 25.” I hadn’t shopped in JCP in at least a year — besides a few trips to the in-store Sephora — and I wasn’t sure what I’d find, so I kept an open mind and decided to just wing it.

Walking in the store, I completely blanked out about the task at hand. I was instantly smitten with the adorable and affordable styles; especially in the MNG by Mango department. {Why hasn’t anyone told me about this line, by the way?!} After wandering around aimlessly for a good 20 minutes admiring the broad selection and making mental checklists of possible looks, I pulled it together and found these cute floral shorts… And I remembered all those episodes of What Not to Wear with Stacy and Clinton warning petite curvy girls all around the country that we should avoid dressing our bottom halves with busy prints; a lesson I clearly buried in my subconscious since I have a closet stocked with super-neutral bottoms. I decided it was time to buck the system, and built a look around those blossoming bloomers.

The beautiful thing about modern-day style is that all of those archaic rules don’t really apply anymore. You can’t wear white after labor day? There’s nothing more chic than a woman in a monochromatic winter white ensemble in the middle of December. Mixing bold prints and colors is tacky? Tell that to The Glamourai. The world of blogging and the democratization of fashion has changed the game about what’s “acceptable” or “stylish,” and opened the floodgates of some major creativity.

Okay little rule breakers, here’s where you come in: jcpenney and I want to know your favorite style law to break. If you’re a print mixing genius or you can’t get enough of black and brown ensembles, leave a comment and let us know! The more creative and original your rule breaking, the better. jcpenney will reward one lucky APP reader with a $50 gift card. 


You have until this Friday, June 17th, to enter. All entries must be received before 11:59PM EST, and you must provide an email address or URL where I can contact you if you win. We won’t make you jump through hoops, just leave a comment with your favorite style rule to break — or one you wish you could get away with breaking — and you’re in! I’ll pick a winner at random next week.

P.S. Kendi is starting a new round of the 30 for 30 Remix today. After my disaster of a 30 for 30 last winter, I think I’m ready to get back in the saddle and try to redeem my remixing chops. This is my first outfit, but more on that later. If you want more information or want to join in the challenge, read more about it here.

Author: Keira Lennox

I'm a small town lady from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

What do you think?

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  • I’m so glad to see you partnering with JCPenny! I live in a small town where Penny’s is one of two department stores to choose from. If i had a fashion blog, JCP would be getting serious advertising with my wardrobe! I think the one “rule” I stray from is not wearing horizontal stripes if you don’t want to look any wider than you already are! JCP recently started carrying the Liz Claiborne line, and this summer they have some great breton stripe pieces featured!

    Thanks for the inspiration, I’m excited to try to recreate your looks with the one store I have at my fingertips!


  • i have to echo what many other people have saying, i think some really classic looks can come from pairing certain “no-no” colors together… i love wearing my black pencil skirt and skinny brown braided belt together – with a top, of course–i’ve been known to wear it with navy v-neck sweater, oh my! :) – heidi (

  • My favorite fashion “rule” to break is that I like to wear black and brown together. Would love this gift card to update my summer look – it’s my fifth anniversary this summer so a new date night outfit would be well worth it!

  • One of my favorite style rules to break is to wear something skinny on the bottom like skinny jeans and also a form fitted button up with heels. To me it feels very 50s-ish and that’s one of my most favorite eras!

  • More and more great pieces keep popping up from JCP on blogs. I am intrigued. It’s a far cry from my catalogue days.

    I’m a print mixer to the extreme. My favorite smashup was brocade, lace and houndstooth. Somehow it worked!

  • This look is so cute! I don’t really follow “fashion rules” especially since I’m 28 but look 21 ;) I love mixing animal prints, I adore classic black, and I have a penchant for boho and billowy tops. Thanks so much!

  • I like to wear plain black yoga pants with a dressier top. They’re more
    comfortable than slacks and you really can’t tell the difference – I hope!
    I’m sure this must be breaking a style rule of mixing yoga with streetwear!

    treneebarker at hotmail dot com

  • I love doing black and brown together, so much so that I often forget it’s a “rule.” Oh and how awesome is that vest? I got the same one a few weeks ago and have worn it to death already!

  • I feel like growing up, it was a total no-no to mix similar pink and red hues together. So I only let one bright color “pop” out of a sea of neutral, but now I love how bright and cheerful mixed similar hues (coral, pink, and red) layered together can make an outfit so much happier!

  • I love pairing stripes with all sorts of patterns!
    I wear my aquamarine striped cardi with everything from my b/w polka dot tops to this super cute sheer black tiny rainbow floral print cap-sleeved blouse (with my mustard peep toe flats, of course).

    Good Luck with your 30/30! I really enjoy seeing your updates in my inbox :)

  • I love to break the “no white after labor day” rule. I wear white all year round, I think it’s my best color! :)

  • I’m the wrinkled clothes girl and I forgot my email. Since I’m sure to win, you need it right? :-)

  • Does wearing wrinkled clothes count? It was sure considered breaking a style rule in my family! Camla

  • My favorite style rule to break is wearing black and yellow together. Every one says you look like a bee but I could care less. I wanted to do the 30 for 30 so bad especially being that its the summer one. But with finals and a research paper due I had not time. Plus starting a blog and learning how it functions has taken most of my time. Well love your blog have been following for 4-5 months now. Keep up the great content.

  • I usually break short-girl rules, such as wearing cropped pants or shoes with a strap that aren’t helping my legs look longer. I think there are good and bad ways to break these rules!

  • I agree with Alicia, I love to wear white after Labor Day because I am in denial about summer ending!!!!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  • Hmm. I think my favorite “rule” to break is wearing the same item of clothing within the same week… if that even counts as a rule! It’s definitely appropriate for the 30 for 30 you’re participating in right now! :) If i love something, I love it, and I’ll wear it as often as I please!

  • I love wearing black with a brown belt. I still feel weird every time I wear it, but I always think it looks so stylish. I also LOVE winter white! Especially for pants- it’s so fresh and clean.

  • I love to wear bold, bright outfits to the office. NO one that I work with does this, so it’s not really rule breaking, but it is definitely not the norm. I’m also a huge fan of stripes and florals together! Love your site ;) Been following you for a while!

  • not very exciting but the black and brown rule is the one i like to break but i’m not so sure that is a law anymore so maybe it doesn’t count… :)

  • I love to mix colors and prints! My favorite outfit right now is a black and white striped shirt over a blue polka dot dress. :)

  • ruffly socks with grown up mary-janes or chucks after the age of 7 (and after i stopped wearing those cute little frilly dresses and white sweaters to sunday school). i love an adult pair of fru-fru socks with my classic converse and a worn out pair of jeans or a cool cotton dress. happy days. happy memories.

  • Hey Keira! I absolutely love this outfit. And I am so glad JCP is sponsoring you. So awesome. So my favorite style rule that I break all the time or should I say not follow at all is wearing pieces with horizontal stripes. Well, I am full-figured or average (I’m a size 12) and this is a big no no as it makes you look wider. So they say. I’ve loved stripes ever since I was a little girl so I will continue to wear clothes with them.

  • oohh goody! i love the things you got–they are all so gorgeous!
    hm, i think my favorite “rule” to break is black with brown. it may seem like kind of a boring rule to break, but in a closet full of neutrals, i’ll make my rebellion where i can find it! and especially on a budget, being able to figure out mixing my two staple colors has made my wardrobe stretch a lot farther.
    fingers crossed, friend!

  • I have been avoiding animal prints my whole life. I think I just look funny or that I am trying to be too trendy. But now might just be the time. :) I am willing to try anything at this point. Maybe I will find something I like this weekend.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  • i love mixing unexpected feminine tops with tailored menswear inspired basics and accessories….cool giveaway thanks!

  • My absolute favorite fashion rule to break is mixing prints. I have a black and white polka dot mini skirt that I love wearing with floral tops. When I’m not in the mood to wear floral, I’ll sub my flowery tops for striped flowy shirts. Honestly, I dress for comfort, and I don’t care if I match or not. I’m dressing for me, and me only.

    I usually pair my mismatched ensemble with brown wedges or red flats. Like I said, it’s all about what I like- and I like mismatching. Sorry, mom.

  • I’m not really breaking a style rule by wearing something, but rather by NOT wearing something. I don’t own anything striped in my closed, and I REFUSE to cave to the trend to buy a billion striped shirts because the rest of the fashion world is doing it. (Although it’s kind of hard because I really love when someone pairs stripes with leopard print shoes.)

    pkzcass at yahoo dot com

  • I mix brown with black. But I would live to mix patterns, I just haven’t mustered up the strength to do it yet!

    Found your blog through twitter-love the flowered shorts. You rocked your photos

  • Hmmm… maybe wearing the same trend twice? I wore “skinny jeans” in high school, and now I’m wearing them again. At least I don’t have 80’s hair with them. :)

  • The style rule that I break the most often is: You can’t wear that if [insert reason here]. Women hear versions of this rule all the time– You’re too short, too tall, too old, too young, too pale, too tan, etc. But ladies, you can! I will always wear what makes ME happy. That’s how you keep any style, in style!

  • Oh the hidden treasures of jcp. My late Gma actually turned me on to this little gem. I love the I heart ronson collection!

    My favorite style rule to break- mixing patterns! stripes and florals have been my go-to this past spring and now summer. I’ve made it both casual and work appropriate. Such a fun, playful way to dress very morning!

  • I first stumbled upon your blog a little over a month ago when I started blogging myself. And missy, might I say I love your sense of style and wish I lived in FL so that we could be friends! (I’m not a stalker, trust me)

    Anyways, the fashion rule i often break is wearing clothes that is oversized. I feel like everytime I goto Target and find the perfect top or skirt they never have my size but they always have an XL. So I get it, belt it at the hips and wear it proudly.

    Btw- totally participating in my first 30 for 30 challange and I’m excited to see what you come up with! Have a good one:)

  • Very cute outfit!

    I want to break the “don’t mix patterns” rule, particularly with stripes and leopard print. I’ve seen this done around the blog-o-sphere, but haven’t tried it myself. Maybe this gift card will get me started on a great striped shirt!

  • I don’t do it often, but they say you should only show so much skin, if it’s out on top you cover the bottom! Well, I have long legs a d can’t always find skirts long enough for the “appropriate” coverage on both ends! And you know what, every once in a while when I’m stepping out with my man I boost up the cleavage AND show lots of leg! I don’t dress like that at the office or carting the kids to the grocery store, but my husband doesn’t complain when I’m suddenly flashing a lot of unexpected skin!

  • I don’t do it often, but they say you should only show so much skin, if it’s out on top you cover the bottom! Well, I have long legs a d can’t always find skirts long enough for the “appropriate” coverage on both ends! And you know what, every once in a while when I’m stepping out with my man I boost up the cleavage AND show lots of leg! I don’t dress like that at the office or carting the kids to the grocery store, but my husband doesn’t complain when I’m suddenly flashing a lot of unexpected skin!

  • I can’t wait to see your remix this time around! And hmm.. I love my cuffed boyfriend jeans but it’s not the most flattering length for my petite height. But add a cropped blazer and heels… I’m taller :)

  • I love to mix off-whites…that’s weird right? :) I have a peach Gap blouse that goes so, so yummily with a cream scarf and black pants!

  • My favorite style rule to break is… Wearing shorts and heels to somewhat formal or cocktail events. It can be just as dressy, and it also shows you like to think outside of the box.

  • Well, I don’t know if this would be considered breaking the fashion rules or not, but I like to wear ankle socks with Birkenstock sandals! Haha! I’ve done it since high school and I’m 30 now! :)

  • I definitely try to throw leopard in for flare on any outfit, but my biggest rule-breaker is probably bright red pants in the office. It seems safe, but you wouldnt believe the looks I get. They’re appropriate, leave me alone for steppin out!

  • I was just at JCP yesterday and was glad to see they’ve upped their style. :-) Normally, I think of JCP as clothing for tweens and grandmas. I’ll definitely be stopping by more often.

    The fashion rule you’ll most often see me breaking is NOT sticking to the Little Black Dress. Although I love some black clothes, I always opt for a fun and funky dress. I want to stand out a little bit!

  • I totally just bought that vest this weekend!! I have been admiring similar styles on lots of bloggers lately, and couldn’t quite find something like it that fit me well and was affordable.

    I also hadn’t shopped at Penney’s in at least a year. I grew up in a Penney’s family: my mother worked there for 20 years until she retired 2 years ago, and for a couple year myself and one of my sisters also all worked at the same store with our Mom. So I think when I think of the store I always think of the dowdy, old-lady style that they used to sell in the 90s… not the trendy affordable stuff we can find now!!

  • This is a tough one! I would definitely agree with your choice – I am on the curvy side and I love a good, bold pattern on the bottom! I am not one for strictly following fashion rules, but the one that I always stuck to was “Never pair black with navy blue.” I’m not sure exactly when I realized that was a silly rule, but now I love pairing all sorts of dark colors together. The only fashion rule should be to wear what you love and feel good doing it! JC Penny would be a great place to pick out some clothes to help you do just that!

  • I looooove wearing black and brown together, especially when it involves a leopard print or bold-colored accessory!

    Great outfit, the floral shorts are so cute!