There are no rules!
By Samantha Erickson
Photography by

This year, fashion and everyday style as we know it has evolved quicker than any of us could have imagined. Tired of the same pajama pants day in and day out, I set out to explore my personal style for a very new season of life. Through this unprecedented time (#buzzword, I know), I discovered the best fashion rule of them all—there are no rules!

Check out more photos from our shoot with model, Justina Proue at Hotel Indigo!

I have a difficult time with style guides that give you specifics like how many basic items you should own and any “must-haves” for your lifestyle. For instance, “You work in an office and want to be seen as professional—make sure you own a blazer!” While this approach can be helpful for some, it can also be detrimental to your wallet and confidence if these pieces aren’t authentic to your style. You are as worthy in sweatpants as you are in a suit. How you choose to get ready these days, or not, is no measure of your value. How you want to feel in your clothing, now that’s important! So, go ahead, dress to impress yourself! Here are just a few trends that stylishly break all of the “rules.”


The way we dress impacts the way we feel, so it’s time to ditch those ratty sweats—even if your version of getting ready for the day simply involves switching from pajamas to loungewear. Taking the time to choose an outfit that you love and feel good in and that expresses your uniqueness is an act of self-care. Matching sets in luxe fabrics with unexpected patterns are an easy pick for hanging out at home and versatile enough to work into your everyday wardrobe. Most stores sell them as separates, so you can get different sizes in the top and bottom for a perfect fit! 


Whether you’re working from home or back to the office, most work environments feel totally different these days. Comfort is key here, so take some liberties with an updated take on traditional pieces. My favorite is an oversized blazer that feels polished enough for the office yet comfortable enough to throw on for a Zoom meeting from your couch—nobody will be the wiser that you didn’t actually put on pants! Speaking of, ponte pants are another 2020 main staple. Who doesn’t love leggings that are thick enough to wear as dress pants? Pair with a detailed blouse or cozy sweater if your workplace runs a bit chilly. 

Patio season is long gone, but the great outdoors is still one of your safest bets for socializing. Get layered up for hiking or tailgating with your favorites in arguably the most popular trend of the year: athleisure. Athleisure is a hybrid style of workout, loungewear and everyday basics that will keep you feeling both cozy and put together for any outdoor activity. Invest in a jacket that will keep you warm without the bulk and a pair of shoes or boots that you can actually put some miles on—even if you don’t. 


Looking to snap up a few pieces with less impact on the earth and your wallet? Our local thrift and consignment stores are hidden gems. You can find anything from high-quality designer classics to the season’s latest trends. My most recent thrift haul included sweaters, boots, jackets and active leggings—all nearly brand new for around $100. As a bonus, bring in your unwanted pieces in for cash on the spot or store credit to refresh your wardrobe on a serious budget. 

The 2020 fashion scene has been an almost lawless land (I’m looking at you, Crocs), and 2021 looks to continue the trend. Have some fun exploring style on your own terms this season!  

Rochester experts weigh in on their most-shopped looks customers are loving.

“Embracing all the comfy, cozy and easy to style pieces that can bring you from your Zoom meetings to running errands to dinner at your local favorite restaurant, and
all things in between.”  Ginger and Kennis, Ama La Vita (formerly Blades to Ballet) PSA: this Rochester boutique now carries big-city favorite brand Free People!

“Cozy is key this fall and winter. Whether you’re working from home or venturing outdoors, pieces from prAna, Oiselle and Smartwool are bound to keep you warm and active all winter long.” Tiffany, TerraLoco

“Double hoodies that are effortlessly cute and comfy at the same time, along with soft, oversized sweaters paired with a cute scarf or shawl.”  Ashley, Real Deals on Home Decor

“Tie-dye matching jogger sets that make you feel good while going with the flow and chunky sweaters paired with the perfect everything pant while keeping it casual.”  Brenda, On Track Boutique

Thank you to Hotel Indigo for the use of one of their brand-new rooms for our photo shoot. 

Model bio: Justina Proue grew up in Shoreview, Minnesota but moved to Rochester to pursue a nursing career. In her spare time, Justina enjoys rock climbing, creative writing, playing piano and being the “cool aunt.” She looks forward to further developing her career, discovering new places and seeing what the future holds.