They are meant as a friendly suggestion, not a comprehensive list of rules.
Summer is here which means that we are going to encounter people in various stages of undress in the streets once again. Luckily, the fashions seem to have become more feminine (either due to the ongoing recession or something else, I'm not sure:), and the dresses, including maxi dresses are very much in. Still I thought it a good idea to write this post as a lot of people seem to go through life being blissfully unaware that there are actually some guidelines on what to wear and when.
First, one should always try to dress according to the occasion. There are such things as formal and casual attire. Even in the times of pant suits, skirts/dresses are still usually considered more formal. Formal attire for women also means heels and panty hose/stockings. Here is a good example of formal attire:
(click at the picture of the lady in a grey suit)
One thing you don't wear with formal attire is leggings. There is nothing more ridiculous than a woman wearing a formal skirt or dress with long white underpants sticking out of it. Please don't do it. You wear leggings under a short denim skirt (preferably in any other colour but white), but not under a business dress.
Evening dresses are usually long and low cut, like this:
They are meant for special occasions only and not for day-to-day activities, unless you belong to that fortunate class of society which always dresses up for dinner and has live-in butlers and housekeepers:)
Shorts are very informal, and adults, both men and women would do well, imo, if they avoided wearing them outside of the beach or their own garden. Shorts are definitely not an attire of choice to dine at a restaurant. Jeans, by the way, are only slightly better. The same goes for sandals and flip-flops. T-shirts with slogans were meant for children and teenagers, not for ladies in their 50s (the same goes for gentlemen, too).
Considering the skirt length, short dresses/skirts optically make the figure look more square and don't look that well on any woman who doesn't have great legs.
Compare this and this.
Here is an example of a short dress looking more feminine, but I'm still convinced that most women would look better in a dress which is at least knee-long, like this.
I'd like to add that I'm not paid for advertising the sites I linked to, I just needed the examples of what I was talking about.