Why Overdressing Is Better Than Underdressing

Building a case for overdressing because – let’s face it – nobody likes realising they are totally underdressed!
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Simone Perele camisole | Frankie and Dash skirt (sold out but the same print and material is available here) | Bag from Cambodia | Zara clip on earrings | Public Desire heels | Bianko anklet

I am a textbook ‘overdresser’. Dinner at the local pub probably doesn’t necessitate gold heels and big statement earrings, but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be wearing them anyway. I can’t help it.

This is probably going to sound odd to a lot of people, but I am really uncomfortable when I am wearing a simple jeans and t-shirt combo. It is not me at all. It isn’t colourful enough, it isn’t shiny enough and it sure as shit isn’t flouncy enough for my liking. You couldn’t get farther from my personal style if you tried.

My personal style favours colours, prints, volume, sparkle, shine and general quirk over denim, linens and boxy t-shirts. Even just reading over that in writing, you can tell my outfits are never going to be of the subtle variety.

I am most comfortable when I am what people would typically say is ‘dressed up’. This is not a hugely common opinion. In fact, dressing up – and taking it one step further into dressing up on any occasion – is uncomfortable for a lot of people. It makes sneakers a default shoe option and jeans a go-to to keep a look at bay.

I guess I get it. More casual is supposedly more comfortable. But, for what it is worth, underdressing isn’t as workable as overdressing. I know I am bias in saying so, but when you dress something down, you are shortchanging yourself in many ways. Overdressing gives you plenty more options than if you were to underdress.

Why? Well, hear me out…

You can always take bits and bobs off to tone it down if need be.

Coco Chanel famously said ‘before you leave the house, take one thing off’. Sorry Coco, but I don’t think so.

My rule is: if you aren’t sure of the dress code, always dress up. Throw on as much as you like because you can always take it off later!

If you turn up and your event or gathering is actually more on the casual side, it is easy to tone down an over-the-top outfit to a more casual level by making some small adjustments. You can always remove some jewellery, take off your lipstick, tie up your hair and pop your bag down somewhere safe for a while (if you can). Trying to jazz up your jeans and t-shirt combo on the spot when you realise the dress code isn’t so casual? That is a lot damn harder to do!

Us overdressers have a lot more to work with, making it easier to adjust a look if need be.

You actually get to wear your wardrobe

Everyone loves buying fun things for their wardrobe. Unfortunately, the good majority of people hardly ever get to wear those fun things that they buy. The two main reasons normally cited for this are ‘I have to wear **insert a certain dress code** for work’ and ‘I have nowhere to wear it’. My response to the latter is that you have everywhere to wear it. Really, you do.

The biggest thing holding anyone back from wearing their favourite pieces whenever and where ever is this perception that there is a certain time and place for your more fun and fancy clothes. In a general sense, there is. A ball dress is not appropriate at the football, nor is a body-con mini dress and heels down the pub for a Sunday session. But within reason, your more fun pieces can be worn anywhere.

If you have something nice and you want to wear it, honestly, just wear it! Just because the unofficial dress code somewhere might be kicks and comfortable clothing, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear something more than that if it makes you feel good/more like you.

This ruffled maxi skirt look (or the other ruffled maxi skirt look for that matter)? Heck, I don’t care if it could be considered a bit extravagant, I would wear it out to dinner on a Wednesday night no worries!

You feel damn good

Ok, so this is subjective; but I feel like it is the case more often than not. I mean, who doesn’t feel good when they have had their hair and makeup done and they slip into something pretty?

That isn’t to say that you don’t feel good wearing something more casual, it is just to say that when dress up and potentially even step into overdressing territory, you feel damn good. Isn’t that why we wear nice things anyway? To feel great? I rest my case…