During this past holiday season, I attended a marketing industry awards banquet and wore a very sparkly ensemble that garnered many compliments and social media ‘likes.’ My husband wore a suit and tie and I talked my BFF into wearing a black sequined dress, in which she looked fabulous. At first, she questioned my recommendation stating that other attendees would not be as dressy as we planned to be, but I just reminded her that it’s the holidays, a banquet setting, and at the M Resort. The occasion called for glamour.
However, it turned out that my friend was right. Many of the attendees did not dress up at all, with some even wearing jeans, prompting my stylishly dressed BFF to fret. “I told you. We’re overdressed,” she said.
“No. There’s no such thing as overdressed,” I assured her. “They’re underdressed,” my handsome husband added. After some more encouraging words for my girlfriend, we were able to help her relax and just enjoy her gorgeous evening attire. We had a great time and we looked fashionable doing so.
If anyone thought we were overdressed, no one said so. And if anyone had, he/she would have quickly lost the debate. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing. Here’s why: I dress for my life. And my life is an occasion the requires dressing up. It’s impossible for me to overdress for my life, especially since I set the dress code.
Growing up in Birkenstock-loving Austin, I was greatly influenced and trained by the community to not overdress. From my parents to my cousins to my friends, I was always scorned for being overdressed. If I showed up for dinner at Chuy’s wearing a floral print dress while everyone else donned denim cutoffs and T-shirts, my evening would be filled with glaring glances. The only times I could get away with dressing up were weddings and all-nighters at gay nightclubs.
It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I finally stopped caring and decided that I would dress up as often as I wanted, in spite of all the Texas-style mad-dogging I got. Shaming someone for being “overdressed” is just as ugly as shaming someone for wearing second-hand clothes or last year’s fashion trend. And I simply refuse to let other people’s insecurities affect how I choose to dress. I dress for the occasion. I dress for my life. No one can stop me from that. Don’t let anyone stop you.
So the next time you’re putting together an outfit and begin to question whether or not you’re overdressing, STOP! If the outfit looks good and feels good, then go with it. Remove the concept of “overdressing” from your thought process. So long as you enjoy how you look, there is no such thing as being overdressed.
Except for moving day. You never want to be overdressed when lifting heavy boxes.