"You can never be overdressed or overeducated" Oscar Wilde
For the sake of simplification, I would say that there are two main approaches to choosing an outfit for a party, a meeting, or any other kind of gathering. According to the first, it is always better to be a little overdressed in order to feel good, while the second, the total opposite, stresses dressing down a bit in order to fit in and project an easygoing attitude. From my experience the appropriate outfit just right for the occasion, can enhance your confidence; feeling overdressed or making the wrong dress choice for the specific event, on the other hand, can diminish your self-assurance.
And the more you are uncertain about the whos, wheres, and whys of your meeting, the trickier it gets…. Let's face it, your own internal style compass is not always the magic solution. Interactions with others, first impressions and expectations are not things to be dismissed off hand. You must find the right balance between the need to be true to yourself and your style, and the need to fit in. This is especially acute when invited somewhere you rate highly or which could benefit you in the long term.
So here is my accumulative list of how to choose the clothes which most suit the occasion:
1. Dress for yourself and your personal preference – that should make you feel confident, and even if you haven’t made the right choice, at least you will end up feeling true to your own taste.
2. Try to learn more about the event you are going to. If it is a beach party, however glamorous it may be, Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels are just not practical. If you're invited to a casual dinner party with friends, you can probably skip the elegant new pants and keep it chic and simple with jeans and a fancy top.
3. Consider the people you are meeting: are they sophisticates or simple nature lovers? Do they come from the fashion world or they are informal hi-tech types?
4. Don’t overlook your age. Although I don’t believe in any dos or don’ts based on age, I do believe in being honest to yourself while also considering how something that might be considered controversial looks on you. So an extra short mini dress may be the best for a dancing party, but if you no longer look your best in one of these, you are better off going with another alternative.
5. You don’t need to settle for safe, but likewise don’t use this opportunity to try out new, potentially lethal combinations of colors, textures or designs. Save your dubious and extravagant choices for more neutral occasions.
I am not suggesting that you give up on your self-expression or on the real you, just that you are attentive and mindful of your surroundings and the social norms. And that is why I find myself disagreeing with Oscar Wilde's observation, at least as far as it relates to being overdressed; the subject of overeducation, however, I will leave open for now.Here are a few inspirational outfits, taking you from morning and throughout the day: business, casual, something relaxing for home and an evening look. Enjoy!