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Jess Shanahan Headshot

Should You Always Try to Overdress?

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I've often been told 'aren't you a little overdressed?' and I wonder why it would matter. As Oscar Wilde said: "You can't be overdressed or overeducated".

I think we live in a world of baggy jeans, ill-fitting dresses and horrible old t-shirts. I don't understand why someone wouldn't want to make an effort when they go out.

Comfort

Comfort is important and, generally, baggy clothes are more comfortable than a strapless dress. However, dressing up doesn't mean you have to put on your highest pair of heels or spend hours trying to apply annoying false eyelashes. It just means you have to make a little bit of effort. Try to look like you care about your appearance.

The gender divide

I think women want to make an effort when they go out and, as a result, have higher standards when it comes to what constitutes overdressing. The men I know tend to pop on a jumper or a nice cardigan when they dress up. Sometimes, if they have to, they might forego trainers for smarter shoes but usually that's because they won't get into a club otherwise.

I also think most women enjoy dressing up. There's something rewarding in making yourself look as spectacular as possible and turning heads when you walk down the street.

Self-consciousness

Another reason men tend not to go anywhere overdressed is because most of them aren't self-conscious. Generally, they don't worry about covering up spots or looking as thin as they can.

As a woman who has had weight issues I feel the need to overdress because I know I'm going to be looking my best. In the past I felt that made up for the fact that I weighed over 17 stone. (I'm not sure it did.)

God forbid if someone in the outside world sees our uneven skin tone or wobbly legs.

Feeling good

I think I can speak for all women when I say that if I look good, I feel good. If I like what I see in the mirror then I'm not going to be worrying about what everyone thinks of me. Instead I'll be enjoying myself. I'll be less self-conscious and more enjoyable to be around.

Is this right?

Probably not. A lot of women could do with caring less about what people think but we need to strike a fine balance between being a slob and caring too much. The world needs more immaculately dressed men and women. As I've mentioned before, it doesn't always take huge amounts of effort to look good.

Look beautiful, enjoy dressing up and don't worry if anyone tells you you're overdressed!