“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” is something Oscar Wilde once said.
Have you ever seen a runway creation or a piece of art that you thought was way too much and too flashy, but many art critics said was amazing and you just wondered “what do they see in it?”.
Today, we want to make it clear: what makes an outfit great, even if it’s really baroque and when is it simply bad?
This is really something important to discuss. We often hear that someone is “overdressed”, but at times, some feel that the models on the runway or in magazines are overdressed (to say the least). Well, let’s break it down and see what the difference is between an opulent or charged outfit and just bad taste and being overdressed is.
First of all, we need to state that we stand by our belief that simplicity is always best, but this doesn’t mean that you can not have simplicity in a mix of fabrics, patterns, colors and shines. Here is how this is achievable.
By overdressed we mean wearing “too much”. Is the guy in the picture overdressed? We’ll come to him later. Also, too much can mean “not appropriate for the occasion”. What is very important is that you need to be dressed for your environment. Overdressed, under-dressed etc., you can’t have these terms outside a norm and outside an opposition with something else. There are clothes that even though they might look amazing in one environment, they won’t look as good in another. What is actually bothering is that many people live in contexts where they don’t know which is the appropriate attire, because they are not being told.
The rule of dressing up nicely and being well-dressed compared to overdressed is that there has to be fluency and continuity in the outfit one is wearing. Is there a reason you are mixing those colors? Is there a motive behind the chosen patterns? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself when you’re in doubt.
In the picture above, you can see Ogi “Poggi” who is considered to be a very-well dressed man. Why is he well-dressed? He has all the colors, all the types of stripes and above all, a tie with no stripes, but dots. Here’s the answer: Well, because the stripes go together great: they come in different sizes and complementary colors and there is an idea that is used throughout the whole outfit, as a statement. The pattern of the tie balances the roughness of the stripes, both in terms of pattern and color. Now, of course the tie and the jacket can only go with a white shirt. Anything above that would have been “overdressed”.
Don’t forget the basic rules of fashion: you need to have a central piece and build around that, you need to have a central color and the other colors should be the “supporting actors”. Fashion, just as any art, is about balance. As someone was saying about art, you need to have “head, heart and hand”. This means that when you create art or simply choose your clothes, you need to have intelligence, skills and to know what your are doing. Then, you have to put passion and your own mindset and afterwards you need to develop the skill to make it look right. Developing fashion skills takes time and effort, it can’t happen over night and it is a long process of trial and the occasional error.
So, what we learn is that having many and bold patterns does not make you overdressed. You can mix patterns, fabrics and create great outfits without standing out in a bad way.
The reason we are writing this is because everyone needs a little help when it comes to learning and educating your sense of style, so if you want to improve your appearance, and by extension, your attitude, there are lot of ways in which you can do that, all you need to do is.. .do it!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What do you think? When have you seen overdressed people? Do you think it’s better to be overdressed or underdressed? How do you decide what’s occasion-appropriate and what is not? Share your comments below!