In defence of overdressing

There’s an inside joke amongst some of my friends about the sense of dread you feel when you have to buy a ‘basic black cardigan’. You know, those practical pieces you know you need to get… but the idea of having to spend money on something that makes you feel distinctly ‘meh’ is just too painful. So you put it off for months and months until one day you get to work and the air-con is set to all kinds of Elsa levels of frozen and you concede that it’s got to be done.

But what if you don’t want to wear things that make you feel like that?

Marie Kondo wrote in her book about KonMari, the Japanese art of decluttering, you have to ask one question – when you look at something in your wardrobe, does it bring you joy?

And for me, clothing euphoria comes from adult-sized versions of all the things that made me happy when I was a five year old playing dress up. You basically open my wardrobe expecting muted colours and grown-up shapes. Instead you find yourself verging on sensory overload from all the Crayola colours, heavily embellished dresses and satin midi skirts. I take so much joy from those times when getting dressed is pure fantasy, that the idea of someone throwing me a surprise party where I didn’t know about it or get to choose what I was going to wear would be the worst. (The cake would quickly calm me down though).

I love those girls who can rock up to any event in a tee and jeans and do the whole low-key thing justice, but it’s just never felt like me. And ultimately that’s really what fashion should be about; self expression.

Yeah, I’m usually overdressed 80% of the time and the words smart-casual throw me into a mild existential crisis. But if a piece is so beautiful that it makes me light up when I look at it, then I know it’s going to make me feel amazing when I put it on.

And hey, when your friends all start get married at an alarming rate, suddenly all that occasionwear practically becomes daywear so it’s suddenly justified.

So I guess the question really is, what makes you feel like your best self? Because whatever the answer is, that’s what you should wear whenever possible.



London-based fashion & beauty editor

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