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Dressing up

alchimiste

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It is often argued that when in doubt it is better to dress up. Do you agree with this or do you this that overdressing may be a faux pas? Note: I am not referring to dressing wrong like wearing a tuxedo or tails in the afternoon. I mean wearing a suit on a rather casual occasion or something along this line. Mathieu
 

PeterMetro

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I prefer to dress appropriately. But, I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed.
 

johnw86

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Yup. Better over than under. (Unless you're changing the oil in your car--and I don't mean taking it to the oil change place.)
 

alchimiste

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It seems that until the 19th century overdressing was rather nouveau riche: I have the money to buy the clothes but I don't know how/when to wear them. On the other hand, things may be less well defined nowadays and it may be harder to know what is appropriate. A few weeks back I attended a conference where you could see anything from (purple) sweatpants to jeans, casual pants, odd jackets and suits. i don't know who was overdressed and who was underdressed since there was no clear standard. Should better taste and higher interest in clothes than your coworkers be considered overdressing (my work place is casual, even the director may not wear long sleeve shirts)? Mathieu
 

Dakota rube

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IMHO always err, as PM and J86 noted, on the over-dressed side. If one is going to be "inappropriately" dressed, why not at least feel good about it?
 

Bradford

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It is probably always safe - but IMHO sometimes being creatively underdressed can be more fun.
 

marc237

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It strikes me that it is often easier to take the dress down a notch if necessary (e.g., removing a tie and jacket) than to dress up in a hurry. Also, if I want to leave a social event and go on to a potentially more dressier locale, I can more easily if I had dressed up initially. Accordingly, I tend to over-dress.
 

Carlo

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Taking off your jacket and tie and unbuttoning your collar is a lot easier than figuring out how to fix shorts and a tee shirt in a room full of folks who are in suits.

Worst case, if you are in a suit and everyone else is in shorts/tees you can always proudly exclaim: "Not guilty. They found me not guilty."

...I'd avoid that with the in-laws though
 

Bradford

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Taking off your jacket and tie and unbuttoning your collar is a lot easier than figuring out how to fix shorts and a tee shirt in a room full of folks who are in suits.

Worst case, if you are in a suit and everyone else is in shorts/tees you can always proudly exclaim:  "Not guilty.  They found me not guilty."

...I'd avoid that with the in-laws though
Doesn't matter what you wear to the in-laws - you'll always be that guy that stole their baby daughter away.
 

Brian SD

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I would rather be underdressed to be honest, because I'm irreverent and like to show it.
 

newyorker

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Perhaps slightly off topic, but I would suggest exuding tons of confidence and indifference when one is overdressed or underdressed. Unless others are clearly offended, do not apologize.

However, note that this does not mean I think it's OK to turn up at a funeral in jeans.
 

colin

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no that's a good point. Just to add to that, whenever you feel inappropriately dressed or feel out of place in clothes slam a few beers, and put some water in your hair like you've been sweating.
 

AlanC

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A few weeks ago I was invited to an "appreciation" dinner hosted by a local civic minded group along with other area clergy types. There was no dress guidance given on the invitation, but it was an appreciation dinner, in the evening and with an invited guest speaker. I wore a suit, tie and cufflinks. If I recall, the speaker (a local tv personality) may have had on a tie. Other than that I was the only one who did. I was a little self-conscious for the evening, and clearly stood out. I probably should have gone with a blazer rather than a suit, but I don't really regret dressing up. The invitation should have said casual attire (or cookout attire.). The danger is coming across as arrogant and stand-offish, which isn't a good vibe to give off. I probably should have known to tone it down a bit I guess.
 

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