In high school, I got the award for "Best Dressed Senior Girl." (Keep in mind, this was not difficult due to the fact that most of the girls in my grade seemed to think the school had adopted a strict dress code of Nike shorts and Sperrys.)
The thing I remember most about getting the award, however, was the response I got from those lovely boat shoe enthusiasts. Immediately following the presentation, I found that my Twitter timeline was full of posts about girls that “try too hard for school” and are “constantly overdressed." Besides the fact that the level of passive aggression involved in subtweeting should be illegal, I was outraged that I was mocked for wearing something other than athletic wear to school.
Luckily, before I made the drastic decision to drive to my nearest sporting goods store to stock up on running shorts and tennis shoes (the idea still makes my stomach churn), I recalled a famous quote from Oscar Wilde.
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
My chemistry grade, at the time, definitely upheld the latter. However, it was the first part of Wilde’s brilliance that helped me ignore the mean girl criticism, and it has stuck with me ever since.
One of the biggest misconceptions about being well-dressed is that it requires extensive effort. Though the best outfits are seemingly brought to life by minuscule details, they aren’t far fetched or time consuming. Keeping it simple with a v-neck and skinny jeans? No problem. Step up your wrist game with some gold or patterned bangles and slap on your old summer shades. Your look just went from basic to cool in 45 seconds.
The process of taking any outfit from extra ordinary to extraordinary is in the teeny tiny things like the addition of a belt or the sporting of one key piece. Style knows no boundaries and is not restricted by any rules. There is no need to not buy that funky sequined skirt on the sales rack out of fear of having "nowhere to wear it." Wear it anywhere, and wear it without worrying about what you’ll look like in a room full of black bodycon skirts and denim shorts with wedges.
Yes, every girl at tomorrow night’s kickback will probably be donning a springy slip dress to welcome the warm weather. Not every girl, however, is going to tie their hair up in a topknot and swipe on fuchsia lipstick for a sweet, ballerina twist.
Is the girl who didn’t think to do that going to give you a dirty look and whisper that you try too hard? Maybe.
Is she going to wish she had done it? Hell yes.
Because that’s the funny thing about being “overdressed”: You’re only overdressed when you’re more fabulous than the person next to you. In fact, you’re only overdressed to that out-shined individual.
While fashion comes in forever changing waves, your personal style is a constant. This is not to say that you should create a uniform bubble for yourself. No. Your style belongs to you and the beautiful hemisphere of knick-knacks and inspiration that surround it.
Whether you are girly to the point that you are at risk of bleeding hot pink, obsessed with guys' clothing or you just want to wear something other than a Mizzou shirt, you have a style that speaks volumes.
With this column, my mission is to do everything in my power to present you with tips, fresh ideas and my own ridiculous stories to help spruce up that style while still keeping it 100 percent yours.
So this semester, instead of staring at pages and pages of fashion magazines and wondering how what’s "in" will help you blend with everyone else, let’s decide which trends are worthy of being added to your already fantastic wardrobe.
In the meantime, stay overdressed, my friends!