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All Dressed Up (or Not?)

You're all dressed up and feeling great…until you get to the party and realize that you missed the memo on the proper attire. Have no fear! You can still pull off a great look with Modern Manners Guy’s 3 quick and dirty tips for being improperly dressed for an event.

By
Richie Frieman,
February 17, 2013
Episode #238

Page 2 of 3

Tip #2: Being Over-Dressed Can Be an Advantage

Last year I showed up at a retirement party wearing a suit and tie, but it ended up being a t-shirt and jeans affair. As I pulled up to the venue in my car, I saw people walking in wearing very casual clothes. Then it hit me: I am WAY over-dressed! I called my wife in a panic and she tried to convince me that it's no big deal. She made a good point (as always) but still, I felt very uncomfortable. After I hung up, I waited a few minutes, debating whether or not I should go home and change (ironically the event was only a few miles from my house). But then I remembered that my suit is not attached to my body…shocking! I can easily remove some layers. I took off the jacket, the tie, unbuttoned the top button, rolled my sleeves up, and walked right in, without a worry in the world. Why was I so panicked before?

This is an example of how we can overthink a situation. My first instinct was to flee rather than face the embarrassment, but the more I thought about it, the more creative I got and realized that I could make the best of what I was wearing. Sure, even without the jacket and tie, I was slightly better dressed than the others, but no one cared and I fit in just fine. If I would have worn the whole suit in, I'm sure I would have been much more conspicuous, which would have made me feel even worse.

When you overdress, you can always tone down your outfit in some way to get closer to fitting in with what everyone else is wearing. As I said in Tip #1, you need to feel comfortable and go with the flow. So don't panic and don't run out of the room in shame – that will draw even more unwanted attention your way.

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