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Armani red cape, Prada satchel, Gloria VanDerBilt pumps, pantyhose, silk rose, statement belt, G-III suede leather skirt (all own) and button-down gingham shirt c/o Whistle River

Is it better to be overdressed than underdressed? This question is nagging in most stylish women’s head when it comes to a new dressing situation. Read why to overdress and when to slightly underdress to choose the best solution to your dressing problem.  



Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


Why Is It OK to Overdress?

Many stylists agree with this quote

You can never be overdressed or overeducated. – Oscar Wilde

when it comes to dress for success. Here are some of many reasons why you should overdress:

  1. You stand out from the crowd.
  2. You get noted.
  3. You are visible.
  4. You look like you’ve been either at, or will go to an exciting event/place.
  5. You attract opportunities.
  6. Self-confidence. Looking your best, you feel your best, feeling your best you are more self-confidence, an important prerequisite for success. There is some wisdom in saying “Dress for Success.”
  7. It’s more fun than wearing sludge-brown or Old Lady colors or mommy jeans or ugly trends that ruin your style
  8. There is truth in the saying

    Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the World. – Marilyn Monroe

    Actually, there are 101 reasons to wear heels.

  9. People conceive well-dressed people as being competent. That’s why we are very selective in what to wear to a job interview, right?
  10. Staying young at heart means you still love to dress a doll. The only difference to your 5-years-old you is that you now dress a living Barbie doll – namely you.
  11. You look prepared for whatever.
  12. You love the way you are.
  13. An overdressed woman can always take a piece of jewelry or an accessory off, when she feels more comfortable blending in. However, it is much harder to dress up an outfit that looks underdressed.
  14. Clothing conveys a message about you without having to speak.


style blogger in street wear in red with a pop of blue as an example for an updressed professional look
Outerwear: Armani cape, Prada satchel, Gloria VanDerBilt pointy toe pumps, pantyhose, silk rose pin, puma buckle belt, G-III suede above the knee skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own) and gingham button-down c/o Whistle River


In a nutshell: There is a reason why the fairy gave the beautiful shoes and wonderful dresses to Cinderella for the balls at the King’s castle.

Need I say more?



What Makes the Difference between Being Overdressed and Underdressed?

Let’s assume you wear the right clothes for the dressing situation. Then in everyday wear, the accessories make the difference between being slightly underdressed and overdressed. Let me explain it with the following example.

The look below is an inspiration for how to overdress for work. A cape is a statement in outerwear. A silk rose as well as a statement belt dresses the business casual work attire up (see photos below).

When you would wear the blouse with the upper two buttons unbuttoned, a normal dress-belt and without pantyhose, you would look underdressed when the dress code would ask for business casual festive attire.


blogger featuring an example of being overdressed in business casual with suede skirt and gingham top
Accessories and pantyhose make a difference


zoom-in on belt buckle, pink flower pin, and bangle that may be considered as overdressed
Details of accessories


Nicole of High Latitude Style in feminine office look dressed up with a silk flower
G-III leather skirt, pantyhose, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, puma belt buckle, silk flower pin, pantyhose, and gingham blouse c/o Whistle River



When Is it Better to be Slightly Underdressed?

When you are a VIP and have to visit poor people in the slums, or hospital, etc. it is best to be underdressed for your class and status. This means while you can easily afford high quality designer clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories, a fancy fast fashion dress would be better. Think Kate Middleton in her porcelain inspired  dress in India.


Don’t let your outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy the book now.


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Anna Shirley

    Thank you for the feature. It made my day, Nicole. o)

  2. donnadoesdresses

    I had a HUGE argument with my adult son about athleisure wear being worn as real clothing around the place over Easter – I agree it is an opportunity to show your best and sometimes a hugely creative self!! Red is my favourite colour to wear when I want a kick-butt look and I love what you have down with it here!! Thank you for sharing, Nicole!! Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏

  3. Anna Marcus

    My husband always says that it is better to be overdressed then undressed. Love your outfit, the cape is such a statement piece

  4. annelottemaasland

    I always feel a little awkward when I’m overdressed though…

  5. mummabstylish

    I totally agree, and have shared your post on Twitter – useful information Nicole. Happy Thursday. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  6. Sabine Gimm

    Da bin ich ganz bei Dir liebe Nicole. Lieber zu viel als zu wenig. Wichtig ist aber, dass die Kleidung nicht zusammengewürfelt wird. Es muss schon gut abgestimmt sein.

    Du siehst super aus 🙂

    Liebe Grüße Sabine

  7. Red is such a bold color and that cape is GORG on you. Your belt is striking as well. I love what you said about how our younger self loved dressing our dolls and now our adult self dresses ourselves!


  8. Jess

    Red is a fabulous color on you! Love the flower brooch with your button down and that cape! oo lala! I love it!
    jess xx

  9. Tatiana Moskatova

    I totally agree with you, Nicole! Thank you so much for choosing my photo in your Link Up. I am honored to be a part of it!

  10. mireilleftm

    Seeing a lot of red today! One of my favorite color! And I agree I would rather be overdressed than underdressed!

  11. This Main Line Life

    Cute outfit. Love that red cape jacket.