Personal Outfit travel

How to be (successfully) overdressed

How to be (successfully) overdressed.

Hint: channel Holly Golightly, in the supermarket, on the train, at the Laundromat…

Created in collaboration with Uniqlo Australia

Everyone is looking at you – whispered my commute companion, gesturing at the gaggle of archetypal scarved-to-the-upper-lip Parisian Madames that were our fellow passengers. ‘I guess you’re a bit overdressed for the Metro’, he concluded. Had I the get-up-and-go to argue at that moment, I might have suggested a number of similarly plausible explanations more kind to my eight in the morning delicate self-esteem.

However, glancing down at my flowy bias cut dress (from the functional and beautiful Hana Tajima for Uniqlo collection), the floor length skirt of which almost needed a seat all on its own, and feeling the weight of my oversized sunglasses on the bridge of my nose, I had to admit to feeling somewhat ridiculous within the context of this commonplace scenario.

As one determined to experience life by living out film references, I felt very much like a Holly Golightly in that quintessential Audrey Hepburn film. The protagonist, lending circumstance to the film’s name, takes a flimsy takeaway pastry and coffee breakfast while window shopping at a yet to open Fifth Avenue Tiffany & Co boutique. Her full length gown, diamond tiara and mysterioso cat-eye sunglasses were so out of place in the deserted streets of a somber New York morning.

There is something impishly diverting about pointedly overdressing without an occasion at all, creating an unsettling juxtaposition that may lead passers-by to ponder for all that day, ‘just what was that girl’s story?’ Then, on the other hand, it is simply a question of wearing what you like, peer approval not a prerequisit. The rule operates both ways, of course, whether it is sneakers to a party or a dramatic full skirted dress on the Metro. Yours truly, for one, approves.

As for being successfully overdressed, might I suggest:

  1. Floor grazing lengths that reference classical tastes of a romanticised last century
  2. A shrinking waistline optical elusion that conjures femininity overdose
  3. Personality affirming earrings slash works of sculpture, for which size does matter
  4. A tiny handbag (or no handbag at all), as if to imply your more glamorous plans had fallen through
  5. Blacked out sunglasses, lighting conditions be damned

In this look:
Dress by Hana Tajima for Uniqlo; Sunglasses & Bag by Céline; Scarf by Loweve; Shoes via Frankie Shop; Earrings by JW Anderson

Created in collaboration with Uniqlo Australia

Location: Paris, France | Photography: Louis Villers

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  • Kurt
    24 March 2017 at 9:15 am

    wow love this dress!!!!!

  • Kurt
    24 March 2017 at 9:16 am

    please check out my latest blog post featuring Paul Smith at Melbourne Fashion Festival:

  • Julia Bluhm
    24 March 2017 at 9:59 am

    I love this! One of my favorite quotes is ‘you can never be overdressed or over educated.” I wear skirts and dresses all the time and often feel kinda overdressed for everyday life, but there’s also something really satisfying about it. Also I love your style of writing.
    Julia |

    • Jiawa Liu
      24 March 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much Julia! Yes, that’s just the perfect quote! On that note I think educating one self is one of the most amazing things you can do, but if only it were easier to find the time…

  • Greta
    24 March 2017 at 10:21 am

    Your hair color is gorgeous! How did you get it that color?

    – Greta

    • Jiawa Liu
      24 March 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks so much dear! It’s bleached and toned slightly ash!

  • Jenelle
    24 March 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Get them talking, or thinking!! Loved this dress and how you styled it hon. So chic, as always.
    I remember when I was studying in Prague for a bit wearing a full length black maxi dress, art supplies under my arm, black raybans on, taking the tram and probably feeling about the same. Audrey moments.
    xx Jenelle

  • Ewa Macherowska
    25 March 2017 at 1:14 am

    As always great post!

  • Selina
    27 March 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Everyone thinks you’re dressed up when you wear a midi or maxi length skirt. I wear 50s flared skirts a lot and always get comments on being too dressed up and fancy. If I liked fur, I’d wear a big fur jacket to go with it and stuff them. As it is, maybe a dinner jacket to go with it would suffice

  • Barbara
    27 March 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Yesssssssss, I love this. Thank you for sharing.

    Yesterday, I visited the mall “overdressed” and I got so many stares that I began to question myself, but I think that dressing up to go out should be done more often. 🙂

  • Azanah
    27 March 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I love that pantsuit, such beautiful shape!

  • Ene Ijato
    3 April 2017 at 11:47 am

    Inspiring piece, you write so beautifully and your pictures and styling genius is just Pshoo! beyond me!

  • okcupid2
    7 April 2017 at 5:25 pm

    it is very knowledgeable and valuable article. thanks for share with us..

  • mahryska
    13 April 2017 at 5:48 pm

    ohhhh love love the look babe!!
    kisses from the sandpit ❤︎

  • Elisa
    19 April 2017 at 3:19 am

    it s always a pleasure see your special chic style.

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