The Art of Literal Dressing

3 minutes

Westfield Mall, London U.K.

Literal dressing is when the outfit pick literally mimics the occasion for which you’re dressed. ‘Going literal’ with clothes is something that takes quite a bit of tact to do successfully.

French Flag dress in Paris France

There are several ways to dress literally for an occasion. For instance, I enjoy channelling the flag of a country by matching my outfit to the country’s flag colours when I visit. Themed outfits is another way to go-literal. A good example is an occasion such as attending an occasion like Oktoberfest or matching a wedding theme.

Rustic colours for the train tracks in Connecticut

Wearing whites and polka dots whites to a tennis event is another cliché of literal dressing. Some good ones that I also enjoy are wearing nautical themed outfits to sailing events, wearing a blue dress for aqua themes, and wearing a floral dress to attend flower show. Literal dressing is akin to spelling things out things, sort of letting the dress do the talking on your behalf. If done well, it should make a statement in a self-explanatory yet subtle way.

Nautical theme at the Long Island Sound

The main pro of literal dressing is that it’s a discreet way to give a nod to event. It’s a way to show appreciation for a country, for being invited, for being included and becoming a part of. The cons of literal dressing include the fact that fashion involves taking risks; sticking to a theme is too safe, or worse yet, bland. Dressing literally can make one boring and predictable; After all there really is no point in making an obvious statement, especially if one insists on dressing the part obsessively.

Flowered top to the Flower Park in Connecticut

If you want to try literal dressing for yourself, it’s better to keep it simple.  It’s okay to want to subtly appreciate an occasion or event you’ve been invited to, but you don’t want to overdo it and make it look too busy. The right level of literal dressing can be achieved by simply adding statement accessories like bags, shoes, a brooch, statement necklace, a hat, etcetera. It’s better to keep it simple and effective.

A nod to France’s flag while in Paris

The Duchess of Cambridge has been known to dress literally quite a bit, but we’re yet to see her do it again since the papers called her out on it earlier this year. The next time you get invited to an event, try and see if you can pull off a literal outfit as a subtle nod to the occasion. Don’t overdo it so you don’t end up looking like a Christmas tree though. Just have fun with it and keep it simple and light-hearted. Cheers, Grey ღ

Channelling the Italian Flag


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