I really admire Cher. She's a pro. She's also a free spirit who makes few pretenses. She goes out of her way to express her inner self with her clothes and grooming. She makes it clear that she doesn't care a "fig" if it's not appropriate by someone else's definition.

Cher is overly harsh, however, in assuming that she is one of the few with image integrity as she dons her costume apparel. She feels that she is somehow superior to those who are concerned with appropriate dress, accusingly assuming they have no integrity.Cher fails to recognize or accept why the costume apparel that works for her after many years of trying to be accepted wouldn't work for most of us no matter how long we tried.

Over the years, outrageous outfits have become acceptable for Cher and others in the creative world of the arts, music and theater. Cher's costume appearances mesh nicely with her music and movement. It comes as no surprise. We almost expect it.

Not so for a banker or a school teacher. It has to do with what we do for a living, with what we sell.

Cher sells herself, her music, her moves, her movies. Cher is the center of attention. She can afford to be the center of attention. In fact, Cher must compete for attention and hold it at all costs or fail in her professional objectives. Appropriate dress or appearance for Cher is something that attracts and holds attention, allowing the audience to concentrate on her.

A banker sells a service. A teacher sells ideas. The service or ideas must be the center of attention. The banker and the teacher cannot afford to compete with the service or the ideas for attention. If they do, they will fail in their professional objectives. Appropriate dress or appearance for the banker and the teacher is something that allows the customer or student to concentrate on the service being rendered or the ideas and concepts being taught.

That's what is meant by statements to the effect, "If you see the clothes, they're too much." Like most cliche statements, this one is far too general to be believed. Of course, you're going to "see" the clothes. But they are not "too much" if your attention moves right along to the face and the person wearing them.

It's when all attention stops and stays on the clothes that they're "too much." The person and what he or she has to say can't compete.

Cher wears clothes that fairly shout for attention they're so loud. But she can compete because she sings and shouts for attention loudly. She struts her stuff and rightly so!

The banker and teacher don't sing, don't shout (at least not usually) and likely don't strut their stuff. They couldn't compete with such clothes. Hence, the advice for less conspicuous clothes.

Regardless of who you are, it's important to dress appropriately for the role and the occasion. If you're uncomfortable with the appearance appropriate for the roles and occasions in your life, if you just don't like the typical clothes appropriate for your job, you may start to make some changes. In most cases and with a little creative thought, you can come up with clothes suited to the occasion and to you. If you absolutely can't, then a change of jobs may be in order. After all, it's your integrity at stake.

Just for the record, Hollywood designer Bob Mackie created a glamorous gown for Cher to wear on Oscar night sheer to the floor. He designed a long "wrap" to go with it. Cher objected and requested a beaded leather jacket to match, it being more in keeping with her true character. Why then, I wonder, did she change her mind and wear the Mackie wrap that night? Maybe even Cher is sensitive to what's appropriate in the eyes of others at least on occasion.