Question: Can I wear a blindingly bold print blouse and shorts to a meeting and look work-appropriate?
Data: I observed that the others at the meeting wore everything from a dress/suit to jeans. The speaker wore a sport coat, and a button down with no tie. Most wore what I call “southern, hot weather business casual”. That basically means that anything not revealing or “poolside” looking will work as long as it keeps you cool in sweltering weather.
Conclusion: The wild print allowed me to feel like I was expressing myself but I did not feel underdressed or out of place. Yes, a bold print blouse and walking shorts is appropriate for a casual meeting. If it was a more formal meeting or I felt the need to look super-professional, less casual clothing would be advised.
Additional findings: Dogs are attracted to cameras and tripods!