Jill Chivers of 16 Style Types and I agree that personality is the key to finding and developing your style. Most of the TV makeover shows only talk about body shapes and figure flattery, and that is important, but when you watch these shows, how many of the makoverees (yes I made that word up) continue on with the style they were given? I’d be guessing few, as their personality wasn’t taken into consideration when the new look was put on them.
Sure a dress or outfit may look good – but is it who you are? Does it feel right on you? Does it express who you are? Listen to this podcast episode for more of our thoughts.
Shapes and Styles
Do you like your clothes to be feminine and flared, or straight up and down?
What’s the fit?
What kinds of fabrics do you prefer?
Prints and patterns
What kind of prints make your heart sing?
Colours and Colour Combinations
what kinds of colours do you enjoy wearing
- bright and bold
- soft and natural
- light and pastel
- neutral and understated
Accessories and Jewellery
What kind of jewellery do you prefer?
- Large Scale
- Natural materials
There is a relationship between your physicality and what suits you, which certainly really help to make you look stylish, but in the end, that piece that is so important is how you feel in your clothing
True style comes when your clothes reflect who you are as a person, they support your personality as well as flattering your physicality.
Have you ever had the experience of being in a store and trying on an outfit, and being told it looks great, but you know that you’d never wear it. It just isn’t you?
The style may suit – for example – have a look at these pencil skirts. If you’re an H shape, I shape, 8 shape or O shape this is your ideal skirt shape. Yet which would you choose?
You may look at this selection and love one and hate others. You may love a few, you may hate them all! This is why you need to know so much more than just your figure flattery rules!
This is your personality talking. It’s telling you that there is something about that style, shape, colour, texture, pattern, scale, detail etc. that it’s just not right for you. It doesn’t make you feel right on the inside, no matter how great it looks on the outside (and I love Rosina’s story which is a great illustration of this).
The refinement of our understanding of personality and its influence on style has been developed even more with our research and development of the 16 Style Types, the Style Type reports which give you an insight into your approach to style, and also our new program Your Type of Style, which helps you delve deeper into this topic of style and personality in a way that has never before been done.
The Physical Aspect of Style and Figure Flattery are Your Style Foundation
Understanding what suits you – the colours, contrasts, clothing styles and lines, where to add the details, where to keep free and plain, which proportions are best for you and all those other physical aspects of fabric selection (texture, sheen, drape) are important and form your style foundation. You need to know them to start developing your style.
Then we layer your personality on top of this foundation. This personality piece informs your decisions. For instance, you’re looking at two scarves and trying to make a decision between them. In the end – which do you love more, they are both in great colours and contrast for you? Which speaks to your personality? Which is part of your Style Recipe (which should be reflecting your personality)? Is it the bohemian cotton scarf or the luxurious sophisticated silk scarf? Both could work physically. The choice then comes down to what speaks to your personality.
Each of the 16 Style Types as a unique style pathway that you can rely on to guide you to make congruent style decisions that work with your personality and make you feel like the best version of you. When you don’t take personality into account, you can feel like you’re wearing a costume or somebody else’s clothes.
Style expression decisions are many and varied – which is why personality is so important. Knowing who you are and how you want to express yourself through your clothes allows you to tune out messages that are not right for you. Those messages about the latest fashion colours and styles that may or may not suit you physically or suit your personality. When you understand your style essence, your personality more fully, you get to choose what is right for you as a unique human being.
This is why I will not give you a hard and fast set of rules to follow, as it doesn’t take into consideration YOU!
This is why I recommend you take what I call the Viennetta approach to style as if it were a Viennetta icecream. It’s a layered approach to style, and you get to select what goes in each layer. Your version will be different from others and that’s what makes it right for you.
Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer – The Viennetta Approach to Style
What are the layers in your style made up from?
- Body Shape
- Body Proportions
- Body Variations
- Colours – you can get a colour analysis as part of my 7 Steps to Style program
- Garment structure
- Personality Dressing Style preferences (which I go into in 7 Steps to Style and we also go into in Your Type of Style)
- Style essence – your approach to style and your psychological type
How do you layer all these elements of the style puzzle to create your style?
Your individual needs and likes, your personality and physicality, your lifestyle, where you live – your environment – all these things will be important in informing your style choices.
There is no set of rules that say that your physicality = your personality.
That would be ridiculous when you think about the different races of people existing in the world – for example, do all people from China have the same personality trait? Absolutely not – but there may be many physical similarities!
Not being true to yourself can make you feel truly uncomfortable in your clothes.
Here is the video with Miriam Margoyles that we mention in the podcast episode.