Who are You and How Does this Influence Your Style Choices?

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“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.”
Gore Vidal
 

In this post you were asked to figure out where you are now with your clothing – it may be a great place and where you want to be, or it may not be.

I like to think of your image/style as your frame – so when a picture is framed, we choose a frame that works with the picture.
For example – the Mona Lisa is framed in a heavy gilt frame – a frame that suits the style and quality of the painting. If we put a fine black metal frame around the Mona Lisa it would look all wrong – not suit the style of the painting (personality), and would also make her appear cheaper (she might be a fake). Your clothing/grooming is your frame – are you wearing the right one?

Who are You On The Inside?

What we need to discover is who you are on the inside, so the next steps in your search for style are:
  1. Write a list of words (minimum 6 words) that reflect how you’d like to be perceived by others – these should relate to how you are as a person eg. approachable, friendly, professional, successful, elegant, stylish, creative, avant-garde, bold, feminine, calm, down-to-earth, warm, polished, funky,
  2. Looking at the likes and dislikes you wrote down yesterday – do your likes relate well to the words you’ve chosen in step 1 today? For example,  I like comfort and have a down-to-earth personality – these relate, or I love bold colours and the word dynamic relates to each other.
  3. Take out 4-5 favourite garments from your wardrobe – write down what you like about them (eg. their colour, shape, fit, feel, fabric etc). Then write down how they make you feel and look when wearing (eg. smart, different, stylish, slim, tall, successful, versatile etc.). Do you notice a pattern? Are all your favourite clothes comfortable? Are they all different or a little creative? Are they versatile – you can dress them up or down? It’s really important to discover what works for you in your life and with your personality, then you can replicate this success.
  4. Looking at the pictures you collected yesterday, do the words that you’ve listed in Step 1 relate to these pictures? Do they relate to your likes (not dislikes) in Step 2? Do they have some of the qualities you listed in Step 3 of what you already like in your wardrobe? If there is a disconnect between what you ‘think’ you like (when you look at pictures of clothing), and what works for you in your life (Step 3), think about what is the difference – maybe you love the style of some clothes, but they just aren’t you. This is fine, you can admire these clothes on others, but not waste money buying them for yourself.
  5. Collect some more pictures that represent Steps 1-3 from today’s exercise. Apply the words you chose in Step 1 to each picture –
Who are You and How Does this Influence Your Style Choices?

For example, when I look at this dress the words that spring to mind are: whimsical, comfortable, feminine, approachable, youthful, relaxed. If this is how you’d like to be perceived by others, then this is a great style for you, if you want to be perceived as professional, dynamic, successful, elegant – then this dress is not a good fit for you.

Who are You and How Does this Influence Your Style Choices?
Whilst this outfit says dynamic, bold, dramatic, modern, successful, sharp.
Can you see how the clothes are talking and expressing their personality? You want to match your personality with your clothes.
Still unsure of how to read the personality of clothing?  This is all explained in my 7 Steps to Style program that goes into helping you develop your authentic style in an even more comprehensive way.  Not only that, it also covers the physical elements of finding the clothes to flatter your body and colouring.  Find out more here.
Discover your colours and style with the best, most comprehensive online style program
Who are You and How Does this Influence Your Style Choices?

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I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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11 Comments

  • Maybe it's the schizo Gemini in me but I have about 5 styles! (I'm sure there are overriding themes – i.e. I like luxe textures and simple lines – but really, I get around) 🙂

  • I have been reading for awhile and really enjoying your practical advice Imogen, but this series has finally inspired me to comment.

    Over the last few days I have worked out why somedays I just don't feel so great. It happens when I dress to suit my interpretation of what I think is suitable for what I'm doing that day, BUT it doesn't really fit with my personal style.

    I agree with K.Line in that I'm also a bit schizo, but I think that's mostly driven by 'work me' versus 'off duty me'!

    I also loved yesterday's idea about affirmative sentences for shopping. I have been guilty of buying things I love and thinking I'll work out later what I'll wear them with, and this doesn't always work. I thinking having an affirmative sentence can only drive more appropriate shopping for me.

  • This is a brilliant post, Imogen. I love it. Tomorrow, after I have sent the deadline files to my client, I will take this, go and sit outside in the sunshine and think really hard about what aspects of "me" I want to get out there. Thank you, thank you 🙂

  • I think that my picture has the right frames. Inside, I feel calm, comfortable ( most times), modern and personal and yet with my feet on the ground. When I look at my wardrobe, I see shades of grays, something black and dark lilacs extending to plum. I only have knits in cashmere, not many pieces of clothes, but the ones I have are of high quality and mixable. I do have 2 pairs of booties-so modern just now, to be worn with jeans or for dressing up. Honestly, looking at my wardrobe, makes me feel very calm. There is so little of everything and at the same time, so much to choose from. My only problem ( always has been ), is that I´m afraid to wear that stuff. I kind of feel that I´m not worthy of the cashmeres, etc. I know, I know, my past is haunting me still, and I´m working on it- piece by piece.

  • K.Line, I so hear you! While I'd love to be the french chic woman every day (which I'm obviously not, and why is it that they haunt so many of us woman???), today I'm wearing a knit dress with a rather bold pattern, boots, a black cardigan and a jeans jacket. rather bohemian / modern / layed back than real chic. And the list goes on. What I lack is the ability to, at some point, draw all those strings together into a look that is… me. Maybe all the things imogen listed will in the end help to really pull the look together and look like "me" every day.

  • K.Line – some of us are more varied in our styles than others! Often different styles work for different parts of our lives.

    JT – thanks for commenting! Yes – most of us have different work personalities from our off duty as you put it!

    WendyB – every pic I've seen you in says dramatic, avante-garde but always feminine.

    Rosina – can't wait to find out how you go.

    Metscan – don't keep the cashmere's for good! As fashion changes, if you're waiting for the right occasions, they'll have dated and look old-fashioned! Wear it all NOW!

    Thoughts in the city – I often find clients think they want to be very elegant, but realise after we do some personality exercises that it's just not them – they can admire it, but would find it way too high-maintenance! Once they've discovered their style they feel much more relaxed about dressing.

  • What a great 'tool' to use.

    I like this better than the books which suggest building an inspiration board… where you try to translate theatre programs and candy wrappers into your personal style!!

  • Thank you for the advice Imogen. I know that you are so right. If I don´t wear my treasures, I´ll end up giving them away for free.

  • You know, your statement about matching clothing personality with real personality is so SIMPLE. But I wonder if others forget it as often as I do?? I love your series this week. xo

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