There are many ways to improve your style – from learning about the shapes and styles of clothes that flatter your figure, to understanding the colours and contrasts that harmonise with your own and not to ever forget how you personality influences your style choices (all of these foundations of style can be found in my 7 Steps to Style program if you’d like my professional opinion on any of these style fundamentals).
Personality is so important and it led me to think that I wanted to chat with Jill Chivers of 16 Style Types about a different way of thinking about how to improve your style and that is based on how you learn best. In the Jungian model of psychological type, there are two main versions of these learning styles called Sensing and iNtuition (the S or N in your 4 letter Myers Briggs, or MBTI type code if you happen to know it). If you’d like to discover your 4 Letter Psychological Type, you can do this and also get your Style Type Report which reveals your style essence, that is your approach to style! Read up more about Sensing and iNtuition here.
If Your Preference is for Sensing
If you prefer Sensing you bring in information through your five senses, touch, vision, sound etc. and the information is tangible and concrete and will be put immediately into practical application and you like to get into the detail of information (you see the trees).
Improve Your Style with Constant Practise
Jill, with a Sensing preference, has a high need for variety, but variety is very different from novelty (which is now iNtuitive will improve their style). Variety can be multiples of the same style of garment (such as wrap dresses) all in different colours and patterns (or different Leopard Prints in Jill’s case). There is a constancy to her style and wardrobe. Repeating outfits and just making small tweaks to improve (remember a much more detailed approach is in use here) is her method and as an SJ (2nd and last letters of her type code) methodical repetition is her method of learning and improving effectively, and the approach is more to create a more uniform dressing style. If you are an SP (which is the other version of the Sensing preference will learn best by doing and be active in doing and be more pragmatic in learning using immediate hands-on practice.
When a Sensor hits upon something they think is working, they are likely to stick to it and repeat it over and over again. They can get stuck in a style rut as fashions change and silhouettes move on without them. This can mean they need a little push or prompt to try something new.
Past experience and facts (like photos) as guides and making many subtle changes over time is the way to improve a Sensor’s style.
It’s an approach of constant Adaptation
If Your Preference is for iNtuition
If you prefer iNtution, again you get information through your senses (but are not so aware of doing this) but it’s in the information processing that you find the difference between the two types. Envisioning ideas and concepts that haven’t before been connected, knowing without knowing, and possibilities that are more theoretical and less concrete and possibly practical is what you may experience and you like to see the big picture rather than focus in on the detail (you see the forest).
Improve Your Style with Constant Novelty
As an iNtuitive, I know that one of the ways I’ve improved my own style is to constantly challenge myself to create new outfits from my existing wardrobe. Rather than wearing the same outfit time and again, I will instead try and find new combinations and ways of wearing my clothing.
I’ve noticed that it’s more likely that those with an iNtuiting preference will put outfits together that are more novel – such as wearing a cardigan upside down or putting together clothes or fabrics that one wouldn’t traditionally expect to go together.
When an iNtuitor hits on a formula that works for them, they may repeat it but it won’t stop them from having fun and trying something completely different and new if the mood calls them to (and remember that more iNtuitors are mood dressers too).
Future possibilities and internal vision as guides (and photos to be able to assess what went right or wrong) while trying something new and then assessing what did and didn’t work (can have some great hits and some terrible misses with this approach – but it’s all a learning experience for the iNtuitor). They can purchase orphans with the search for uniqueness, or clothes that suited a mood that has now passed.
It’s an approach of constant Innovation
Style Improvement is Important
Style improvement is important because style is dynamic and alive, just as you are. So your style needs to keep moving and improving with you as you keep growing and changing over your lifetime as you move through different roles, locations and lifestyles.
So do you prefer constant practise or are you more inclined towards constant novelty?