In my online forums and programs, participants can ask each other for style advice and feedback. It can be tricky when what one person thinks of as a compliment or an offhand comment, can be felt by the recipient to be cruel and hurtful especially when the women span a variety of interests, backgrounds, cultures and experiences.
Good feedback can help you grow and become more stylish so much faster than just attempting to do it all on your own. But how does this work when giving style feedback to others? What should you be mindful of? Would you like to be able to give good style feedback?
All Personalities Are Unique And Valuable
I’ve been working as an image consultant (personal stylist) for well over a decade now and I realised in my training that personality would be an important factor in dressing, but probably not the full extent to how important it is when choosing clothes that flatter.
I thought that it was all about my body and colouring and had no understanding of how much personality influences what you wear, what you feel good in, and what gives you confidence. What I have discovered is that personality is the number one key to finding clothes that make you look and feel good.
Creating your style recipe gives you a great framework to start playing with and exploring the personality dressing styles in a way that is right and true for you. What is great is that you are not stuck with a style recipe – you can create a new one as often as you like – and reinterpret what you have in any way that feels right for you. Remember, style is a journey, not a destination and that you will continue to change and grow throughout your life.
Personality Styles Are Expression Of Personality Traits
Clothes communicate. They communicate with their line, detail and design (elements I’ve talked about in all the posts about Yin and Yang).
They communicate lots about you as person, as you chose to wear those clothes. Who you are, what your personality traits are is all expressed by what you put on your back. Such as whether you are conservative, bold, approachable, rebellious, sophisticated or nurturing (as just a very few examples).
When you consider how you want to be perceived, who you are, what you represent, your ideas and beliefs, your values, your clothes should be telling the world the most positive aspects of who you are. If your clothes are worn out or stained – what does this tell the world? If you’re soft and nurturing but wear head to toe black your clothes then we may miss seeing that soft and nurturing side of you.
The first step in my 7 Steps to Style program is all about how to express your personality through your clothes – it gives you the language and tools to help you share with the world who you are – which clothes, details, accessories, patterns and prints, colours and fabrics – are the right ones for you
Authenticity On The Inside Is As Important As Authenticity On The Outside
I completely believe that authentic style comes from inside out (that’s why this blog is called Inside Out Style). Your style expression is based on your personality traits and who you are. When we dress to highlight ourselves in an authentic manner, we feel the most comfortable and confident. Part of the reason in the Evolve Your Style challenge I push people to try something different or new is that they may discover they do or don’t like something. In the end, when you analyse what you do and don’t like, it will come down to a feeling so often. How you feel in those clothes and accessories, not just, does this flatter my body. This is your personality talking to you.
If you try and dress like someone else it won’t feel authentic and you won’t have the confidence you need. You may feel like an imposter. This mismatch between style and environment is most obvious in business environments. Every business has a brand and you, as an employee are representing the brand of the business you work for. There may be an element of subordinating your individual needs to the needs of the corporation as a whole, but if you’re struggling with this, are you also struggling with your job as a whole? Are you truly happy in what you’re doing? Or if you love your job – how can you adapt your style, still expressing who you are, but also working within the required dress code guidelines?
There Is No Such Thing As An Ugly Colour
Colours that flatter you make you the focus (rather than the clothes), highlighting your beauty and creating harmony with your appearance finding the right colours for you really does give you power. This is why I love personal colour analysis and in particular signature colours which really highlight a person’s natural colouring and make it the focus.
Then there is the energy of colour that comes from the psychology of colour and our associations with those colours. Colour has a mental, cerebral feeling for me. My choice comes down to a mental feeling about how the colour will make me feel or help me communicate that day.
There are some overarching design principles that have been shown to aid in more people finding an outfit or garment aesthetically pleasing. There are certain things that have been shown in studies to bring us more joy (I wrote about them here). And in fact, we associate aesthetically attractive items as higher in quality too!
Many of the style guidelines relate back to aspects of design that help make a garment or outfit aesthetically attractive include aspects that create harmony when put together – rhythm, balance, proportion and emphasis.
Remember That Style Is A Journey, Not A Destination
You are never actually done, your style can morph and change as you grown and change over your lifetime to reflect the you that you are today, just like everyone else. Doing a program such as 7 Steps to Style will give you greater understanding into “what suits me” elements of style, discovering the colours and contrast, and how your personality influences your style choices. The more you understand, the more you dive deeply into understanding personality and design elements then it starts to be easier to see how they go together on someone who is not you and you can give helpful style advice.