It’s often said that your style reflects your personality. Whether in magazines, on TV shows or even via style professionals, this idea that our external get-ups reflect the person within gets circulated continuously.
And there’s a reason for that:
It’s well and truly… well, true!
This comes from the fact that our style is indeed something personal to us. Yes, even for those of you who say you “don’t have a style”! As it also speaks about your other priorities or needs.
Because while what we wear has a functional purpose, it has long ceased to be simply a utilitarian part of our lives. And while style does incorporate what we wear, it expands to so much more that reflects us, as persons!
So today we’re going to look at how different aspects of your style can reflect different sides of your personality.
As a little disclaimer: the style elements and personalities we are discussing today will overlap, or submit to the 7 major style typologies for women, as described in my personal style course.
Without being exhaustive, the below constitute directions to keep in mind when looking to define your personal style. They will help you do so in a way that feels authentic not just to your outer appearance, but to your inner persona as well.
Bold or Low-Key?
Do you rarely (if ever!) enjoy making a fuss, drawing attention to yourself, or performing in public?
Then you very likely are the owner of a low-key personality!
With measured gestures, an even voice and a simple, streamlined wardrobe, a low-key woman stands far from the limelight.
In this respect, you may often find yourself avoiding risks in building your outfits. Which means you might more happily choose from:
- Muted or nude hues (like beige, cream, grey, navy)
- Basic outfit elements (eg. a plain, white, cotton T-shirt rather than a printed organza top)
- Solid colours over prints
- Matte textures and fabrics
- Neutral make-up and uncomplicated hair
A preference to stay under the radar fashion-wise might mean you reach for pieces a Minimalist or Classic style typology woman would enjoy.
On the other end of the style personality spectrum:
Are you a person who doesn’t mind being the center of attention- nay, in fact, relishes it?
Then you will likely be naturally drawn to a bold, rather than low-key style!
Test yourself here. Do the below make your heart race?
- Strong, saturated hues (eg.: tomato red, fuchsia pink, royal blue, citrin)
- Edgy elements (like leather, spikes, very visible metallic hardware)
- Eye-catching add-ons (think: large accessories, statement sleeves, stand-out metallic or patent leather shoes)
- Shiny, animal-inspired, or sensual textures
- Multiple of these these elements juxtaposed in one outfit
If YES, your attraction for expressing yourself in bold ways clearly burns bright! From speaking to moving, to simply standing, your attitude commands the room- and your style needs to do the same.
While a bold influence will very often fall under the Dramatic or Eclectic major style typologies, it’s not always the case!
A Romantic typology can also have bold influences, for example. But they will be more subdued, and blended with softer streaks (see below):
Soft or Rugged?
Similarly to the above, you might find yourself turning naturally towards either softer, or more rugged styles of apparel, make-up or accessories.
Or, you may enjoy mixing both* in different proportions!
*This is a personal favorite of mine, as I feel the need to organically balance out soft & sweet elements with tougher-edge ones
Because, on close inspection, it’s precisely this contrast between soft and tough that makes the total look more expressive. These opposite elements elevate the final result to more than just the sum of it parts.
So, for this purpose, I wanted us to look at the characteristic components of these styles in parallel:
- SOFT STYLE
- Gentle colours, like luminous pastels or dusky tones
- Gauzier fabrics (organza, lace, silk)
- Delicate jewelry (eg. a thin gold bracelet rather than a heavy cuff, pearl studs etc.)
- Cuts that follow your body shape, without clinging to it
- Extra embellishments: feathers, frills, embroidery
- RUGGED STYLE
- Dark colours, like gem hues, shades, or pure black
- Rigid fabrics (leather, wool, cotton)
- Metallic jewelry in rugged models, robust watches, strong hardware on bags, shoes
- Oversized cuts, or extremely sharp ones, in firm fabrics
- Streamlined cuts and fits, no superfluous adornments
If you find yourself leaning more heavily towards the left category, consider similarities in yourself.
For example: do you have a gentle demeanor, perhaps a soft voice, elegant gestures and posture? Do you seek connections with others on a deeper emotional level? Maybe you resonate deeply with romantic concepts?
And conversely, if you tend to assert yourself more, walk and talk with purpose, even be a bit pointed in your self-expression: did you find yourself leaning more towards the style elements on the right-hand column?
There are no right or wrong answers here. We are simply looking at clues to your own personality and sense of non-verbal expression through style.
A little fashion fun fact here:
Specialists say that upwards of 70% of our communication is non-verbal. Which means our gestures, the way we carry ourselves, our clothes, make-up and hair, what we do with our hands all speak volumes about us!
Which shines a light on the importance of understanding how your style reflects your personality.
Just picture a time when you felt your internal image of yourself was perfectly aligned with your outer appearance.
Maybe it was a time you were dressed to the nines- or maybe you were super casual! The point is, how you looked then truly matched YOU.
How did that feel?
How confident were you with the message you were sending out into the world about yourself?
If that’s a feeling you would like to recreate more often, but don’t exactly know how to, please drop me a DM on Instagram!
I’d be happy to talk to you more about how you can create this consistent sense of alignment between who you are inside, and how you present yourself on the outside. All through your unique personal style!
Getting Dressed or Dressing Up?
When it comes to the next style personality distinction, it’s quite easy to spot the women who enjoy dressing up for themselves, as opposed to women getting dressed almost purely for practical reasons.
And in between, we have the casual dressers- women who appreciate a good style, but also know there are other things in life that deserve their energy. A middle ground most of us come to eventually, at least in passing.
If you’re not sure where you belong on the spectrum, ask yourself:
- Do you most often build entire looks with purpose, ensuring they highlight your body type, colouring, and style preferences?
- Do you most often enjoy looking put-together and creating outfits, but don’t need them to inspire any “Oooh’s” and “Aaah’s”?
- Do you most often grab the first clean pieces you can find, without much concern for them matching each other, or you, as an individual?
Of course, most of us vary in this regard, depending on our lifestyle. I mean, nobody gets dressed up and applies a full-face of make-up 24/7, 365 days a year, right?
Which is why the “most often” part is so important.
Because in the end, it’s the things we repeat that become habits.
And before you know it, that repetition defines a style that communicates how you see yourself, what you value, and how you want to be perceived.
You might not mind trotting around in high-heels almost daily. Because the posture they give you mirrors your internal image of the powerful woman you are.
Or you might pick a luxurious cashmere sweater, and pair it with comfy slacks. Because you are self-poised, and appreciate a little luxury, but don’t like going overboard.
Or you might reach for the same items over and over again mindlessly. Because you prioritize allocating your time and energy to other parts of your life than your looks.
And maybe you already knew these things about yourself before taking my little quiz. Or maybe not!
In which case, I fully hope it helped you notice some patterns you might have settled in without even realizing. And perhaps this becomes the point you decide to start building a more mindful, authentic presence daily!
Wide-Ranging or Clear-Cut?
Some women might also find alternating between various fashion styles useful for expressing themselves in various contexts.
Or they may even be playing with multiple components in one look, creating surprising, visually appealing and vibrant combinations.
Like the Eclectic style typology woman, for example!
Who can be seen combining a bold overall look with rugged components, some romantic undercurrents- even with a few elements that would otherwise be considered casual- to create her own stylistic expression.
Usually very creative women, with a well practiced eye for colour combinations, textures and patterns (not just in fashion) will resonate with this description.
A passion for art will likely also be present in them. Which makes sense, as after all, fashion and styling can be art forms in themselves!
Clear-cut Romantic style look
Whereas other women will be more confident in their self-expression through a clear-cut style, that will be visible in almost all contexts and occasions.
This can very well intersect a Classic style typology, but also a Minimalist or Romantic one. Their styles of choice tend to be more easily adaptable to a larger number of social situations, without undermining their typology’s core aesthetic.
Because while yes, your style reflects your personality, it also often reflects some socio-cultural norms.
A Romantic woman, for example, will have no trouble transitioning her preferred aesthetic from the office to an after work dinner, to a wedding, let’s say.
Transition which might prove much more challenging for a typical Dramatic or Urban style typology. At least without the addition of other versatile elements, which don’t necessarily belong to the core of their styles.
Streamlined or Embellished?
Finally, another clue that you may find in the way your style reflects your personality comes from a preference towards streamlined or embellished items.
This one will be clear to see:
Do you often find yourself dreaming of rich dresses with lots of fabrics, silky pleats, wispy organza, shiny taffeta? And, even better if they have some sort of embroidery or appliqué?
Or is the above description pretty much your sartorial nightmare?
Do you respond better to clean, sleek and easy looks? Perhaps ones that lean heavily into a tomboy style, or rely on classic wardrobe staples!
If you answered “YES!” to the first group of questions, you will likely find yourself in the Dramatic, Eclectic or Romantic style typologies.
You’re probably more of a maximalist rather than a minimalist at heart. Which can reflect not just in your fashion style, but also in how you decorate your home!
And whether you love expressing yourself in big, bold pieces or soft, elegant ones, but with a visible twist, you likely want to strongly communicate who you are through what you wear.
Whereas if you found yourself leaning more towards the second category, you will more likely find yourself in the Classic, Minimalist or Urban typologies.
You might still be drawn to deep, rich colours (rather than overly bright ones) and by strong, sharp cuts and fits.
But you will likely have little patience for any unnecessary frills or extravagant details- in your fashion style or in your other means of expression!
These do not suit your personality on the whole. Which means you probably manage to communicate your thoughts, emotions, preferences and aesthetic in a more clear and direct way.
What to do if you’re not perfectly happy with how your style reflects your personality
To wrap up this article, I will leave you with an exercise of imagination:
Do you feel like your personal style is speaking your personal truth?
Can you imagine how it would feel if it did?
Which areas of your life it would give you the impulse to take control of?
Once you have that image in your mind, really let it stay there for a while, and enjoy the feeling. Look at all the details, hear the sounds, let those emotions wash over you.
Are you ready to turn that into reality?
I’d love nothing more than to help you do so, if you are. Because empowering women to confidently tell their unique story through their style is what I do best.
So drop me a line via IG DM’s is you want to become your own kind of Style Storyteller!
Hugs from Amsterdam,