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How your style personality profile(s) can help build a cohesive wardrobe

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Developing and evolving authentic personal style is about more than just our physical attributes (shape, proportions, coloring). Personality plays an important role, as well. And understanding our Style Personality Profile can help us to find our best personal style that expresses and brings us into focus.

Susan B. wears a casual look with a gold cashmere sweater, jeans, floral scarf, triple strand pearl bracelet.

earrings (similar) | scarf (similar) | sweater | bracelet | jeans | shoes

This article was previously published at an earlier date and has since been updated. I’ve left prior comments in place.

A style wish list

When I began blogging in 2007, I often bemoaned the lack of what I called “grown up clothes.” At the time, I was still somewhat invested in the concept of age appropriate style. And I was caught up in the fascination with French style*. But I ultimately realized that what I was looking for wasn’t a demographic-driven aesthetic, but a personal one.

I’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years, and have evolved my style to incorporate more color. But many of the same style attributes I was searching for at the beginning are still on my wish list:

  • simple but sophisticated
  • sleek, nothing too bulky or oversized
  • structured but not stiff
  • quality fabric and construction
  • a touch of wit, a little quirky

When I had my color and style analysis three years ago and my Style Personality Profile was assessed as Gamine, it was a confirmation of what I’d always been drawn to style-wise. I’ve since added “Natural” as a modifier, which incorporates some texture and fluidity. (Some days I lean more toward Gamine, other days more toward Natural.)

Susan B. wears a long linen cardigan, striped linen tee and barrel-leg jeans.

cardigan | necklace | tee | belt | bracelet (similar) | jeans | sandals

(I’ve been experimenting with this season’s looser, more relaxed silhouettes, while still trying to keep the overall look “neat.” I think these barrel-leg jeans add a touch of quirky.)

The Style Personality Profiles

Style Personality Profiles are a tool to help create cohesion and harmony, and a wardrobe that suits the individual. An image consultant will make an assessment based on a combination of physical and personality attributes, as well as client’s own tastes and preferences. Your personal profile will suggest which cuts, fabrics, and details will help bring your best self forward. You may find that you are a blend of two or more profiles.

Here are the 10 Personality Profiles:

  • The Diva/Dramatic: flamboyant, over the top, intense, can be a little bit scary. Think Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Rhianna
  • The Classic: Elegant, well-groomed, understated and chic. Think Grace Kelly, Duchess of Cambridge, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett.
  • The Gentlewoman/Natural Classic: Sporty yet elegant, relaxed yet put-together. Think Meryl Streep, Jennifer Anniston, Princess Diana.
  • The Adventurer/Natural: Sporty, outdoorsy, relaxed and wholesome, needs easy, textured styles. Think: Lauren Hutton, Ali McGraw, Julia Roberts.
  • The Gamine: neat, cute, fun, funky. Think Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Audrey Tatou.
  • The Princess: pretty, delicate, feminine, with small-scale, petite features. Think Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried.
  • The Bohemian/Natural Romantic: Feminine, sexy, glamorous, earthy. Think: Drew Barrymore, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Winslet, Lily Tomlin.
  • The Starlet/Romantic Princess: Pretty, very feminine, sweetly sexy. Think Reese Witherspoon as Elle in “Legally Blonde,” Christina Ricci, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson.
  • The Romantic: Glamorous, sophisticated, ultra-feminine and usually curvy. Think: Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey.
  • The Musketeer/Dramatic Romantic: Theatrical, flamboyant, exciting and earthy. Think Helena Bonham Carter, Debra Messing, Salma Hayek.

This discussion of the profiles with Annie Castaño and Ivana Nohel of Castanohel goes into more depth:

The best style for each of us is one that feels authentic and allows us to shine. Some people come by that instinctively, while others find guidelines helpful. The concept of Style Personalities isn’t intended to impose rules or put anyone in a box. To me, it’s a helpful framework to quantify and understand WHY something works or doesn’t. Understanding your style personality can help prevent expensive shopping mistakes, and assist in building a cohesive wardrobe of pieces that we’ll actually WEAR.

Springtime in London: Susan B in Green Park.

jacket (similar) | top (similar) | jeans (similar) | bag (similar) | sneakers

*it only took a couple of visits to Paris to understand that what’s often presented as French style is a small subset of what women actually wear. There are some commonalities, but much more diversity than most “French girl” articles might lead us to believe.

Do any of the Style Personality Profiles resonate with you?

Stay in touch.

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