$

A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!

2.06.2016

Do You Know Your Style Personality?

It's been ages since I talked about style personalities. And one of my favourite subjects too. I love the psychology of how and why women dress as they do. So, I thought I'd start right from the beginning again, bringing this subject bang smack up to date.

First up, a woman who understands her own personal style will invariably have a fabulously well put together wardrobe. She understands what suits her, which trends to buy in to and how to wear colour.

Someone who doesn't recognise themselves in the different style categories will probably have masses of clothes but nothing to wear. Her wardrobe will resemble something like this...



She's the one that buys in to every trend going but finds it difficult to put an entire outfit together. Sound familiar? Read on. That's because she's buying across the different style categories; the must have top, a classic jacket, pretty shoes...they're never going to work together. She'll end up buying trousers to go with the top, a new shirt to go with the jacket and so on. Creating even more bedlam in an already chaotic wardrobe. It's a vicious circle isn't it?

That's why understanding your style personality kind of matters.

Talk about a light bulb moment. I was taught about style personality on my Colour Me Beautiful course many years ago. It really was a total revelation. So bloomin simple. I fell in to the category of buying EVERYTHING. If a celebrity wore it, I bought it. If Grazia suggested a 'hot' new trend I bought it. If a friend looked sensational in something, I bought it. My wardrobe was a complete disaster zone. And I was ashamed. All the gear but no bloody idea.

So that weekend, I undertook a full wardrobe cull - let's just say a whole roll of bin liners was used. There was very little left but amazingly, I seemed to be able to make outfits from nothing. And, over the following year, I added to this small collection. Clever purchases that are still with me today.

These days I've learned to admire trends from afar. Over the knee boots? Love 'em. But on my skinny legs, they take on a more fisherman thigh waders quality. And they're a bit showy for me*. Off the shoulder tops? Gorgeous but they make me look as wide as I'm tall. And they're a little too cute for me*. So, I steer clear and stick to clothes that suit me, my style personality and make me happy.

*These are not criticisms of anyone who owns these items, merely examples of what my style personality dictates to me.

There are 6 different style personalities. If you seem to fit in to a couple, that's quite normal - one will probably be more dominant than the other one. If you fit in to more than two, that's abnormal. I'm joking of course but, what it does actually say, is that you could possibly be buying in to too many trends and not creating a cohesive wardrobe.

I thought it would be fun to use Boden's new collection to show you the different personalities. A good size collection without being too overwhelming. You'll also see some familiar faces by way of celebs (and royalty) and bloggers. The bloggers that I feature are all normal women so hopefully you'll recognise something in yourself.

Enjoy! xx

1. CREATIVE

Celebrity icon: Vivienne Westwood
Blogger icon: Catherine at Not Dressed As Lamb

Vivienne is most certainly 'out there' in the way that she dresses. Catherine on the other hand brings a creative element to her clothes which are much more wearable

You're probably not reading this blog if you fall in to this category. This woman likes to make her own style. She's happy rummaging through vintage stalls, mixing old things with High Street buys. She's not afraid of colour and certainly doesn't follow current trends. One of those women that you see and think wow, she looks great....but I couldn't do that. That's the extreme example. You might dip your big toe into this category without being so 'out there'. You're not afraid to mix colour and textures as indeed Catherine does. You'll find different ways of wearing something eg. a dress over trousers.


Most women would let the Beatrice dress do the talking, I mean there's enough going on there to make a really lovely outfit by adding a plain pair of shoes and bag. Not Creatives. Oh no no no. These girls will have no hesitation in adding colour and texture to really make it their own. Turning up in the same outfit as someone else is tantamount to sending her rocking backwards and forwards in a corner so she makes sure that this will never happen. So the teal cardigan, and colourful accessories will set this woman apart from the rest.


2. DRAMATIC

Celebrity icon: Rita Ora
Blogger icon: Frances at School Run Style

Rita often takes her style to the extreme but she's point on when it comes to trends (sometimes not in a good way). Frances on the other hand knows exactly how to work High Street fashion. Ok, so you're not going to wear this on the school run but you've got to admit, she looks bloody good

We're talking full on fashionista here. This woman knows exactly when Grazia hits the shelves every week. She can list every trend of the current season (and has probably already tried them). She loves to make an entrance so expect to see a spangle trousers teamed with a chunky knit jumper on the school run (ok, may be not the morning school run). A Dramatic isn't afraid of making mistakes, she enjoys trying new things and chalks disasters up as experience. Her friends are probably envious of her bold choices although sometimes these aren't always practical. Buy now, discover it's dry clean only later!! That's a Dramatic for you!


So as some of us are still getting our heads around the 70s tan suede dresses, a Dramatic will have moved on to the next trend or colour. In this example she's sticking with the 70s theme but has opted for a totally new (and somewhat unexpected) colour by way of the Sienna Suede Tunic Dress. A stunning dress, slightly on the pricey side but it's the real deal. Not content in letting the dress do the talking, she's teamed it with the gorgeous Ashley shoes, a fun tribute to the Valentino Rockstud and Abbey bag. I mean look at that tassel, not for the shrinking violets. And finally, a pair of sunglasses (which she'll wear regardless of the weather). After years and years of wearing plain boring brown and gold sunnies, I'm rather fancying a pair of these myself.


3. ROMANTIC

Celebrity icon: Elizabeth Hurley

Blogger icon: Liz from What Lizzy Loves

Both Liz and Liz (ha ha) understand their style and although they both wear jeans, I'm sure they adore wearing beautiful dresses and shoes more

This woman, well let's call her a lady because she loves dressing up. She owns lots of dresses and pretty clothes. Prints are delicate and fabrics are touchy-feely. She adores all sorts of details; ruffles, bows, brooches and pretty jewellery. Jeans might not be a huge feature in her wardrobe and when worn will be teamed with a delicate top and jewellery. Matching underwear is a must, as is perfume....she always wears perfume.

I've chosen the Audrey dress for it's pretty pattern. Romantics will love the sheer fabric and lady-like design. The scalloped edge of the pouch will be loved even though it's merely a cosmetic bag and likewise, the little detail on the shoe. Finally a blazer but not just any old blazer, a pink one! All very lovely but did I mention a Romantic trait...she takes longer than anyone else to get ready. Do you?


4. CLASSIC

Celebrity icon: Duchess of Cambridge

Blogger icon: Nikki from Midlife Chic

I would consider both Catherine and Nikki modern 'Classics'. They both wear much more colour than the traditional Classic such as Hilary Clinton 

The Classic woman is timeless and elegant. That's because she isn't a slave to fashion trends preferring to spend her money on good quality basic pieces that will last for a long time. She probably doesn't buy as much as some of the other style personalities but will spend more on each item. The Classic woman always looks well groomed and is comfortable in more formal pieces; jackets, well cut skirts and trousers and dresses. Jeans are not her go-to outfit (but she may own a few pairs) and there will be few prints and patterns in her wardrobe (probably in her scarf collection). Her bags will be good quality in neutral colours such as black and navy...and often match her shoes!



So which of these pieces will still be going strong in 5 years time? ALL of them. Each one is a classic, timeless piece. She's a clever dresser that Classic isn't she. The Aurelia Ottoman dress is such an ageless design and one I could certainly see both the Duchess of Cambridge and Nikki in. And of course every well groomed woman will own a trench coat. Say hello to the Abingdon. Matching shoes and bag are a pre-requisite. Check out the Amanda bag, it's a stunner (and for all the Dramatics, it comes in yellow too!!!). And finally a classic shoe in navy of course. Although Kate and Nikki being more modern Classics may inject some colour in to this outfit.


5. NATURAL

Celebrity icon: Julia Roberts

Blogger icon: Michelle from My Fashionable 40s

Fabulous examples of a Natural style personality from Julia and Michelle (although I think Michelle has a touch of Dramatic too - she's great at finding trends before others but makes them work so well with her wardrobe)

It's all about the comfort for this woman. No digging or pinching waist bands. Jeans will be a major feature in her wardrobe with lots of easy wear tops, and practical shoes such as trainers and Converse. Heels won't be her first choice for the school run or day time errands, she'll save these for nights out. She opts for a simple uncluttered look and won't get on with frills and flounce. Jewellery won't be overly fussy, a simple chain or bangle and her watch might even be a mans, certainly a chunky or large face. Now I think there's a new breed of Naturals, ladies who have a love of fashion but interpret it to make it more wearable on an every day basis.

It's highly likely that a Natural will have a denim dress in her wardrobe. Good, practical denim. Ankle boots are a stylish option so the Keira Studs will work well. Leather cuffs suit her minimalist look and a good sized bag such as the Fearne Slouchy works well with her lifestyle (which she probably won't change every day). She'll feel totally comfortable all day which is important to her. Simple lines with no fuss.


6. CITY CHIC

Celebrity Icon: Emmanuelle Alt

Blogger (cough) Icon: Me (I hasten to add that I do not consider myself an icon, a mere example of a City Chic).

How unworthy do I feel stood next to the mighty Emmanuelle Alt. Totally at ease in our respective jackets, jeans and flat shoes!
The City Chic will no doubt have experimented with may different looks in the past (me) but now knows exactly what suits her. She tends to follow trends rather than high street fashion and favours a smart but comfortable, uncluttered look. Patterns and prints will be minimal in her wardrobe as this woman prefers plain shirts and tops, blazers, jumpers and well cut jeans or trousers. Although she does love a good Breton. She's a devil to shop with (let her go alone) as a lot of thought is put in to each purchase. She loves shoes and bags and spends most of her money on these (me - shoes). 


City Chic Style Personality
Ponte T-Shirt Tunic Dress
Hazelbury Blazer
Sunglasses
Fearne Slouchy Bag


I think the City Chic sits in between the Classic and Natural. She loves well cut stylish clothes but opts for comfort so I've chosen the Ponte T-Shirt Tunic dress which certainly fits the bill. This dress could be teamed with flip flops for a dressed down look but this woman will style it up with the Hazelbury Blazer (which I'm thinking may be an excellent replacement for my very worn navy one). And another style personality that is never ever without her sunglasses. Finally a less formal bag than the Classic but equally as stylish. By the way, she does wear shoes, I just couldn't fit them into the picture! Ballet flats, moccasins and when necessary, a classic stiletto in neutral colours.

Have you worked out where you sit yet? I'll post a questionnaire for those of you who are struggling next time. It should help you to identify your own style personality which is really an expression of your spirit and character. Women who unwittingly buy into 'every' trend going or copying every celeb or blogger will certainly hit wardrobe problems. There's absolutely nothing wrong with copying someone's style but make sure it's a style that a) you're comfortable in and b) it fits in with your current lifestyle.

Look, there's little point in a Natural buying a tight shift dress and stilettos to wear on a daily basis. And a Classic will feel all at sea in a fleece and jeans for a trip to the supermarket. There's no right or wrong way to dress - it's all about how it makes YOU feel. But sometimes you're 'forced' in to a certain style because of your lifestyle. For example a woman who has worn suits all of her working life and leaves to have a baby, may suddenly feel as if she's lost her way. Her previous sharp tailored wardrobe is unlikely to work as a new mother. Her lifestyle will dictate her new wardrobe which may not be in sync with her personality. This may require a little experimenting (and a few disasters - I should know, I experienced them all) but fundamentally understanding your own style means that you can adapt it to any situation. Even skiing!

Note:

1. Apologies if some of the items are now out of stock. I started writing this post on Monday and stuff sells!!

2. If you've made it this far, well done. I know this post is mammoth, for which I apologise.

3. For a relatively modest collection, I've managed to pick out all 6 different style personalities. Which means that Boden have something for everyone. He's a bit clever that Johnnie B isn't he.

4. This is not a sponsored post, I merely used Boden as a way of illustrating the style personalities.

5. The end.




41 comments on "Do You Know Your Style Personality? "
  1. How fab to be featured with some of my favourite bloggers. A very clever piece Donna, (not sure I quite match up to Kate but the thought has made me smile). I think you've pinned us all down quite well, sometimes it takes somebody looking in from the outside to notice these things and I've had that dress on my list since I saw the catalogue, just wish it had long sleeves! Thank you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nikki. It's obviously not an exact science but gives women a 'feel' of which category they might lean towards. Thanks for taking part xx

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much Donna for this brilliant post. I agree totally with you about my style (and my personality) being romantic. You are spot on about the underwear too! Always matching and yes, I always wear perfume! Lots of love xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are such a Romantic Liz and a great representation of how to wear this style personality with such chic. Thanks for taking part xx

      Delete
  3. Love this, Donna. What a fabulous post! I think you've nailed the styles of each of these women. I think I'm a natural or a romantic but I'm not entirely sure. Lynne xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably straggle both Lynne, one will be slightly more dominant than the other. But you have such a fantastic grasp of your style and colour anyway - I'm just putting a name to it!! xx

      Delete
  4. I think most of us need and wear a variety of these styles. Classic, for church and if we work in a corporate environment, natural for going to our kids' ballgames, romantic for a night out with our husband (especially Valentines), city chic for, um. going to the city, or maybe a more casual night out with our husbands or girlfriends, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlene, there's definitely a need for different clothes for different occasions but it's how we adapt these to the situations. For example a romantic night out, there is absolutely no way that I would wear a pretty dress, I'd feel like a man in drag. It's just not me. So I'd wear something dressy without being frilly or too patterned. Liz from What Lizzy Loves, does the Romantic personality so well and I'm sure she would be as miserable as hell in some of my plainer clothes. In fact I can bet my last dollar that if she had to wear a suit to work, she'd wear something really lovely and pretty underneath just so that she feels 'herself'. Does that make sense? xx

      Delete
  5. I think most of us need and wear a variety of these styles. Classic, for church and if we work in a corporate environment, natural for going to our kids' ballgames, romantic for a night out with our husband (especially Valentines), city chic for, um. going to the city, or maybe a more casual night out with our husbands or girlfriends, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Loved this Donna! I think I'm a classic/natural because Michelle is my secret style crush but I never manage to pull it off quite the same but I love a classic shift dress. I would really like to be as cool as Francis but I'm not, she always looked effortlessly stylish xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a perfect example of how sometimes our style crushes don't entirely work. But you can adapt Michelle's wardrobe so that it fits with your personality more. So for example if you're wearing trainers, pop a blazer on to smarten them up. Your Classic traits will approve of that lol xx

      Delete
  7. Great post! I think I fall into City Chic/Natural territory. I follow all these bloggers and using them to illustrate this point makes it easier to understand.
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found it useful. It was a light bulb moment using 'real' women xx

      Delete
  8. Oh my Donna.....you've absolutely nailed it with the style personalities! You have us all off to a T!! Spot on! I think think our individual styles are quite defined by our lifestyles. I know I recently mentioned to someone that I feel a lot of mine has to do with where I live and even the age of my daughter is a factor. I am fascinated by this stuff! Thank you and thank Sue Haigh too....what a lovely thing to say. I've really enjoyed reading this and being part of it xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle and yes I agree, your lifestyle dictates your clothes to a large extent. This is why some women struggle when their lives change. Men really only have 2 looks, smart and casual so it's easier for them. Thanks for taking part, it was lovely to write about you. I love your style but there's no way I could pull it off xx

      Delete
  9. I totally agree with 'Anonymous' above....I too follow all these bloggers and because all of you always look so amazing, feel compelled to keep buying more, but this post has made me realise that will only result in a more chaotic wardrobe!! I think I too fall into the City Chic/Natural categories for the same reasons as Michelle - where I live and how I spend my time. Thank you so much for writing such a fantastically useful post - I look forward to streamlining my wardrobe and spending more on things I will actually wear on a regular basis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carrie thank you so much for your lovely words. I'm really pleased that it's helped you identify your style personality. It really really does help when wardrobe planning. I'll be picking up on this again soon xx

      Delete
  10. Love, love, love this post. Thank you! I'm a city chic/natural. I own lots of breton tops, blazers, scarfs and jeans. But I also own the natural outfit too and love wearing it. I'm afraid I disagree with the poster above, I don't believe we wear all 6 different styles depending on occasion. I for one know I cam never wear frills, they are just not right on me, no matter how many times I try them on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathryn thank you and I agree. We all have to 'adapt' our wardrobe to lots of different situations but can still stay within our style personality which of course means that we're going to be totally confident and comfortable in our choices xx

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm an overall creative in regards to mixing vintage and high street, colours and patterns with natural in regards to jeans and practical shoes and romantic in regards to specific details thrown in

    https://matchamilady.wordpress.com/

    https://matchamilady.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Selina oooh a Creative, I always admire this style but could never pull it off. I'll pop over to your blog to have a look xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Donna for this really informative and detailed post. I seem to fit into Classic and City Chic with some Natural depending on what I'm doing that day. This will help to cut out those purchases that go unworn as they're not really me. I too read most of these blogs, so great to see them as examples. Best wishes, Elaine x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elaine, glad this has been useful. I sometimes go off plan and buy something because I see it on somebody else and then kick myself because I should know better. It really does help if you follow your style personality (instinct???) xx

      Delete
  15. Yes exactly. I have been really trying to use my budget carefully to buy only items which I will wear repeatedly. This allows me to buy fewer but better quality items. Having put more thought into it really has paid off. Your blogs on colour have helped me a lot and now I stick to a limited colour palette which has helped me to mix and match and get more use out of purchases. I am attempting to learn how to make better use of accessories now which I have really neglected to do in the past. I will continue to look to your blog for guidance and strive to improve this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosh I'm so pleased that you've found the blog posts useful. I'm with you all the way having made these changes a number of years ago. I've found that sticking to a palette of neutrals gives me so many options and then I can add a little bit of colour here and there (I'm loving red at the moment). Thank you so much for reading xx

      Delete
  16. Such a great post Donna, I think I struggled a bit when I was younger trying to work out what my style was and doing all the trends. I've realised now I fall into the natural/city chic categories but that hasn't been a conscious effort. Style seems to evolve as you get older and you subconsciously figure it out I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes style definitely evolves over time doesn't it Trea. I think I've tried all the different personalities (well except the Creative - that scares me) and feel very settled as a City Chic xx

      Delete
  17. Donna I've finally found a moment to read the post - it's fantastic, so well observed!! I think you've described everyone's style personalities perfectly, but do you know what... Before reading it I would *never* have described my style as creative - I've always said "preppy with a twist", though maybe that's the same thing?!

    I've always wanted to be MORE creative and sometimes look at my outfits and longingly think "Oh I wish I dressed a little more adventurously..." - isn't it weird to compare how we see ourselves vs. what everyone else thinks!!

    Thank you for featuring me, I'm very flattered, and in such wonderful company of course. What fabulous ladies they all are :)

    Catherine x
    http://notdressedaslamb.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Catherine, I think your use of colour has a creative streak. Most people would shy away from this. Also the fact that you aren't afraid of putting different combinations together (the dress over trousers for example). And preppy with a twist so fits this style personality, creative without being wacky. We can leave the wackiness to Vivienne Westwood - she's right at the end of the scale. It is funny how we see ourselves differently isn't it. It took me absolutely ages to work out my own personality and when I did, it was as if the penny had dropped. Thank you so much for taking part, it was such a fun post to write xx

      Delete
  18. Ooh I like this! I'm definitely a natural, to the point where I sometimes worry that I look as though I'm trying to do a Single White Female on Michelle :-D The real-life examples make it really clear, fab post!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I totally agree Becky. In fact you sprang to mind when I was writing the Natural 'bit' xx

      Delete
  19. Blimey.....suddenly it all makes sense! Thank you.
    I may actually be able to go forth and shop and come home with things that actually work together, well its a starting point. Thank you so much, I really enjoy your blog. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you could tell the husband this - he thinks I talk a load of twaddle ha ha. Glad I was of some help and thank you so much for your very kind comments xx

      Delete
  20. What a brilliant post! I was getting a little worried as I read through that I actually didn't have any style at all ... but there I was at the very end, with the City Chic section. Phew! Well done Donna - that must have been a serious head wreck to put together xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen, Yep City Chic with a twist of modern Classic I would say. And yes, it too, me all week to put it together (exhausting)!! xx

      Delete
  21. Love this Donna, super honoured to be a 'dramatic' if I was younger I would go for it a bit more but have to reign it back being a bit of an oldie now! Funnily enough my ultimate fashion hero at the moment is the blogger Susie Bubble, as dramatic as it gets!! I love the other styles of course I would love to be a sophisticated city chic girl but my love for trainers rules that one out. You are super clever and make it all so clear and thanks for including me XX PS the tutu wasnt worn for the schoolrun just incase anyone was wondering!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that you are many women's secret style crush (me being one of them) but omg I couldn't pull off what you wear which always looks amazing. Don't change. Carry on wearing your trainers with a tutu and glittery leggings with wellies. And thank you so much for taking part in this post. Couldn't think of a nicer Dramatic xx

      Delete
  22. Loved, loved, loved this post. I follow most of these ladies and they inspire me daily. It's a shame you don't have a category 'All over the place' as that would be me. Your observations are spot on. Thanks for sharing xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete