What is your fashion personality? What does that have to do with choice of clothing?
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When people ask me how I became an image consultant, I tell them I owe it to my mother.
My mother was a beautiful woman who never felt beautiful. She was critical of herself and of me, her oldest daughter.
My passion for helping clients look good and feel good about themselves comes from my own journey to look and feel good.
My mother thought her nose was too big and she hated her freckled skin.
She envied all of her friends who could lay in the sun till their skin was a leathery brown. I have my father’s small nose and I only have a sprinkling of freckles, so my mother focused on what I wore and my weight. I will talk about my weight in another blog.
When I was 13, my mother encouraged me to wear lipstick and heels and dress more “sophisticated.”
She told me she wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be an “old maid.” My friends were envious and told me how lucky I was. I did not feel fortunate, because even at 13, heels, lipstick and dressing more ”sophisticated,” did not represent my” true self. ”
Intuitively I knew that if I presented a false self, I would not attract a compatible boyfriend or future husband.
My mother did not understand that she and I had different fashion personalities and the clothing that was right for her was not right for me.
She was interested in looking ” sophisticated and elegant,” and I was interested in feeling comfortable, “being my self,” and having low maintenance clothing and hair.
I understand now that we had different “fashion personalities,” but at the time I felt angry and hurt that she did not try to understand me.
As a result of her constant criticism, I felt self conscious about my appearance and stayed angry at my mother for a long time. When I became an image consultant and learned my best colors and styles and found out about fashion personality, much of the early damage to my self esteem disappeared.
Did you feel ever feel self conscious or critical about your appearance because of things said to you when you were growing up?
My hope is that after learning about fashion personality you can begin to be less critical of your self, and not so influenced by the fashion industry.
If you have a daughter who dresses in a way you do not approve of, my hope is that after learning about “fashion personality,” you will try to understand that not only is there a generational difference, but her fashion personality may be different from yours.
It will be easier for her to discover her own fashion personality and feel good about her appearance if you can accept her, instead of trying to change her.
One of the first things I do when I work with a client is give the “fashion personality test.” This test is extremely accurate for women but not as accurate for (straight) men. It can be accurate for gay men.
Fashion personality has nothing to do with your height or weight or how long or short your hair is or what colors you wear.
I believe it is “in-born,” like temperament. You may be a combination of two types but one is usually predominant. Here are brief descriptions of the four fashion personality types and photo examples.
Sporty Natural Fashion Personality: You want comfort and ease. You probably don’t like to iron and prefer a very easy to care for hair style. You may not like to get dressed up. Your friends think you wear the same outfit frequently because you end up wearing the same few comfortable things or have the same style in different colors that you wear over and over. Whoppi Goldberg, Ellen De Generes, and Katherine Hepburn all have this fashion personality
Time-less Classic Fashion Personality: You probably like classic styles. You may prefer tailored clothes. Think Ann Taylor and Ann Klein clothing. You don’t waste your money on fads and may be slow to adopt trends . Diane Sawyer and many anchor women have this fashion personality
Romantic Fashion Personality: You probably like some feminine touches in your clothes like soft flowing fabric, maybe a few ruffles, scarves, perfume, maybe long hair or at least some waves or curls,as well as delicate jewelry. Examples of famous people, Jane Seymour, Princess Diana, Grace Kelly,
High Fashion- Dramatic or Creative Fashion Personality: You like to make a statement with your clothing and jewelry. You may like trying different hair styles and colors. You like trying the latest styles and fads. You don’t mind being the center of attention. Cher, Lady Gaga, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, and Rhyianna are examples of this personality.
In order to present your most authentic self to the world, I believe it is important to understand and respect your fashion personality. Even if an outfit was a flattering color and fit me, I would still feel uncomfortable if it had ruffles. That’s because ruffles feel too “girly,” romantic on me. I have a “sporty-natural, dramatic.” fashion personality. I am mostly sporty- natural with a little dramatic. I like wearing pieces that breathe, do not need ironing and are super comfortable. I do the dramatic part with big earrings and or a funky lapel pin.
At a recent Wardrobe Wizard presentation one of the participants , a successful woman entrepreneur, wanted to know how she could look more appropriate when she has to go to “dress up affairs.”
I determined she had a “sporty-natural fashion personality.” She loves wearing pants and boots and hates getting dressed up, but she must attend certain important events where she has to look less casual.
I suggested she could do this by wearing a 3 piece pant outfit in a silk or knit fabric all in one color. (When you wear all one color you will always look more elegant and dressed up.) The pants should be soft and flowing with a deep v neck shell and an open jacket.
She could wear simple earrings and comfortable dressy pumps the same color as her hair. If she wanted to look more feminine she could wear a pashmina over her shoulders instead of the jacket. The outfit should be as comfortable for her as pajamas.
It’s important for her to respect her fashion personality because if she were to wear more tailored, high fashion or frilly clothing she would not feel comfortable and would not be at her best.
Joanna Nicholson, “Color 1,’ founder and my teacher, would probably say fashion personality categories are too confining and we can change our looks based on how we are feeling.
I could look a little more romantic, if I put a sheer scarf around my neck, but I would feel very uncomfortable dressed totally in a romantic style.
Think of your fashion personality as a home base where you feel most relaxed and comfortable.
You can leave home for awhile wearing a different style, but eventually you need to return home to your “fashion personality.” to relax and recharge your batteries.
Do you know what your fashion personality is? How has this affected your choice of clothing and accessories? I’d love to hear from you.
Nancy Goldblatt, “The Wardrobe Wizard of Baltimore,” is a Color One Associate. She specializes in working with mid-life women whose size or shape has changed. She has worked over twenty years as a Personal Image Consultant. She is now working with clients all over the world using the telephone and internet. She can be reached at Nancy@wardrdrobewiz.com, website is : www.WardrobeWiz.com
Tags: accepting yourself, Add new tag, being authentic, being comfortable, body image, choosing flattering colors, fashion personality, fashion style, feeling confident, Learning to Like Your Looks, looking good, mother daughter conflicts, self esteem, Trends, understanding yourself, Wardrobe, WardrobeWiz, who are you
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