When you get dressed each day, do you ever wonder what’s driving your clothing choices? Perhaps you dress to express your individuality, to create an impression with others, or to make yourself feel more professional, competent, etc?
Your sense of style, or style personality, is expressed through the clothing and accessories you wear and the way you’re groomed. But how is this style personality formed and influenced? Exploratory studies looking at the impact of personality and mood on clothing choices suggest that, while personality plays a part in clothing selection, mood is a much stronger predictor, especially for women; how you choose to dress on any given day can simply be a result of your mood.
These studies also imply that clothing can influence an individual’s perception of the traits they possess. So, by wearing appropriate clothes, you can create the belief that you have more of a certain trait, whatever that might be (e.g. responsibility, professionalism, honesty, etc).
Although exploratory, the research indicates some possible influences on style personality. So, how can you use this information to inform your clothing choices and ensure that you dress in a way that’s a true expression of you? Follow my tips to express your true style personality:
Dress for you
When you look at your clothes, ask yourself: what influenced my choices? Are there choices influenced by family members or friends? Do you have items that were bought because they were ‘in fashion’, and not because you were drawn to them? Clothing is a reflection of you and your personality – not anyone else’s. Only ever select items of clothing that you love, and fit with your individual taste, not someone else’s!
If you’re struggling to identify what your own style personality is, do some self discovery! Buy some magazines or surf the web looking at clothing styles that you like the look off – create a collage with them, and note next to each item a few words to describe why you like them. For example, you might notice you’ve written the words feminine, soft, floaty to describe some items. This gives you a clue that your style preference is about looking soft, feminine and romantic.
Wear what makes you feel good
We know from the research that mood can impact your clothing choices day to day. If you’re in a good mood, it’s likely you’ll select something reflective of your high spirits – but what about when you’re feeling below par? Use your clothes to lift your mood – wear something that you feel good in – a favourite piece of clothing or an entire outfit.
Dress how you want to feel
There are times when you want to feel in possession of certain traits to boost confidence or performance. Use what the research tells us about clothing and self perception to your advantage. You might want to feel professional, responsible and competent in preparation for a big meeting. Use your clothing to shape how you perceive yourself – think about the sorts of clothing that will boost the levels of the trait you’d like to have more of. What clothing might make you feel more professional, for example?
Don’t be a slave to fashion
How many times have you worn items because they are fashionable or because ‘so and so celebrity’ is wearing them? When you choose to wear fashion without consideration for whether it suits your own sense of style, you’re not honouring your own style personality – it’s likely that when you do this, you won’t feel 100% comfortable with what you’re wearing. Fashion is all well and good, but only when it fits with your own style.
It’s easy to feel the pressure to conform in today’s society – media can lead you to believe that you have to look a certain way, and this is certainly very true of the clothes that you wear. We are all unique individuals, so why do we all want to look the same? Don’t be afraid to dress in an ‘unconventional’ way if that’s what you like – your style is unique, just like you!
Even if you wear a uniform to work, or are expected to dress in a particular way, you can still express your own style. Although you will have to adhere to the guidelines of your work dress code, there are always ways to add your own style in subtle ways. For example, if you like a very feminine look, you may choose a frilly blouse to complement your business look, or if you’re wearing a uniform, you might wear a pretty piece of jewellery that adds a flourish of your own style.
Above all, don’t be afraid to express yourself!! When you dress in a way that embraces your personality, you will feel comfortable and confident in your own skin.