• Sara Marsden-Shreeve

What's Your Style Personality?


You Are What You Wear

My 4 Steps To Identifying Your Style/Wardrobe Personality


Crafting your style is a lifelong process that changes and goes through various stages as you meander through the roller-coaster that personal growth brings.


The teenager fitting in or rebelling with the trends, the young adult entering work, the twenty or thirty something diving into motherhood, careers, health changes, weight on, weight off and so on, can all affect our wardrobes and our identities.


We can become chameleons with our hair colour and clothes in the quest to try and inject some change or feel a new lease of life or on the flip side or we can become a little stagnant and find ourselves lost in translation and have the same hair or wear the same things over and over again. “If it works, don’t fix it”, I hear you say, to which I agree with to a point, but sometimes it feels good to just try something a little outside of your comfort zone. You never know, it might set you off with a new lease of life.


Wear Your Happy


Many of the feelings above are commonplace for us girls, but it’s never too late to dial back into what really floats your boat today!


I cannot stress enough how important it is when you’re looking at your overall image and wardrobe choices, to be YOU in what you wear. Your outside should be a clear indicator or reflection of the inside, so that you can communicate your personality easily to others before you even say a word.


Clothes are important in a world which doesn’t promote public nudity in the day to day and obviously they provide us with protection from the elements,. So whilst we have to wear them, shouldn’t we use them to help us in other ways if we want? Like showing our character?


What You Wear Speaks Volumes

You can look arty, quirky, professional, stylish, confident, sexy, comfortable, happy in your own skin and so much more, however, they can also create negative connotations too in this world of first impressions.


So let's use them as a positive aide to your personality and apply them to social and work arenas as well as life events that are important to you.

Let’s look at how we can take steps to identify our own style and personality.

Step 1 – What do you like?


Have you ever asked yourself what your style is? At this primary stage of styling and being ‘YOU’, it has nothing to do with size, shape, looks or colouring but all to do with what you are attracted to and feel great wearing.


We can indeed develop new tastes and be shown new things that work, but for now…think about what you like and write them down.


Maybe you’re a bohemian beaut at heart and love an ethnic print, interesting embellishment and can’t resist a bead or scarf? Where you shop and your life experiences may give you clues to your style tastes too and though you may not be a fully fledged tie dye lover or festival goer, does not mean you cant love the essence and accents of a certain look you like.


What Do You Love To Wear and Feel Comfort In?

Perhaps, you adore the neat and simply styled look of the ‘French’ in which a Breton stripe and a trench coat is queen? Maybe a leather biker jacket worn with a dress gives you confidence?


Obviously, these are just a few examples, and you can also look to the masses of celebrities or the high street for clues of your preferred looks?

Which celebs give you “outfit envy” or have you any style icons that inspire you? Who is your go to brand and why?


All these factors will usually have an underlying indicator that presses your clothing love buttons and matches your style/wardrobe personality in some way. These all give you basics insight into you.


The Clues Are In Your Wardrobe

We often take our clothes and beloved trinkets that we have sitting in our wardrobes and drawers for granted and don’t gift them the love and mindful attention they deserve. They certainly have super-powers that can help uplift our mood and bring back wafts of happy memories too as explained in my clothing therapy blog post.



Have a look in your wardrobe

This little info-graph can help you tease out those pieces and hopefully give you an ‘aha’ moment regarding what works and why you like them?

Step 2 – Does your wardrobe reflect your style loves?


More often than not, clients who are stuck in a rut find that their wardrobes do not reflect their growing tastes. They want more colour, more pattern and more shape but are too scared to try because they’re unsure where to start, how to wear stuff and more importantly, don’t want to look daft in the process.


On the flip-side, some women may be really experimental and have a wardrobe full of gorgeous garments but for the most part, items remain unworn because they have no closet chums to pair with or because they're loved but feel they can’t wear them…


Maybe you are still searching for that elusive wardrobe identity that fills you with happy?

If you look in your wardrobe and think, that isn’t me then there’s a mismatch somewhere that needs addressing. Your work attire doesn’t have to be neutral, boring, and formal either because there are always ways to add your personality and still look professional, trust me!


Professional and Colourful

Being a busy mum doesn’t mean you have to just wear jeans and t-shirts, you can add some practical sass back by just switching up or adding a few things to your outfit when you do get a night off or want lunch with friends.


So, let’s have a looksy at the 5 wardrobe or style personalities (same thing) that I use with clients and see if you can relate to any of them, just as a starting point, and maybe think about applying some of my suggested fixes/tweaks.


At this juncture, it’s important to note that you may well feel you have one dominant personality that you are drawn to visually or find yourself nodding to as you read the descriptions, but please note that these are just general factors and findings and are not meant to offend, pigeon-hole or indeed stereotype.


No Style is Superior

None of these style personalities are deemed the ‘ideal’ one to have, as all are beautifully indifferent and have their own pros and cons to which tweaks can easily be applied to help you grow further.

I, myself am primarily a dramatic but relate to the classic’s tendencies of a good fit and sense of occasion for the most part.


So, now it’s your turn chuck….


Step 3 – Identify Your Primary Wardrobe Personality


  • CLASSIC

Less is More

If you are a classic wardrobe personality then you’re all about the fitted shape, being timeless and purse savvy. Not showy by any stretch and you like a subdued colour palette, neat or traditional print and tend to like looking polished and put together.


An organised dresser for all occasions, you know what to wear and what is expected, though dressing down is probably a bit of a challenge. If you do own a pair of jeans, they’re probably a quality pair that still warrant dressing up, maybe with a blazer or blouse?


Smart Casual

Cost per wear and quality is your best friend and so you tend to spend well on certain items that will last you a lifetime.


You love fine, simple jewellery and accessories are neutral in colour and very functional. No fuss or frills here just refined and understated.


  • Classic Celebrities include Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, Amal Clooney, Nigella Lawson, and Jackie Kennedy, to name but a few.

  • Classic Brand Examples: Whistles, Jaeger, Jigsaw, LK Bennett, Ralph Lauren, and Hobbs.

  • Pros: You know what works and probably own a small capsule wardrobe. You are usually a purchaser of the investment piece such as a coat, boot, or handbag.

  • Cons: Can feel a little dated with a tendency to buy safe and the same.

  • Tweakage: Add pops of a brighter colour, via accessories, to give your outfits an updated vibe, that way you won’t feel overwhelmed or stuck. Also look for more modern versions of your favourite pieces when they bite the dust or get a bit tired.

Here's my CLASSIC Pinterest Board to give you a visual idea


  • DRAMATIC


The Brave and The Bold

If you love to be the centre of attention and are not afraid of a vivid rainbow of colour, an abstract shape, or an animal print, then chances are you’ve a sense of drama and individuality in your veins.


A fashion follower for the most part, though if you aren’t drawn to the ‘it’ item of the season, you are an avid admirer of the new and the fresh and aren’t afraid to try new trends or alternative styles that hit the high street.


Dressing with Drama

Your wardrobe may well be full of the weird and the wonderful, the worn and the not so, but you will have a mix of unusual and edgy shapes and styles, bold contrasting colour palettes, accessories, chunky jewellery, graphic prints and modern fabrics. You are not afraid to experiment with statement pieces and enjoy mixing things up.


An outfit marvel to your friends you are likely to be the ‘stand out from the crowd’ kind of woman who oozes visual confidence, even if not so on the inside.


  • Celebrities include Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Iris Apfel and Kelly Osbourne.

  • Dramatic brand examples: Karen Millen, Zara, Irregular Choice, Top Shop and Asos.

  • Pros: Strong sense of personal style; a challenger of dress codes; adores the glamour of dress up.

  • Cons: Fashionista quest may result in an unflattering fit; Eclectic and disjointed wardrobe; Can be perceived as intimidating.

  • Tweakage: Give more love and attention to your shape and assets so that you harmonise rather than overwhelm them. Look for simple, neutral colours for staple pieces that can tie together more of your statement wardrobe.

Here's my DRAMATIC Pinterest Board to help visualise


  • GAMIINE


Fresh and Bright

Your take on outfits is usually with a youthful energy and a ‘je ne sais quoi’. The term ‘gamine’ translates as elfin in French and warrants a neat, petite and sport luxe look with a twist of quirky that works on all sizes, not just the slender of frame to which it suggests.


A typical wardrobe of this style personality will be full of stripes, spots, and modern florals with maybe a cheeky sprinkling of fun-loving rainbows or a cutesy fox or artsy print, for example. Something a little different but not head to toe drama is your thang.


No stranger to a bright colour or tasteful pastel separate, you will seek the more fitted preppy and vintage look rather than anything too fussy.


Retro and Neat

You may well be a fan of the little jacket (biker or denim), adore a turn up or cropped trouser and no doubt feel quite at home in a simple dress with a pair of Converse or the like.


A lover of the simple silhouette, the shorter length, the interesting collar, and the thoughtful layering, to which a complimentary accessory is always paramount.


  • Gamine Celebrities: Fearne Cotton, Kirsty Allsop, Taylor Swift, Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn

  • Brands: Joules, Boden, French Connection, Mango and Benetton.

  • Pros: Great at co-ordinated looks, a layering pro and lover of the fun accessory.

  • Cons: Can see neutral colours as a bit boring, so wardrobes often miss important linking pieces that tie outfits together.

  • Tweakage: Experiment with feminine shapes and fluid pieces to add interest to linear lines and structured looks. Keep prints and accessories to scale so that your proportions are not distorted.

Here's my GAMINE Pinterest board to give you some hints


  • EXPRESSIVE


Feminine and Frills

If you shop by touch and have been known to get amongst the clothes rails to stroke the soft textures or get excited by a sequin, then you’re sending out the expressive and creative vibes.


An expressive’s wardrobe will be a romantic array of florals to lace and include shapes and fabrics that are swishy and floaty. Ruffles, tassels, and beads are queen and you love a boho print or creative lovely with any embellishment, interesting detail, pleat or fold.


Bohemian and Ethereal Essence

You may be drawn to an ethnic or ethereal piece, bought from your travels or that resemble a historic era you are interested in.


Clothes, to you connect, they speak volumes of happy memories and fond feelings and you may well have a sizeable collection and love of scarves, shoes, jewellery, or handbags.

  • Celebrities: Holly Willoughby, Mariah Carey, Eva Mendes, Jayne Seymour, and Dame Judy Dench.

  • Brands: Whitestuff, Monsoon, Joe Browns, Lipsy, East and Anthropologie.

  • Pros: Oozes femininity and an exceptional eye for detail. Usually a creative woman in some arena.

  • Cons: You’re a magpie and love the allure of sparkle and texture which means you may buy because you love the elements but not necessarily feel right wearing them.

  • Tweakage: Too much flounce and frippery can become a little twee or dated, so experiment with other patterns and mix up the ornate with plain and more modern separates to keep things fresh.

Here's my EXPRESSIVE Pinterest board for help.


  • NATURAL


Comfy and Casual

A preference for the functional, the washable and the workable, the natural wardrobe personality likes things simple and laid back. Not interested in fashion for the most part and not a big splasher of the cash on the high street, rather a buy it when I need it kinda gal.


The thought of having to dress up for a wedding or big occasion normally fills you with dread and tends to opt for the simple and casual where possible. Dresses and skirts maybe a rarity and there isn’t usually a high heel in sight because you love a trainer and comfy sandal.


Simple and Practical

Natural fibres are preferred and denim and sweats rule ok because comfort is your main priority and rightly so!


Colours and patterns are subtle and minimal, when required, and any jewellery owned is usually simple and fit for purpose. You may well own one bag, one coat and one pair of ‘going out’ shoes and don’t see the need to own lots of clothes and dress up to the nines.


You are quietly confident in your understated chic and room to move outfits.


  • Celebrities: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sandra Bullock.

  • Brands: All Saints, Gap, Calvin Klein, Fat Face, Great Plains, Super Dry

  • Pros: A ‘do-er’ and very practical which means you’re usually happier outdoors. Prefers a natural fibre where possible.

  • Cons: You can feel your wardrobe is a little uninspiring but wouldn’t know where to start to improve it. May own a wardrobe full of jeans, hoodies, and plain tops.

  • Tweakage: Don’t be afraid to try something a little different, from a bright nail polish to a sprinkle of pattern. It won’t make you stand out from the crowd and it doesn’t need to be loud to lift your style spirit. Start small and be braver in the dress department.

Lastly, here's my NATURAL Pinterest board to give you a visual idea of this style personality.


Step 4 – Go Forth and Experiment


Ok, so you may find that your wardrobe styles flit between a few of the style personalities, so say classic for work and natural for the weekend, for example, and that’s totally fine, we’re not for pigeonholing here. It’s more about seeing where your style identity feels more comfortable at.


Maybe you would like to dress things up or dress things down or make a few tweaks.?



Your primary style is usually what guides you and the secondary one is usually the missing link or secret to making it more unique to you.


If you’ve managed to put your finger on at least one of the above that sings to your clothing soul the most, then go for it and start wearing those favourite pieces that fit that happy and if you’ve realised that you don’t own many items that do that, then get yourself on Pinterest and start searching for outfit inspirations.



You may have noticed that I have left you little links to the relevant wardrobe personality boards to give you some direction and ideas to move forward with your dominant style, So go take a look and see if you can nick some of the looks and make them your own.


Enjoy clothes again!


Sara


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