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Now that I’ve covered all six personality types from the Personality Plus system described in Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning, I’m going to explain how to put it into practice. It is not a complete style system the way others I’ve discussed are. It is meant to cover only your natural clothing preferences (your personality) with the rest determined by whatever other system you use. The book has some standard body-type sort of advice, but we have numerous other systems to pull from.
So what is this system supposed to help you figure out? What it is really about is listening to your own instincts and recognizing your preferences. What do you reach for, and what stays in your closet, unworn? Sometimes even things that are perfect for our Image ID just aren’t things we want to wear. Identifying your Personality Plus category can help you avoid these mistakes, and it can also help you with making your Image ID (or whatever other type you’re using) feel like your own, especially if your Image ID seems to be at odd with your tastes/personality/lifestyle.
My suggestion would be to look at your closet, and look at the things you wear all the time, and the things that you never touch, the ones that may even have the tags still on them. What are the things you reach for again and again? The point of this system isn’t to give you a makeover. It’s to work with your natural instincts, and to save you money by preventing you from buying things you aren’t actually going to wear. Identifying your own personality can also help you further develop your personal style by making your wardrobe even more cohesive.
When applying the advice from the text, I think the easiest place to start is color and pattern. Look at pattern in conjunction with whatever other system you’re using–if you’re Dainty and a 6′ Kibbe Flamboyant Natural, it may take some work to figure out how to convey daintiness in a way that works with your physicality.
As far as fabric goes, in order to find the fabrics listed in the book, I generally had to go very high end, as you may have noticed. So I would try and understand what these fabrics look like and the effect they give, and try and find their contemporary, inexpensive counterparts. You also always have to consider what works with your body. If you are Vivacious, maybe the crisp fabric doesn’t work for your lines–perhaps a lot of tight-fitting, modern fabrics can convey the same feeling for you. Just don’t go for fabrics that would convey the opposite message–i.e., flowy fabrics for Vivacious won’t work.
Accessories are going to be an easier place for all of to start in terms of adding in our personality. Just make sure everything is scaled correctly for you. An SG Sturdy is going to end up with different items than an D Sturdy.
-In my first post in this system, I introduced them in pairs. You will never find both personalities in a pair in one person; they cancel each other out. For instance, you cannot at once not want any attention (Demure) and then also want to always make an entrance (Dramatic).
-The instinct seems to be to want to create combinations, i.e., a Sturdy Dramatic. It is far more likely that one Personality is going to dominate in you. If you think you have two or three, I would first look at whether your style needs from another system aren’t dictating that. For instance, if you are a Kibbe Soft Dramatic, and you think you’re a Dignified Dramatic, in that case, I would say that the chances are very high that what you are identifying as the Dramatic aspect of your personality is really the Dramatic aspect of your lines.
-Don’t just look for the closest match to what you are in another system. Your personality may align with your lines–mine do! But don’t cheat yourself out of a chance to have another helpful tool by not being honest with yourself about where your actual clothing preferences lie.
-Your clothing personality may change over the course of your life. Demure and Vivacious especially are types that women might “mature” out of. Demure often ends up in Dignified as they mature and gain self-confidence, and Vivacious can really end up anywhere except, I’m guessing, Demure, since that is also a type associated with younger women (although it doesn’t have to be!). Dignified is going to be rare among the young.
If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments! And I’d also like to announce that my next workbook is going to be a clothing personality workbook, so if there are holes you feel like this system doesn’t fill, that’s something I can take into account as I work on developing my own system of sorts.
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shawnaJanuary 28, 2018 at 10:19 pm
I think it can be difficult to reconcile personality and physical appearance sometimes but perhaps an interesting challenge to do it. This is when we get the interesting individuality that is so much more than any set number of style types or archetypes. Some people have better instincts than others or perhaps their personality, taste and body features just line up more readily.Reply
stylesyntaxJanuary 29, 2018 at 1:30 am
JBJanuary 29, 2018 at 1:09 am
This is an interesting system. I think my personal likes and dislikes have played a large part in all the systems I’ve looked at, I have yet to figure a way around that. Maybe this will help. One observation, I feel a strong connection to dramatic but I am modest, in the conventional sense, and I don’t like attention but the of thing is, I do enjoy wearing the dramatic style of clothing. I do see where I use all the types for different occasions but if I could use dramatic in a version suitable for different occasions, that would be more consistent and I think I would like it. Thank you for posting these.Reply
stylesyntaxJanuary 29, 2018 at 1:29 am
Maybe you are referring to different kinds of attention? I don’t particularly want attention for wearing revealing clothing, but I don’t mind attention for wearing interesting clothes. Does that seem to be what you experience? That’s different from Demure, who would rather not be noticed for any reason and wants to blend in as much as possible.
CarissaJanuary 29, 2018 at 10:09 pm
Thanks for this!! It definitely does help. I think the “Demure” pull I was feeling is my Kibbe Soft Natural lines (I’m guessing here, because I’m mostly D answers). I like your spin on crisp, makes me feel a lot more comfortable with the notion 🙂 I think too, my brain mixes up “flowy” and “drapey” in regards to fabrication. I like the feel of both, but I would say “flowy” is more flattering overall. So I’d probably say I’m more Vivacious than Demure. Demure just feels more comfortable and safe.Reply
stylesyntaxJanuary 31, 2018 at 11:02 am
If Demure feels comfortable and safe–you’re probably Demure. As a Vivacious person, Demure wouldn’t feel “comfortable and safe”–it would feel depressing. The Demure recommendations don’t sound like SN to me. SN is body conscious but not restrictive, and it is easy to express a Vivacious personality within it. It is not drapey, even though it is often portrayed that way. I think “flowy” would be a “no” for a Vivacious person, though. I would look at the suggestions for branching out within Demure 🙂