Style and Styling

Personality Trumps All

Personality Primer

Good morning, reader dear!

How are you? I’m just glad to be writing today! I got some sort of bug, or ate something that didn’t like me and was sick (in bold AND caps) all night Sunday, and spent most of Monday in bed sleeping, too. (Not like me, at all.) Monday evening, I wrestled myself out of bed and cleaned up to go speak at Women of Worth, a mentor program run by Mosaic United Methodist Church in Evans. It’s always a privilege and pleasure to get to speak about style and wardrobing! Even if I wasn’t feeling totally on my game, the ladies were engaged and engaging, and made me feel most welcome. Thank you!

We were talking about building a business wardrobe, and the conversation came back around to (as it always does): personality. When I work with a client, there are lots of pieces I take into account when making choices with and for them: yes, body shape; yes, color palette; yes, color contrast and value contrast. Yes, those are all important, but PERSONALITY trumps all!

There are many ways we express our personality in our outfits, many of which we are unaware. The color choices you make, the way you combine pieces, the shapes and structure of the items you choose to buy and wear, the accessories: what kind, how many, their style, the textures you prefer, and even how and where you shop. All these hold up a mirror to different parts of your personality. I can dress a man or woman, treating them like a mannequin, and take into account all the stuff in the paragraph above, but if I don’t factor in personality, the outfit will never be worn! That’s foolish and wasteful.

So I would ask you, who are you? Not: What do you do? Not your relationships. Just you. What you do, your relationships, your lifestyle and values will all play into what works best for you, but the primary driver should be you! Women, in particular, are so often defined by our relationships that we can get a little lost when those shift. Those shifts happen at various times throughout our lives. I’m sure every mother has been referred to as So-and-So’s Mom? #amirite?

It would be easy if we were only one personality, but no one is any one personality; we are all a combination! We select bits and pieces of each to express our unique style. Some people do this instinctively; we usually say they have great style! Others need some help figuring out who they are and how to express that. I LOVE that part of what I do. Helping someone uncover their style is like watching a flower bloom!

Imagine you were invited to an event; let’s say a White Dinner (Diner en Blanc). You know the dress code is white, but how you make that happen will be how you express your style personality. If your personality is more Relaxed, you might prefer white jeans and a tee. You’d rather wear tennis shoes, but in honor of the occasion, you’ll dress up in sandals. Because you’re Relaxed, those sandals will be low and extremely comfortable. You will pack your dinner in an insulated cooler. If someone asks, you did dress up. Your tee is a v-neck AND you put on earrings, pearl earrings!

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If your personality is predominantly Feminine, you might show up in a flowy white lace dress, heels or ballet flats, and dainty jewels, carrying a cardigan in case the evening turns chilly. You bring your dinner in a picnic basket.

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Now let’s say your personality is a combination of the two, Relaxed and Feminine… Lace is too itchy for the comfort driven part of you, so eyelet is your choice. An eyelet top over the white jeans, with strappy sandals or the ballet flats. You pack your meal in the most amazing wicker picnic basket backpack!

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That’s just a sample of how personality plays into style! Looks like it’s time to tackle the seven personality styles in a series of posts: Classic, Relaxed, Dramatic, Creative, Rebellious, Feminine, Elegant Chic. Any and all of those may be part of your personality, and need to be honored when you dress! Dressing your whole personality helps you to feel integrated and confident!

So how about you? Have you done any exploration to find out who you are now? Today? Do any of the looks above call your name? Have you ever been to a White Dinner? Do tell in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you…

Stylishly yours,

PS: If you’re curious, here are some other articles touching on personality: Choosing Accessories, Balancing Jewelry and Glasses, and Statement Earrings. Think this says something about my predilection for fewer clothes and more accessories?


  • Kate

    I’ve found I seem to fall fairly whole heartedly into the relaxed style with some creative elements (thrifted, reconstructed clothing, funky vintage jewelry). With the visceral reaction to the outdoor en blanc party, which was ‘nope not going!’ Wondering if there is a dash of rebel in there. I cannot wrap my head around what I would wear to something like that. I own one white piece, a shirt because it feels like I ‘should have one’ for work,(it runs elegant chic) which I rarely wear. White is so high maintenance and I’ve never felt comfortable in anything white no matter the style.

    • Liz K

      Oh, Kate! I. GET. It. I struggled with white for decades. Even after spending years wearing white in the Navy, I couldn’t bring myself to wear something so “high maintenance.” And then I moved to the South where it is hot and sticky more than 6 months of the year. Now I love white, as long as it’s cotton I can wash in hot water and bleach! (Especially a loose white cotton dress. Great air circulation.) If your style is more Relaxed and Creative, I can see why your Elegant Chic blouse doesn’t get much wear. I don’t believe anyone NEEDS a white shirt for work unless there’s an actual uniform that requires it. Would you feel lighter if you let it go?

    • Liz K

      All over?! Most frequently I use to create images for posts. You can import images into shoplook from anywhere that allows their images to be pulled. It’s about finding stores with great search systems. I’m particularly fond of Nordstrom’s search and filtering capabilities. Also key is that they frequently include images on a white background, so you don’t need to waste time removing the background. Hope that helps, Dawn!

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