The psychology of personal style
By Nichola English
When I was young I used to watch my mum getting dressed in these amazing outfits that shimmered, sparkled and looked every inch of stylish. It was like having my own little piece of Hollywood right in the middle of my home. I think my mum educated me on the mechanics of styling and fashion. I learnt early on that you could really express yourself not only through positive body language but also through the art of your wardrobe.
I’m lucky to have worked in retail all over the county in varies roles, helping countless customers choose the right outfits which has helped me over time to understand that psychology plays a big part in your relationship with your wardrobe. In fact, it's kind of one of the reasons why I became a life coach and a personal stylist. I find that personal style has two aspects which consist of the internal influences and the external ones. Your personality and attitude towards life make up the internal part, and how you present yourself to the world makes up the external part.
Dr Baumgartner's book 'you are what you wear: what clothes reveal about you and ways to get out of a fashion rut' says
'shopping and spending behaviours often come from internal motivations such as emotions, experiences and culture'
Clothing for me and I’m sure some of you too, is a way to express your core self through visual communication. Just as a kaleidoscope, (do you remember those, I used to love mine) you turn the prism and new colours, patterns and styles emerge. We all have so many different dimensions of our personality, even you. Your wardrobes are just like those little-coloured pieces providing you with amazing ways to express who you are.
When you dress in a certain way, it helps shift your internal self, so what does your wardrobe say to you now when you open its doors? Do you feel excited, is it like a rainbow with lots of colours that match your personality or is it full of beige, browns and blacks that makes you feel why do I bother, or do you see the same old style that’s not you anymore with no sense of style.
Ask yourself, what do you want your wardrobe to express or communicate about you? Do you need to take a closer look at your current style and wardrobe? Why not spend some time trying on your outfits, it’s a great way to see how they make you feel from being self-assured, confident, empowered or to feeling uncomfortable, unconfident and stuck in a style rut.
Once you’ve established what’s working and not then make some notes on how you can make those outfit changes to be more in line with who you are now. It could be as simple as an alteration, changing buttons on a jacket or using accessories that helps you rock your look for that day.
What messages are your outfits communicating to the outside world?
You know the psychology of style is becoming part of reality now, even the fashion industry is more aware than ever that clothes are not just about making us look good they are also about making us feel good as well.