When I talk about personal brand image, one reaction I sometimes have is that audiences think I’m suggesting that we all need to look the same. Not so! You are you and different from other people in the room, with your own values, background, skills and look. Celebrate that and bring out your individual image through your style personality.
What is style personality?Your personal style expression will depend on your lifestyle, the work you do and often what is trending. Not only fashion but community and timelines. For instance, 50s fashion is certainly different to what we are wearing in 2022 and athleisure wear is still popular due to a more relaxed lifestyle in general.
I first came across the concept of style personality when I undertook my image consultant training. One of the pioneers of the industry and a founding member of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), Alyce Parsons, wrote about it in her book, Style Source, The Power of The Seven Universal Styles for Women and Men.
There are a number of variations on the theme now, however, the original principle remains the same. There are seven universal styles for women and one extra for men. Often, we are a combination of two, if not three. Let’s explore them here:
Classic. The classic woman or man likes to appear quite tailored and businesslike. Their clothes will be mostly structured, functional and timeless. They will have a well-groomed and coordinated appearance.
Natural. This style personality appears, relaxed, informal and unpretentious. They prefer a casual, comfortable wardrobe of basic styles, practical pieces and sportswear.
Elegant. This is a very sophisticated and influential look. The person comes across as very self-assured with very tailored and often high-quality garments with little colour contrast.
Feminine (or Romantic for men). The look here is soft, non-classic and calming. They often like florals, soft, fluid garments and lighter colours. This style is old world charm.
Creative. This person likes an artistic, unconventional and unique expression. They will often mix colours, layers and styles of all kinds to create an individual look.
Dramatic. This style is striking and commanding. They like to stand out from the crowd with high fashion or non-fashion outfits with distinctive shapes and line and colours.
Sexy/alluring. Likes a daring and glamorous look. Often tight fitting, body contouring and low-cut styles. They gather attention quickly and can come across as exciting.
Rebellious (for men). A non-conforming, provocative look. Can be an anti-establishment look with leather, denim, ink and black.
When I consult with my clients’ we will do a fun quiz to determine your style expression and take a look at your favourite clothing items. It’s very accurate and often an eye-opener when clients realise just how much variety they can have within their wardrobe to reflect their true personality and still fit into the work and lifestyle they have.
If you would like to know more about your style personality and brand image visit Brand Style and Image Polish.
Learn more about your "look" and personal brand in my free video series Your Nook, Look, Hook, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.