Latest Stories


How to develop your clothing personality


VICTORIA Beckham in an orange shift dress. WENN.COM / AU.IBTIMES.COM

Conformity is a comfortable realm for most. We naturally long for a sense of fellowship, unity and similarity.

This is particularly evident in our personal style. Some are wary to dress different for fear of ridicule. In school, we were trained to look, act and think alike. Apart from the school uniform, black shoes, white ankle socks and black hair ties (no more, no less) were the rules. Most of us are probably guilty of having once stared and whispered about the girl who stood out with the odd hairdo and weird shoes.

I recall how my friends and I would religiously plan our weekend wear, so that we showed up for a party in almost identical jeans, sneakers and collared shirts. I remember cringing and feeling completely uncomfortable if I showed up in a long casual dress while the rest were in short dresses.

We would prefer uniformity to individuality. So it was only in the early adult years that we explored and experimented with countless fashion choices.

Jennifer Aniston in a cool jeans getup. WENN.COM / AU.IBTIMES.COM

It takes time and practice to develop one’s style confidence and “clothing personality.” If you’ve made fashion boo-boos along the way, don’t panic! It’s not the end of the world. “What-was-I-thinking?” moments are part self-discovery.

Developing your clothing personality is  important for developing self-confidence and a sense of comfort and satisfaction with yourself. It helps in crafting an image of yourself. The way you dress and project yourself is a way of communicating your personality, values and lifestyle to the world around you.

Get to know yourself

So how exactly do you discover your clothing personality? Tips to get you started:

1) Get to know yourself—An important aspect of dressing and style is self-awareness. The way you dress should reflect your tastes, interests, desires, aspirations and history. I’m  fond of pieces with a hint of nostalgia and romance, such as vintage blouses and delicate jewelry. Understanding yourself is crucial to making style choices consistent with your lifestyle. You may just be misread because of the clothes you wear.

COCO Chanel in classic pearls and shift dress STYLEAMOR.COM

2) Look for some inspiration—Find a celebrity whose personality and lifestyle you can identify with. Observe the clothing choices and combinations she makes and try to incorporate them in your wardrobe. I was challenged during my first pregnancy, so I turned to Heidi Klum for some pregnant style inspiration! From the red carpet to daily life, I admired how she managed to highlight her baby bump while still looking young and stylish.

3) Give away items that are “not you”—Take an honest look at your closet. If you still haven’t worn that beautifully made avant-garde jacket, you probably never will. No matter how great a piece is, it may simply not suit your personality. You may never feel comfortable wearing it. Pass it on to someone who will enjoy it more.

4) Know your body—Dress in silhouettes and styles that flatter your figure. This way, you can make clothing choices that will enhance and complement your shape. The key is to highlight what you like most about yourself. This will help you know which part to focus on when shopping and putting together an outfit. If you have long slender legs, show them off with short skirts to draw attention away from a not-so-fit tummy area.

5) Shop solo—As much as shopping can be a wonderful girl bonding experience, sometimes it helps to fly solo. This will let you make independent choices toward the goal of dressing in a manner that reflects the image you want for yourself, not by the standards and expectations of others.

STYLIST Rachel Zoe in ’70s inspired dress. BLOG.NEWSOK.COM / IHEARTTHAT.COM / POSH24.COM

6) Find your signature piece or look—One should consider it a compliment when people see a piece and exclaim, “It’s so you!” This just proves that you have a signature style people remember you by. US Vogue editor Anna Wintour is known for her iconic bob and oversized sunglasses. Find something that works with your personality whether it be a strand of pearls, a stack of gold bangles, or a white button-down blouse.

7) Play dress up—When I was a teenager, one of my favorite activities on my bored nights at home was “playing dress up.” If you have time on your hands, spend a day by your closet creating various outfit options, down to accessories and shoes. Challenge yourself by putting together outfits you normally would not wear. Mix and match to see which combinations you feel most comfortable in. You may just surprise yourself and discover looks you never thought you could pull off!

No strict rules

Here are general style archetypes or clothing personality types. Many of us are a mix of various personalities. Remember that there are no strict rules in dressing up; what is most important is that you feel confident and comfortable, no matter the circumstance.

a. Classic—Dominated by wardrobe basics such as shift dresses, striped tops, ballet flats. Clean and straight lines, neutral colors such as black, gray and white. Style icons: Coco Chanel, Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie

b. Dramatic—Like to make a strong statement. Styles tend to be glamorous and intimidating. Use of bold jewelry and straight lines. Style icons: Anne Hathaway, Monica Bellucci

c. Romantic—A love for everything pretty and nice. Delicate jewelry. Ruffles, lace, pleats, soft fabrics. Style icons: Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson

d. Sporty—Girl next door. Easy-to-wear clothes like casual tees and jeans. Style icons: Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz

e. Trendy—Conscious of the latest IT items. Style icons: Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton in a trendy yellow dress. BLOG.NEWSOK.COM / IHEARTTHAT.COM / POSH24.COM

f. Eclectic—Mixing different styles in one. Usually creative people. Likes to contrast various styles. Style icons: Diana Vreeland, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny

g. Bohemian—Leans toward exotic pieces and hippie vibe. Style icons: Nicole Richie, Rachel Zoe, Diane Von Furstenberg

h. Urban—Edgy and modern. Inspired by music and street. Staples include cargo pants, tank tops, sneakers, gold hoop earrings. Style Icons: Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna

Source: chicfashionista.com

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Clothing , Conformity , fashion , Lifestyle

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  4. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia
  • Massive infra spending set
  • ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  • Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  • Our Lady of Piat: Centerpiece of Cagayan’s gifts to Christianity
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan