Wednesday, 13 November 2013

What's your Style Identity? (and should you care?)….

A pair of turquoise PVC shorts. A neon jumpsuit. A hand-knitted corset. Just some of the drastic style boobs that three friends owned up to when surveyed recently. And who hasn’t bought something to wear and, on getting it home, found that it's less of a ‘Wow” and more of a “Why???”!

That’s why I was thrilled to get involved in a project with TKMaxx and The Times T2 to help people discover their Style Identity. It's just launched today. 

When we're muddled about what suits us, confused about the style that matches our personality, we risk making expensive mistakes and creating a look that misses the mark. It's not enough to rip a style from the catwalk, magazine page or shop window and simply put it on. That look was designed for someone with a different body, a different personality and a lifestyle that’s nothing like yours. So it’s unlikely to work. It might scream, “This isn’t me”. Worse still, it could hide the real you and leave you sartorially dissatisfied, starved of self-expression. That's why dressing from the inside out, from your identity and your unique personality, is so vital.

Research shows that when we change how we look, the change isn’t purely physical. 

Changing how we look changes how we behave. 
It changes how others react to us (positively and negatively). 
It can even change how we think and feel. 

So pulling a dress off the wardrobe or shop rail is no benign act. It could have a knock-on effect for your whole day. Or even your life. I’m digging deep into the psychology behind this in my new book about fashion psychology, ‘Mind What You Wear’. It'll feature the TKMaxx/Times Style Identity questionnaire as a way for people to really get ‘behind the seams’ of their own identity. 

Romance, Retro, Glamour, Bold or Street Chic. What's your style identity?
If you haven’t already checked out yours, go over and do the Style Identity questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes. And don’t forget to share your results with your friends. 

I've created five identities based on how an individual's personality type and lifestyle translates into clothing. The identities are Romance, Retro, Glamour, Bold and Street Chic. Your answers to the questions will reveal which you are. You may think you know. Or you might be in for a surprise. Of course most of us are a mix of types, so your signature and your accent style will emerge from the test. It’s worth giving it a go. When you know what your style is you feel more at one with your image, and those shopping expeditions are made a whole lot easier.

If discovering your identity sparks off some style soul-searching, that’s no bad thing. 
TK Maxx has a fashion philosophy that’s all about being a little bit braver. They want people to ‘put their brave glasses on’. To say ‘maybe’ to the unthinkable. I love their approach because it chimes so well with the Do Something Different movement that I co-founded and passionately believe in. When applied to fashion this all adds up to more brazen experimentation, more pushing at the boudaries and more venturing across the familiar line.

It’s easy to get into a wardrobe rut because it creeps up on us without us knowing. You suddenly find yourself playing it so safe that you're not expressing your true identity. You  start to disappear in a sea of beige. Now's the time to change all that.
TK Maxx say that the only wrong is not trying it on. 
And that’s as true of life as it is of clothing!

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