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Saturday, 8 July 2017

7 Steps to Style Step 1 Your Personality

7 Steps to Style

I've started working through Imogen Lamport's 7 Steps to Style.

I think of this as an online course, with Imogen as the tutor and a forum (via a private Facebook page) to talk to other course participants.
It does require quite a lot of work yourself, to use the materials and get the results.
We are all individuals and this is a way to gain the self knowledge to really be yourself through how you dress.

Step 1 Your Personality
It’s the key to unlocking your style. What you do and don’t love and why. Everything from patterns to fabrics to how you accessorise is determined by your personality. You’ll learn how to understand the language of clothes which will lead you to success.

This is a paid programme, and includes copyrighted material, so I will just share what I've learned rather than any of Imogen's material.
She has some videos and Facebok live chat sessions which dig into the topics more and help you fine tune them.
There are hours worth of materials which you can use or not depending on the time you have available.

The idea here is to work out your Style Recipe, it starts out as one of the quizzes where you pick from different categories (there are many similar online or in style books).
However Imogen says to take the things from each style that work for you and mix them together to get a style recipe which is unique to you. Which is where this is being tailored to the individual rather than having to fit into one particualr box. This is great for me as I've done those quizzes and not fitted anywhere properly and then been a bit frustrated.
One person said "pick the bits that fit and disregard the rest" which was great advice.

I'm going to document my journey here. (Mostly for my own purposes but may also be of interest to others).

The 6 words I picked in the first exercise were:-
Natural, Professional, Quirky, Approachable, Vibrant and Stylish
(I'd also picked Contemporary, Creative, Friendly, Warm, Earthy and Grounded)

I then went through the quiz and scored Classic 7, Relaxed 7, Dramatic 5, Creative 4, Rebellious 1, Feminine 4 and Elegant Chic 1.

I then read the style descriptions and noted a few things. I then watched all the videos for the personalities. I made some more notes as I heard Imogen talking about the different styles.

Classic: Did not find the style described in the video appealing even though I scored quite highly as it seemed a bit boring to me. However I did identify with a few things which were
Jackets (I love a good jacket and have many in various styles). Menswear fabrics, especially a pinstripe, loafers, leather bag. This was about it and I very much did not identify with the jewellery.

Relaxed: This is probably my home area though it does not meet everything I want. I LOVE the colours in this style, the textures (TEXTURE, TWEED) and comfort level and the patterns. I also liked the nature based jewellery in stone, turquoise and shell. And I very much identified with the absolute need for comfortable shoes. I often wear no makeup, let my hair dry naturally etc. And I definitely heard the warning about being sloppy. I have sometimes kept old favourites beyond their best, when they were bobbly or a bit misshapen.

Dramatic: This is clearly not my home area, but definitely a strong influence particularly in jewellery and bags. I like shoes in different colours, I have lots of large bags in bold colours and also lots and lots of necklaces in neutrals and colours in varying scales (I have a whole wall fall of cork boards with them pinned up and I LOVE it).

Creative: This is another influencing area for sure, but again not my base. I liked the mixed textures. The other notes said - softer, muted, interesting, quirky, different, unusual patterns, own style, own way. And 'Quite interested in this one' .

Rebellious: No appeal, doesn't feel like me.

Feminine: Definitely NO to all of the Accessories and I've written Mostly NOT on this one. However I did call out my favourite pattern of all which is LEAVES and seemed to be in here with Paisley which I also like a lot, curly hair and things being slightly muted.

Elegant Chic: also doesn't feel like me. I had only circled RED.

On FB some feedback on the Classic scores said
" One thought came to mind as I read your post -- "classic" can mean many, many different things to different people. It is not a terribly useful word in the context of style. This is particularly true because many of the words used to describe it (as one member here pointed out) simply mean that one is a responsible adult, which has little to do with style. Many of us who might be lumped together as "classic" have found it more useful to isolate the characteristics of "classic" that appeal to us and use those characteristics instead. For example, the simplicity and symmetry of "classic" are the elements that appeal to me the most. You might focus on structure (since you loved the jackets) and fabric (menswear)."
Which was a very helpful comment.

I then moved on to my work and personal styles. And there is clearly a difference here. I wrote it down like this:

Work, 1 classic, 2 dramatic, 3 creative.
reasoning - classic is very work suitable but boring to me so add dramatic and creative elements

Personal; 1 relaxed, 2 creative, 3 dramatic.
reasoning - relaxed is my home area, I can play even more with the creative parts at home and I still need a few dramtic touches to keep it interesting.

I then looked at all of the examples in the materials for various combined styles but none of them chimed for me (they were different combinations to me so not suprising).

I thought briefly about items in my home and these I might do some photos.

The first one is a heavy blue glass vase, its second hand and has an off centre hole, squashed shape (not round) and is dark blue with gold. Its different, unique and works with my house.

The second is the bedside lamps I have in the bedroom. These were chain store purchases in lime green and I'd not had them long when I had to change them. I covered the smooth shiny green base with layers of cream paint applied with a sponge to give a stippled textured effect, and replaced the faux satin green shades with neutral textured shades that look like handmade paper - the texture is really apparent when the light is switched on. I love them.
The third item was a jokey gift from my boyfriend for Christmas. Its a pencil case in the shape of a fish and I use it at work every day. Its quirky but practical. Its unique. The lining is printed with the fish guts. It is nature inspired but also amusing.
 What words are triggered for you when you see these items? I'd love some feedback

I've been playing with the Thesaurus in word and found that really helpful. Out of the original list I had picked Natural, Professional, Quirky, Approachable, Vibrant and Stylish
(I'd also picked Contemporary, Creative, Friendly, Warm, Earthy and Grounded)

So I put each of those through the thesaurus and wrote down only the words that also resonated. I found some were already synonyms of each other. Some I didn't like most of the synonyms, others I liked lots of them.
The results then looked like this.

Natural , effortless, instinctive. Genuine, sincere, countryside, wildlife, landscape,

Vibrant , lively, vivacious, energetic, alive, vital, flamboyant, radiant

Creative , original, imaginative, inspired, artistic, inventive, resourceful, ingenious, innovative, productive, quirky.

(These first 3 were my top resonators, with the ones below less important)

Stylish, chic, sophisticated, elegant, tasteful, classy

Contemporary, modern, current,

Professional , qualified, proficient, skilled, career,

Friendly, welcoming, approachable, outgoing, sociable, Warm ,sincere, heartfelt, earnest, whole hearted,

Earthy , down-to-earth, practical, Grounded - established, prepared,

So Natural Vibrant and Creative are winning so far, and I thought that I often have a lot of the Natural but want to up the Vibrant and the Creative in my outfits.