What Your Personality Says About Your Fashion Style

Below is a fun article I found about psycology and our fashion style. It was a fun experiment and think you will enjoy it too. Curious to know if we can apply this same logic to our interior style?

 

In contemporary psychology, the most widely accepted and reliable model to describe the essential traits that serve as the building blocks of personality is called the “Big Five”.  Abbreviated as “OCEAN”, the test measures Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Evidence for these five traits began with the research of D. W. Fiske in 1949 and has been growing since, demonstrating strong correlations with everything from what type of music or art we’d like, our physical pain threshold, what we choose to study in college, and political affiliation. Because personality traits are the common denominator among many choices we make, they’re a key concept to understanding our personal style.

Who You Are, in Five Numbers

Each of the five factors represents a range between two extremes. For example, extroversion represents a continuum between extreme extroversion and extreme introversion. In the real world, most of us lie somewhere between the two polar ends of each dimension. For example, if you score near the middle, you can love a good party as much as the next person, but periodically also need a bit of alone-time.

A test is done to reveal where you sit on each spectrum. For example, if you score 85% on extroversion, that would be high. If you score 15%, you score low, and it would mean that you’re highly introverted. Generally, landing towards the center of the spectrum (between 75% and 25%) indicates the most balanced score, while extreme results can make life a bit more challenging. If you have an extreme score, you can trigger moving towards the center by incorporating more of the opposite aesthetic into your wardrobe to inch closer to the reverse quality. Here’s a breakdown of the famous traits and how they are expressed with and can be manipulated by personal style.  If you’re really curious to know where you sit on each of the traits, you can take the test on the PSYKHE website. Or, if you already have a feeling about where you might score, you can keep reading.

 

OPENNESS

High: Curious, seeks out new experiences    Low: Traditional, conservative

If you’re constantly looking up flights to change up the scenery, always down to try new food trends such as caper ice cream or Burmese, and prefer creative, outside-the-box thinking, you likely score towards the higher end of openness. The trait, sometimes referred to as ‘intellect’ or ‘open-mindedness’ includes the tendency to be creative and imaginative, disliking routine, and having a wide variety of interests. The pitfall is that you can also sometimes be unstable in direction, and unpredictable. With so many interests and an inclination toward traveling like it’s your job, it’s often hard to stay loyal enough to anything to finish what you start.

If you love routine, are more analytical, prefer to stay home and be dedicated to fewer pursuits in order to see tasks through, you fall towards the lower end of openness. However, you can sometimes feel you are missing out on adventure or lifestyles that would have been interesting to experience.

Stylistically, the practical low-openness scorer is typically classic and conservative, while high scorers tend to dress in bold statement pieces and look like they heavy-handedly raided a souk on their last trip to Marrakech. Influencer Chiara Ferragni, with her ever-changing standout looks and non-stop travelling best comes to mind as flying the flag for moderate-high openness.

To move in the direction of openness in life, you can kick-off a small shift towards the middle by working in a little something bohemian or unexpected in nature – such as a statement necklace to offset an otherwise classic outfit. These shifts in style can trigger more of a sense of adventure and curiosity in someone low in openness. If this is you, an unexpected accessory can give you the impetus to hang out with a different group of friends, or confidence to take that solo trip you’ve been wanting to take. Clothes that are different to what you normally wear can instil a more open mind, and help you stop worrying about all of life’s unknowns. On the other hand, someone who may lack structure in their life and who wants to quell the temptation to hit up Booking.com to commit to another savings-killing trip may want to work in more conventional pieces. A turtleneck, or a classic white shirt with its neat, structured appearance, and its association with responsibility and general togetherness, can help trigger a good dose of feeling grounded and committed.


CONSCIENTOUSNESS

High: Organized, follows the rules   Low: Free-spirited, spontaneous

If you keep a meticulous calendar, meet deadlines and love to keep your space tidy and Marie-Kondo-level organized, you’re highly conscientious. People in the higher percentile of conscientiousness follow rules, and are reliable, goal-driven and successful. The downside of the rigidity that comes with conscientiousness is that it can lead to burnout and an inability to be present. Can’t find your keys? Forgot to pay your credit card bill? If so, you’re most likely a low scorer on the conscientiousness scale, meaning your relaxed nature can also lead to being impulsive, disorganized, and often late. It can be hard to get anything done or achieve your goals in a desired timeframe.

Conscientious people like traditional colors and neat, clean design—more structured brands—such as Ralph Lauren and Carolina Herrera. The style of lower scorers can range from avant garde to rebellious in a Kurt Cobain-inspired kind of way. The former can work in a dose of the perennially cool with some more interesting fashion-forward pieces, such as a military boot or leather jacket, to add contrast to their outfit and try and live for the moment a bit more. To cultivate more conscientiousness and to become more diligent, the latter can counter their devil-may-care looks by leaning into tidy and simple pieces, such as a tailored blazer or a clean white sneaker.


EXTROVERSION

High: Outgoing, social, talkative  Low: Reserved, introverted, passive

Have an upwards of 10 Whatsapp notifications flashing on your screen at any given time? Super-social extreme extroverts can chat up anyone, are assertive, and get their energy from interacting with others. Of course, constant FOMO and lacking the ability to be alone can negatively affect the quality of a person’s emotional life, character-building and self-development. But if too much chat tends to stress you out, and nothing brings you more relief than sending a text to announce that “you’re unfortunately going to have to reschedule”, it’s likely you veer towards introversion. Introverts get their energy from within themselves, prefer alone time, and often seem withdrawn or reserved. Conversely, if too often you find yourself a une, you’ll miss out on opportunities for socio-emotional development. Meaning that when you do find yourself in a new friendship or relationship, you could be lacking certain social skills and are more likely to freak the F out when triggered by a perceived offence.  

Extroverts like bright colors and loud, catchy designs: big bows, conversation pieces, anything ‘statement’. If you’re an extreme extrovert who isn’t used to spending time solo and want to learn to tolerate cozy nights at home to recharge, arm yourself with thick plush fabrics. Perhaps invest in some loungewear for its grounding feeling, and to offset the anxiety that comes with the FOMO. A good sweater results in less of a headache than that third glass of Cab. If you’re an introvert trying to not sabotage your place in working society entirely, borrow some of the extrovert’s statement accessories to tap into your social mettle with whatever fits your style—a shearling coat, a slogan t-shirt, a clear PVC tote bag. This method works in two ways: dressing like more of a social butterfly can make you feel more like one, and as a last resort, these “conversation pieces”, as we call them in fashion, deliver. At the very least, someone will approach you and say “hey, I love your bag, where’d you get it?”. You’d have to take it from there.


AGREEABLENESS

High: Trusting, likes to get along  Low: Independent thinker, competitive

People who score high on agreeableness are friendly, cooperative, and compassionate, trusting, affectionate, and sympathetic. They tend to be modest and humble and never perceive themselves to be better than anyone. They tend to dress as sweet as they seem. They like soft shades, pastels, colors in general, and a sort of happy aesthetic with embellishments and bows. People with low agreeableness may be more distant, critical, argumentative, mistrusting and uncooperative, but they also hold themselves in high regard. They’re inclined to adopt a more aggressive look: black leather, suede, studded pieces, jeans with rips, fierce boots, and so on. Low scorers tend not to trust others and may subconsciously utilize this protective armor-like look to create a sartorial defence mechanism, which prevents people from messing with them.

Being too high on agreeableness means you get along with everyone, but might make you appear to have poor boundaries. Offset this extreme people-pleasing tendency by working in some tougher pieces such as the color black, a good pair of distressed jeans, or a thigh-high boot. On the other hand, you can’t go through life keeping people away and hiding your vulnerability behind the entire Givenchy collection. Lower your guard a little and work in some color and softer pieces, even if those colors are a neutral shade, such as beige, khaki, or camel.


NEUROTICISM

High: Sensitive, creative, vulnerable   Low: Pragmatic, not easily bothered

 

From Hannah Horvath and Carrie Bradshaw, to George Costanza and Ross Gellar, we love nervous, easily offended neurotic characters who worry most of the time. It’s worth talking a bit more about this trait because it has many interesting correlations, and we believe it’s the one that most divides us when it comes to fashion preferences. People who score high on neuroticism often experience fluctuating emotions and are more prone to worry, anger, melancholy, and anxiety. They are self-conscious and tend to worry about what others think of them. Those who score low on neuroticism are rational and don’t worry as much. Their moods are less volatile, they’re more self-assured, calm and slow to anger.

 As such, neurotics see fashion as armor. Because of their fragility, neurotics dress in a fiercer way that provides the emotional protection they need. They prefer black over colors, solids over prints, and generally, more “directional” fashion, an industry term used to describe the most trendsetting end of clothes on the market. Basically, things that the average person finds weird, or admires, but doesn’t quite feel they could pull off. Wearing these more out-there or aggressive designs works to keep others at a distance from the neurotic.

To the more chill folks, fashion is more about playful self-expression. Instead of the neurotic’s gritty outfits, which they find too dark and severe, they lean more heavily into prints, bright colors, and easy, uncomplicated designs.

High scorers: If you wanted to try and tap into more optimism, let people in, and feel lighter, do drop some of the black from time to time. Wear a more fluid material. Drop the armor.
Low scorers: If you ever wanted to tap into a more creative, serious, or evocative look, borrow some of the neurotics more dramatic, dark pieces as needed.

 

Remember, your result on all the five traits will blend together for your own composite personality code, which is much more insightful than looking at one trait alone. For example, scoring high on neuroticism, openness and extroversion is passionate and excitable. Carrie Bradshaw was neurotic, but her extroversion made her outfits more colorful despite them being directional and out there. There are over 5,000 combinations, which are what PSYKHE, is based on.

If you would like to determine your personality trait scores, take the test on PSYKHE here.

 

Courtesy of TPOP team

By Style Bestie

Super busy mom