Guest post from 16 Style Types
Style is not about wearing the latest fashion and too often, style and fashion are concepts that are used interchangeably. At 16 Style Types we are interested in style, and specifically, how style can be used to express the quintessential nature of a person – their essence.
How are fashion and style different? Think about style being your home, a place you inhabit. Whilst fashion is a hammer, it’s a tool to help you build your style, but you just can’t live in it!
Gaining style knowledge will empower you to express who you are on the inside on the outside.
For many INFJs, style is a tool they use to help them present themselves and their ideas when interacting with the outer world. INFJs usually don’t want to draw attention to themselves for the wrong reasons (or sometimes for any reason), and getting their style right means they can relax knowing their attire is taken care of and is making the right impression for the occasion.
“My number one shopping criteria is comfort.”
Rules That Simplify Choices
INFJs like and gain great benefit from rules — but it’s not just any old kind of rules. The style rules that INFJs find useful are boundaries they have chosen for themselves that encapsulate the style principles they have worked out often through hard-won trial and error. An INFJ’s style rules are individual – no other INFJ may share these same style guidelines – that are often the result of making mistakes by buying and wearing things that feel just plain wrong and make them feel like imposters wearing a costume.
“My style downfall is buying something that is too unique and struggling to figure out what to wear it with, how to accessorize, and when to wear it.”
Style rules are an ongoing process, where each new part of her style journey informs the INFJ on what works, and what does not when it comes to what they like and what works. The best style rules for INFJs are personal, self-selected, specific, based on trial and error, and – most importantly — should be applied without exception. The stylish INFJ knows that to break their own rules will result in unhappy purchases and a sense of waste – two lessons they’ve learned from experience to avoid at all cost.
“My dream wardrobe is something that is my own private space. A small room maybe. Neutrally decorated, a full-length mirror and good recessed lighting, a dressing table with makeup and jewellery storage. Clothes would be in a range of soft cool blues and greys (minimal rainbow colours), quality items in cotton, silk, linen and wool. Leather shoes, no high heels. Everything on open rails, hooks or shelves to look serene and harmonious. If the room was large enough, a comfy armchair. The whole to be a sanctuary, that has a subtle, pared back vibe. Nothing too much.”
For INFJs, knowing their style rules often has the unexpected result of making them feel more creative when they dress and free to express an important part of themselves. Rules act as a streamlining mechanism to add more style choice. Style rules empower rather than limit.
“Your personality dictates all your choices. The rules are tools to use when you want to look better in the clothes that you love.” – Kelly
INFJs seek uniqueness in many things, including their style. Whether it’s a necklace made from a rare stone set in an unusual way or an asymmetrical cut to the expected corporate attire, the stylish INFJ will want something about their look to be unique, something others won’t be wearing.
INFJs are excellent at identifying and sticking to the unique touches that express their style – it’s one of their style strengths. The downside can be ignoring of wardrobe basics as building blocks to creating a working wardrobe — too much uniqueness can result in a wardrobe with many ‘orphans’ that simply don’t play nicely with other items.
“I want my style to blend in but with distinctive, not too flamboyant differences.”
The understated nature of INFJs means they rarely seek to stand out, although they often wish to find a strong foundation to share their ideas, listen to others and communicate what is most important to them. If they learn how style works, and specifically, how it works for them, the stylish INFJ can express this uniqueness in an authentic, consistent, and effective way.
“Style advice that works for others but not me is ‘restrict your wardrobe to a set number of items’ (capsule wardrobing). This doesn’t work for me even though I like minimalism – fastening on an arbitrary number of items seems unnecessary.”
Without any style structures or rules keeping them safe, the INFJ style may meander into territory too unusual or unpredictable for them to maintain a serious standing in their chosen field. Or style may become too predictable, safe, and dull – cutting off a significant, if subtle, avenue for self-expression.
“I don’t seek compliments out, but it’s lovely when I get them – it makes me feel I’m doing something right.”
Inner Style Muse
INFJs rely on a trusted and keenly felt perception that is highly attuned to everything they encounter in the world. They hold an inner vision – of most things, but certainly of their style and what they want their style to be, and to look like, and to feel like. They may not be able to explain how they know or what it is about an item that is right (or wrong), but the stylish INFJ has learned her inner style muse is always on her side.
The stylish INFJ can often see so clearly what her most stylish self looks like, should be like, would be like – if she could only get the outside world to match what she sees.
Matching this inner style vision up with reality – clothing to be purchased in stores, items to be combined in the wardrobe – is often where the INFJ can encounter disappointment as this vision can’t always be realized. Stylish INFJs who nurture their inner style muse will use fashion trends merely as input to that internal vision of unique expression of style.
“A style problem I have too often is falling in love with something unusual and then never wearing it because I’m worried about what others will think.”
“My most stylish self would be looking forward to upcoming events with less angst than usual because I’d have options for every possible kind of event.”
Stylish INFJs use their subtle creativity and trusted intuition to express their style in mysterious yet potent ways.
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About the authors:
Imogen Lamport and Jill Chivers, together with Jane Kise, are co-founders of 16 Style Types – the combining of the 16 psychological types with concepts of authentic style. 16 Style Types is a world-class world-first approach that draws out the essence of a person’s style based on their personality profile and connects it with personal style in an illuminating, intelligent, and transformative way.