Jan 232014

Early in my blogging career, I wrote a style personality quiz. Sadly, it is no longer available. (Actually, I’m sorta relieved; if it were still around, I would have to perfect it). The concepts still show up here and there, though; therefore, I am reposting the definitions.

The descriptions of all the style personalities in my quiz:

Innovator: A creative and dramatic kind of elegant, you are the trend-setter.

aka: alternative or trendy

Glamorous: Your dramatically polished appearance makes you the most intimidating kind of elegant.

aka: dramatic

Contemporary: Always in style, your elegance is both business-like and classic.

aka: classic or contemporary classic

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Timeless: Encompassing the preppy look, your elegance is simple and classic.

aka: classic, timeless classic, or traditional

Romantic: A nostalgic and natural elegance. You feel best in comfortable and feminine things.

aka: nostalgic or bohemian

Functional: The most practical form of elegance, you put the FUN in functional!

aka: sporty or practical

I realize I don’t talk about these concepts very much anymore, even though they are still really interesting and kinda helpful. It would be so much more interesting if I could see the connection between innate personality and these style personas. Thoughts?

  31 Responses to “Which Elegant Are You?”

  1. I would probably describe myself as either Glamorous or Contemporary. I prefer the terms Glamorous and Contemporary Classic.
    Could we get a definition of “preppy”? I think polo shirts, khakis, etc., but maybe you would define it differently. I doubt I’m “Timeless”, but I guess it depends on definition. 🙂

  2. Contemporary. With a side of glamorous/rock chick and sporty/practical. I certainly wouldn’t call my style “classic”. But my wardrobe encompasses elements of all except romantic/boho.

  3. Timeless, with classic a close second. They make me sound less boring than traditional does.

  4. I prefer romantic over nostalgic. Romantic sounds so much more…romantic!
    And I like contemporary just fine. Classic to me refers to the “timeless/traditional(/preppy)” look.

  5. Nostalgic , with a leaning towards functional. 🙂

  6. Contemporary/Timeless
    I like to be in suitable in style (for my age), crisp, clean, fresh.
    I do like a little floral print peeking out from a fitted blazer.


  7. According to the wikipedia, Preppy = “This style of dressing first emerged in the financially prosperous 1950s, when students went for the Ivy League look. According to, “Madras plaid dress shirts with button-down collars, v-neck sweaters and slimmed-legged chino pants marked the college boy, while slim sweater sets, pleated skirts and saddle shoes all but guaranteed a good girl entrance to the university.” Three decades later, the Ivy League look became the preppy look.”

    In practice, preppy is alot of polo shirts. It’s the casual component of the timeless classic look.

    Does that help? I think you had it right, Oxanna.

  8. As a “contemporary” I think I like the term “classic contemporary.” I like to be “in” style without being too “out” there. The term “contemporary” keeps it stylish while “classic” keeps it grounded. Does that make sense?

    And with my twist of “nostalgic”…I like the term “romantic” better. I think of nostalgic as looking back or stuck in the past…Romantic (to me) encompasses more without sounding too dated. But then…that could be my contemporary showing through. 🙂

    That was a good brain exercise!

  9. I’m Alternative but I like Innovator better. Alternative brings to mind “alternative lifestyles” while Innovator is a little more neutral. 🙂


  10. I always have a problem with style paradigms. I “do” ladylike and conservative very well but in an anachronistiic and faux way – my heart isn’t in it. I’m not at all a trendsetter but am open to everything – though adopting things late after the trends emerge and solidify. I definitely want my clothes to function – shoes have to tread miles of pavement, I go wild when I’m too cold or hot, I want to move unrestricted – but I can’t stand looking too “plain.” In a way I relate to the retro glamour of Dita von Teese but it’s too much trouble and for what.

    I think more than anything my style is one that Lupo and Garza named: whimsical. Yup. That’s thoroughly me. Maybe you could call it Amused. Clothing for me is all playing dress up, even when it is dressing down.

  11. somehow i got the answer “nostalgic/romantic” even though that’s not my style at all. i would say i’m a cross between alternative and functional. i love unique fun things, but they also have to be comfortable and appropriate for the things i do all day.

  12. Okay, I took the quiz and came up Alternative. But I’m probably more the alternative lifestyle that Jennifer rejected in the definition. At least inwardly I am. And, uh, I guess outwardly, huh.

    I used to live in an apartment across the street from an exclusive gourmet market that had Bentleys double-parked out front and women running in in chic tennis dresses. I never bought a piece of meat there – $$$$ – but they had milk. I knew a fella who worked there managing one of the departments – he lived in my complex – and he once said to me that I was so different from the women he saw in there and, hoping it wouldn’t be taken wrong by me – was bohemian. Made my day. See, I still remember it almost 30 years later. I guess I’m a secret bohemian and the way I dress maybe is a hope that someone will guess at my radical inner life. 😀

  13. I am Contemporary Classic according to the quiz, and it’s right on for me.. I’d like to think of my clothing pieces as modern, but not really daring or flashy. I like to stay with current styles, but still play it safe. 🙂 A lot of my pieces also travel well throughout the trends (or so I think, because I keep wearing them. haha)

  14. I’m Alternative but i always think of myself as Trendy. Also i am part Nostalgic but i don’t think it’s defined unless you say that it’s Feminine and Nostalgic (which doesn’t work well for the Nostalgic guys out there). 🙂

  15. Oh, I’m glad you did this. I’m nostalgic – which makes a lot more sense to me than “romantic” which sounds more romance novel cover then the way I like to dress.

  16. for the record, and in response to Beck, I prefer “bohemian” over “romantic.” But that wasn’t an option. Is bohemian considered romantic? I wouldn’t wear what Cold Water Creek has to offer- that to me seems very “romantic,” in a classic sort of way. It seems too “amture” for my idiom (at this point in my life!).


  17. Yeah, I meant to mention that. Here’s the deal: Bohemian is actually what Tori Hartman calls the men’s version of romantic. But don’t you think that because that term is used now to describe a more specific style, that it would be too confusing to use that for a whole style personality?

    Bohemian is considered romantic; but I don’t think it necessarily means that all romantics would be bohemian (like you pointed out with the Coldwater Creek example). Alot depends on the blend, what else is with it. You should just call your style personality romantic and contemporary, and make yourself a personal idiom statement that includes the term bohemian.

    But here’s another thought: If you are romantic and contemporary, you may really strongly prefer the popular bohemian style, and even the word, because of where we are in the fashion cycle.

    What about romantic and innovative?

    And Vildy, you are a puzzle, aren’t you? But whimsical makes sense with you liking to combine patterns, and liking texture.

    Here’s another point about the quiz: If your scores for two style types tie, it will give you the answer that is first in the list. Which is part of why I think so many people come up alternative. And why I really want to go back and make the quiz much longer. But first I must be more comfortable with the vocabulary. 🙂

  18. “Alternative” ;>

  19. Contemporary, and I like that. Contemporary Classic is OK too. Not “classic” because that sounds more like “traditional” to me.

    How about “When shopping at Nordstrom, proceed directly to Point of View.? 🙂

  20. I was contemporary, too and that seems right – and I agree w/ Betheroonie that classic makes me feel like I am LIVING at Talbot’s not just visiting sometimes and lifting a concept here and there but adding something to it to make it a bit more youthful…

  21. Gala, why am I not surprised? 😉

    Beth, I think the term Contemporary really sticks. 🙂 But the staff at Nordstrom told me, and Angie concurred, that I should shop TBD. ??? She (Angie) said she’d try to do a post on how to know what dept to shop in there. I’ll definitely link to it (I keep checking everyday).

    Vildy, I was so puzzling over the term bohemian and Bonnie’s question and your comment that I looked it up in the dictionary. Then I realized that, whatever term one uses, your quiz came out right. I’ve been known to say that an innovator (I think I’m going to switch to that term) wears traditional looks as a costume. “in an anachronistic and faux way”?

    bohemian = a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.

  22. I myself am 100% Functional, with no accent (at least that I can find). I like practical the best but functional also fits my personality. Everything must fit well, make me comfortable and work for the occasion.

  23. I’m sorry, I think you need clearer definitions and better worded questions to come up with truly useful definitions of style types. I came up Alternative and my husband is getting a good laugh. 🙂

    Maybe you could get input from others, such as your blog followers. I think your blog has great ideas and great potential but some of the advice seems slightly “off”.

    Good luck, and I’ll continue to enjoy reading.

  24. Spoken like a true friend, Christine. 🙂

  25. English is not my first language and my husband feels I may have offended you, I did not mean to do that at all.

  26. Oh Christine, what I meant by “spoken like a true friend” is that I appreciate your willingness to suggest improvements. The fact that English is not your first language makes me feel all the more honored. No worries. How much nicer could you be than to say, “I’ll continue to enjoy reading”?

    Thanks so much for your participation! 🙂

  27. Just wanted you to know that I finally took the quiz (which initially intimidated me, when you first put it up a while back) and I came out as contemporary! Whew! What a relief! I think I’m getting back into the fashion swing!

    Thanks, Rebecca.

  28. My favorite term to describe myself is “stylish”. I think that implies in style without being too trendy, and elegant without being stuffy. I took the quiz, and I’m “contemporary”.

  29. Even though I keep evolving my style, perhaps I only think I do since my answers today would be pretty consistent with what I wrote back then. It surely would be interesting to mate these styles with personality types. Here’s one thing that struck me.

    Recently I took an overshopping quiz that is supposed to be part of a student’s research project. Much of the multiple choice options were pretty typical of this kind of thing. (I don’t fit a typical overshopper/overspender profile) But what was very valuable to me was that the whole thing started off with a screen of an open ended question where you were to write about when you most felt a sense of belonging and acceptance. Well, belonging is a huge human need and drives a lot. I had never thought about it before though. So it strikes me that in your descriptions a lot of what you are describing is how people want to relate to other people and perhaps, tacitly, how they want others to relate to them. Several of those elegance personas are arms length. Romantic/nostalgic might be asking for consideration and protection, kid gloves. Sporty might be determinedly independent, a good sport so long as you don’t ask too much or cross any boundaries.

  30. @Vildy, it makes sense to me to read style in terms of a social contract, so long as you keep in mind that the message is sometimes “don’t read too much into my clothes.” At least, that’s often what I’m trying to communicate when I get dressed.

    Rebecca, if one example will help, I am an ISTJ or INTJ depending on the day, and my clothes are very, very functional.

  31. Belonging absolutely is huge! In fact, I would almost call my troubles with that need my “thorn in the flesh”. And I hadn’t quite gotten all the way to that take on this style profile system; I think I got tired of thinking about it when I realized that it was primarily about whether or not a person wants to be in style and therefore the utility of it is limited. I think the main use of it is in identifying where to shop, other than being fun.

    However, both of these new comments give me more fun stuff to think about!

    Chrs, Melvin above, who says she is all functional is ISFJ and the hero is ISTP. The other night, as I was falling asleep, I had the thought that possibly the center axis (contemporary – functional) is related to introversion and extraversion. Clearly that is not the whole story, but it works for me: I am solidly extraverted, but by a smallish margin.

    Much to think about! 🙂

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