Oct 072014

In the artistic composition that is you, what are the dominant characteristics? They may be things that create the most challenge for you; they may be your greatest strengths. Those could be the same.

For example, today when I saw myself in the yoga studio mirror, I noticed something I hadn’t really noticed about myself before: my outline (silhouette) is comprised of short, broken lines – straight and curved – in combination. Even my shoulder line presents such. In the past, I always saw those curves as bulges; but, in reality, it is simply my design pattern.

In principle, the concepts that are likely to yield the best return aesthetically are, IMO: silhouette, length proportion, color value contrast, and style personality. Identifying the first three can be done inexpensively from a photograph.

I am still trying to develop/adapt a diagnostic instrument for what is arguably the cornerstone of personal style: personality.

  6 Responses to “Identifying dominant characteristics”

  1. Curious: different systems from ancient to modern divide up personality into groups from two: introvert/extrovert, yin and yang, to a typical quartet to larger like 12 or 16. Some groups of 4 (DYT) “need” to bring in secondaries, thus expanding the categories. Caygill analyzed color types and had so many, described by personality as well, that I can’t count.

    Have you decided on how many are needed and/or what characteristics matter?

    My husband found an object lying next to his car at the speedline parking lot yesterday. He gave it to me, saying that it seems like the kind of thing I like. It was an inch and a half wide leather wristband fastened with brushed silvertone snaps. The leather was designed in a thick basket weave effect. Yes! It’s absolutely “me.” However, I rarely wear bracelets because I don’t want something slipping and sliding, don’t want to have to take it off every time I might have hands in water, don’t want anything like a large watchface that interferes with wrist flexing. This is perfect. *And* one of the motifs in my dressing is a grid or small (or larger like argyles) geometric. I like having things look and feel like they are tied down, squared away. 😀 It took me a lot of analysis to get to this point of seeing what I like or “need” – also like knots like celtic knots or any kind of knottedness – and he saw it immediately.

    • I think it is possible, in theory, to get to Caygill’s system by the process you describe. I understand she had 64. That is not that much beyond, say, socionics, where the 16 types (similar to MBTI) are each divided into two subtypes. The way I have heard it described, though, Caygill just observed these different types; I am unclear whether there is a theory behind it or not.

      Speaking of socionics, the subtypes seem to offer an explanation about one question that has been troubling me: how my sister and I could be the same type and not have the same style (besides the obvious physical differences).

      I have also been thinking alot about how some people seem to just not include certain style personalities in their system, based on their own preference. Who is it that doesn’t have a “sporty”? And lots of people don’t have an ingenue. Personally, I would not use “alluring” or “whimsical”. At this point, I like the John Kitchener the best, although I have one small tweak I would like to make.

      Wouldn’t it be great if it could all be based on Hippocrates? ????

      Have you heard of the concept of clothing appearing “braced”? The idea of things that look or feel tied down reminds me of that. Psychologically, it relates to efficiency. Fun that your husband knew you so well and brought that wristband to you!

      • Socionics way too exhaustive for me. If you and your sister are the same type and don’t use the same style, maybe “personality” isn’t the right direction after all, though people would naturally use it as a shorthand. I’m thinking it’s more about messaging, what are you wanting people to get about you. Theatrical costuming could come in very handy here. And secondarily, but perhaps could be the most important, what personal values are you wanting to communicate?

        Have you read about Sticky Priors? It’s mostly about how you can only influence people to change what they’re doing if you prove to them that it strengthens and enhances their dearest self-concept.

        • *chuckle* I kind of suspect that even how one relates to the idea of personality or communication styles is rooted in how we see the world. For example, the ENFJ, which is the MBTI designation claimed by both my sister and myself, is weaker than most in connection to the preferences of the inner self. That would explain why we would use differing styles, I am not convinced that either of us has a good handle on a style that grows organically from who we are, rather than absorbing what is around us.

          I remember reading that there was one of the 16 types who tends to dress for manipulative effect – I don’t mean that in a bad way, it is just who they are – and that is how the conversations about what message one wants to send always strike me. Although, from a practical standpoint, I get that it is necessary in many cases. It may be a stage I am going through: for me, I kind of want to shake off the fitting in or conforming to expectations and develop a style that is more inherent.
          For helping other people, though, I think it is, in many ways, easier to decide what you want to communicate and dress for that, as in costuming.

          I am going to chew on the values thing a little more: would a classic style of dressing convey valuing the established? Hmmm.

          I will check out the sticky priors. Thanks!

          • Look what we have here:

            “We define authenticity,” Gilmore told me over the phone, “as purchasing on the basis of conforming to self-image. ‘I like that, I am like that.’” Authenticity is about buying into a product that confirms what you already think, or want to think, about yourself. Of course things like quality and durability are all mixed up in that; the Romanian-Brooklyn pickles are, probably, pretty good, and the fact that the buyer wants to see himself as the type of person who buys cool weird pickles doesn’t negate the fact that the buyer may also recognize that the pickles are better than Claussen’s. In fact, that’s part of it: Self-awareness of the purchase is key to the purchase itself.

            This is from this article:

            Gilmore is author of this book:
            Jim Gilmore, the co-author (with B. Joseph Pine II) of Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, knows this better than most. His book doesn’t so much offer tips to marketers as it examines what authenticity means in a retail space, and how customers react to it.

          • Yes! I was listening to an interview with (of?) him recently. And I think I read a piece he wrote for some Econ website. I think of that from time to time, as in, “am I the kind of person who would drive a Prius?” (No, because I do not want to have egg on my face when the Smart Ones demonstrate that hybrids actually produce greater environmental impact) and “am I the kind of person who would consult a personal stylist?” (again, no, if for no other reason than the fact that the hero and I are die-hard DIYers, something I am afraid that, in this new “experience economy” – I think that was Jim Gilmore too, doing everything ourselves is not efficient.)

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