Aug 242013

I confess I am conflicted about sundresses, vacation dresses, leisure dresses. I will allow that there are days when a dress is the coolest thing to wear. And yet, I did not bring any with me to Hawaii. At the last minute, the dresses I was considering seemed like they would be too wrinkled to wear on arrival; I had no assurance there would be an iron. And who wants to iron on vacation anyway?

I may have mentioned this before (to the point of annoyance) but as a rule I do not wear synthetic fabrics. So the coral maxi dress I bought for $1, thinking I would bring it, did not make the final cut, partially because of polyester content. Is a polyester-blend dress really cooler than shorts and a tank-top?
lulus walk bright up white dress orange color blockingAt any rate, today I am test-driving the double-layer cotton skirt as sundress substitute. And we are going to the county fair!

Bringing sundresses with me, I think, would have been more work (shopping) and alot of them are just too drapy for me. I prefer crispier fabrics.  When I was poking around the web a little just now, thinking about the issue, I found this. I think this is so much cooler than the standard sundress. If it were cotton, it might actually be the other kind of cool as well 😉

Aug 202013

If N’s are “intuitive” and tend toward the imaginative, S’s are “sensory” and tend toward the established.  SJs are the “classics”.  Also sometimes called Guardians, they invariably display their good judgment by choosing to wear what is appropriate and in good taste.  Their outfits are understood.  SJs show their creativity through their use of accessories.

Extra 25% off clearance handbags at! Offer valid 8/22-8/25

Within the limits of her budget, the SJ looks like the displays in the stores in which her peer groups shop.  NJs can look similar. (Of course, there are many reasons for the wardrobe choices people make, personality is only one.)

A few years ago, I went to a Sunday afternoon business event in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  Being Sunday afternoon, the female co-owners of the business were both casually dressed. But, in my mind, one looked like ESFJ and the other like ENFJ.  The difference? Both were perfectly appropriate and well-dressed; but one wore the day’s most popular styles, and the other looked a little bit “North Idaho” with cargo pockets and a sporty scarf.

To be clear, I hope these definitions to be helpful suggestions, not diagnostic tools. In other words, a person who lacked confidence or didn’t know what to wear could get an idea or direction by identifying their personality type and applying the suggestions. This person would probably NOT be an SJ 😉


Jul 302013

Although the NT type is, by most estimates, the smallest percentage of the population, of the four temperaments; I strongly suspect they comprise the greatest percentage of regular participants in this blog.  Amiable left this telling comment recently:

As an INTJ, I’m interested in how I present myself to others, and how i’m perceived by them. Only a few years ago did this begin to translate into an interest in style. And really only a year ago did the interest in style become an interest in fashion. And I suspect the interest in fashion is fading, and returning to an interest in style as I learn about what I like and dislike irregardless of fashion :)

Based on whether or not they care about style and/or fashion, The Conceptualizer (aka Rational) will tend to dress completely carelessly or for effect.  Sometimes what that looks like is a very cultivated look, such as that worn by the hero’s former boss who looked like a 60s businessman on workdays and a biker on weekends.  Another example is a guy who dressed like a gangster (suit, tie, trench coat, and hat) for church.

Why do you suppose it is so much easier to see these tendencies in what the boys wear? Or is it just easier to explain? 😉

Jul 282013

I suspect that, within each temperament, individual expression of style type varies based on a number of factors, not the least of which is level of interest.  And level of interest is something that is both innate and changeable.

I assume if you are reading this, you have at least an average level of interest in matters of style. Has that always been the case? I remember being about age ten going through catalogs, planning a complete wardrobe.  Later, when I was a broke single mom, I remember feeling left out. Even later, when I was a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t think I was supposed to be interested in what to wear, but that didn’t last long. 😉

Jul 092013

image4.jpgReading InStyle magazine the other day, I noticed this Alexander McQueen gown worn by Cate Blanchett to the Robin Hood premier at Cannes in 2010. It offers a perfect example of what I think an Idealist (NF) would wear to such an event. This is not your everyday, high-fashion dress! Subtly, somehow, the details evoke the pageantry of the Middle Ages, while remaining a very Red Carpet 2010 choice.

Google confirms Cate Blanchett is an INFJ 😉

Jul 022013

That moment when you realize what you want to write about is what who you want to write for wants to read …

NFs are a minority, about 10% of the population, and their values are very different from the mainstream values of our society. This gap produces immense challenges for the Idealist. Such challenges cannot be resolved properly until the idealist deeply understands their type and how it fits, and how it does not fit, in mainstream society. Furthermore, the idealist has to come to embrace their type so deeply, that they truly do not care to fit in the mainstream. The mainstream is driven by values belonging to other types, which are embraced by a more numerous crowd — the types that have a higher proportion of the population. However, these mainstream values are not necessarily closer to the Truth. (Attribution:  Are you an idealist type?)


Describing such a person’s style could be difficult; each idealist expresses different values through their appearance. Guaranteed the values are visible somewhere, even if the value is “appearance is superficial, therefore it shouldn’t matter what I wear.” Which, of course, is true, but doesn’t get you very far in the real world. 😉

Nevertheless, especially if you are this type, understanding the “why’s” can be helpful. For example, why did I think it was important to dress “Deer Park” when I went there? What I am calling “immediacy” (the immediate context) is a concept and a value I recognize often in myself getting dressed, and have also spotted amongst others whom I suspect of this temperament.

Some examples:

    College professors who perpetuate tweed blazers with elbow patches.

Other values that show up in Idealist wardrobes:

    Made in USA
    I personally almost never wear any artificial fibers.

What other examples of values-based dressing can you think of? Of course, not limited to NFs.

Oct 072010

The very first thing I have written in my notes for Nonverbal Communication:

What are you saying and do you mean to say it?

Nevertheless, I have found our study of somatotypes slightly disturbing .  The idea that people would draw conclusions about our personalities from body-type seems somehow un-American or something.

Somatotyping is the system of body typing and constitutional psychology based on research by William Sheldon in the ’40s.  Most of us have heard the terms endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph.  What we troubled me was research showing the following characteristics related to body type:


softer, shorter, old fashioned, warm-hearted, less strong, amiable, talkative, dependent, trustworthy


stronger, more masculine, better looking, adventurous, younger, more mature, self reliant


very thin, very tall, very ambitious, suspicious, tense, pessimistic, stubborn

Yikes!  How many of us would fit these descriptions? And do we tend to get grumpy and difficult when people assume things about us that are not true?

But look at this chart I found at, overlaying somatotype with myers-briggs personality type.

somatotype/mbti chart

At first glance, this fits at least myself and the hero fairly precisely.   How about you?