Illustration by Sue Tait Porcaro

Illustration by Sue Tait Porcaro

The style quiz in Chapter 3 of my book, Shopping for the Real You, offers descriptions of various bone structure, features, coloring, and personality traits for each style archetype to help you determine where you fit in. But one of the major questions I consistently hear is, “I fit into multiple archetypes. How do I work with that?”

In the next book (that I am co-authorizing with John Kitchener), we will be going into this in more detail. But here is an excerpt that should help:

“We’re going to look at how cross-over style categories can be interpreted. When a PSC analyst creates a personal style and color wheel for a client they indicate the percentages of each category that the person embodies.

Let’s say you express 50% or more of one particular style archetype. In that case your entire outfit can reflect that style. For example, if you are 50% Classic you could wear a tailored button down blouse with a pair of gabardine pants, a blazer and/or a trench coat, pumps, a traditionally patterned silk scarf, a top-handle bag, and simple jewelry such as stud earrings and two gold bangle bracelets. Voila! 100% Classic. You wouldn’t even have to think about including any of your lesser style facets, if you didn’t want to.

But what if you only have between 35-45% of a particular style facet? We’ll use the Natural style archetype for this example. In this case you could wear things that say Natural but only in half-body garments. That means you could wear a blouse and a jacket that works for a Natural, but not an entire outfit. What might that look like? It could be a leopard print blouse with a suede jacket. Those two items take up about half of your body, and the print, plus both the textile and the construction of the jacket suggest the Natural style essence. Or you could wear a denim jacket over a dress.

When you identify with 20-30% of any style archetype, you’re down to just one garment within the whole ensemble. That means the specific style essence represented can be expressed through just a blouse, a jacket, a sweater, a skirt, pants or jeans.

For 10-15% of a particular essence you are looking at one accessory item. But don’t discount the possibilities of that accessory. Sometimes when we feel “stuck” or when we want to push the boundaries of style a little, something new or fashion-forward in that 10-15% can make the whole outfit look a little more fresh and hip. Just don’t go overboard. That accessory should simply, by contrast, emphasize your primary style facets. It should just create a nice counterpoint. But it should still be in your color harmony.

Finally, if you have very little of an essence, say, only 5%, it should only be used as a glancing nuance. When Andrea, who has 5% Angelic, asked John what she could wear with that little amount, he laughed and said, “shoelaces.” (She is still dubious…) If you wear anything more dominant when you have such a small percentage of that style you will be hiding yourself and your personality.”Sage green shopping bag illustration

So, I hope that gives you a clearer understanding about how to use your style archetype percentages and how to create a wardrobe that reflects them. Here’s to all parts of the Real You!

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Andrea’s books and new video series:

Shopping for the Real You front cover image