Alyce Parsons, author of What’s My Style and an international leader in holistic style systems used in universities worldwide, defines style as “a manner of expression characteristic of an individual.” Style is the totality of who a person is, and how one communicates and lives in the world. In order to tell a story through your appearance, it’s important to know your own style that will express your personal goals, reflect your credibility, and allow you to be addressed by others properly.
According to Ms. Parsons, a Universal Style System exists, allowing women and men to create a style and build a wardrobe that suits their lifestyle needs. This system is best illustrated as a style discipline with the examination of the heptagon, or the Seven Universal Styles. Every one of us falls into one or a combination of two or even three of the following Universal Styles.
Sporty individuals communicate a friendly, energetic, natural, and casual aura. People who carry a sporty style often work in people-oriented fields, and value a comfortable wardrobe. Women who are sporty are known for their casual, natural, outdoor look, and independent nature. Men, on the other hand, represent the outdoorsy, adventurous guys with active lifestyles.
The traditional style shows a message of trustworthiness, loyalty, accuracy, integrity, and maturity. Traditional folks often work in finance-related fields (such as banks and insurance companies), government offices, real estate, or educational institutions. Women who carry a traditional style are often perceived to have a steady dedication to their role, are conservative, and never extreme or showy. On the flip side, traditional men represent the good guys: respected, hardworking, with strong morals.
Elegance style tells a story of confidence, timelessness, grace, restraint, and dignity. Often, those who fall in this category have high-profile positions in society (public relations or politics), as there is an element of formality and prestige to the elegant style. Women with an elegant style typically have a graceful and regal aura, immaculately dressed and coifed. Elegant men, on the other hand, are perceived as suave, debonair, and refined.
Individuals who wear a romantic style have a certain delicacy, warmth, and approachableness. They are often seen in more traditionally feminine work, such as teachers, nurses, counseling, and intimate apparel as they are soft-spoken and mannered. Women in this category are very feminine in their style of dressing and are often fair-skinned, small-boned, and gentle-looking. On the other hand, romantic men have graceful movements and a gentle persona.
Alluring for women and magnetic for men, these two unique styles communicate sensuality. They are often bold, outgoing, glamorous, and likely social, working in industries such as entertainment, fitness and lifestyle, and the media. Women who have an alluring style often have a curvaceous body, and a sexy or sensuous way of presenting themselves. Magnetic men, on the other hand, often represent masculinity and an overt sex appeal, typifying sensuousness and excitement.
Imaginative, free, inventive, unique, spontaneous, and quirky. These are the adjectives used to describe individuals who carry a creative style. True to their description, creative people often work in creative fields or have hobbies and interests related to the arts—from dance, to design, to music, to writing. They are risk-takers when it comes to fashion, and their wardrobe is often a result of their creative juices. Creative men and women both carry constantly evolving and very individualized looks and personas.
Dramatic dressers are seen as confident, assertive, powerful, and bold. They often exude an intense attractiveness and a commanding presence that can be either intimidating or charismatic. Individuals with this style populate industries like entertainment, marketing, consulting, media, PR, and others. Both men and women with a dramatic style project a strong, commanding presence.
Your style is a congruence of your inner and outer expression, and these Seven Universal Styles allows for individual flexibility and creativity so you can always reflect your true self. Whether you’ve discovered your style already or not, an image consultant can help you assess and identify how you can develop a consistent style that communicates the best version of you. Contact Radiance Image Consultancy today to get expert advice on the clothes, accessories, shoes, and hairstyle will fit you. Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more style and clothes tips!