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Wednesday 13 October 2021

Finding Your Own Style

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in black and white with a splash of red

Dear friends. Today we're talking style personalities.  What's yours?  You may have had a consultation and discovered your prescription,  or you may have discovered what works for you over time.  It's a good thing to know because it saves you time and costly mistakes.  

Many years ago, House of Colour told me I was a "gamine"  (think Audrey Hepburn) but it was a very brief consultation and I more or less forgot about it. 

More recently, having got into colour analysis, I started evaluating my own style personality and realized I was naturally going down a gamine path, although there's also a bit of Classic and  Ingénue  in the way I dress.

I like neat, fitted clothes that are generally tailored, along with colourful belts, quirky shoes  (multi-toned brogues, brightly coloured boots), patterned and unusual hosiery, Peter Pan collars, v necks, cropped cardigans and small bags, preferably cross-the-body.

I rarely feel comfortable in dresses, and when I look at the reason why, it's because they're often patterned or long, and swamp me.  I don't like pattern very much, except polka dots and abstract prints.  I like colour and experimenting with contrast and monochrome. 

Big No Nos for me are frills, ruffles, lace, leather, lose fitting/baggy, cotton shirts  (make me look dumpy) and anything boho.  I've been wearing midi skirts, as is the trend, for the last few years, but they don't really suit me. I am much better in knee length skirts. The skirt at the top of the page is an exception because of the print and the boots. 

It's liberating to realize I will no longer buy clothes which look good on the models but won't suit me. 

Bright pink and dark green for autumn/fall 2021

Finding Your Own Style Personality

It's hard to find a standard set of definitions online. There are several different models. One of the best is David Kibbe's. He identified 13 ‘image identities’ in his 1987 book “Metamorphosis” and the definitions include body type too.  Read more here.

I'll stick with House of Colour, who use six categories:  Dramatic, Classic, Natural, Gamine, Ingénue and Romantic. Each category has many sub-categories, and you could be a hybrid of two different types, like such as Dramatic Natural. 

HoC cannily don't publish much online about the different styles because they want you to book a consultation, which you can do here for the UK and for the US here.

Dramatic Style

Let me try to illustrate the different types using celebrities. Iris Apfel, 100, has a very distinctive style: she likes contrasting, bold colours, piles of modern, chunky jewellery, and statement glasses. She's an obvious candidate for Dramatic. 

I'd also classify actor Tilda Swinton as a Dramatic, although her style is very different from Iris's. She goes for daringly cut clothes, not in a revealing way, but in the use of fabric, and changes her hairstyle to co-ordinate. 

Dramatic style personality:  Tilda Swinton, Iris Apfel


The Natural style personality is personified by a more relaxed and casual look, and represented well by Australian supermodel and businesswoman Elle McPherson. She combines wonderful textures and luxurious fabrics, usually in neutrals. I remember seeing pictures of her in London doing the school run a few years ago, when she looked the epitome of chic and cool in leather trousers and chunky Aran sweater, with her trademark tousled highlighted hair and gold jewellery.


The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is a perfect example of Classic, timeless and elegant dressing. She always looks well groomed and perfectly suited to the occasion.  She's a bit more fashionable than she used to be and is less fixated on wearing high street fashions. At a recent glamorous awards ceremony, she completely outclassed the female film stars present.


The Romantic style is all about softness, femininity, and a hint of vintage-inspired pieces. It's less about tailoring, structure, and graphics, and more about embracing ruffles, tulle, and lace. So you have both Madonna and Marilyn Monroe as Kibbe representatives of the Romantic style personality.


This is typified by a youthful, feminine, elegant and pretty sense of style. The ingenue embraces girlish details such as small bows, tiny flowers, headbands, simple lockets, and puffed sleeves. Lupita Nyong'o is a great example.


The style I identify with most is Gamine, described as impish but innocent, boyish but feminine. It's usually typified by a short pixie hairstyle, as seen on Audrey Hepburn and Judi Dench.

Do you identify with any particular style personality?  Do you have a clear idea of suits you, or do you like to experiment with whatever's in fashion? Let me know in the comments.  

Nothing was gifted for this post and no affiliate links were used.  My outfits:  top pic - skirt and jumper, both old. Asos;  vegan biker boots (new season) Marks and Spencer; merino infinity scarf in Carmen Red, Kettlewell.   Other pic:  Alpine Green Rachel jacket, Fuchsia Ice infinity and Fuchsia v-neck top, all Kettlewell;  boots FSJ. 

FOOTNOTE: As you know, I campaign against gender-based ageism and how the media portrays older people. I was thrilled and honoured to be included in an article in the Huff Post, along with some other bloggers and influencers, on the topic of how beauty brands market to women aged over 45. Read the post

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up.

Last Week's Favourites - Most Clicked

Rena from Fine Whatever and her post "Fresh Focus: Corduroy."

Di from I Wish I Was Back in Style with her post "Orchid for Autumn."

Going Grey from Pamela at Style Yourself Confident

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I think your style and what you wear, shows off your personality in so many flattering ways. I absolutely love your outfit. That skirt has such a gorgeous print and the style examples are so wonderful.

  2. Your outfit looks so gorgeous. I just love that skirt with the print. And I feel what you wear shows off your personality and that can be so fun to express yourself on a creative level. Thanks for sharing this lovely examples. I love every single one featured here.

  3. Very interesting. I think it helps a lot when you know what color and style suits you best.


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