Fashion Magazine

Should You Use Your Style to Blend In Or Stand Out?

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

Do you prefer to stand out from the crowd or the people around you (where you work, live) with your style, or do you prefer to blend in and not be so noticeable as you prefer not to get any comments or attract attention? Is it more important to stand out and make a statement or blend in with others?

Personality is key to answering these questions as we discovered with 16 Style Types. There are some personality styles that will want to blend in and they'll feel incredibly uncomfortable if they are not blending in. You may have a personality that may wish to stand out more or you might feel that you should. Conversely, you may prefer to blend in as it feels more comfortable to you to go under the radar and not draw attention to yourself. There is no right answer.

What are your clothes communicating?

First impressions and overall judgments about people are formed by the way they dress. Clothing can demonstrate your culture, mood, level of confidence, interests, age, authority, values and sexual identity and these differ across countries and cultures.

In a business environment, there is no need to wear exactly the same clothes, unless we are required to wear a uniform. Businesses often opt for a uniform to immediately establish a professional business image that attracts and helps retain customers. It also has the benefit of promoting a sense of team spirit and a sense of belonging.

Where there is no uniform requirement, you want to stand out for the right reasons. Some companies prefer to allow -and even encourage - employees to dress freely or casually for comfort. This tends to work well in more creative work environments. Since the way someone dresses affects the perception of a company's customers or business partners, a more conservative business may encourage a standard of dress that creates a positive professional impression of the business. If you are more creative in your dressing style than the people around you, this will make you stand out and potentially for not the right reasons.

Should You Use Your Style to Blend In or Stand Out?

Maintaining appropriateness

Standing out can still be appropriate. There may be a certain standard of dress and a level of refinement that needs to be maintained. Dress codes are written and, more often, unwritten rules or "guidelines" with regard to clothing, with different rules and expectations depending on circumstance and occasion.

We all judge books by their covers - whether you are keen on that idea or not - find out why here.

You wouldn't wear a pair of comfortable, old jeans to a wedding. A tight dress with a low-cut neckline might appear attractive but not convey the right message for a solemn funeral. You may need to wear closed-toed shoes at work for health and safety but it doesn't mean you need to wear a particular style of shoe. These are examples of standing out for the wrong reason.

As long as you are dressed appropriately for the dress code, you don't need to be wearing a carbon copy of everyone else's outfits, you're standing out but still appropriate.

Dress with authenticity

Style should be an expression of our personality and should be authentic to you. People pick up inauthenticity very quickly so if you are trying to be something that you're not, you will stand out and not for the right reasons.

Creating your style recipe gives you a great framework to start playing with and exploring the personality dressing styles in a way that is right and true for you. There some ways in which you can go about bridging the gap between how you want to dress and how you need to dress to make your life work so you'll feel like your clothes really are an expression of you rather than a costume you put on.

If you're interested in understanding more about the connection between personality and style then head over to 16 Style Types and get your Style Type Report and discover more about how your personality really does influence your style. There are articles on the strengths and challenges of each personality type that can help develop your own personal style in a way that is authentic to you.

Further Reading

How to Express Your Personality Through Your Personal Style
Dressing Authentically When Your Personality and Dress Code are at Odds
Do You Prefer to Stand Out or Blend In with Your Style?
Should You Use Your Style to Blend In or Stand Out?

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