Style Personas

If you’ve read my style “year in review” post last December, then you can probably sense that I’m getting a bit burned out on my personal style. I’ve reached that dreaded “I have nothing to wear” stage, and I keep buying new things without really knowing how to style them. Clearly, I need a new approach.

After reading this “Style Avatars” series by Adina of Blue Collar, Red Lipstick, I think I have found my answer. Basically, you find different “characters” or “personas” for your style and dress accordingly. This approach appeals to the storyteller in me, and when I tried to come up with my own list of personas, everything came together pretty quickly. I didn’t go as in-depth into my style personas as Adina did, but here they are:

The Professor (for work):

This is a no-brainer. I am a professor (kind of), so it’s natural that I dress like one. In fact, when trying to come up with the style personas, I pulled a lot from my different jobs, as you’ll see. Anyway, this persona is a bit classic, a bit preppy, with clean lines, minimalist color palette, and menswear-inspired silhouettes. The key pieces are blazers, straight-leg trousers, button-ups, and oxfords and loafers.

Here are some inspirations, and some examples from my own wardrobe (they’re not exact, but I’m trying):

The Writer (for work):

I struggled to come up with an appropriate name for this. In my mind, it is a more feminine version of the Professor, so “The Writer” isn’t right for it because to me, the writer is usually dressed more like Nicolas Cage in “Adaptation”. Not very sartorially inspiring, I know. But in the end, I went with it anyway because it’s who I am; it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit with the pop culture image of a writer.

Like I said, the Writer is a softer look than the Professor, so it is defined by looser silhouettes, quirky but minimal accessories, and a slightly more colorful palette (still mostly neutrals, with earth-tone accents like olive green, mustard yellow, dusky pink, and burgundy/maroon.) Key pieces: wide-leg trousers, loose-fitting blouses and shirts, shirt dresses, ankle boots.

Inspirations and examples:

The Retro/Vintage Girl (casual):

A more accurate name would be the vintage-inspired girl, because I’m not going for the full vintage look. Think of this as a casual, more “fun” version of the Writer, which means more colors (though I still tend to stay away from bright colors/jewel tones), novelty prints, and a more clearly feminine silhouette. Key pieces: A-line and midi skirts, cardigans, high-waist trousers, brooches, ballet flats, kitten heels.

The Traveler (casual):

This is probably the persona that is closest to my everyday style, but it’s not dressy enough for work, so it’s delegated to “casual” wear. It’s utilitarian, androgynous, minimalist, and comfy. Key pieces: striped everything, plaid button-ups, chunky knits, boyfriend jeans, sneakers, flat sandals.


As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between the personas, but that’s to be expected. In fact, I don’t usually dress as a single persona, but rather a combination of two or more – I may dress as a “retro professor” or a “traveling writer”. That’s the great thing about this exercise. It has really put my style into focus and helped me to think of it in more specific terms, making getting dressed easier and more fun as well. Let’s see how it turns out!


2 Comments on “Style Personas”

  1. […] thing I forgot to mention in my Style Personas post is that I’m also moving toward different silhouettes – you may notice that none of […]

  2. […] this year, I introduced the idea of “Style Personas“, and while it was a fun experiment, I haven’t really followed through with it. […]

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