The Multiple Personality Closet

The ever-inspiring Une femme d'un certain age wrote a post on her blog about the two personalities in her closet. I think this is something many women deal with and find to be a fault as they seek out their personal style. The thing is, we women are complex creatures. We are not robots, we do not feel the same every day, look the same every day, or want the same things every day. While it is important to find your personal style, it is also important to realize that your style should support all aspects of your personality, and to do that rarely can you have one “personality” in your closet.

Une Femme has a very defined personal style – she knows herself, her life, her tastes and yet she admits, “There are two women sharing space in my closet. Both are actually me, which used to cause no end of consternation as I stumbled and bumped along toward that milepost known as Signature Style™. But I'm learning to make peace with this split style personality, and find balance and harmony between the two. Les deux femmes have arrived at a mutual understanding, and even step out together on a regular basis.”

I too have multiple personalities in my closet, and I find that with the beginning of each season those personalities become more defined, change rank, and sometimes move out to make room for a new tenant. However over the past decade, there are a few women who have kept residence in the penthouse suites of my wardrobe:

Rock-n-Roll Mama
This lady loves the color black, bold silver hardware, lots of leather, and tee shirts with the necks cut out. She’s heavy handed with the kohl liner and loves a shoe that can double as a weapon. She doesn’t feel that one can wear too many accessories and an exposed bra strap from time to time can be kinda sexy. She’ll mix a girly skirt with an old tank top and a leather jacket and finds her hair often looks best the morning after a late night out on the town.

Hippie Chick
This is the girl who attends music festivals and loves spinning to feel her skirts float around her ankles. She loves tie dye, batik prints, and patchwork. She finds cool accessories at festivals, craft shows, and on trips around the world – nothing is better than a garment or accessory with a story. She wears white cotton voile tunics with cutoff denim shorts, maxi dresses with flat sandals, an arm full of bangles, a cross body bag decorated with embroidery and/or fringe, and loves her hair best when it air dried and decided to do what makes it happy.

Madame Manager
This woman feels power with her pointed-toe pumps, pencil skirts, and silk blouses. She finds strength in classic pieces with a bold touch. She’ll wear jeans, but they will be paired with a blazer and heels. While she loves strong colors, she balances them with classic silhouettes and steers clear of prints (unless they are of the leopard variety). On weekends she likes Breton stripes, merino crew and boatneck sweaters in dark neutrals, dark crisp jeans, and heels. She loves a statement accessory, be it a bag in a bold color or a large sterling silver cuff. She feels best with sleek hair with lots of shine and control.

All three like the power and versatility of black and dark denim, how accessories can transform wardrobe staples into an intriguing ensemble, aviator sunglasses, and a fun shoe. All three have an aversion to pastels, feminine floral prints, and anything that binds or constricts the body. All three find her breasts to be one of her best assets and prefers hair that is long.

Thank you to Une Femme for this exercise, I found by defining the personalities in my closet, it made it clearer what my personal style is, and what pieces do not belong in my closet. This season, I plan on reminding myself of my three personalities to stay on track and not be swayed by trends. Now I ask you readers, do you find multiple personalities in your closet? Have you taken the time to define them, and have you found benefit in such and exercise? Who are the women in your wardrobe?

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31 Comments

  1. THE-LOUDMOUTH
    October 27, 2012 / 4:31 am

    I absolutely love this! What a cute style round-up!

  2. October 3, 2012 / 12:33 am

    What a great idea. Like you I have multiple personalities living in my closet, but I never thought to describe them fun exercise! I think I’ll try it.

  3. September 29, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    I adore this post. I’m at a transitional phase in my life and have been fine-tuning my wardrobe for quite a while. I really want to start looking at what I have in my closet, and determining what kind of woman is represented in the clothing and accessories I have. Thanks for inspiring me to think about my clothing in terms of personality!!

  4. September 29, 2012 / 10:51 am

    This is a great post. Love your categories and how you’ve represented them. Now you have me thinking about what my personalities are. Gonna have to climb into that closet and see what I find….

  5. em
    September 28, 2012 / 12:34 pm

    I have the different wardrobe personalities too, and I have tried to forcibly streamline them out but never get very far! I’ve never found yours jarring in the photos of your different styles from day to day, so I hope I might possibly look smoother in identity than I fear!

  6. Lorena Lorena
    September 28, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    Ha… i really liked this post and now I AM INtrIGUED on who are the women living in my closet!

  7. September 28, 2012 / 12:17 pm

    I love this post, and I am eager to determine my personalities- I used to think that I couldn’t be both Hippie chick and tailored professional, but you make me feel better about that!

  8. cheapchicinchicago
    September 28, 2012 / 11:08 am

    This is great! I have multiple personalities in my closet, as well, and very similar ones at that. Some days I’m rocker/biker, some days I’m hippie and some days I’m office lady.

  9. September 28, 2012 / 10:22 am

    I love all of the outfits. They really depict each theme! Keep up the great work!

  10. Kat @ ginger, adorned
    September 28, 2012 / 9:32 am

    Love it! One of mine if def “I’m on a boat!”

  11. September 27, 2012 / 9:54 pm

    My closet has several personalities as well! I like the idea of using this to clean out items that don’t fit. Great post!

  12. Lynne DeVenny
    September 27, 2012 / 9:46 pm

    Alison, I was so hoping for multi-faceted instead of multiple personalities 🙂 but you do have a very good point. I think in the last year of blogging, I decided to try out other bloggers’ style personalities, and have only recently discovered that what I really love is well, boring ol’ streamlined me. I’m actually very grateful for the epiphany and the experimentation. I think anyone can learn a lot from photographing her daily wear, even if she doesn’t share the pics with the world.

  13. crtfly
    September 27, 2012 / 5:06 pm

    Allie,

    What does twee mean?

    Chris

    • September 27, 2012 / 5:12 pm

      Urban Dictionary defines it as, “Something that is sweet, almost to the point of being sickeningly so. As a derogatory descriptive, it means something that is affectedly dainty or quaint, or is way too sentimental. In American English it often refers to a type of simple sweet pop music, but in British English it is used much more widely for things that are nauseatingly cute or precious. It comes from the way the word sweet sounds when said in baby talk.” When I think twee I think Zooey Deschanel in those iPhone Siri ads 🙂

  14. Jacinda
    September 27, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    Love this! Thanks for sharing that some “split-personality” can be embraced! thank you!

  15. jasmine.
    September 27, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    never commit to one style!! i love it! ….i live it!!!

  16. September 27, 2012 / 11:57 am

    This is EXACTLY why I love your blog! I have a pretty varied style too and it’s always fun to see what you’re gonna be wearing today! I never know what to expect!

  17. natylite78
    September 27, 2012 / 11:45 am

    I used to think I was weird for having different personalities in my closet, but this post proves otherwise! Xoxo

  18. Grace McNamee Decker
    September 27, 2012 / 10:31 am

    I LOVE this post! I can really see how you use clothes, hair and makeup to express different aspects of your personality, yet you always look like YOU! I always feel like a five-year-old playing dress-up when I try to be “power-professional” in any way- but you always look like you. Great post!

  19. Une femme
    September 27, 2012 / 10:13 am

    What a great post, Allie! I have been inspired by all of your style personalities. (And thanks for your kind mention!) I’m finding that by embracing rather than fighting these different style selves, getting dressed in the morning gets much easier.

  20. September 27, 2012 / 9:50 am

    OH, WOW!!! I love seeing your “personalities” fleshed out like that. It really helps see the divisions… I may try to make a similar line through my wardrobe to help me see what works for work and what works for my casual “personalities.” Amazing post!

    http://www.theopinionatedgirl.com

  21. September 27, 2012 / 9:49 am

    Thank you. This post reminded me why I started blogging, and why I had originally named it Dramatis Personae– because I felt I had so many personalities with my style, and each could be a mask to reflect how I was feeling that day. It’s also a great reminder of WHY I started blogging and where I get my fashion inspirations from… (and as I go through a blogging crisis… these are great, important things to be reminded of).

    • September 27, 2012 / 9:51 am

      I feel the same way… dramatis personae… it’s so easy to develop a different persona with a simple change in clothes. In theatre, actors often have a certain “tick.” My friend Karen uses glasses as her crutch and it really helps her develop her persona.

      http://www.theopinionatedgirl.com

  22. bubu
    September 27, 2012 / 9:40 am

    Love this idea — I am going to try to figure this out, as I often feel I suffer multiple personality disorder in my closet… have also been trying to bridge work and non-work wardrobes, with some success, but I think this exercise will help a lot on that front. Thanks!

  23. Kaffesoester
    September 27, 2012 / 9:26 am

    This is such a great post! Finally I know what’s wrong with my closet – and my style! I never took into account that more personalities were sharing the closet, and clothes.

    I’ve felt so bad and confused, not being able to define my “signature” style. Now I know what’s wrong, and all there’s left to do is see, just how many different personalities are occupying my closet (sounds spooky)! Well, and get to know them, of course!

    Thank you Allie (and Une Femme) for this brilliant explanation!

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