Personality-Based Fashion: The 5 Style Archetypes for Every Man
Jack Elway explains different approaches to personal style.
Need help finding your fashion template? Here are a few personality archetypes that might help you recognize what kind of wardrobe best suits you.
Style exemplars: Sean “Diddy” Combs; George Clooney; Colin Firth; Don Corleone
There’s a reason why members of the armed forces have a particular dress code. When you pay attention to the fine details and maintenance of your dress and appearance, you’re projecting an aura of discipline, reliability, and authority. The Boss recognizes this, and embraces it.
The Boss is a cool, collected, leader of men. He’s bold and confident, yet not necessarily inclined to emotional expressiveness or excitement. His look is tailored and clean, likely featuring elements that we associate with strength, like Windsor-knotted ties, and metallic colors. Bold color is generally only used as an accent.
Accessories are always going to be highly functional, yet classically elegant and top of the line – think vintage Patek Phillippe watches and Brooks Brothers wing-tips.
Style exemplars: Seth Rogan; Luke Wilson; Guy Fieri
While there are definitely variations on what the Bro fundamentally is; at his core, this archetype is relaxed, warm, light-hearted, and – very often – athletic. Likely a member of a team (though possibly a captain), the Bro isn’t necessarily interested in completely individuating himself from his social circle, but isn’t averse to showing a little flair.
This type of person prefers comfort and functionality to formality and trends, but can have a soft spot for sports teams and certain music genres. Anything celebrating or recalling a favorite band or a team will appeal to him, as will many types of athletic apparel. Fitted t-shirts, vintage jerseys, well-structured dark denim jeans, and light hoodies paired with well-tailored sports jackets can elevate their look. Colors are welcome, and might come in the form of sports team logo.
Accessories will be a cross between whimsical, functional, and sentimental, like bandanas or maybe Buddhist prayer beads. Footwear can range from meticulously-maintained sneakers, to sandals, to total beaters.
Style exemplars: Leonardo DiCaprio; Ewan McGregor; Anthony Bourdain
The Wanderer can’t sit still; he’s always seeking a new adventure. This personality greets new communities, cultures, and experiences warmly, and he always wants to do his best to both blend in with his new environment, and navigate unfamiliar territory efficiently.
For purely practical purposes, the Wanderer will want all-terrain, all-weather clothing that’s relatively light-weight and layer-able, but leather is also an essential component. Neutral colors – khaki, olive, slate – are typically what the Wanderer will gravitate towards, but he will also supplement the basics with colorful tunics.
Style exemplars: Eddie Redmayne; Josh Groban; Pharrell Williams
This archetype is, as the name suggests, highly cerebral. He tends to think that most style trends are ridiculous; if it doesn’t serve a practical purpose, he’s not going to spend money on it.
The Brain tends to look for logic and efficiency when it comes to wardrobe, but he may have a soft spot for elements that engage his fantastical nature, like urban techwear pieces, like dystopian-yet-streamlined Riot Division outerwear.
Style exemplars: Johnny Depp; Norman Reedus; Joaquin Phoenix; Chris Isaak
The Rebel, like the Brain, isn’t really concerned with trends. Nevertheless, he is likely to appreciate unique people, places, and things, and doesn’t mind incorporating symbols of his interests into his wardrobe and body art.
There isn’t much a rebel wouldn’t wear – he wears whatever happens to appeal to him at the moment. The Rebel might have a surplus of Hawaiian shirts, leopard tuxedo jackets, and kilts, and he’s not afraid to wear them at the same time. Unfortunately, he isn’t concerned about streamlining his look or even making it coherent, so it’s important that he embraces some neutral pieces – well-fitted denim jeans, a crisp, white button-down shirt, a dark suit – so that the eye-catching pieces don’t overwhelm the ensemble.
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