A personal style? Most of us have it

January 30, 1991|By Pat Morgan | Pat Morgan,Knight-Ridder Newspapers

"I love how you're always wearing men's jackets," my friend said. "I always wanted to have a signature style, instead of being such a mishmash."

The funny thing is, I'd always envied her style. At least, until she told me she had none.

A lot of women tell me that they, like my friend, have no style. Most people do have a distinct personal style, but many people need help figuring out what it is.

With the help of image consultant Joyce Knudsen, I've come up with some basic "types." You probably won't fit neatly into one category, but look for the one that sounds most like you.

The sophisticate is very ambitious. Her dream is not to marry the company president; she wants to be the company president. She likes attention and can be quite bold in her quest for it. She's feminine, but in a strong way.

If she isn't wealthy, she probably shops sales, looking for good deals on designer-quality clothes. The suit she wears is likely to be shapely maybe a curvy jacket with an above-the-knee skirt.

The romantic woman is more traditionally feminine. She reads poetry, cries at sad movies, and is a sucker for long-stemmed roses. If her hair isn't long and curly, she wishes it were.

She likes ruffles and lace, and prefers dresses to pants. When she must wear a suit, it's likely to be softly constructed, maybe from wool jersey. She's apt to choose a lace blouse or put a lace handkerchief in the pocket.

The sporty woman likes being outdoors and active. As a child, she preferred climbing trees in her dungarees, and dreaded having to put on a dress for Sunday school.

This woman is interested in comfortable clothes that don't interfere with her lifestyle. She loves pants and shorts, and only wears panty hose (and makeup) when she absolutely cannot avoid it.

The creative woman is the most fashion forward of our types. A rule-breaker, she's always the most different person in the room. As a child, she painted the sky orange, the trees purple and the grass blue.

This is the woman who can pair a striped blouse with a floral jacket and a plaid skirt, and pull it off. Her suit is definitely short-skirted; her heels definitely high. Depending on her mood, the suit jacket is either fitted and sexy or very loose and oversized; her blouse may be a casual T-shirt or a sexy, see-through shirt.

The classic woman would rather blend in than stand out. She's very organized and loyal, keeps in touch with all her old friends and is president of the PTA.

Her clothes must be practical as well as stylish, but never trendy. She prefers the tailored suit, with a straight skirt below the knee. Accessories will be simple and tasteful: a strand of pearls, diamond stud earrings, an expensive but not flashy watch.

She is just about everybody's mom. Including in fact, especially Neil Bush's mom.

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