Style Archetypes: What Your Outfit Says About You
Now that very few time has been left before the New Year, many of us would start reminiscing. About the things that have or haven’t happened over the past few months, the strangest ever. In the moments like these it’s all about going in search of some new ways of self-expression. Might as well be fashion? Some of us dress to impress, others prefer comfortable outfits or don’t care about clothing at all. Yet creating a look that will encompass one’s vision, inclinations, and principles is a far more complex task.
To harmonize our sense of self through other people’s prisms, we need to communicate it right. An insight into our psyche can be of use along the way, so let’s get into psychology.
Carl Jung believed the collective subconscious (a term of his invention) to be a reservoir for archetypes, which are archaic images ingrained in human nature. Those archetypes are usually embodied in the most common symbols of culture, such as pictures of the Sun, mother, father, anti-hero etc. Since Jung’s preliminary archetypal images look too abstract to be engaged in one’s look, let’s turn to the ideas of his followers, who despite not being psychiatrists, managed to point out exciting dynamics in people’s behavior and self-presentation strategies.
‘A Queen Within_ Adorned Archetypes’ at New Orleans Museum of Art. Photo by Seth Boonchai
In the award-winning book ‘The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes’ American author Carol Pearson together with her colleague, branding guru Margaret Mark describe 12 archeTYPEs that people tend to identify with. Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Outlaw, Lover, Jester, and Regular Guy/Gal — each of them based on core human motivations such as desire for safety, domination, aggression or research interest. Each archetype has its own merits and demerits (to put in Jungian terms, persona and shadow aspect) and, ideally, seeks to build a life according to one’s attitudes.
Knowing your motives and inclinations helps to release your inner potential and plan an effective life strategy. Here is to learn more about the typology, meanwhile we’re trying to select a perfect look for each archetype. Once you figure out your own one, join us on the journey!
‘A Queen Within_ Adorned Archetypes’ at New Orleans Museum of Art. Photo by Roman Alokhin
H E R O
Fortune favors the bold
Life orientation: Life is a struggle
Description: Heroes are motivated to move forward no matter how hopeless the situation seems (for the assertive and energetic representatives of the archetype despair is never the case). Highly reluctant to any sort of emotional roller coasters or daydreaming, Heroes objectively access reality and, as a result, easily meet their goals. Within Hero rationale and logical approach amazingly combine with responsiveness and desire to help the weak. However, one doesn’t necessarily see their benevolence from the outside, so Heroes should try loosening their grip a bit to win over people, which they always strive to.
Fashion life hacks: Minimalist forms, straight lines, clear color palette (either dark or bright bold shades) will perfectly highlight the invincible nature of Hero. Focus on shoulders and waist plus minimum accessories are very much desired in the look. To enhance the effect try choosing regular (not worn) leather or other hard fabrics and pay attention to belligerent elements: e.g. metal buttons, buckles, weave, capes.
Brands you may prefer: Balmain, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace
Balmain Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear. Photo_ Filippo Fior _ Gorunway.com
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2020 Couture. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway.com
Versace Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway.com
S A G E
I know that I know nothing
Life orientation: Life is a path to knowledge
Description: Probably the wisest of the archetypes, Sages enjoy great cognitive abilities and big creative potential. However, they would unlikely boast of their giftedness: a bit shy and reserved, they don’t seek to take center stage, rather observing the vanity of this world from the outside. Intuition, judgement, and intelligence are definitely the strong points of Sage, which can’t be said about leadership and interpersonal skills. The best compliment for Sage will be acceptance of his/her competence in a field. Well, they are perfectly aware of their own talent, even if they try to deny it.
Fashion life hacks: Sages are indifferent to any kind of decoration. Turbulent emotions are not their thing, so they do not seek to express any sensations through their outfits. If you are a Sage, take a closer look at simple garments in muted tones like those of sea, sand, stone, and black, of course. Minimum ornaments, accessories, and other details are required. Neither do you need any strong makeup or big hair. It’s the ‘the less is more’ principle that your daily fashion routine might be guided by. However, if you don’t enjoy dressing up that ascetic, feel free to make your look a bit more complicated by choosing intricate cuts and adding careful prints.
Brands you may prefer: Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester
Ann Demeulemeester Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Photo_ Filippo Fior _ Gorunway
Yohji Yamamoto Spring 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway.com
Maison Margiela Fall 2019 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway
R E G U L A R G U Y / G A L
We’re better together
Life orientation: Life is socializing
Description: Regular Guy/Gal is type of a person who will find someone to chat with in the middle of a desert. Yet it might be hard for Regular to survive in a tacit community. This archetype finds social links, involvement, and team activities most crucial in life, thus, (s)he is ready to pay a high price for the sense of belonging. The flip side of the coin is Regular’s predisposition to conformism. Why raise a question if everyone is ok with the way things are going? Having dozens of friends and the entire world among his acquaintances, Regular Guy/Gal spends his/her life in the search for harmony and social equity and doesn’t forget to enjoy every single day of it.
Fashion life hacks: Feeling comfortable, that’s what Regular seeks through life, in communication as well as in clothes. The ideal outfit for the archetype is simple but no way ascetic. On the contrary, Regular wants to look like one of the guys, which unlikely matches a total black costume or a buttoned-up jacket. Denim garments, sneakers, sportswear, anoraks, polo, and a total must have, plaid shirts should always be there in the Regular’s closet. As for the colour palette, it shouldn’t be too monochrome, dark or bright, but rather natural. Nice, elegant accessories like watches, bracelets, necklaces will focus the joie de vivre of the archetype.
Brands you may prefer: Lacoste, Burberry, Paul & Joe
Burberry Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway.com
Lacoste Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Filippo Fior _ Gorunway.com
Paul _ Joe Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Courtesy of Paul _ Joe
J E S T E R
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution
Life orientation: Life is nothing without a good joke
Description: Someone called Jester the Sage’s brother, and that’s not far from the truth. Perceptive and smart, Jesters know how to turn the most awkward aspects of reality into a joke. Most likely deep down, they don’t find the world that amusing and cheerful, but just like Hero this archetype won’t give up easily succumbing to despair. Jester’s weapon is humor that usually borders on satire. His/her jokes always hit the point, though Jester’s careless approach never seems to promise that. 100 % extroverts, Jesters enjoy meeting new people and discovering the unknown. Surely, they know the influence they have on their circle and explicitly savor it.
Fashion life hacks: Recognized yourself in the archetype? Then stick to the golden rule: never get dressed too seriously. Let your look communicate your witty approach and give people vigor and positivity. In fact, it can be any unconventional pattern, irregular cuts, and funny accessories. Rich colors are most welcome. Please be careful with brands logos, so that they don’t overshadow your bright personality. Actually, if it’s a joke, why not…
Brands you may prefer: Moschino, Viktor & Rolf, Comme des Garçons
Comme des Garçons Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Yannis Vlamos _ Indigital
Viktor _ Rolf Spring 2019 Couture. Photo_ Alessandro Viero _ Gorunway.com
MOSCHINO Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Alessandro Lucioni _ Gorunway.com
L O V E R
Beauty will save the world
Life orientation: Life is about falling in love
Description: Feeling and seeing beauty, that’s what Lover is virtuoso in. Another name for the archetype is Aesthete, and that’s absolutely justified. Living one’s emotions and sensations, Lover has a flair for color, sound, smell, and grace. Lovers admire art and might be artistic themselves, which leaves no one cold. Exuding endless charm, this archetype seeks falling in love again and again, primarily, with life itself. Sociable and open-hearted, Lovers seem to know best what harmony is.
Fashion life hacks: To express the tender and sensible character of Lover, it’s better to avoid rigid forms, rather choosing curve-hugging, flowing garments. Thin belts, V-necks, and exquisite ornaments will emphasize the ethereal and seductive nature of the archetype. As for the fabrics, take special note of silk, lace, translucent pliable materials. The colour palette can be different, however, bear in mind that intense shades detract from details. So, if you feel like making people admire your floral pattern or careful embroidery, opt for softer hues like rose, caramel, light blue, or lavender.
Brands you may prefer: Lanvin, Blumarine, Elisabetta Franchi
Blumarine Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Salvatore Dragone _ Gorunway.com
Elisabetta Franchi Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Salvatore Dragone _ Courtesy of Elisabetta Franchi
Lanvin Spring 2020 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Photo_ Filippo Fior _ Gorunway.com
Cover photo: Christian Dior, by Raf Simons, Summer 2013 Couture, Paris. Photo: Chris Moore / Karl Prouse