The Space Between My Peers: From Style Personality to Unique Idiom

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From Style Personality to Unique Idiom

To complete this recent semi-random series on Personal Style, I want to make a couple of points about making it your own. Sure, everyone can be categorized into 6 style types, but then there are so many questions: "Well then, why don't I like this?" and "What about that?"

Truthfully, it's so much more personal than all that. My kids said, when I was blogging about the Hillary face, that it's more important to know what you're not, in terms of style personality, than what you are. There's truth in that.

idiom: A style of artistic expression characteristic of a given individual ...

I often think about the idiom in terms of what a person will wear under specific circumstances. For example, while a glamorous person might wear sequins to get a pedicure, in my particular idiom a sparkly t-shirt is evening wear. Or what do you wear to a field trip with your kids? A timeless classic mom might choose a button-up shirt; but if it's plaid or denim, in my idiom, it's more suited to raking leaves or cleaning out the garage.

Back here, in Refining the Idiom, I described steps for moving from style personality to idiom and in Contemplating Understanding Each Other I mention another example of translating a certain style into my own idiom, using sweaters instead of sweatshirts.

What are some examples of your idiom? Do you always wear a ponytail to athletic events? Lipstick when you see your mother-in-law? Navy blazer when you're in charge?

Okay, I'll be quiet now and let you answer.


Blogger Jennifer said...

My personal style highlights:

I like to look good every day. I wear my "nice" clothes even at home. (They're all quite functional for a homeschooling mom.)

I love wearing skirts every day. (not because I have to, I want to!) Especially knee-length, swingy ones in crazy colors and patterns.

Sweaters, not blazers (though I have a couple for when I want to feel urban). Comfortable shoes in cool colors and patterns. (say, red floral clogs)

Jewelry is fun but not outlandish. Love jangly charm bracelets.

To me, picking my outfit each day is a grand exercise in creativity and reflecting my mood or outlook, so I make the most of it.

My idiom is alternative & contemporary. But also very practical for everyday wear. Wish I had some pix for you all. Today is a lavender 3/4 sleeve top and a plum knee-length flared cord skirt, with black Dansko clogs. 76 in sunny Northern California!


8:46 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...


Isn't it a great feeling of freedom knowing what works for YOU?

9:20 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...


My lifestyle is casual, so for the most part in fall and winter you'll find me in jeans and a sweater. It's my objective to have enough denim to do denim wash every two weeks!

In the summer I'm much more about skirts.

I'm definitely a blazer person. Right now, preferably fitted.

Also a sweater person. And tees in the summer.

My idiom is contemporary (yes, I have skinny (narrow) jeans!), my personal style through classic fitted pieces and accessories. It's rare for me to wear a blazer without a brooch.

I believe in classics -- for the most part I want clothes I buy to last.

Bags have to be a little bit fun, a little bit classic (no $1000 bags, either) and functional.

My dressy clothes are for the most part, also able to be dressed up or down.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

What fun. I love how each person is unique.

Within your idiom, I wonder if you wear the brooch because of your personal jewelry connection or because of a style thing. It is rare for me to wear a brooch, but that may be because I am not interested in buying one that really suits my personality.

I would be willing to wear some semi-dorky brooch substitutes: little kid message button, volleyball manager pin from high school, but I'm pretty cautious about embarrassing my family. Watch for more of that type of stuff in a few years.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...


The question of why I wear brooches is an interesting one. Not one I had really thought about much.

When I was quite young (6) I wore a Canadian flag brooch on my overcoat when I lived in England. I still have it. So it started young!

Now, the fact that I love sparkly things plays in. I wear blazers, even with jeans, and they are well suited to brooches. (Ho, ho!)

I have one brooch that is much larger than the rest I own. It is a lizard. Again ... plays to my interests.

I don't wear much fashion jewellery, as my skin is quite acidic and takes plating off. My ears do cauliflower imitations with costume earrings in them. So I guess brooches are part of the fun of accessorizing.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

"I wear blazers, even with jeans, and they are well suited to brooches. (Ho, ho!)"

You are punny! Consider yourself invited to dinner -- anytime!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Rebecca, how nice!!! If I am in the neighbourhood, I'll take you up on it!

12:18 PM  

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