In January this year, style website Who What Wear published a piece entitled ‘Why Fashion Introverts Are Suddenly Wearing Loud Coats.’ I was immediately confused because I wasn’t sure what a ‘fashion introvert’ was.
Upon further reading, I discovered that a fashion introvert is someone who has understated style and prefers not to stand out from the crowd. Applying this logic further, I assume an ‘interior design introvert’ is someone who delights in minimalism and avoids statement furniture of any kind.
To be fair, I can’t entirely agree with using the word ‘introvert’ to denote understatement and subtlety because I don’t think introverts are understated at all.
Introversion is ultimately about self-expression. This may seem contradictory if you think of self-expression as being solely about verbal self-expression. Introverts express themselves in many ways that don’t require the spoken word. This self-expression can be overt, bold and dramatic.
For example, three years ago I decided to put a jet-black streak in my hair as an homage to Deborah ‘Blondie’ Harry and Daphne Guinness. It contrasts strikingly with the rest of my (very) blonde hair and I love it.
Comedian Amy Schumer is a self-proclaimed introvert. Is she understated and subtle? Definitely not. And if you watched Beyoncé’s performance at the 2016 MTV VMA’s, it’s unlikely you would describe it as understated.
It’s true, you could be forgiven for thinking introverts wouldn’t be interested in stand-out style because it would draw too much attention and open up too many possibilities for unwanted conversations. I mean, we do like to bang on about how we aren’t interested in small talk and prefer limited social engagements.
I think many introverts understand that the only required response to a compliment is “Thank you.” That’s it. The complimenter may want to know where we purchased our amazing coat/bag/shoes from but again, this requires only a simple response. Most people won’t pursue a conversation further.
I’ve no doubt that many introverts prefer a simple wardrobe, but let’s avoid the broad-brush assumptions. Even a cursory search for the subject on Reddit reveals a wide range of approaches to personal style.
None of us can be put into a one-size-fits-all introvert pigeonhole because of the complexities of human behaviour, personality types, physicality, sexuality, and ethnicity.
No doubt there’s other factors, and please make me aware of any I haven’t mentioned.
In reality, an extrovert can dress entirely in monochrome each and every day. Conversely, an introvert can happily dress like Anna del Russo at Mardi Gras.
There’s nothing understated about that.
Over to you! Does your introversion inform the way you dress? Share your thoughts in the comments below.