No! I am not talking about being in or out of fashion. I am asking you if you have an Introvert or Extrovert personality.
Hiding your light under a bushel– has never been a phrase that appeals to the Extrovert.
I learnt from Marti Olsen Laney that Extroverts make up to 75% of the population but that covers a wide spectrum. You may be anywhere along the line from a mild Extrovert to out-and-out outrageous and theatrical. At their peak, Extroverts are noisy, exuberant and en-masse can terrify Introverts. They are adrenaline junkies but not necessarily for risk-taking activities. Going to new places and meeting new people is what really stimulates them.
Extroverts love colour and depending on their features, will be the ones wearing all the bling or the sensual or dramatic clothes or the dramatic accessories. This can give the impression that they are super-confident. Do not be fooled. Extroverts draw energy from other people and many of them judge themselves by what others think of them. They are inspired by external praise, appreciation and public recognition.
Do not change. We love you as you are.
Here are three dressing tips for business and professional women over 40 to help you be thoughtful of others while being true to your Extrovert nature.
When to be Subtle
As an Extrovert, you need to give your body a rest occasionally especially after a sustained period of people contact. So add a few soft gentle colours for that time of rejuvenation when you get home. Softer shades and lighter neutrals are also great for times when you are negotiating or arguing with others. Wearing red is too aggressive as these are situations where a peaceful atmosphere will more likely guarantee a successful outcome. Tone down the bling and the dramatic accessories and wear or add something in cream, soft white, peach or light sky blue. These softer colours and classic clothes are also good for when you do not want to over-extend yourself and be elected President or on another voluntary committee. Extroverts have trouble fading into the background but you can be a little less obvious and dominant business or professional woman.
When Medium Contrast is Best
Extroverts like standing up in front of others to speak, train or teach. If you have never met your audience before, it is best to tone down your preferred high contrast to a medium contrast. Wearing bright purple and orange or a lot of bling or a very dramatic style can overwhelm the Introverts in your audience. You will turn them off and lose them. Aim instead for a medium contrast by wearing aqua or jewel turquoise tones combined with dark neutrals like black, brown or grey. An alternative is to wear a darker colour with one dramatic accessory eg a necklace or your red patent shoes.
When to Go All Out
If you have checked it out first and know that the group you will be speaking to or training is made up of mostly other Extroverts, go for it. Your natural energy-attracting high contrast colours, styles and accessories will win them over easily. Yes! If it is that sort of occasion, go the blonde wig or add your theatrical props. Just be careful of other Extroverts who may want to try on the wig or the props. You may have a hard time getting it back from them.
Finally, remember Reece Witherspoon's character, Elle, in the movie – Legally Blonde. Sometimes it is smart to tone it down. The other 90% of the time be true to yourself.