I spent the better part of Saturday night going through some of the Couture 2016 collections. The collections were all gorgeous, but I had to stop from fatigue. So much excitement, so much fabric, so much beauty. I needed to recoup. The fashion industry, like society, seems to function in a way that celebrates and nurtures those of the extroverted persuasion. I am not naturally charismatic and admittedly I'm awkward in conversations - but my sense of style is strong. Somehow I've managed to cultivate some kind of personal style while remaining an introvert, or slowly becoming one - I am my father's daughter.
My knowledge of fashion has come from reading entire issues of Vogue, scrolling through Vogue.com (nee Style.com) to see the latest collections, and watching fashion documentaries. The majority of these activities happen in the comfort of my own home, most likely in a pair of sweatpants - alone. I know it's important to put yourself out there and "network", so to speak - is that still a thing? - but my networking usually happens from behind a screen. I get my energy from quiet environments; I find being in large groups draining. This is where Instagram and Snapchat are so great - I get to pick and choose who I'm socializing with and I can choose to eradicate any kind of social activity with the click of a button. It's perfect for us introverts.
Where some appreciate opinions on clothing choice, an introvert trusts their own taste - probably because they've spent countless hours and days thinking about it. We think a lot. To a fault. Shopping with other people is distracting. On the other hand, beneficial because another person at my side would likely slow my inclination towards buying stuff. I'm not one to ask for thoughts on my clothes. I don't care and I also don't want to hear unsolicited advice. Chances are Iow that I would take it anyway. Advice is the only free thing that people don't take.
Extroverts prefer to be the forerunners of style. They do well pushing the envelope and challenging assumptions. Introverts want to know the reasons: why a collection was made, the implications of the fashion industry, and we make sense of it by writing or thinking about it. Again, thinking is our forte. Whether we do something productive with our thinking is questionable.
One would wonder if it's accurate to say extroverts have a much more exciting and exuberant sense of style. It seems fitting that they would have a natural tendency to try different colours, patterns, and pieces while introverts would be more on the minimal side of things. However, I would argue that extroverts are more willing and accepting to try different things while introverts are slower to take on something new while still working through what each new style means to them. Reasons for dressing may differ but that doesn't mean an introvert's style is any less compelling.
Introversion and extroversion aren't as black and white as they're made to be. Each of us has both qualities but in differing quantities. It's offensive and inaccurate to pigeonhole individuals into just two categories - people are made of more complexity than that. There are lot of fashionable people to take style cues from who aren't restricted to self proclaimed "influencers". My dad, that lady at Ikea wearing the khaki skirt and pearls, the window displays at One of a Few, or the coffee plant currently occupying my window sill all sway me. Style comes in many forms. It is present in the most unlikely places. Just because I'm not loud doesn't mean I can't be heard. All it takes is a little more strategy and a lot less talking.