There are 16 style types, who each seek something quite different when developing and expressing their personal sense of style. Each of the 16 style types approaches their style journey differently. In this article we’re going to discuss the Subtle Stylist, INFJ: The Style Enigma.
Setting the stage
Here at 16 Style Types we differentiate between style essence and style expression, and our focus is on style essence. Which is why you won’t find any specific style advice on your style expression in this article such as which colors, silhouettes, styles of clothing, brands and so on will suit you – and that’s because your style essence doesn’t determine or necessarily indicate what those elements of style expression might be.
Women with the same Style Type, for a variety of important reasons, may not find the same kinds of clothing suit them. What they will have in common, though, are similar ways of acquiring trusted information, evaluating options, making choices, and experiencing style in significant ways, which are the concepts we focus on in this article.
Any images in this post are to act solely as possible interpretations of the spirit of this Style Type, (not as a literal example of what this Style Type may wear, might suit them or what they may choose to wear, and certainly not as a recommendation of what they should be wearing). The images exist only to illustrate and illuminate, not mandate or dictate.
The articles are also published in their Style Type pairs showcasing images which may serve to illustrate the differences (again in essence) in those pairs – so here that means INFJ with ENFJ.
The Subtle Stylist, INFJ: The Style Enigma
For many INFJs, style is how they present themselves when interacting with the outer world. INFJs don’t want to draw attention to themselves for the wrong reasons, and getting their style right means their attire makes the right impression for the moment. Others, be they family and friends or clients and colleagues, can then see them as genuine and their ideas as worthwhile.
“I love looking at and drawing inspiration from a magazine, Pinterest, store mannequin, or peer to show me “how it’s done”. However, it must fit within the overall visual persona I’ve set for myself. I won’t wear a trend just because it is trendy. I’m looking for a feeling of having integrity with my wardrobe. Quality over quantity of clothes for me… having ‘just enough’.”
INFJ are ideas people. They have a rich inner world, deep and mysterious, and crave time alone. Often hard to get to know, INFJs usually have a small selection of close friends but may have a large acquaintance. They envision patterns and connections, and the INFJ trusts her hunches implicitly. Subtle and capable, the INFJ will gracefully avoid people and situations deemed unworthy and will devote her considerable talents to projects and people she believes in.
Recommendations for INFJs finding their style
Here are seven recommendations for INFJs charting their unique style pathway.
Style is not “tick and flick”
For INFJs, finding their style is usually an ongoing process, starting when it becomes apparent that getting their style right will help them get their ideas across. Deeply creative but often struggling to express all their ideas, INFJs find that understanding their style essence then getting their style expression right are keys that opens doors that seemed to be previously locked to them.
Balancing uniqueness with style structures
Their drive for uniqueness sets INFJs apart, and when translated into their style, can be a help or a hindrance. If they learn how style works, and specifically, how it works for them, they can express this uniqueness in both an authentic and effective way. Without any style structures or rules keeping them safe, their style may meander into territory too unusual or unpredictable for them to maintain a serious standing in their chosen field.
Source your experts
Some INFJs report that in the style arena, their ideas are drawn from a variety of sources and they continue to rely on the input of trusted, respected sources such as stylish friends or professional image advisers with whom they have a strong relationship.
Identify your personal style rules
INFJs can sometimes misplace the practical realities because they are so absorbed with what is going on in their internal world (a rich and all-encompassing space). This can be an impediment to creating a smooth-running style, so the antidote is to find a great style system and identify the specific and personal style rules that will make the INFJ style function beautifully.
Style rules can be seen as an ongoing process, where each new part of her style journey informs the INFJ on what works, and what does not, when it comes to what she likes and what works for her. The best style rules for INFJs are personal, self-selected, specific, based on trial and error, and should be applied without exception.
Encouraged to spend a little up-front energy and time on these style foundations, the INFJ is then confident her style is on the right track – and she can turn her time and talents to other things.
Getting your ideas across
The turning point is often realizing that her ideas are falling on deaf ears because her style is getting in the way – it’s either not of a professional enough standard or is too inconsistent for her to be taken as seriously as she would like or should be.
With the right professional support, information, tools and set of rules, the INFJ is free to pay attention to what’s truly important to her – her projects, her ideas, her contribution to her chosen field.
Recognize how far you’ve come
No matter where she is on her style journey, this is one Style Type who is often striving to be better and may struggle with recognizing how far she has already travelled and how much she knows about her style.
To reduce stress and boost spirits, INFJs are encouraged to step back and take note of how far along the style journey she has already come and celebrate her style, however “imperfect” it is right now.
Trust your inner style muse
INFJs often say that they know when their inner style muse has guided them to making the right style choices – they simply “know”. They may not be able to explain how they know or what it is about an item that is right (or wrong), but the stylish INFJ has learned her inner style muse is always on her side.
Without this guiding light, she doesn’t don’t know if her style is right and is working as best as it can for her. Combined with the timely input of empathetic stylish friends and/or insightful professionals, the INFJ can find and maintain a congruent, subtle style.
The stylish INFJ uses her subtle creativity and trusted intuition to move her style in mysterious yet potent ways. INFJs have a subtle, enigmatic style when they are their stylish best.
In the style blueprint (part of the INFJ Style Report which you receive when you discover your Style Type), we describe four stages an INFJ is likely to go through as she explores and discovers for herself what style is, and means, to her – essential information for the subtle stylist, the INFJ charting her own enigmatic style course.