Who Do You Want to Be Today? is a book by Trinny & Susannah. A book about style. Specifically different types of styles.
This is not a new concept, not by a long shot. In fact any image consultant will tell you that defining your style is one of the first steps to changing your image or upgrading your wardrobe. In most definitions I’ve seen there have been four or five distinctly different styles mentioned. Like body shape they’re all called something different but basically they’re the same. I wrote about one version here.
Trinny & Susannah have, as usual identified more styles. Those styles are:
BOMBSHELL – Hot and sassy
Think Marilyn Monroe, Gretta Garbo or Anna Nicole Smith. A bombshell is all about sexy curves. All the time, day or night. A bombshell is all about fitting waists and formfitting clothes that highlight the curves. In fact if you don’t have curves the bombshell look will not work for you.
GAMINE – Inocent and childlike
In contrast to the Bombshell, a Gamine is never curvy. If your look is gamine that it’s adorable. A child in womens clothing. Which doesn’t mean out with the pink and the frills, more feminine and beautiful but not sexy. The gamine is in fact the opposite of the bombshell. She is always immaculately dressed but never overtly womanly. Think high necklines, a line skirts and understated beauty. Audrey Hepburn is a classic gamine along with Mia Farrow and Winona Ryder.
CUTTING EDGE COOL – Original and experimental
Think outlandish, think trends gone wild, think not available everywhere. Those with the cutting edge cool style are those who take risks, mix and match the most unlikely items to create outstanding looks and the occassional outfit flop. These are women not afraid to take a risk. They’re usually models, because they have access to upcoming trends and unlikely items that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, but another example is Gwen Stefani.
ANDROGYNE – A girl in boy’s clothing
Surprisingly a girl in boys clothing is actually really kind of sexy. It’s also authorative and fearless in some respects. Androgyne look is all about suits and button up blouses and flat shoes. It’s not about pretending to be a man so much as it is highlighting femininity by the use of mens tailoring, which by definition will confine it. Notable androgyne’s are Annie Lennox, the start of the style Marlene Detrich and modern examples, Cate Blanchett and Hilary Swank.
ICE QUEEN – Enigmatic, cool perfection
The ice queen is untouchable. Much like the diva or the bomb shell the ice queen is always immaculately turned out in feminine though much more conservative outfits. There are few bright colors in this wardrobe, instead lots of pastles, crisp white, grey and silver. That said this style is not in any way boring. More “you may worship from afar”. Grace Kelly was the ultimate ice queen. Nicole Kidman is a modern example.
AVANT-GARDE ECCENTRIC – An individual intellectual
For the avant-garde eccentric clothing is not just and outfit, its and artform. It is a statement about themselves, usually loudly and colourfully and also usually inexplicably for the rest of us. What would be a fashion flop for us is for the Avant-Garde an opportunity. Strange shoes, weirdly shaped outfits and lots of different colours and textures are all calling cards of the Avant-Garde. Lady Gaga has an Avant-Garde style. Another notable is Bjork. An Avante-Garde is always eyecatching and often inexplicable.
DIVA – Sulty and sexy
There are plenty of divas out there: Beyonce, Dita Von Tess and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few. Diva’s are all about glamour, feminity and flawlessness. A diva is always perfectly dressed for every occassion be it going to the store or an exclusive event. She will always be immaculately turned out and ever so much sexier and glamourous than every other woman there.
SOPHISTICATE – Assured and stylish
The sophisticate is all about poise. She is always perfectly attired in the perfect outfit for the occasion and exudes authority and neatness. Her clothes will be classic and understated and made with rich fabrics. There’ll be lots of tweed and tailoring and a classic timeless appeal that will work for every occasion. Everything about a sophisticate blends together to create a overall presentation of assuredness and determination to get what she wants. Anna Wintour is a perfect sophisticate.
ROCK CHICK – Wild and strong
The ultimate rock chick is of course Kate Moss. The rock chick style is all about messy hair, lots of black, trendy pieces mish mashed together and of course very sexy. which doesn’t really describe Kate Moss other than the messy hair and sexy. There are plenty of rock chick inspirations around – Courtney Love for instance. Sadly the real rock chicks are usually associated with being complete train wrecks. Its a fun style though.
MINIMALIST – Calm and authoritive
A minimalist is all about simplicity. Just as a minimalist apartment is usually predominantly blacks and whites so is a minimalist wardrobe, with the occassional blocks of colour thrown in. Lines will be sleek with unexpected angles. Makeup and hair are the same – unexpected angles and clean lines. More often than not a monochrome look is presented to keep things ultimately simple and severe. Yoko Ono is a minamilst and Tilda Swinton definitely has leanings in the minimalist direction, with the occassional by-pass through Avant-Garde.
HIGH MAINTENANCE – Epensive and slick
Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, well practically every highs society dame or celebrity at one stage or another. High maintenance is all about Chanel, Dior, designer jeans and always, always, always immaculate grooming. No hair out of place or smudged makeup or chipped nail polish here. High maintenance screams exactly that: I am very well maintained.
BOHO – An arty fairy
The ultimate boho queen is one of the Olsen twins, I forget which one, but another notable is Sienna Miller. Boho is about mixing it up and creating looks that are shabby chic. Loose, flowing, layered, with a mixture of outlandish and eyecatching accessories is what sets this style apart. The whole grunge trend in the 90’s was a very Boho style and it still has influence today. Boho is about mixing up patterns and colours and even styles all with a very eastern flavour underpinning.
WHAT DO I THINK?
For someone who’s thinking about changing their style it’s just confusing. This book is really about creating a particular look, and I suppose about changing looks, which you’d think would be helpful. The thing is all the other stuff I’m reading by image consultants is saying find your style, the style you’re most comfortable with and build a wardrobe around that. Trinny & Susannah’s “Who Do You Want To Be Today?” is really, well, the title says it. It’s about trying different looks and I think each of the looks.
I personally am not really a ‘change it up’ kind of girl when it comes to clothing and my goal is to build a wardrobe that works for me and works together so I can look good all the time, shop to fill gaps / replace without the usual drain on my time and emotions this whole clothing thing can be. But that’s just me.
The other things is that each of the looks shown is really over emphasized to the point that it almost looks like a costume. I don’t actually see people dressed that way in day to day life, but seriously, that could simply be the circles I travel in. I want to develop a certain look definitely but I don’t know that I want to ever be as overtly that “style” as shown in Who Do You Want to Be Today?
For those of you who’re looking to mix things up this is a good reference. It will give you lots of ideas about what simple changes to hair and makeup even can change your whole look.
What style am I? I thought it was going to be simple but I’m still thinking about it. What do you think your style is?