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Quick Wardrobe Hacks, Depending on Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

The more you know about yourself, the easier it is to get dressed.

By Madeleine Kim

We’ve all experienced the thrill of a personality test. Accurate or not, putting yourself in a bucket can be weirdly satisfying, and in some cases, help you learn something about yourself. I experienced this first hand at an M.M. offsite a few years ago, during a workshop led by Conley Zani, a consultant who works with companies to develop better leaders and teams. The workshop was focused on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (also known as MBTI), a personality framework that assigns you a “type,” taking into account “tendencies” like introversion vs. extraversion and thinking vs. feeling. 

MBTI is far from a perfect science (as this new documentary points out) and should definitely not be used for hiring—but I found value in the way Conley spoke about it in that workshop. Conley, among other experts, uses the MBTI framework to talk about stressors and energizers and the ways in which they differ from person to person. For me, this inward-looking approach was helpful, and I wondered if this type of self-reflection could be used to help us build more energizing moments into our daily lives.

“Everybody is stressed, so now’s the time to pause and be thoughtful about yourself. Myers-Briggs is a great tool to help you do that,” says Conley. “For example, people with the SP—observant and prospecting—combination are the experiencers. The four types that fall into that category love being in nature, love a challenge, and typically love to exercise. If you know that those are the things you need to do to recharge, do more of that. On the other hand, there might be the types that actually need to do less of that experience stuff and benefit more from meditation and calm settings. Overall, it’s about knowing yourself, so you can find those tools that help you.”

Conley also gave an example from her own life. She’s someone who de-stresses by exercising, but she knows she won’t be motivated to get moving after her meetings unless she’s already wearing her workout clothes. (Relatable, am I right?) So, throughout quarantine, she’s been wearing her leggings and tank tops to meetings, disguised under her favorite M.M. blazer.

Wearing the right thing at the right time isn’t going to solve your anxiety. (If it could, I wouldn’t have a many-days-overdue to-do list item telling me to look for therapists in my network.) But using clothes strategically might give you the nudge you need to care for yourself just a little bit better. Here are some small ideas to consider, depending on how you de-stress.

If You Like to Move

If you need to move your body to calm your brain, like some SP combinations, wear your workout clothes under a jacket to convince your fellow Zoomers that you’re in full business-casual. The Moreland would be my first choice, because it feels like wearing a track jacket but looks perfectly put-together.

If You Like Pretty Things

Other SP combinations are highly visual people, and if that’s you, you may be craving sources of creative inspiration right now. Try enveloping yourself in a silk dress with a rich, artistic print that you’ll want to look at for several minutes straight. Good for your wardrobe, good for your brain.

If You Like Boundaries

If work-life separation is especially important to you, you might be an SJ combination. Or maybe you identify as a different “type,” or you don’t believe in types at all. Either way, you might find some solace in forcing yourself to actually get dressed for work. In real pants. Yes, with buttons. When you’re done for the day, shut your laptop and change into something comfy to get your brain out of work mode. It’s like the sartorial version of not working where you sleep.

If You Like to See People

If you’re an empathetic NF combination who misses human interaction, do some googling and see if there’s an organization in your area that needs volunteers. It’s a great way to make friends and support your community at a time when many people are feeling especially isolated. Whatever you end up doing, machine-washable pieces you can move in, like the Foster pant and Marcia T-shirt, will keep you comfortable.

If You Like to Solve Puzzles

If you, like some NT combinations, find purpose in problem-solving, challenge yourself to plan your outfits for the week. Account for all the usual suspects, like weather and your schedule for the day, but also factor in some random variables: wear an outfit that matches your dog’s fur on the day you plan to take a long walk together, or choose your most celebratory dress on the day you plan to have your favorite lunch (if you need me, I’ll be very carefully eating jajangmyun in the James dress).

Personality tests don’t have all the answers, but they can still be fun tools for self-reflection. And that’s something we could all use right now.

Madeleine Kim

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is a Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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