Customer Watch: Introvert Versus Extrovert

For an interesting diversion, take a look at the fashion spread “Are You an Introvert . . . or Extrovert?” in the November 2007 issue of In Style magazine. The dynamic actress Jane Krakowski and her relatively demure co-star Tina Fey from the show “30 Rock” model fashions that allegedly capture the respective choices of these diametrically opposed personality types. And then, just for fun, they swap styles and comment on the experience of wearing fashions against type.

 

Frankly, I think the introvert’s fashions shown are rather a bit too bold for a shy woman to wear, featuring as they do a strapless top, a gown with deep back cut-outs, a dress worn low enough to expose the shoulders, and a gauzy tulle dress with a daring side to the bodice. I don’t think a genuine introvert would gravitate toward any of those styles.

 

For the extrovert, In Style chose loudly patterned and extravagantly textured dresses – a bright Pucci print, a dress of large polka dots, a low cut gown covered with what appears to be long loops of beading and a mini-dress of hot pink sequins. No doubt, these are the fashions of an extrovert – a very confident extrovert.

 

With respect to jewelry, interestingly, In Style utilized only five pairs of earrings and showed them worn interchangeably by either personality type. Linear earrings with drops by Mikimoto and Coomi are probably sufficiently modest in size to work for the introvert, although the movement of these earrings screams extrovert. I think that a static design without movement would be more apropos of the introvert.

 

The huge drop Kwiat diamond and peridot earrings worn by Ms. Fey with her tulle gown are anything but shy and retiring in style. Similarly, the wide gold-tone cuff worn by Ms. Krakowski playing shy is a bit too bold of a statement piece for a shy woman.

 

Is In Style saying that there is really only extroversion in fashion, at least as worn by a comedienne? The intent of the fashion spread is unclear, but the fashion spread ends with a wink, almost literally, with Ms. Krakowski, assertedly playing against type, peering out from under a swirl of hot pink features draped across her face on a hat by Philip Treacy for Donna Karan Collection. Sure, hats are by their nature arguably rather staid and formal, and it is the kind of hat worn by Englishwomen to weddings and horse races, but those feathers are the mark of a woman who wants to be noticed.

    

           [Photo by Ben Watts.]

 

You will, no doubt, have customers who are genuine introverts. The size and volume of jewelry that a woman will be comfortable wearing will reflect to a great extent whether she is an extrovert or an introvert, although of course issues of taste and her preferred personality style (such as sporty or elegant) will come into play.

 

I have seen a desire for modest jewelry many times with tall and/or full-figured customers who are inherently shy and prefer not to wear bold pieces that draw attention their way. Sometimes the small pieces they prefer are too small and aren’t especially flattering. In this case, sometimes introducing the customer to the use of multiple necklaces, brooches or bracelets may be a way to help her achieve a more flattering look.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, I know a number of petite dynamos for whom no jewelry is too large. They can wear just about anything and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Introvert or extrovert? Understand a woman’s personality and preferences to create a happy customer.