If you are anything like me, you love any excuse to dress up for a party. What better party is there than the Fourth of July, complete with a theme of colors tried and true?
When we consider these hues, we might ask: Who are the wearers of the red, white and blue? Is there a deeper meaning to the colors we wear and why? And what about your style—is it conservative, authoritative, easy breezy, or a wardrobe full of hand-me-downs? If you stop and consider your options and listen to the voices in your head, you may find there is a whole lot of chatter going on. Whose voices are those and do you agree with what they are telling you?
I believe that we all dress and present ourselves, using color and style, according to archetypes that reveal our fashion icon personalities. Archetypes, as described by Plato, are mental collective forms imprinted in the soul before it was born. Carl Jung adds that these collective forms are innate universal prototypes for ideas that may be used to interpret observations.
This means that in our unconsciousness there exists a committee of hundreds of personalities voicing their opinions and influences on our choices. When we observe how we dress, how we walk, how we respond to the ups and downs of life, we may have a better idea of who is running the show. I have observed a number of archetypes or characters and I have identified 10 Fashion Icon Archetypes. We can interpret which archetypes are most influential when we pay attention to who we are, how we dress, and how we show up in the world.
Archetypes are also related to the symbols that are part of our everyday life. For example, the symbols that adorn our flag have hidden messages to inspire integrity and honor; stars and stripes represent beliefs, values, and traditions. While these symbols may change over time, they bind us together as a nation by reminding us of our history and our principles.
Let me introduce you to what I refer to as The Ambassador Fashion Icon Archetype:
Think of First Lady Michelle Obama wearing the soft, flowery white chiffon inauguration dress for her first public appearance: in white, she sent the message of peace and goodwill. After four years in office as FLOTUS, the President’s wife earned her stripes, so to speak, and at the second inauguration she wore what the press called victory red. Never before has a First Lady been so bold. This demonstrates the personality of this archetype, a person who seeks value in all they wear and do.
The Ambassador Fashion Icon Archetype is a class act that evokes a certain status and success. Ambassadors of fashion love quality, name brands, and tailored looks. Through this intentional way of dressing, they influence and educate. The character Olivia Pope on Scandal is styled in such a way that she radiates her authoritative warrior and her triumphant gladiator persona through her well-thought-out style, taking command of any room the moment she enters.
In their best expression and their light side, Ambassadors are protective humanitarians; their shadow is headstrong and arrogant. Yet they may also have hidden professional agendas with sparks of naivety that fly like fireworks in the sky. No wonder America gets itself in trouble sometimes! But let’s not judge this archetype unfairly because the Ambassadors seek to be used in service for the greater good.
My most notable example of the Ambassador Fashion Icon Archetype is and always will be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Who can ever forget the pink hat Jackie wore the day America lost its most beloved Democratic President? That fashionable pillbox, designed by Halston, illustrated a sign of the times—a poignant metaphor for the first time Americans had a pill for everything (like the baby blue valium prescribed to calm one’s nerves and the contraceptive little pink pill that symbolized the 60’s sexual revolution.)
As an image consultant and style writer, I embody the Ambassador Fashion Icon as my most dominant archetype. The qualities of authority, wisdom, experience, and grace inherent in the ambassador in me give me the audacity to ask these questions of you, “Who are you and why do you wear what you wear?”
The Messages in Red, White and Blue
Red is the color of courage and strength. Red stands for power, influence and authority. Wear red to make a bold statement.
For some of you white is the old black. White embodies the message of purity, cleanliness, charity, and chastity.
For others, the new black is blue. Blue is the color of diplomacy and truth as well as the left-brain message of truth. Wearing blue, whether a dress or a tie, communicates sincerity.
How do you take command when you walk into a boardroom, a ballroom, or a classroom? I invite you to consider your personal style and see how the leader, boss, author, or expert is reveled in how you dress and what you do. The Ambassador archetype may not govern your style—perhaps you are a Maverick, a Spartan, or an Alchemist—but I know there’s one lurking somewhere in your psyche! So for the Fourth, let your flag fly and sport the red, white, and blue.
Lorelei Shellist, founder of Fashion Icon Archetypes™ Personality Programs, is a Speaker, Host, Model and Inner Beauty Empowerment Coach. Author of Runway RunAway: A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance and Rock ‘n Roll, She holds an MA Spiritual Psychology, and Consciousness Health & Healing from University of Santa Monica. Lorelei coaches Executives, Women, and At-Risk Teens and facilitates Prison Inmates with Freedomtochoosefoundation.org.
For more information on discovering your personal Fashion Icon Archetypes™ visit loreleishellist.com.