Soft and Hard

The overall effect of structure/soft in your outfit should match the overall effect of structure/soft in your persona.    Your outfit includes your body – those raw materials we love to fret over.   Your persona is not just your personality, it’s also the public affairs office of that personality – what you want others to think of you.

That means that if your body gets softer with age (loosened skin around the neckline, for example), you might find yourself more attracted to a lightly structured jacket, even for evening wear.    That means if you’re an athlete, you’re going to look your best in less structured clothing that moves with your body.  Your muscles already provide visual structure, you don’t need to double down with shoulder pads.

The elements of your persona (fire/air/water/earth) should be taken into account here too.   Water and air are “soft” elements with lots of movement to them.  Fire and earth are “hard” elements, that rely upon more structure.  If you take a brown tweed jacket and structure it with shoulder pads, it’s going to look quite masculine on an athletic figure – the epitome of “earth”.  Strength, reliability, solidity.   You must stay in balance for best effect.  (There are always exceptions – remember:  if you’re going to break the rules, break them in full knowledge of what you’re breaking, then do it thoroughly).

Your subconscious – the desires of your heart – will speak out through your actions (including the action of selecting clothing and accessories) unless you consciously make other statements.   This can be good, it can be bad – really depends on where you are and what you’re trying to accomplish.   It *should* be taken into account when you dress, because revealing one facet of your true self is one thing, and misrepresenting the truth is quite another.

What do you want to say about yourself to the world?

When you sort that out, don’t forget to add in the balance of soft and hard.  And if you are changing from one side of that equation to the other – what you wear must change too.

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