5 Things Your Dressing Style Says About Your Design Style

woman holding shopping bag

8 minute read

Fashion vs. Interior Design Style

(Part 1/3)

Love fashion as well as interior design?

That’s not even a little bit surprising.

If you’re someone who puts in effort when it comes to choosing how you present yourself, you’ll want to present your best self with what you surround yourself with at home, too.

Let’s talk about style as it relates to fashion and interior design.

To go straight to the numbered list go here.

Style is About People

man wearing eyeglasses and brown jacket
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It’s easy to look at the style of a room and forget about the real people behind the style

Just as psychology is at work when we make our dressing decisions, they come into play even more when we make a more lasting decision, like what we we will fit out and furnish our homes with. 

This is especially true for ‘bigger ticket‘ furniture items, such as sofas and dining sets.  That’s not even including the more permanent choices for our finishes and fittings, like bathroom tiles and our kitchen cabinets.

Most of us don’t put a room together every day, unless we’re an interior designer; and even then that might be pushing it.

However, something we do make a decision on every day is how we put ourselves together.

Yes, my design friends.  We are talking about fashion.


Style is About Choosing

woman in yellow blazer standing near clothes rack
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Now I realize that for some of us, getting dressed every morning can be something of a mindless routine.

However, if we go back a little, to when we first bought those clothes , we might remember that we did actually put some effort into choosing them. 

At the very least, we had some sort of thought process about it; some reason why we decided that we preferred the ones we bought, over the other options.

This is where our personal aesthetic sense comes into play.  It is this ‘personal aesthetic‘ that is likely to guide you in many of the choices you make about your visual environment. 

You might use it when choosing your graphic design elements on your social media, when you choose an artist based on their cover art on Spotify, or when giving your opinion on an expensive pair of Air Jordan’s your friend bought.

Style, Seasons, Fashion

pensive young woman choosing outfit while dressing in light vintage bedroom
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Just as there are different clothes for different occasions, there are also different rooms for different occasions, and even different “styles” of both textiles and interiors appropriate for different periods in our lives.

Just as we might acquire new clothing pieces with the season, Some people like to make small periodic updates to their home’s  style based on the season or the holidays.  Sometimes just to keep it from getting stale!

Whatever your approach to your personal style and the style of your home, here are some broad stroke assumations an interior designer such as myself might be able to make based on the way you like to dress.  Enjoy!

P.S: Pick from the pairs of opposite characteristics for clothing below and find out how your selection translates to your home interior style!

How Your Sense of Fashion Affects your Sense of Interior Design Style:

1. Your Style is Bold or Restrained

Image credits: Harper’s Bazaar, Mfitv, the Pinnacle List and Home Designing

The Savage vs. the Svelte

Some people dress to make a statement, others prefer to let the clothes take a back seat, allowing their face or maybe even their hairstyle to take the spotlight.

Statement dressing is about being noticed and turning heads. 

This can apply to interior design too. 

If your furniture is bold and edgy, it’s going to be a great conversation starter for anyone that you have over. 

Sure, you might just do it for yourself just because you like it, but let’s not kid ourselves, we’re probably digging the attention!

For other people, their clothes and their furniture are there as backdrops.  If it sounds boring, remember that neutrals and more classic pieces allow artwork or jewelry to stand out more.

It’s all about the effect you’re trying to create, whether you realize it or not.

Now that you know, what effect would you like to have?

2. You’re Conservative or You’re Liberal

Image credits: CGI Furniture & My Domaine

The Button-up vs. the Breezy

If you have an elegant, perfectly-paneled home with classical dimensions and buttoned up furniture, the chances that you dress to the nines is definitely higher. 

Notice how the girl in the more formal, elegant dress just looks like she belongs in the traditional room above?

Conversely, someone who has more of a rock and roll or Bohemian style is likely going to have a home that is a little more edgy or carefree.

Again, is it just me or do these two ladies wearing Bohemian style clothing seem like they could actually live in this beautifully artful, eclectic room?

Note that we are not actually eluding to someone’s political leanings in saying whether their style is conservative or liberal, but it is something to think about.

Where do you fall on this spectrum?

3. You Like Clean Lines or You Like Embellishment

The Structured vs. the Froufrou

Clean lines, smooth edges, minimal curve; nothing fancy. If this sounds like the way you dress, you might have a streamlined fashion style.

Clean lines are fairly synonymous with modern. It’s opposite would necessarily be anything with was adorned, decorated or embellished in some way.

In fashion, adornment could be bead-work, decoration might be ruffles or embroidery, while embellishment might be sequins, for example.

It’s anything ‘extra’ that is not really necessary to the function or primary structure of the outfit.

If you like these little extras on your clothes, then that could be extended to your tastes for interior decoration, too.

You might like those ‘extra touches’ and beautiful adornments which add to the look of your lighting fixtures, frames and window dressings.

They might not be ‘needed’, but to you they add beauty and elegance.

On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable with wearing clothes that are what you might perceive as ‘unnecessarily frilly or fancy’, then the changes are good that you’d feel that way with your interior design style, as well.

Best for you to stick to streamlined and ‘architectural’ looks rather than get bogged down in decorative details.

4. You Like Your Hues in Moderation or All At Once

Image credits: The Spruce and Decoraid, Pexels.

The Hyped vs. the Chill

Most people feel pretty strongly about color.

There are color enthusiasts who can never get enough color, and then there are those that prefer their color in small doses.

Monochromatic is for people who like to stick to one hue, or confusingly, the term can also refer to a black and white scheme.

Either way, when it comes to this question think about how many colors you are comfortable combining in your outfit, including shoes and handbag.

Is it two?


Or the more the merrier?

Being comfortable with color in your wardrobe translates easily to your choices for your home’s wall colors and textiles.

Another thing that’s worth thinking about when you make color choices is what colors look good on you!

If deep purple makes your green eyes pop, that’s a good reason to consider it for your home.

The only question is, can you handle it?

5. You’re Enthusiastic About Pattern, or You Shy Away

Image credit: The Spruce, Pexels

The Busy vs. the Business

Pattern is another place where people seem to be split. Some enjoy the energy of motifs in complex arrangements, florals and geometrics, while yet others take a hard pass.

Pattern has significant cultural associations.

Think about patterns which originate from Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Scotland and sub-Saharan Africa.

Each is easily recognized as being distinct from one another.

Each pattern also tends to have its own personality and ‘vibe‘.

They can actually cause people to make (albeit subconscious) assumptions about you; all without you ever saying a word.

Keep in mind that patterns are often rooted in history. As such, they are their own visual language, and they tell a kind of ‘story’.

Solids and very simple patterns, on the other hand, represent a safer bet when we are presenting ourselves to people we do not know.

This is why business clothes seldom have patterns unless they are plaid or fairly innocuous, such as what you might find on a neck tie.

Do you find yourself drawn to pattern or does it have you running for the hills?

Consider this when it comes to making selections for your home, and you’ll feel so much more ‘at home‘.

Play By Your Own Rules

woman fixing clothes on the rack
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

If you find that you are pretty well set in your likes and dislikes then you have a strong personal aesthetic.

The most comfortably logical thing for you to do is to keep doing you! Keep adding to your well curated life by buying and collecting more of what pleases you.

More of the styles you enjoy wearing and surrounding yourself with, incorporating all the style elements that make you feel good!

You know what you want, so go out and get it!

Break Your Own Rules

If you got through this article and were surprised by some of your prejudices toward specific style elements, this can be a good thing to take note of.

It’s also possible that you don’t have a clear preference either way on some of these questions.

Maybe you’re only just considering certain adjectives related to style for the first time, like opposite traits bold and restrained, clean and embellished.

If you are open to exploring further, then don’t limit yourself!

Now that you know about some of the ways we can look at style across disciplines like interior design and sartorial fashion, it just gives you more to think about.

It’s all part of learning to “see” more creatively.

Remember, that these fashion and interior design comparisons are meant to be fun, not something to obsess over.

They can help you to draw useful parallels, or they can be discarded entirely.

Personally, I find it fun to think about.

How about you?

Want more? If you haven’t read our article on finding your ‘eye for design’, you won’t want to miss it. It’s a Design Baddie classic!

See you in the next installment of this fashion vs. interior design style series soon!


Designer, writer & educator living in East Asia since 2001

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