The Elusive Fashion Habits of the INTJ Female: Part 1
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According to the stereotypes, INTJ females don’t like fashion. While that may be true for some of us, it’s not true for all of us. Besides, even if INTJ females aren’t “into” fashion, we all have to wear clothes.
So what do INTJ women look for in their clothing choices?
Let’s explore the topic for the sake of intellectual stimulation as I believe the fashion habits of INTJs, and other cognition styles, may become more relevant with the growth of cognition based branding (I’ll share more on the topic of cognition branding in the weeks to come).
The discussion is broken into three parts. In Part One, we cover what attracts INTJ females to certain fashion. In Part Two, we look at how INTJs shop and assess the INTJ sales cycle (which may be longer than average). Finally, in Part Three, we discuss what happens after a purchase has been made, and how INTJs wear the fashions they own.
What attracts an INTJ?
I don’t profess to speak for all INTJ females. Style is subjective. However, I think there are a few common themes that attract an INTJ to certain clothing traits. Remember these are traits, not style. Favorite pieces come about when clothes that portray a certain trait is combined with an INTJ’s preferred style choices.
INTJs will almost always choose practicality over style. The outfit is cuter without a jacket, but its cold out? The jacket is coming anyway. Outfit looks amazing with heels, but you’ll be doing a lot of walking? Flats. Of course, this doesn’t apply all the time; sometimes the overall look or purpose of the clothes will win out over practicality but, for the most part, INTJs prefer to dress with practicality in mind.
INTJs prefer comfort whether it’s practical or not. They aren’t going to wear things that are uncomfortable, like a shirt with scratchy sequins, unless they have to (or they will figure out how to make something comfortable, like wearing a tank top underneath the sequin shirt). I have been excited about the rise of athleisure because of the soft fabrics, nice textures, and freedom of movement the style offers while still looking put together.
Simple, clean, minimalist lines and classic colors that are easy to match are of great appeal to INTJs. INTJs value efficiency. Simple clothes exude that efficient and effortless feel. It makes it easy to get dressed without much thought because monochromatic colors always work and the styles won’t clash. Aesthetically, I am personally drawn to modern and minimalist style lines, although this style doesn’t always make an appearance in my wardrobe. Instead, it’s more of an aspirational style that I haven’t yet achieved. I’ve also read that a lot of INTJs prefer dressing in black because it’s easy and classic. I too am drawn to dark colors, black, grey, and navy blue being prominent neutrals in my wardrobe.
Here’s where INTJs may diverge from each other, or at least pick and choose an individualistically defined style. Depending on the style need when picking and wearing clothes, an INTJ will either blend in, stick out, or pull a combination of the two. The fact of the matter is regardless of whether or not an INTJ wears unique clothes, they are definitely drawn to stylistically unique clothing. This is because INTJs are independent thinkers and can find conformity, especially in fashion, boring. Imaginative and never before seen clothing will pique the INTJ’s introverted intuition. So, no matter how many pairs of black leggings, blue jeans, or gray wool slacks an INTJ owns, you can bet on finding at least one quirky, geeky, or punny t-shirt or the odd patterned legging in an INTJ’s wardrobe.
Other factors to keep in mind about INTJ fashion requirements:
Many INTJ’s have a “Blend in” Uniform
INTJs are aware of their environment and the purpose of clothes. Truthfully, INTJs don’t dress any differently than anyone else. As I said before, depending on personal preference and the situation, the clothes that INTJs are attracted to will depend on their job, location, socio-cultural factors, and how much they want to stand out,or blend in. I’ve seen a lot of INTJs describe their fashion choices as putting on a mask to get by and fit into society. So in this way, they may be interested in certain clothes because everyone else is wearing them and they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. I went to a Jr. High where people were divided into those who wore Abercrombie and Fitch and those who did not. I didn’t like Abercrombie and Fitch, but I bought one shirt that had the logo plastered on the front so that I could blend in (Ultimately, I came to hate that shirt because it represented conformity to a ridiculous standard).
Style Really Doesn’t Matter
I’ve stuck to addressing general themes that I believe attract INTJ females to certain clothing; however, I wanted to briefly talk about style. The traits that I’ve listed above play to the cognitive functioning of the INTJ brain. Practicality, comfort, simplicity, and uniqueness can be used as measures for assessing the appeal of certain fashion to INTJ females, with the caveat that fashion style is something that is as individual as the INTJ female herself.
INTJ females are more likely to wear styles based on their personal logical processes for the intent behind the outfit. INTJs can also dress based on moods or feelings. You may see an INTJ female wearing a Goth style one day, and looking super sporty the next. So, for INTJ females, it’s not about adhering to a signature personal style. INTJ style is about a wide range of factors. My personal style may seem schizophrenic as it includes fashions that could be described as classic, modern, preppy, romantic, rock/punk, quirky, and Goth. I like it all, and I admire a wide range of styles on others. For example, I admire street and hip-hop styles on other people but don’t believe I can pull off either of those styles.
A final note to the idea that INTJ females can’t be and aren’t interested in fashion. As the “masterminds” of the Myers-Briggs world, if an INTJ wants or needs to know about fashion, they will master it. Once mastered, it may appear that the interest was never there because the execution of style appears effortless.
If you’re an INTJ, do you agree or disagree with the traits I’ve identified in this article? If you’re not an INTJ, What’s your Myers-Briggs type, and do you think your cognition style affects your fashion style?
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to take a look at Part 2: INTJ Shopping Habits and Part 3: What Happens After a Purchase!
I am INTJ female myself, I remember how my only close girl friend were always complaining about colour of my choices, which was, all are shade of monochrome, she always complaining why I always wear black to black, but I am evolved now, I love soft colour like soft mint, icy blue or dusty pink, but usually also finish it with something black or grey
Haha, yep. As an INTJ female I used to only think of fashion in a utilitarian way until my “E” friends insisted I needed different (by which they meant more fashionable) clothes for my job after college. I now feel I have mastered what is appropriate in fashion for my job but rarely feel like I must conform to fashion standards. I often get comments on my boldness in fashion but to me it’s really because I just don’t care what anyone else thinks if I like an outfit and it works for me, I wear it.
Really similar to me, I’ll wear what I want to wear
Spot on the whole way! I buy what I like, it has to be comfortable. Occasionally I’m drawn to something specific and it usually proves to be a real great piece of clothing. But fashion diva I am not!
I too agree with what you say about simplicity but adding a certain flare to it…based on either mood or what is going to be happening that day. I also find asymmetrical lines and a lot of modern styles to be intriguing but I hardly see any of those in my closet. Loved part 1 now time for part 2!
Thanks for stopping by and joining the discussion! It seems a little counter-intuitive to say INTJs may dress based on a mood, as we are supposed to be unemotional, but sometimes when you wake up, there are certain feelings that sway how you dress. “Meh”, and “done with the world” are all valid emotions! haha. I think perhaps modern looks are more expensive, but lately, I’ve noticed that those styles are really big in the fashion world this season, so hopefully we will start getting some more affordable options to buy so that we can start making that INTJ aesthetic a reality.
The happiest day of my life was the day I learned I was an INTJ. I spent 60 years feeling out of place but almost overnight I found I was actually “normal”…for an INTJ female. Your assessment is 100% accurate and once again I realize I am normal (fairly;-))
I relate totally to you! I think we are not alone in feeling alienation until discovering we are INTJs! It was such a relief to know that there were others who thought like me and that it was normal. I spent a lot of time worrying that there was something wrong with me, but we are all normal, and pretty cool too. ;D
I thought this was pretty spot on! As an INTJ female who enjoys fashion magazines and creating a personal “aesthetic” I appreciated this article very much! My personal style tends to be very masculine, although I do wear dresses to work as it’s frequently more comfortable to wear dresses than pants when it’s hot out! Even though we may not be the most extroverted of types, I find that for some INTJ’s how the human brain works can be engaging. It’s actually fun for me to try to figure out what messages the clothes I chose to wear will send. How can I manage the impressions I produce, especially in a work environment so that I am projecting competence and confidence? I wonder how many other INTJs consider these things?
Thanks so much Emma! I am also drawn to masculine style, menswear is great! I’m excited about the shift in fashion toward androgyny. As an INTJ, I too, think about the message my clothes send. Before starting this blog, I worked in the tech industry, so it was important to be aware of my dress style so that I would be taken seriously. Competent and confident. Love it! Do any other INTJs also use fashion in this way? Feel free to join the discussion!
Ever sense I was a kid I’ve been very practical about my wardrobe. I’ve always had a black and brown pair of casual shoes, dress flats, and heals. That way I’d have a shoe for every occasion that could match any outfit. I’ve since added a couple colored shoes just for fun. 😉 My favorite shoes are Converse, they are classic, never change, can be worn in almost any situation, even with a dress (I was home schooled so grew up around a lot of girls wearing athletic tennis shoes with skirts and always though it looked terrible!) And I can always find them in my size which is small enough to fit in the children’s sizes which also makes them much less expensive than most good shoes!
I’m like that with most of my clothing. My wardrobe is based around a few staple pieces that won’t go out of style, can usually be found when I need a new one, can cross from casual to dressy, and are easy to wear. I finally found the perfect pair of jeans, and since women’s styles change so fast there’s no guaranty the same brand will still make the same kind of clothes in a couple months, let alone by the time I need new jeans. So I bought five pairs at once and I’m storing the extras to bring out as the ones I’m wearing get worn out. I rarely buy something just because I like it. I have to know it could be worn in more than one situation with multiple things I already have. And as I get older quality over quantity is definitely important.
I wear a lot of black, (it’s probably my favorite color) but my closet is actually quite colorful taken all together. (Everything arranged in rainbow order and by type of course.)
I think I’m rather strict in what I consider appropriate attire for given situations. Probably connected to my INTJ-ish tendencies to appreciate rules and doing things properly. For instance, pajamas or anything resembling them (e.g. sweatpants) should never be worn outside of the house (a sensibility that was constantly assaulted when at college). Athletic wear is meant for exercise and exercise only. (Alright, if you’ve no choice you can where it going to and from. But be honest, there’s always a choice, isn’t there?) Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. are completely inappropriate for church. Girls should wear skirts or dress pants, men should at least have a collared shirt (tie or jacket appreciated). Same goes for weddings. What ever happened to wearing your ‘Sunday best’? (Yes, I think I am the only one in the PNW who even notices anymore….) I think dress should always be practical and efficient, just like most things in life, but it also has to be done right. Fast and easy is not efficient if the end result is no good.
Easy and efficient for everyday is key, I need to be able to leave the house with my hair and dress appropriate done in under 20 minutes on an average day. On my own time I dress rather preppy, sort of business casual is my style I guess. But that’s not always practical with my job, so I usually just throw on jeans and a t-shirt with some nerdy picture on it. But I definitely enjoy taking time to dress up when the occasion calls for it.
Thank you so much for you in-depth comment Rachel! I love hearing about how other INTJs approach fashion. It sounds like we approach fashion in very similar ways (also, I was home schooled for a while too!) I’ve definitely stock piled on jeans before and actually haven’t bought a new pair in maybe 5 years? I am hyper aware of the appropriateness of clothing for the situation. I thought it had more to do with my INFJ mom who taught me to be aware of societal norms, but as an INTJ, I like to follow rules (usually ;D) so I can see how this would also fit in with INTJ habits. The Midwest is pretty casual as well, so I often feel overdressed for the occasion. It’s funny you should mention wearing pajamas out, because on Friday I will be talking about the fancy pajama trend that’s taking off right now. We might have to disagree on wearing pajamas out, although I’ve never actually done it unless I’m staying in the car. Thanks again Rachel!
I found this article accurate. Hair and makeup decisions fit into this too. I started going gray at 20 and have never dyed my hair. Years ago I was called “brave” for letting it go. Really, the thought of maintaining that color at the salon every few weeks, plus the cost to do it right, just terrify me. I am not yet 40 and completely steel gray. Now that it is the trend, women ask me where I get my hair done. I just laugh when they don’t believe it is naturally this color.
I do enjoy bucking my own trend. Getting something beautiful, impractical, and only worn once for a special occasion. The look on friend’s faces is priceless when I show up “appropriately” dressed, not in whatever I deem practical for the occasion.
Quality is on the top of the list also when I make a decision to buy. I know I will wear it for years and if it is low quality fabric etc. it will not be purchased, no matter how much I love it.
Thank you Leah! I hadn’t really thought about hair and makeup also sharing the same habits, but now that you mention it, I do think there are some strong crossovers. I am currently working on the reasons shopping at Sephora can be hard for an INTJ, so it’s definitely food for thought. I’m so happy to hear that you rock your natural self, I imagine that it might not have always been easy. I think many INTJs do have a more whimsical and fantastical side that is drawn to extravagance on occasion. It’s that pesky inferior function extroverted sensing!
Oh please do one on makeup!! My daughter just hit 13. She has a completely different body and coloring type than I do, she favors my husband’s side. I sent her to her aunties (in another state) so that they could teach her the correct fashion styles and makeup for her. When she returned we went to Sephora, trying to find what my Sister-in-laws found to be her “matches” — let me just say I had to breath deeply a couple of times. 🙂
We most definitely have a flair whimsical and fantastical. I personally go punk rock when in the mood, which is probably more often than my children would like. LOL!
How timely, I just completed the “Why Shopping at Sephora Makes me Want to Cry” series yesterday! I am interested in makeup, but also woefully confused by it. I could be wrong, but it sounds like your daughter is multi-ethnic?… I am mixed and know the struggle is real finding the right makeup colors! It makes the experience all the more difficult and frustrating. The Sephora article I mentioned doesn’t cover makeup habits of INTJs, it focuses more on the overall shopping experience by cognitive function, but due to your suggestions, I will work on an article focused on INTJ makeup habits as well. Also, gotta love punk rock style! Sometimes you’ve just gotta be edgy!
I always wondered about this… I’ve always bought into the stereotype that INTJs had no interest in clothing, but I always had an interest, much because it has always helped me portray myself better, set myself apart, and even change my attitude just by the way I dress. I’m only 18 so I thought it was just a weird teenager thing, but this makes me feel a little less ‘normal’ (and to me, that’s a good thing). My style choices are schizophrenic for sure, and it really confuses my friends and family.
Thanks for the insight.
Happy to meet another INTJ who has an interest in fashion! I use fashion to express myself in ways I have trouble doing through interpersonal interactions. I experimented more with fashion styles in high school (which makes for some cringe worthy pictures) and while I still admire varying fashion styles, I think over time my overall style has become refined. Thank you for stopping by Jupiter!
Definitely true for me too. This is why I would like to shop at bass pro shops if I could afford it lol. The clothes are all simple, comfortable and practical. A lot of other girls don’t really understand why I prefer what they would see as just camping clothes. But hey living up here in canada I get excited to find a pair of flannel lined jeans. Also I have noticed that pretty much all my clothes are blue grey or black as well 🙂
Thanks for joining the discussion Mewmew! Flannel lined jeans sound really nice and warm. I’ve actually never heard of flannel lined jeans, so I’m going to have to keep an eye out for some this winter. When I was younger, I really loved camo print, so I can relate to wanting to shop at bass pro shops.
I do follow fashion mostly so I can influence other’s perception of me which can make it easier to achieve my goals. When I’m dressing just for myself, my style can range from goth/punk to vintage. Black definitely makes up the majority of my wardrobe. As for the Practicality over appearance issue, I usually plan ahead so if it’s going to be cold outside, I’ll plan my outfit around the coat I need.
Thanks for you comment Sarah! I got into fashion for much the same reason, when I realized how you dress influences how you are treated. But I also enjoy dressing for myself, it’s when I get most creative and also draw from a wide range of styles.
INTJ and I am in agreement with everything exactly.
Glad to hear I got everything right! ;P
Wow!… This explains so much. I only started paying attention to fashion and all that other stuff once it became apparent to me that people actually cared about it and singled me out in groups to criticize my attire – wore rather ugly but very supportive flats to a wedding due to a bad knee and being broke – and it was a “thing” for my in-laws to go on and on about ?. After similar events happening on a regular basis I learned so much about fashion that now those same in-laws come to me for fashion advice. I don’t care about fashion, I just don’t care to be interrupted in my thinking and ideas because of some ridiculous “rule” about what I’m wearing.
I too also dress for my mood – but the mood is what will blend in enough to not have to think about past this point…and be comfortable /practical haha.
It feels like someone else actually gets it! Thank you for this article!
I’m sorry to hear you had to go through all that pain to “get into” fashion. Fashion is a big source of trouble for many INTJs, which is part of the reason I created this blog. I’m thrilled to hear that this article helped you! I love hearing how fashion has influenced other INTJs, so thank you for sharing 😀
I also go for simple, comfortable clothes. However, I recognize some fashion as a form of art. I especially like vintage gowns and dresses. I would never have occasion to wear them, but I recognize the talent that goes into creating them.
Yes, while I like classic styles, I am drawn to more glamorous and fantastical fashion as well, and do enjoy some vintage looks. I think it’s the extroverted sensing function that draws INTJs to the “finer” things. It is too bad that there aren’t many occasions to wear that type of clothing.
Completely agree. Thanks, good article.
As an INTJ female I agree with all of your observations and can relate. Practicality and comfort are at the top of my list but at the same time I do enjoy fashion. I have my own quirky little style going on which I’m sure many INTJ women can relate too. I usually “buck” the norm just enough to be an individual but not enough to be weird! I do want to say I enjoy looking at Vogue and other fashion magazines because I admire the artistry, creativity, and beauty in fashion. Your right, vogue and couture fashion is NOT practical but it is beautiful just like any other work of art!
Happy to find a fellow INTJ fashionista! I also enjoy reading Vouge and other fashion magazines from time to time. Couture fashion is awesome and I love seeing the beautiful creations designers come up with. Just wish I could afford/not look too crazy if I got something :D.
I think practicality, comfort, simplicity, and uniqueness are spot on. I don’t like to fuss over clothing and I don’t want clothing to get in the way of what I have to do. I also don’t care about trends so I do wear a few pieces that stand out from the crowd like tartan skirts and Norwegian sweaters. However, I would disagree that an INTJ likes to dress according to moods or feelings. I enjoys systems much more than feelings. So, I have a highly organized closet and choose the clothes from the right side, while putting clean clothes on the left, thereby wearing out my clothes equally. If I find I am constantly skipping over something that remains on the right side, I give it away. I try to make sure I purge all my clothes and keep only the ones I really like, therefore guaranteeing that anything that shows up on the right side as something to wear for that day is going to be something I like. I am totally unfamiliar with the sensation of looking at my closet and thinking, “What do I FEEL like wearing today?” Clothes are utilitarian and fit into systems. That may sounds weird, but hey, I’m an INTJ.
Glad you stopped by! I love the sound of a tartan skirt (is it a family tartan?) and Norwegian sweater. I have been on the lookout for a good tartan skirt, but haven’t found one I liked yet (and actually they were really popular last year so you are on trend ;D). I really enjoy hearing about how other INTJs approach fashion. I agree with you that INTJs don’t typically use emotions such as happy, sad, etc. to dress; however, when I referred to feeling, I really meant functional feeling, such as feeling lazy (so wearing PJs), or feeling unsociable (so wearing a hooded sweatshirt and putting earbuds in). I wasn’t very clear about that point, so thanks for giving me a chance to clarify that!
Woah! This was eerily accurate! Very well written, too. Good job.
Thank you so much! I’m also glad you found it accurate, it can be hard to generalize a group while trying to keep it open for individuality.
I agree with you. I remember my ENFP mom getting so excited for the fall Vogue, and I never understood. Then SATC Carrie Bradshaw says she skipped meals to buy (I think it was) Vogue because she felt it fed her more, and I remember thinking, wth is wrong with people (real and literary)? Some of the things the models wear on the runway. Pointless, no character.
Vouge definitely has a top down approach to fashion, which can make it feel out of touch. Now days, it’s a lot easier to find the kind of fashion you like with Pinterest and Instagram and not have to buy what everyone else is buying. I never watched Sex and The City, but that certainly is a funny quote! I hope that people wouldn’t ever actually do that, however, if some people believe you can survive on air alone (breatharians), then some people may believe you can survive on fashion magazines (although you could eat the paper if desperate). Thanks for stopping by!
Yup, that all seems to fit me just fine. No pun intended. 😉
Thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear that you agree. (And we don’t mind puns around here :P)
Calling you out on your “peak” which should be “pique” but feeling the rest of the article.
Oops! Thanks for letting me know, I will fix that. Glad you enjoyed the article regardless, and thanks for stopping by 😀