The psychology of style, with Philly image consultant Charles Gregory
Meet Charles Gregory, a Certified Image Consultant with 20+ years experience with personal design and branding in fashion, media, and digital industries. On his website HouseofCharlesGregory.com, he and his team provide everything from outfit/wardrobe styling to interior design, theatrical costumes, commercial staging, and they are even creating projects in the metaverse. Clients range from local boutiques like Joan Shepp to national campaigns for Walmart and Essence.
Charles himself is a low-key and thoughtful guy – you’d mistake him for an introvert if he wasn’t so comfortable at the mic! As a co-host of We Talk Weekly, a popular Philly-based news & entertainment show, Charles adds his commentary about local and national events, and also hosts fashion segments covering tips, trends, issues, and rising designers. The show is both a TV and a radio show via PhillyCam/106.5FM, with edited clips added regularly on We Talk Weekly’s youtube channel.
In an interview with psychologist Jennifer Baumgartner (author of “You Are What You Wear”), Charles enjoyed delving into the unconscious decisions we make every time we choose an outfit, and what this conveys to our peers. People learn early to make snap judgements about others, based on what we identify as preppy, trendy, classy, or associated with a certain age, culture, or occupation.
While you can’t judge a book by its cover, it’s still important to understand what our clothes may be broadcasting non-verbally about us, without our even realizing it. Charles takes this concept further by suggesting that effective styling can harness this attention and even direct it. “Without saying one word, we can project competence, culture, creativity, values,” he said. It’s like a secret superpower we can all tap into to help improve our lives.
Even if you’re not into fashion personally, you can learn a lot about someone by how they dress, and keeping up on names and trends provides all kinds of clues into people’s psyches (and budgets). Fashion is also a rewarding way to support small business! Philadelphia has a ton of great designers creating everything from haute couture to socially-conscious socks. Every time we buy local, it’s an investment in that community — and a chance to feel good while looking great.
Let’s get started! In honor of Charles’s “Fashionably 5” webseries, we’ve put together a quick list of guidelines for winning wardrobe.
💃✨ TOP FIVE FASHION RULES FOR ALL TIME ✨🤵♂️
- Context! There’s a time and place for every outfit. “Never say never, just be mindful of where you are and what you’re trying to project.”
- Classics over trends, every time. Clean lines, neutral tones, tailored fit. Can’t go wrong.
- Break the rules with accessories. “A watch, a belt, glasses – these are small things that can make a big impact.”
- Consistency is key to creating your own distinctive style others will recognize and respond to.
- Ask an Expert (or even just a friend). “Fashion changes, and we can get stuck in a rut if we don’t seek out fresh ideas from outside our bubble.”
Of course, style is highly personal and what’s in vogue is constantly changing. After decades in the fashion industry, Charles is still energized by every new client, and by today’s bold new designers reinventing how we think about clothing at the crossroads of gender, convention, social justice, and technology. He’ll explore these themes every month in The Local, where he welcomes reader questions and suggestions for local talent he should spotlight.
How About YOU? How much thought goes into the looks you pull together — or do your outfits just sort of happen? Please comment below, or reach out to Charles directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or @charlesgregory on IG.
Visit houseofcharlesgregory.com for more ways fashion can empower individuals and organizations to access new audiences and achieve greater goals.