Is Your Work Style Influential or Compliant? It's All In What You Wear

job interview Do you think you can predict certain things about a person's personality and work style based on how they dress?

Certified professional behavioral analyst and owner of Jane Co's Sensible Solutions, Jane Roqueplot, thinks so. Jane administers the DISC, a self-assessment inventory that examines communication styles and groups them by four basic temperaments. Here's what DISC stands for.

The D stands for the Driving style and measures how people respond to problems and challenges.

The I stands for the Influential style and measures how people influence others to their
point of view.

The S stands for the Steady/Stable style and measures the intensity levels regarding a person's behavior toward thepace of the environment.

Finally, the C stands for Compliance and measures how people respond to rules and procedures set by others and their need for information.

Roqueplot believes you can predict basic DISC styles by looking at how people dress. The best thing about fashion indicators is that you can analyze a behavior style even before the conversation begins, so you can start it on the right foot!

  • Direct and guarded
  • Like power symbols
  • Roles they may be well-suited for: call center supervisor, plant foreman, entrepreneur

Dominant "D" types tend to dress comfortably and typically pay less attention to their appearance than the other types. They may program themselves primarily for work results, so wardrobe tends to play a secondary role in most fields of work. They may be candidates for a time saving personal shopper or tailor who can choose or measure outfits for them in the privacy of their own offices. Driving-style people gravitate toward authority symbols, so they may wear navy blue or charcoal gray power suits.


The way the "I" types dress often relates to their need for recognition. Since they like others to notice them, they may dress in the latest style. The look-at-me "I" like bright colors and unusual clothes that prompt others to compliment them. Many even prefer negative comments to none at all. "Are you dressed for Halloween today, Rhonda?" At least she is getting the attention she craves.


Steady "S" types dislike calling attention to themselves, so they tend to wear subdued colors and conservatively cut clothing, favoring conventional styles that do not stand out too much.


Cautious "C" types tend to wear more conservative clothes, but with unique, often perfectly matched accessories. While the "I" may draw attention to himself with glitz and glitter, the "C" usually prefers a more understated, faultlessly groomed look with nary a hair out of place. However, Compliant-styles' taste may differ from the people around them. They like expressions of individuality and creativity, but within guidelines.

Next:'What Not to Wear's Stacy London Helps You Dress for Less Stress at Work

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