When it Comes to Fashion, Are You a Hedgehog or a Fox?


There’s a thought by the 7th century BC poet and mercenary Archilochus that says:

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

The essence of this is that people are divided into two categories, those who embrace a wide variety of experiences and don’t define the world through a single lens (the fox), and those that view the world through a single, defining idea (the hedgehog). I had never heard of this philosophical concept until recently while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, “Happier” by Gretchen Rubin. She’s written a number of books on the subject of happiness and how our habits either contribute to or detract from our happiness in life. The podcast is great fun and I encourage you to listen in.

After learning about this concept, it struck me that this is a component in learning more about ourselves when it come to our style and in knowing ourselves better. In my work with clients I’ve discovered that so many of them have difficulty defining exactly what their style is. I have a number of exercises I use to help them through the process, but this is another that I ask you to consider.

Maybe you’re not just a particular defining style (a hedgehog) but are a combination of styles (a fox). For example, you can mostly be defined by your core style words – say they are classic, elegant, uncluttered, feminine. But maybe you sometimes like to dress in a bohemian style or a playful style. That probably means you are a fox when it comes to your style – you’re willing to play around with various scenarios.

On the other hand, say your words are dramatic, creative, playful, and there’s no way you’d be caught dead in an outfit that’s simple or classic. Then you’re probably a hedgehog when it comes to style – you’ve defined your style and you’re sticking to it.

The thing is – there’s no right or wrong answer. They’re both good, but it would be wise if we take a few minutes and examine our feelings on the subject because it will influence how we approach getting dressed each morning, how we shop for our wardrobes, and how we go about purging items that don’t fit in with our concept of our personal style.

So what do you think – are you a fashion hedgehog or fox?

Thanks for reading – stay stylish!


Adena DiTonno

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