I know I just wrote about Myers-Briggs summer trends last month and continue to reference the personality test up to six times every day of my life but, the thing is, it’s out of style. Myers-Briggs is OLD. NEWS. It’s gauche. (OK, it isn’t, really. But it is the personality test equivalent of a gateway drug—and there are so many other tests to explore, baby.) So where does one go next on their search for true, pure self-awareness? That real uncut shit? Look no further than The Enneagram! Why would you rely on four whole letters when you could just assign everyone a single number that describes their entire deal? That’s what the Enneagram is. It divides people into types numbered 1-9, and defines each number by a central need that drives that type’s behavior, perception of life, etc. (Like I said, that real uncut shit.)
The Enneagram can be a tough sell at first, because trying to look at nine numbers out of context and scry any meaning at all can be paralyzing. Honestly, even trying to remember the word “Enneagram” can be a struggle. I can sense the panic rising in your heart. “If I don’t understand the Enneagram, how will I know what summer trend I should try?!” you cry at your laptop, loud enough to make your coworkers uncomfortable. Never fear! Take my hand and I’ll walk you through an easy primer on the nine types and, perhaps even more importantly, lovingly shepherd you toward the summer trend that will likely prove best for you.
If you haven’t encountered the Enneagram before, I’d recommend taking this quick Enneagram test before you read any further, otherwise how am I supposed to do my very important shepherding? And then what are you going to do? Just walk around not applying my sage summer trend personality type-based wisdom to your life? That said, if you don’t feel like answering a bunch of deep, thought-provoking questions about your inner self right now, you can also just read ahead to get a sense of every type—and what summer trend would best befit each.
Type 1: Slip Dresses
I once read that if you’ve ever spent time explaining to someone why the way they loaded the dishwasher is wrong, you’re probably a 1. A type 1’s biggest turn-ons are The Rules, doing things the right way, and cleaning supplies. Literally called “The Reformer,” 1s have a strong sense of right and wrong and a need to keep things orderly. I would put down real money that whoever wrote for Monica’s character on Friends had spent major time living with a 1.
That’s why my recommendation for 1s is the ever-trendy slip dress! Wearing something a little sleeker than usual might push you out of your comfort zone a bit, which I’d argue 1s need as much as anybody. Plus, the minimalism of a slip dress might give you less details to fuss over, leaving you energy to push your focus toward more important things. Like telling your roommate why the way they loaded the dishwasher is wrong.
Type 2: Friendship Bracelets
All about human connection, love and (this cannot be emphasized enough) reciprocity, 2s, or “Helpers,” believe the only thing that matters in this world is loving and being loved in return. If you often go out of your way to make someone else’s day better or feel like you’re scientifically better than most people at being in a romantic relationship, welcome to the 2 club! The downside to being a full-on sacrificial love machine is that, as much as you might deny it, you will get butt-hurt if you notice that someone you’ve sacrificed for isn’t sacrificing back.
Friendship bracelets are the perfect trend for all you 2s out there! They’re a physical, tangible signal of your good relationship with another person, and, best of all, the other person has to wear it too! Reciprocity, babie!
Type 3: Power Suits
3s are the social chameleons (and social climbers) of the Enneagram. If you find yourself changing forms every time you enter a new group of people and embodying whatever version of you is the coolest to that group: Congrats on being “The Achiever!” 3s like nothing more than the trappings (read: appearance) of success. Being the smartest, funniest, prettiest or just plain best in the room is a tall order, but someone’s gotta do it!
Could any trend be better for this dynamic type than a good power suit? Don something bright and powerful to make sure everyone gets the message that you came to dominate, even if it’s just at Monopoly.
Type 4: Summer Sequins
If you devote a lot of time to accruing odd interests, secretly believe you’re destined to die young or have a deep-seated fear of being unremarkable, you might be a member of the group that boasts the most tortured poets per capita. Being defined by a central need to be special might sound insulting to you until you realize the alternative is being a normie. 4s, or “Individualists,” have a tendency toward the melodramatic, but we also have you to thank for a huge proportion of the art that’s been produced over the centuries. Not bad!
What better way to demonstrate how ~differently~ you do things than full-on sparkling at 2 P.M.? Embrace your uniqueness with the over-the-top look of summer sequins, and, I don’t know, maybe go easy on telling your friends about the past lives you’re sure you’ve had just for today.
Type 5: Snake Prints
Type 5s are known for being analytical, living inside their own heads and preserving their resources like nobody’s business. Famous for Irish exits, disappearing into pursuits of random knowledge sets, and the phrase “I don’t understand why you’re upset,” “The Investigator” definitely has a reputation for being a bit chilly at first. However, 5s more than make up for the effort it takes to earn their trust, giving in return fascinating conversation and the privilege of getting a peek inside their heads.
Type 5s, I pitch for your consideration: reptile prints! Anyone who faults reptiles for being cold-blooded clearly hasn’t seen that emotional support alligator that hangs out with kids in the hospital—or any photo of a lizard in a hat. That alligator is cute as shit, and so! are! you! So you’re a little calculated and analytical. It’s called having a ~rich inner life~! Embrace the cold cuteness of the reptile world and turn it to your advantage with some snake or croc prints (both of which are trending hard this summer).
Type 6: Sheer Clothes
6s are perhaps best known as the type that keeps all the other types alive. Always aware of their surroundings, hyper-observant and, OK, maybe a bit overcautious, “Loyalists” are estimated to make up about half the population. All a 6 wants in the world is to feel safe, which is why my pick for you directly defies that.
A 6’s best friends in this world are the ones who push them to question their anxieties and try new things on the off chance they won’t be the worst thing in the world. And sheer clothes are the sartorial equivalent of those friends. Be vulnerable for a fucking change! Be a little surreptitious, stand out and don’t worry about the lack of coverage or pockets. You might surprise yourself with how much the world continues to spin.
Type 7: Fruit Jewelry
Type 7s, or “Enthusiasts,” live by jumping from adventure to adventure. Their twin mottos are “Never a dull moment!!” and “Negative emotions? What are those???” Famous for their sense of optimism and, literally, an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm about everything they fill their lives with, the 7’s wheels really never stop spinning. Which is really only a problem if, uh, you really do need them to focus on this paperwork over here for more than five minutes.
Type 7s, give yourself the gift of a trip back to the ’90s with some fruit jewelry! Especially after a long day of being forced to acknowledge life can’t be 100 percent fun 100 percent of the time, a little dose of heavy nostalgia might be exactly what you need. After all, is there a greater form of escapism than outright time travel?
Type 8: Platform Shoes
I once watched a friend take an Enneagram test and grin when it asked him what he thought of the statement: “I see life as a struggle that I intend to win.” For him, the test could have just been that one question, because he was 110 percent “Challenger.” Type 8s get bored without friction, and their yearbook superlative would probably be “most likely to stir shit up in the group chat.” Some might call you confrontational, but you’d just say you don’t have the same weird thing about conflict that seems to plague most people; at your best, even “Champion” could be appropriate. You’re known for throwing yourself into the fray to stand up for the little guy, or, OK, engaging in flame wars in the comments section. Big fights or little fights, you’ve gotta stay in shape somehow.
Platform shoes should equip you to continue standing tall, being ostentatious and refusing to back down. Plus—and I’m not in any way condoning this, but—they’d probably make you better at stomping. Please don’t take this as advice to stomp anybody with any platform shoes you buy as a result of this dumb (delightful!!) article.
Type 9: Neon
“9s can sometimes feel more like an environment than a person.” This quote from Enneagram expert Annie Dimond demonstrates a 9’s almost-psychic ability to read rooms, fill needs and produce whatever energy is necessary to maintain peace. It’s no mystery why this type is called “The Peacemaker.” 9s are used to relating with anyone they encounter, choosing from a vast range of interests and personality traits to empathize with whomever they’re talking to. If you often find yourself not knowing what you like or how you feel, you might be a 9! 9s are notorious for burying their feelings deep deep down so as to not compromise their ability to get along with everyone.
For all you lovely 9s out there, I’m prescribing: NEONS! It’s time to shake! things! up! 9s often feel a deep desire to avoid making definitive statements, lest they risk their ability to relate to everyone in the room all at once. And neons are definitely the opposite of neutral. Take a chance on making yourself visible and remember you’re a whole person who deserves to make an impression as much as anyone else.