Gosh some people are so clever – a musing

I met a lovely girl about a month ago who is a free-lance personal stylist. I am really hoping she’ll come into my office to do a workshop at some stage, but in the meantime, she came ’round one Sunday shortly after I met her, to do a much-needed wardrobe clear-out.

The timing was perfect as I needed to change over from winter to summer-clothes and was keen not to put things away over the summer which I might as well throw away sooner rather than later.

Now, she was brilliant: she went through my wardrobe picking out the keepers, the definite no’s and the maybe’s. A lot of the maybe’s she showed me how to alter or style differently so I could keep wearing them for another year or so. (As you may have guessed, I don’t really do high-fashion!)

She also went through my lingerie drawer, and my corset & basque drawer, and various other drawers.

I now have the most beautifully-organised cupboards I have ever seen.

What really impressed me was that as she went through my clothes, even the more, er, intimate, garments, she could immediately tell what did and didn’t fit me, or what didn’t quite work, without me actually trying things on.

In my opinion, that really is very, very clever indeed.  And has only been surpassed by finding me the perfect jeans and telling me what size I needed to order on the internet. Given that I can’t ever find jeans to fit me even when I try something approaching hundreds of pairs on in a well-stocked shop, this is no mean feat.

This reminded of a presentation I gave about 12 years’ ago, about the nine types of intelligence.  Contrary to popular belief, and as you’ve most probably realised, intelligence is not confined to being able to do IQ or aptitude tests, it is much wider, more subtle and complex than that.

The proof of this is all around us: some people are brilliant physicists but have difficulty learning languages, there are great musicians who don’t have great interpersonal skills, there are talented chefs who didn’t get on at all well at school, footballers who would hate studying philosophy.  There are also a few extremely impressive people who appear to be able to excel at almost everything. Now, that’s humbling.

Sadly, a lot of schools still put the emphasis on just a few types of intelligence – logical-numerical, linguistic, musical and to an extent, bodily-kinesthetic. But hopefully with inspired teaching this will change over time. Many jobs require naturalist, inter-personal, intra-personal and/or spacial intelligence. More specialised jobs require existential intelligence (although as an accountant, the phrase “what are we doing here” does crop up in the office reasonably frequently).

Which rambling leads to my favourite TV programme at the moment, the amazing Dara O’Braian’s School of Hard Sums. It is fantastic and I am in awe (and developing a bit of a crush).  Gosh he, like my lovely personal stylist, really is terribly clever.

And isn’t it lovely that there are such clever people on TV 🙂




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