What a fun read this morning. My false positives have been many. My mother wanted me to be a Shirley Temple little girl, but my stick- straight hair and body did not fit the light curly top, pink ruffled image. Even as an adult, Mom wanted to see me in pink ruffles.
Tomboy or androgynous does not feel quite right either. My East coast college roomy tried hard to bend me to Preppy, but no. The earthy Boho colors looked good, but not the style. Not being tall or big foils draping and SantaFe and other arty looks that I admire on others. Eclectic is my best and I need to stick to finding balance.

Oh I flirt heavily with a lot of styles but never want to go all in on any of them.

Currently it's boho, which was a false positive in the past but is speaking to me a lot now. I still don't like too much of earth tone, fringe, or looseness, so I do temper the full boho look. I also like a rocker edge, which works well.

I used to go a lot more for preppy pieces (though not a full preppy look), things with anchors and so on. I still love a motif, but I've moved away from that stuff.

I also do like the occasional retro look (50's-early 60's), but again have trouble going all the way with it.

I guess I'm just eclectic at heart?

Oh boy, do I have false positives, and they're not all that different from yours, rachylou.

PUNK - I used to have a black leather moto jacket that caused my brother to say, "I wouldn't want to mess with you." I really don't want to look like I just stepped off a motorcycle. I'm terrified of those things.

RETRO/ROCKABILLY - A-line skirts and dresses work well on my body (the opposite of Angie's tomboy problem), so it's tempting to just buy them when I try them on and they look so good, even though it's not really my thing.

TWEE - I make crafts for a living. This makes me think I should dress like Zooey Deschanel. I should not.

BOHO - So close. So so close. But I only need a dose of it and it's easy to go too far.

Hilarious, and poetic.

To stay on track : I don’t switch off the autopilot - like yours it’s set on preppy.

My false positive is voluminous, unstructured garments like COS. I love them on everyone else. They just don't seem to suit me.

A second false positive is the belief that I am a minimalist. I love the idea of tight wardrobes that meet every single need. For years, I tried to accomplish just such a wardrobe (lots of trial and error and failure). I finally came to the conclusion that I am a wardrobe middle-ist. Next year I might be saying I am a maximalist (although I hope not)

Rachylou, this is the funniest thing I've read all month, and I desperately needed a laugh. Thank you!

My false positives:

Preppy -- as for you. J. Crew is my autopilot...but I can overdo it and feel bleah.

Docent lady -- see, I coined the term. EF and "arty" accessories. I might get there in time, but let's just wait and see.

Avant-garde -- more sophisticated version of above, which I really like in theory but does not work particularly well for my lifestyle and often tends to overwhelm me.

Tomboy -- which I'm completely drawn to, but need to moderate or I feel completely unfashionable.

Rachy, thanks for the laugh! I have had a couple of stressful days and this thread made me laugh so hard, I forgot about everything else for a While.

OMG you are a funny woman Rachy! This is so much fun. I can certainly relate to a lot of this. I am not sure what was false positive and what was the real thing.
These are mine:
Flower child. Well that might have been the real thing at one time but now I try to steer clear of Free People, etc. but that look does call me and try to take over my wardrobe. I only allow one ring now on each hand.
Edgy Avant Guarde. It is just too much work.
Classic. I can`t wear button ups. <br>Tomboy. I miss the accessories. <br><br>There are probably more that I can`t remember.

Heading into crafty instead of artsy. Heading into preppy/tomboy instead of incorporating only one such item. Too much black.

I love the docent lady. Thank you, Suz, for coining the term. I might be heading that way. I do have a few EF dresses, plus weird shoes.

Preppy is just traditional, pre 80s. One day when I was ten years old, or so, at the public library, another kid asked me if I went to the parochial school. I was dressed in a pleated plaid wool skirt, wool sweater, white shirt, knee socks, penny loafers. Everything was chosen by my mother, and pretty much what she wore when she was in elementary school in the 30s. It wasn't a uniform in the normal sense, but it was what I wore nearly every day.

Classic and Ladylike. I feel attracted to these styles and do have strong elements of them in my wardrobe. But when dressed in Classic/Ladylike styles ONLY, I look and feel stiff and boring. I need elements that are playful, gamine, relaxed and maybe a little unexpected. And though I adore elegant updos, my hair needs to be cut relatively short--that always looks and feels best.

Lots of fun here.

I think my false negative is the 50's full dress look. Have been drawn to it since the revival in the 80s's and more recently when watching "Call the midwife". But I don't really have the body to look great in it (by which I pretty much mean a decent bust waist ratio!) and so when I wear it I feel shapeless.

Yeah so funny! I'm with Aquamarine. I want to be a willowy 70s blonde with Farrah Fawcett hair when I'm actually a short middle aged apple-shaped woman with a grey pixie. Or I want to be full-on Maxi Amberville "fall of 1984" in New York ( heroine of Judith Krantz's novel "I'll Take Manhattan") with all the colours. Or I could try to pretend I can do "professional dress" but no-one would be convinced. Just gotta hope the content is there if not the image!

I'm with Suz on the Tomboy - I used to dress like that when I had no clue because it was easy and comfortable, so in a way this kind of look feels very familiar and safe. But too much of it and I don't feel happy. But I still love it when it's the right amount and I'm in the modd.

Another false positive for me was bright colors and "loud" clothes I was drawn to when I was trying to define my style. I wanted more color and interest because I lived in boring dark navy, brown and black (nothing interesting, no texture, few patterns) but then I went totally overboard with it. I toned it back down and now I feel much better about my clothes.

My false positives are "DIY drama" which then realise it's more DIY than I would like to show:-) and the dreaded white button down shirt-which I find so glamorous (and feminine) thus never could do work for me!:-((.
This thread made my day, thanx Rachy, and all!:-)

Very funny read and very good reminders as I read through the replies. I won't go into detail but like so many others by false positives are usually boho, arty and rocker. I can do a tiny taste of each of those in my outfits but too much and I feel like an imposer. The simpler I dress the better I feel. My maximal is most people's minimal.

Classic as in Talbots. Classic as in great prices like Lands End. The colors and sometimes patterns draw me in. But I am uncomfortable these days wearing much color. Boho.

I swoon over The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart’s costumes including jewelry. Christine Baranski was so lucky!

So funny about Talbots. I thought I was the only one. I think that their clothes are always just a little bit less versatile than similar clothing from other retailers. Also I have been confused by their store lighting. The one I go to has very warm colored lights which make black look like navy and hot pink look more like coral. Likewise the website colors are either more faded or brighter than in person, more than other brands.

I’m late to this thread, but I agree about Talbots. It’s never totally me.

My false positives are boho and romantic. I can’t totally pull off those looks, even though I like them, so I wear clothes that just have touches of those elements.