Color Resistance: Summer

When I first discovered 12-season analysis and saw the palettes, I figured I would end up in Light Summer. This wasn’t something I was happy about. More than to my Image ID, I have always felt a kind of resistance to my own coloring. I am a more intense, bold person. The cool-toned pastels and grayed colors frequently given to Summer, especially in 12 seasons, felt completely at odds with my identity.

A lot of people have been going to see David Kibbe in New York recently, and one thing I’ve noticed is that there have been quite people who were told they are warm online end up in Summer. I have been told I’m either Bright Spring or Gentle Autumn, and while I could still end up one of these two seasons, more and more, I feel like Dusty Summer would be the most likely for me.

me at 5

If you look at my childhood pictures, I think the truth of my coloring is undeniable. I had very light hair and very fair skin. In the photo above, I’m on my way to kindergarten, after spending summer outside in the pool. That is as “tan” as I get. My mother, who has a very finely tuned sense for color and design, also always dressed me in Summer colors, and herself in Spring. Sometimes it was pastel like the picture above; sometimes it was red and navy, or deep plum.

My skin is pretty translucent/reflective, so few colors are terrible… except for Spring colors, as you can see in my Color DIY series. I tried very, very hard to be everything I was not: warm and dark. This, I think, is the inherent danger with the way Sci\ART works now, where you can be basically whatever since you’re looking at how colors react with the skin in isolation. There is really no way you can look at the little girl in the photo above and go, “Ah, yes, this little girl will grow up to be deep and warm.” Even though my hair color has gotten darker over the years to a now medium/dark ash blonde, no one would ever look at me and reach for warm and deep colors.

Compounding the issue is that I am not obviously cool or warm to look at it. I don’t wear pink foundation like some of my fair and cool friends. My hair is also not obviously ashy. My eyes have some yellow in them. Within my family, though, I think that my mother is the Bright Spring and my older brother is the Gentle Autumn that David believes I am between. I have always seen that I am cooler than they are, and that I just had a completely different quality to my coloring. My brother is smokier, (relatively) deeper, and warmer, and my mother is brighter, clearer, and warmer.

Living my T4 truth has helped me gain an appreciation for cool colors. I now wear a lot of red, fuchsia, blue, and green. There is a fair amount of crossover in David’s system between Summer and Winter.

Summer

This is Color Me Beautiful’s palette, not the one David uses, but it’s as close as I can get. There are certain colors that just will never appeal to me, like mauve, but that’s okay. Mauve makes no sense with who I am as a person. But within my T4 boldness, I think cool colors are something I am going to continue to explore.

Why Strictly Kibbe Is Private

This is something I see a lot in online chatter. People don’t really understand why Strictly Kibbe is a private group on Facebook, and why it’s not public. There are many reasons for this, and none of them have to do with being elitist, or making David’s work harder to access.

The first is history. The Kibbe community was already established in private and secret groups on Facebook, and it made sense to stay on Facebook so that when we started a group with a new philosophy, people could easily join from the old community.

The next reason is privacy. I personally don’t like posting a lot of pictures of myself online, and I’m sure a lot of other people feel the same way. The Kibbe process is a very personal one, and I believe it works best when it is done in a space where people can allow themselves to vulnerable. I have clicked on photos people post on imgur when they’re asking for Kibbe help on other sites, for example, and I see random people leaving rude comments. We want people to be able to go through the process in a supportive, protected environment.

The last is an element of control, although maybe not in the way you think. I do want as many people to be able to access the information as possible, and as long as people follow the process, they are allowed in. The only people I don’t allow in the group are people who have a profile picture that catches my eye in a negative way (something that sets off my radar) or people who I know have an online presence where they are putting forth Kibbe misinterpretations. I have seen people use his test to type people or put portions of his book on their website while letting people believe that it is their own work. And if people make YouTube videos or blog posts that propagate misinformation (it is easier to blog or make videos about the wrong way than the right way, unfortunately), we also don’t want them to have the privilege of getting feedback from David either. David gives the kind of help and feedback other people have paid thousands of dollars to receive from him. But while you do need a Facebook account, I don’t look for things like how long you’ve been on Facebook–I know people create accounts just to join the group.

Additionally, David has information on his own site, www.davidkibbe.co, so if you’re on the fence, I suggest checking it out. The way he works with his own materials is very different from the way it’s presented elsewhere. The process isn’t what everyone wants, but when it works for you, there is no comparison!

I hope this clarifies some of logic behind why we have made the choice we have. The intent has always been to create the best space we can to learn about and discuss David’s work.

Banana Republic Style Passport Review

This post includes affiliate links.

As I’ve written about before, my style word of the year is “Professional.” My aim was to develop my personal style at a higher level of dress than casual. An obstacle toward me achieving that goal, besides being a broke grad student, is that I am also actively working on losing weight, and I didn’t want to invest in clothing, only to be a different size shortly thereafter. I’m also just not a thrifter, and when you go cheap, you usually sacrifice quality, and this tends to be especially apparent to me in professional wear. But I really need these kinds of clothes, because not only is dressing more professionally my style resolution, but I also go to professional events, and my industry is very small so I can’t just wear the same thing all the time,. Plus, I will start going on interviews soon.

Enter Banana Republic Style Passport. I randomly got an email offering a free 30-day trial of the service. Basically, you choose from a selection of clothing, and they’ll send you three items at a time, for $85 a month. That’s cheaper than most full-price items than Banana Republic. If you want to keep an item, you get a discount. I’ve never tried out anything similar before, but I felt like it seemed perfect for my needs, because Banana Republic has a ton of clothes suitable for a 4/3 FG. So here is how it’s worked out for me.

Before I start, there is one major caveat with this service: Right now, it only carries sizes 0-14/XS-XL. If you fall outside of that–if you need plus size or petite–you are out of luck. This isn’t a problem for me outside of pants, and I can sometimes get away with it, depending on the pant, but if I were actually buying pants from Banana Republic at full price, I would definitely want petite. I hope that petite and plus sizes are something that is added to this service in the future.

So how it works is that you can choose an unlimited number of items from the site to put in your virtual closet, and they will choose three items to ship to you. They suggest at least 20 to ensure that you don’t have delays in getting your box. You can select certain items as your priority items, and they’ll try to put those items in your box.

closet

My closet

I selected three priority items before my first box was sent: Modern Sloan Skinny Fit Pants in black in two sizes, and the Sweater Blazer in black (currently only available in Petite on the Banana Republic website). These were pieces that I felt could be basics for me, if the price for purchasing them were right, and I wasn’t sure what size to get in the pants.

For my first box, which shipped Friday evening after I put together my closet in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, I ended up with the pants in the smaller size I had selected and the blazer, plus the Merino Ribbed Sweater in Neon Fuchsia Purple. My box was delivered today, on Sunday afternoon, via Priority Mail.

Box

How it comes

Contents

How the clothes are packed

Clothes

My items

You don’t find out what the discounted price would be until the box ships, but the pants are $22 as opposed to $89.50 (and the smaller size is the right size for me) and the blazer is $34.50 instead of $139, which to me are worth it for basics that can really get me through the next few months and can be worn with other items. At $47.50, though, I’ll wear the sweater and send it back. You can’t just send the items back one at a time, however. You have to send back all the items you aren’t going to purchase at once before your next box can ship. (They include a prepaid mailer.)

So overall, I’m very pleased with this service. It will definitely be useful for me for these next few months, and maybe beyond. I do have a referral link, which will give you $20 off your first month, and I will get the same amount in a credit toward my own account, if you think this is something that could work for you too. (This post was not sponsored, though!) I just hope they expand it to petite and plus sizes, as I mentioned.

Have you tried any similar subscription services? Did it work for you?

2020 Style Resolution

As we enter a new year and a new decade, it’s only natural to think of a New Year’s Resolution. I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution person, because as a Type Four, I always have a lot of goals for perfecting various aspects of my life. What I have done for now three years is come up with a word of the year. I had “growth,” “cultivate,” and now “bloom” (for some reason, I like a good plant metaphor).

But I wanted to pick a different word for my style. In Lifestyle, the DYT team published an article encouraging us to pick a Style Word of the Year. As I thought about what I really wanted to accomplish with my style this year, the word that came to mind is “professional.” I’m graduating and entering the job market in May, and I am finally starting my professional career in the United States in earnest. As a grad student, I mainly wear jeans and a hoodie most days, but even if I end up in a casual workplace, that’s not really the image I want to present. I want to be capable, stylish, and yes, professional.

But it is very important to me is making sure that I still feel comfortable and like myself. I don’t want to just wear a business suit off the rack and call it a day. I want a professional style that still expresses who I am and doesn’t feel like something I wouldn’t ever want to wear on my days off.

I have come up with a basic outfit formula that I think I will feel comfortable in as a starting point. This basic outfit is: ankle-length slim trousers + top that is not a button-down and a cropped jacket without any rounded shapes OR a sweater + flats + statement earrings.

This will be the starting point of my professional wardrobe. Wearing a variation on the same basic theme may sound dull to some of you, but I’m a Type Four, and I like consistency. I’m researching options for myself to make it happen, as I’m in the complicated position of also actively trying to lose weight, and so I don’t really want to invest in new clothes every time my size changes. I will hopefully keep you updated on how it goes through the year!

Did you make a style resolution/word of the year for 2020?

Edited 1/20/20: Carol actually posted a video on this on YouTube that is open to all. I suggest watching it!

Options for When You Don’t Like Your Season

Many people seem to default to a 12-season system for color, regardless of what else they follow. I have long had my doubts about it, however. I see a lot of people being draped as wildly different seasons, even within the same system, or just feeling boxed in by their season, and like it is a little limited or boring. Yet it still seems to be the most popular option, with people exploring many options for style, and yet sticking to the 12-season philosophy for color. But if you’re feeling dissatisfied with it and you’re not sure what your other options are, these are the ones I would recommend. My recommendations should come as no surprise to people who read this blog regularly, but they are the ones I see people being happy with once they look outside of the 12-season philosophy.

1. Four seasons

This one is pretty obvious. If you know your fit in 12 seasons, you can look to the parent season and expand your options. It’s also much simpler to only look for two qualities of color, rather than three.

Pros: It’s simpler and has a fair amount of information and systems to choose from. You will be less limited than you are with 12 seasons.
Cons: Not every color in your palette will be your “best.” If you don’t really like your season to begin with, going to a broader version of it may not help. And if your 12-season analysis was incorrect, you will have to go through the whole process again.

2. David Zyla

I know many people who are very, very happy with their David Zyla palette. It’s more limited, but because the colors are so specific to you, it often doesn’t feel that way in practice. He can also put together palettes that are more diverse than a seasonal palette, yet feel cohesive and focused. If you know your season works, but it feels limiting, or not like “you,” this can be a great option. (My Zyla tip, from people I know who have seen him: Go to see him with a look that is as “you” as possible. If you wear makeup every day, don’t go in as a bare-faced blank canvas. Showing him who you are will help you get the most “you” result possible.)

Pros: It’s custom and personalized and reflects who you are. It can go places that you wouldn’t find in a pre-made season.
Cons: It’s not cheap, and it’s hard to DIY. If you don’t like the end result, you are out a fair amount of money.

3. Dressing Your Truth

As readers of this blog know, this is the option I have gone with, because it gives me things no other system would. This is a good option if you want a color system that is fairly simple and if you feel like where you end up from your coloring doesn’t really fit who you are, which was my experience.

Pros: There are a lot of resources and it’s less complex than some others. You can easily identify where a garment would go. It can give you colors that you wouldn’t get in any other system, since it doesn’t use your coloring to get to your energy type.
Cons: Some people feel like it’s too simple and can be limiting, since only one type gets gray, only one gets black, you get either gold or silver and not both, etc. (This has been difficult for me, since gold is more fashionable now than silver at the moment.) And if you don’t like the colors of your energy type, there’s not much you can do except not dress your truth.

These are the systems that I see people have the most success with, once they decide to abandon 12-season systems. I know there are others out there, but these are the only ones I personally recommend at this point in time.

Do you still use a 12-season system? Have you tried out other things? Let me know in the comments.

Why Style and Color Matter

As a follow up to my last post, I thought I’d share a little bit of my own story and how it has affected my color and style philosophy. As I mentioned, it has changed over the years to reflect feeling authentic, versus following what is supposed to be objectively best for you. And this is why.

Two and a half years ago, I changed my life completely. I moved across the world with no real plan. I spent a year figuring it out, and in that time, I also realized that what I had thought I had been—a Dark Autumn 3/4–was wrong. I felt resigned to my clothing choices, and I longed for things like neon colors and black. I rarely felt like I was presenting my true self. I thought that this discomfort was due to not living my truth, and that I needed to extrovert more.

I now realize that if I were actually a 3/4, going through life head first would just be my natural state of being. I wouldn’t have to force it. And my clothes would support me in that, rather than just feeling like something I had been sentenced to.

Realizing that I’m a 4/3, abandoning Autumn altogether, and allowing myself the clothes that make me happy has changed my life. I have a clear vision of where I want to go with my career and the rest of my life… and I know what the outfits will look like, and how I can dress for any occasion and still feel like myself. I know how to take care of my strong, “slice-and-dice” energy that still needs to go within first. Being able to take care of myself means that I have been able to be successful in the things that are important to me, and going by season was actually a roadblock to me doing so.

Sometimes your result from a “scientific” process just isn’t the best for you. In my draping photos, for instance, optic white is awful. But then in candid photos, with all the T4 elements in place, I don’t see those same effects. I see me, as I want to be, and those effects just aren’t there. I think we all need to consider any kind of analysis, even DIY, very carefully, and whether a) it works as a part of a whole, and b) whether it feels right to us.

Have you also abandoned seasonal color, or do you still feel like it works for you?

What Are We Looking for?

This is something that has been on my mind lately, especially as I have been looking back at older posts. Why do some of us land on color and style analysis as an answer? And what question is it answering?

For me, I have always been interested in the idea that the perfect palette of colors for you exists, and that you could also fit some kind of archetype. And when I began looking at it seriously, it was because I was in my late 20s and working in my field, and I wanted to look less like a punk and more like someone that people would take seriously. I wanted to find my adult, sophisticated style.

But some people just want to find clothes that make them look better, or their best colors above all others. I think I have found the kinds of clothes that work best for me, and I have also learned where I can experiment and try something I might have felt like would be all wrong for me, if I didn’t have the knowledge I’ve gained from color and style analysis.

But on some points, my views have changed. I no longer believe in absolute truth on the color front, but an idea of what you want to look like; I know some people who tend to get a very narrow range of colors regardless of who they go to, but most people seem to get varying answers, depending on the analyst. That’s why I’ve gone with Type Four colors, because I feel the best in them and they make me the most happy when I look at my closet. I don’t think there is a color analyst around who would put me in those colors, but in the end, I’m the one getting dressed every day.

And that brings me to the main conclusion I’ve come to, which is that the purpose color and style analysis serves in my life is to help me be more myself, and to present myself to the world in that way. I always want to feel authentic in what I’m wearing, regardless of the occasion.

That’s why the next edition of the workbook is going to focus on that: creating a wardrobe that makes you happy and feels like you. To me, that is the end goal, not some kind of Ultimate Truth. What about you? What motivated you to seek out color and style analysis, and has that goal changed?

Does David Kibbe Contradict Himself?

The idea that David Kibbe contradicts himself all the time is something I see frequently in non-sanctioned Kibbe spaces on the internet. In fact, this idea just seems to be generally accepted as truth.

Now, David has adjusted his thinking over the past 30+ years. He has had that much more time to think about his work. For instance, Natural, Gamine, and Classic are no longer used as Image IDs. And the way he is able to present his work now, by interacting with us, has brought a lot of clarity. But this does not mean that his work contains contradictions.

The place where I usually see this being brought up is in regard to height. David is clear on height and how it functions within his ideas of yin and yang. People will bring up a celebrity that is reported to be taller (I love Rihanna, but I never want to hear about her being a tall TR again) that David put in an Image ID that has to be shorter. This is taken as a sign that David contradicts himself, so his clear statements on height don’t matter.

Of course, we can all explain until we’re blue in the face that David believes that most celebrities are shorter than their reported heights, and that if he saw someone in person and they were clearly tall, he would change their Image ID, not his definition of the Image ID–i.e., Blythe Danner being moved from SC to FN.

But I think that this answer doesn’t address why this rumor persists. It is convenient for people to think that David contradicts himself, because then they can remain in a state of resistance. If you believe David contradicts himself, you can be whatever you want, including a tall Gamine, since any statement on his part is up for debate.

So no, David does not contradict himself. It is just that resistance is hard to get through, and people latch on to these ideas so that they don’t have to deal with their resistance. But it is the acceptance of your yin/yang balance that leads to style freedom.

Combining Kibbe and Dressing Your Truth

I’ve never been someone who looks at one style system at a time. I have always worked with multiple style systems. My approach to doing so has evolved over the years. In my systematic way, I used to think that you can just write out a list of recommendations for each, and see where they differ and where they overlap. I no longer endorse this approach. This is partially because I now know that “recommendations” aren’t the correct way to go about using David’s work, and partially because I am interested in a cohesive look, and I feel that picking some elements, but not others, could result in something that just looks like a mishmash. I plan to go more in depth in my new workbook, but until then, I will share how I combine the two systems I use in my daily life: Kibbe and DYT.

Color

Color is easy: I stick to Type 4 colors. As I’ve said before, I feel the most like myself in these colors. I deeply appreciate David’s feedback, and maybe if I saw him in NYC and he could style me, I could see how Bright Spring or Gentle Autumn could be me, too. I don’t think mixing multiple palettes in one outfit works, and while I thought that perhaps I would have entirely Spring or Autumn head-to-toes, it just doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t seem to ever do it.

Style

Style I would describe as Flamboyant Gamine being a kind of operating system or framework running underneath, almost subconsciously, in a way. From knowing that I’m FG, I know where my star power lies. I know which clothes will accommodate my particular body, and what is best left to someone else. DYT I can use in a more concrete way, with the particular patterns, textures, etc. that go along with it, and how to balance something that maybe isn’t 100% T4 (although it always is in color!). I don’t carry around a list of recommendations. I can look at things and determine whether, when paired together, an outfit will meet both the requirements of juxtaposed yin and yang with more yang (Kibbe FG) and yin-yang-yang-yang (DYT 4/3). When used together, even in my casual days (which, as a grad student, most are), I am able to feel 100% myself and confident in my choices.

Is It Easy?

For me, it is very easy to make the two work together. My personal T4 style keywords are “Bold, Structured, and Edgy,” and it’s easy to see how FG would fit into that (although of course you could be an entirely different Image ID and those keywords would still work for you!). But sometimes, the options you get from different systems don’t really seem to coalesce. In my case, that would be the season/color palette aspect. I’m sure there are colors on the Spring and Autumn palettes that would fit into T4, but I wouldn’t get my black and white. Trying to satisfy both would leave me with very limited options. In that case, I just had to make an executive decision in terms of which I would choose.

What has been your experience with trying to merge different style systems into one wardrobe?

“Curvy” Flamboyant Gamine: 2019

Five years ago, I wrote a post about the conclusions I had come to about how I was a Flamboyant Gamine.

Of course, this being so long ago, I didn’t really understand a lot of David’s system. I somehow understood intrinsically that I was a Flamboyant Gamine, but I didn’t really understand what my body was showing me. Reading that post, I have no idea why I didn’t think I was a Soft Gamine except for pure instinct, and that I knew that attempting to dress taking into account what I saw as my “curves” was a disaster.

I’m always learning new things from David, and one of the things he has said recently is that Women start with a baseline of curves. Men have a baseline of length and width. Having measurements that indicate a bust, waist, and hips are not enough to add yin. The most yang women can have a body shape that would be considered “hourglass” if you put it into a calculator.

What matters it how clothing falls around the body. On a Dramatic woman, they have their long vertical:
Lauren.

(And no, I am not suggesting people try clothing on to see! David has an exercise to figure this out on Strictly Kibbe.)

For me, as an FG, it is a mixture of long and short:

Audrey

For an R, their curves need to be accommodated:

Marilyn

Having a bust, waist, and hips does not mean that you have to accommodate curves. It may sound funny, but I dress to accommodate my lack of curves, width, and balance. I am not a unicorn among FGs, because what I have is a baseline of curves, and not curves that need to be considered. I simply have a juxtaposed mix of yin and yang, and yang wins out.

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