From time to time, I get comments asking my thoughts on a system that I don’t discuss on this blog. The reason why I don’t talk about all the systems out there is because I’m most interested in discussing and understanding the systems that I like. If a system doesn’t make sense for me or seem like it would add value to my style life, I simply don’t use it.
Now, I think style systems are a highly personal thing. What works for you depends on how your brain works. Some people just can never wrap their head around, say, Kibbe, and it becomes a point of difficulty for them, instead of something that helps them. So what works for me may not be what works for you, and vice versa. This is not intended as an indictment or an endorsement.
So here are my lists:
WHAT I USE:
1. Kibbe’s Metamorphosis
Hands down, my absolute favorite system. To me, it’s the most complete, and the one that, believe it or not, is easiest to DIY. It is a tool for self-acceptance as well as a style system. I do think it helps me, though, that there is a type that is so perfectly in line with my own tastes and personality. I don’t need to think about how to express my inner self through the limitations of my outer self, since Flamboyant Gamine expresses both with no modifications.
Despite my recent posts, which are really more about how the system is currently practiced by second- and third-generation practitioners, rather than the system itself, I still think Sci\ART is the best option among the premade palettes. Each palette can express a wide range of styles and moods, and I do find that when you hit upon the right season, it works. I know that I can take out my Dark Autumn palette, and none of the colors that harmonize with it will do something really weird to my appearance.
3. Fantastical Beauty
I’ve found this system helpful for filling in a few gaps that the Flamboyant Gamine doesn’t cover in enough detail for me, like jewelry. And I can’t wait for the Nixie guide to come out. I think a lot of people also find this freeing because it’s highly flexible and personalizable, and focuses much less than on your outer appearance and shape than other systems.
WHAT I DON’T USE, BUT AM INTERESTED IN:
1. David Zyla
Zyla’s system is basically impossible to DIY. Even though he has a book where he tries to explain how to do it, it’s really about his singular vision. I found Zyla around the same time that I found Kibbe, and I’ve seen myself in archetypes in every season except Summer. I’m actually considering going to see him when it’s convenient and when I can afford it, mainly because I love his eye for color and I find the tight, specialized approach to color to be something that is highly appealing to me. I love the idea of having certain colors that support you for particular needs in your life.
2. Suzanne Caygill
Again, a Caygill palette and typing is something that has to be done in person. And her book is just too expensive to purchase.
3. Beauty Valued
I love Kathy’s work, and a Beauty Valued palette is right up there with Zyla in “services I would pay for.” (The magical powers of your Zyla colors are what pushes Zyla to the top of my wishlist.)
WHAT DOESN’T WORK FOR ME:
1. John Kitchener
I find the approach of splitting people up into parts to run counter to the goal of a cohesive style. What are you supposed to do with, say, 5% Natural, and how would that blend with the rest of you? Also the color palettes he gives are so extensive. Kitchener’s approach just gives you too much, in my opinion. Some people like having absolutely all the things they could ever do laid out for them, but I like having a general framework in my head and then running with it.
2. Dressing Your Truth
I really don’t see myself fully in any of the 4 Types. I used to think 3, but now I think it’d be too heavy. I think it’s a good system for women who are style lost and finding their way, and sometimes you do see really huge improvements, but overall, none of the types really connect with me, and I can’t imagine wearing any of them, at least not how they’re presented in their online store.
Which systems do you absolutely love, and which ones leave you cold?