Which System Is Right for You?

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Not only are systems based on different criteria, but they also provide you with different things. Sometimes, people take issue with systems because they are looking for something a particular system doesn’t provide.

I’m only going to be talking about the Big Three here: Kibbe, Dressing Your Truth, and Zyla. There are other systems out there, but these are the ones I focus on in this blog. (I am also interested in Fantastical Beauty, but it’s newer and I’m not quite sure how it fits.)

So I’m going to go over what I see these systems providing their users/clients/customers, and the pros and cons. These are based on my own experiences and observations, having been an active participant in online communities focusing on these groups and knowing people who have received services from all three providers.

1. David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis

If you read the book, David talks about creating the “total look,” i.e., the image that a studio would come up with for a star, back in the day (which is why contemporary celebrities aren’t that great for inspiration in this system–they don’t really do this in the same way anymore):

Legions of artists were employed to create the special and specific image of the star that would identify each star to the public…By viewing an image that was based one each star’s special and unique essence, the audience was able to easily identify and understand the star in a complete and unconscious way…This is as important for you as it is for any Hollywood movie star! A large part of your success in life…is predicated on how effectively you are able to communicate your unique identity to others…Discovering your Image Identity is the first step, for it allows to utilize everything you are–both physically and innately–so that you can integrate your essential uniqueness into your own total look.

David Kibbe, Metamorphosis, pp. 6-7

So as you can see, his intentions are very high concept. It is not simply, “look a little better and have an easier time getting dressed.” It is meant to enable you to become the star of the motion picture that is Your Life. If you see something on the internet along the lines of, “Capsule Summer Wardrobe for the Soft Dramatic Body Type!,” this person has missed the point completely. I am pretty sure David Kibbe is allergic to capsule wardrobes. You need to have separate, fabulous outfits for all of your fabulous occasions. It is not “How to Dress for Your Body.” I think this misconception exists because the parts of the book that made it online were sections like the quiz and the recommendations that are in the book. The more theoretical side of David’s work did not make it.

David’s work is meant to bring your life to a higher level by enabling you to move through the world as a STAR. He is not thinking about how you can look a little more pulled together when you’re making your Target run (although you can be, as a result of following his work). He is thinking about your receiving an award on stage, in recognition of your fabulousness. If you’re not looking for anything except maybe which skirt shape is most flattering on you, it’s probably not the system for you.

It is perhaps the most intensive in terms of “workload.” You not only have to break through seeing yourself for who you are, but but you basically have to relearn how to think about clothing. Especially with the changes in fashion in recent decades, it is a very different way to approach dressing. I have seen absolutely amazing results from friends who have stuck with it, though, even without going to see him in person.

Cost: Going to see him in NYC is very expensive. David, however, is an active participant in Facebook groups and has come up with a series of exercises to help you land on your Image ID, and he will give advice to people as well–all for free.

It’s the system for you if: You’ve ever watched an old movie on TCM and wanted Edith Head to design you an outfit for each scene of your life.

2. David Zyla

David Zyla is fairly similar. He gives you your unique version of an Archetype, and your unique color palette. Both Davids come from working with actors, so to me, the idea of what your starring role would be figures prominently in both.

Zyla gives much more concrete advice. (It is not that Kibbe doesn’t; but it’s more like an idea with limitless possibilities, whereas the advice Zyla gives is very specific.) Your colors are going to exact matches when you buy items with them out in the wild and his recommendations are very specific. He has additional services, such as an extended color palette and the Ultimate Styling Session, where he sketches outfits for you based on a specific need or event (some people do this with him multiple times). He will go shopping with you and consult with you on interior decoration, and more.

There are some people who go and work with Zyla many, many times. Some people can only ever afford the initial consultation. I know people who love what they got and I know people who don’t. The biggest problem I see is that he gets so specific that people aren’t sure what to do when they see something they like, but it isn’t something that they have gotten a definite “yes” or “no” from Zyla about. Some people seem to love what they have for quite some time, and then feel the need to go outside of it.

If you want very clear recommendations and a tight color palette, I think Zyla would be a great stylist to go to. It seems to be the most difficult to DIY to me, even with a book. It is just so much about his vision for you.

Cost: The initial consult is under a thousand, and the subsequent services vary. He travels, both in the U.S. and in Europe. He has a book (still in print, so much cheaper than Kibbe’s!), and while the book has a DIY process and I have seen people get close, it can’t give you the custom look seeing him in person does.

It’s the system for you if: you want a vision of yourself from an Emmy-winning stylist, and could potentially pay for several sessions to really develop your style with him.

Dressing Your Truth

Dressing Your Truth is the one I would recommend most to people who just want to look more pulled together, and can’t either dedicate a ton of time or drop a large sum of cash at once. If you want to introduce your friends and family to something, this would be it. Carol’s system is definitely meant for busy people with practical needs. You can send someone the new Beginner’s Guide and they would be well on their way.

Dressing Your Truth also has a ton of content to help you in their Lifestyle program. They release new content pieces almost every weekday, and I find them fun to watch. If you want to put together a capsule wardrobe with items you can mix and match, this is definitely the system I would choose. It is easily the most accessible of the three. Once you’re a Lifestyle member, there are a ton of informative content pieces on helping you develop your style, and there are two shopping guides posted per type per week in their StyleInspire feature.

In addition, the style work is just part of it, and there is a lot of personal development content that is also valuable, in my opinion.

Cost: The Beginner’s Course is free, Lifestyle is $12.95/month or $7.95 if you pay a whole year, and the style kit is $99 when it’s not sale, but it frequently is.

It’s the system for you if: You want to look better and more pulled together and have a capsule wardrobe, clear guidelines, accessible information, etc. You are interested in personal development systems like MBTI or Enneagram.

What I Use

I don’t use Zyla, because I haven’t seen him. I use a combination of Kibbe and DYT. Flamboyant Gamine always figures prominently in my mind, because it just is what I am. I don’t use a list of recommendations (he doesn’t anymore either!), but I have a general idea of how to work with my yin/yang balance, both how Kibbe means it and how Carol means it (they both use this terminology, but in different ways). I use my DYT T4 color palette exclusively now, but otherwise I find that they can inform one another and my outfits are all both FG and 4/3.

Which system(s) do you use? Do you find that what I have written above to be true, in your experience?

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Five Signs Type Three Was Wrong

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I mistyped myself for about five years. While it took me a long time, there were signs all along that Type Three was wrong.

1. I didn’t like the clothes.

The idea of doing the 30-day challenge didn’t appeal to me at all. I was never inspired by the OOTDs in the T3 Facebook group. The only T3 pattern I liked was leopard. I ordered a handful of things from the DYT store, back when they still sold clothing and accessories, and none of the clothing ever made it out of the bag. The jewelry didn’t fare much better, and a lot of time, it was literally too big for my ears, especially stud earrings. I didn’t know it was possible for jewelry to not fit, but it happened.

2. I felt like I looked different from other T3s.

I always felt like there was just something different in the way I looked. I could see some T3 features, like the lump of clay nose, but the overall quality of my bone structure and skin seemed different. I thought maybe finding my secondary would help, but I didn’t look like the 3/4s and I couldn’t see myself being 3/1 and being the highest energy on the planet.

3. I never felt shamed for what I saw as my T3 qualities.

When I read The Child Whisperer, I thought that I must have been raised very true to my nature, because I related to nothing regarding shaming of a T3 child. (The T4 child? Very much so).

4. I was not a T3 child.

Going from that, when I was very, very young, I barely moved. I sat in a chair and observed the world. I had no need to be physical in the world. I preferred to read and write, once I was old enough, and do my own thing. When it comes to being competitive, the only place I could identify being competitive was… reading. I wanted to read more books than my peers. When it came to sports, however, I would do everything I could to get out of it.

5. Being physical and active didn’t support me.

After about four years of this, it came to a point where I felt very out of sorts. I thought that I wasn’t doing enough to support my T3, that I needed to extrovert myself more (in the way Carol uses it, to describe a quality of movement, versus being more social). But I don’t support myself by getting things done and connecting with the outdoors. I support myself by making sure to give myself time to go within.

Of course, there were many ways I was living true to my nature as a Type Four, even when I thought I was a Type Three. About a year before I realized I was a T4, I got a Type Four haircut. My clothes were basically T4 in T3 colors. And about six months before I realized I was a T4, I started getting up an hour earlier in the morning to have some time to intellectually connect with my interests before my day started, because I was working retail and that required a lot of extroversion. I still do this and I find it to be the single most important change I’ve made in my life, because it allows me to start my day off in a way that supports me. This is the first time in my life that I feel like I’m not underachieving in school, and I think it’s because I have learned how to support my T4 energy in a way that allows me to live up to my potential.

So these were all the glaring signs that I had misprofiled myself. Now, I think that someone could have one or two of these present, and it could be wounding, or that they haven’t found their way of living in their type yet. But I had so many things showing me that T3 was not my primary that it just couldn’t be right. When I realized I was T4, I couldn’t wait to buy all the things, and I related so much to everything Carol says about the T4 child, and I saw how Big Picture Thinking is my way of operating in the world. I like to get things done, but I like to come up with the perfect solution to a problem, not just do things for the sake of doing things.

Even if you’re not interested in DYT, I still think we show signs of when we have put ourselves in the wrong place in any system. What have been some signs that you placed yourself wrong somewhere?

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Dressing for Yourself, Part Two

Back when I started this site, my belief was that we each had a combination of lines and coloring (our “syntax”), and then we could personalize our look within these boundaries (“style”). At the time, the conventional wisdom within the nascent color and style community was that your lines would be determined by your Kibbe “archetype,” and then your true coloring would be revealed through a Sci\ART draping.

But as the years have worn on, I have seen color gurus of equal respectability give completely different palettes to the same person. Even people trained in the same system can see different things in a single individual. As such, I no longer believe that there is one true answer for either aspect.

What I think matters most is how you feel. Do you love your style? Do you love the fact that you get to wake up and wear your lines and colors and express yourself?

I can say that when my color journey led me to Dark Autumn and then four-season Autumn and Spring, I didn’t feel that way. Everything was just okay. I always felt like I was holding myself back from what I actually wished I could wear.

So when I had the realization I was actually a Type Four (update since that post: I have since realized I am a 4/3), I was a little afraid. Type Four’s colors were the colors I had told myself were off-limits to me. At first, I thought I would just do it some of the time, and have a wardrobe with different outfits for different moods.

But I also realized as a Type Four, I don’t really have that in my personality. I’m more constant. It just doesn’t happen that I’d rather wear Spring or Autumn colors over bold hues, neon, and black and white. I don’t need the choice. I need to allow myself to be myself.

So if you have conflicting results in different style systems–that’s okay. You may not even be happiest in the one that is “objectively the best” on you. Go with what makes you the happiest to get dressed in the morning. For me, letting go of forcing myself to choose made it very clear which one I actually liked best. You may, in fact, like having choice, and always have a wardrobe with different “moods.” This is also fine! Let you wardrobe serve you, and don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself to some edict that comes from outside of you.

Should You Pay Someone to Tell You Your “Kibbe Type”?

This is something I see a lot, in the comments here and elsewhere: people say that they were analyzed in Kibbe by someone. Sometimes, I even get emails asking me to do this, although of course I never agree to do so.

The fact is, however, that there is only one person you can pay to find out your Kibbe Image ID: David Kibbe. Anybody claiming to have been trained by him, or posing as an expert, or even, in some cases, offering courses that teach you how to “type” people in Kibbe will bring you no closer to knowing what David Kibbe would type you as if you went to see him.

I have never seen anyone who claims to type people in Kibbe actually possess an understanding of yin and yang the way David uses it. I used to say that an analyst claiming to type people in Kibbe has a one-in-ten chance in getting it right (since there are ten Image IDs), but now I believe that their chances of getting it correct are even lower, because they are not applying yin and yang correctly.

There are only two ways to figure out your Image ID: going to see David, or doing the work yourself. Kibbe’s system isn’t a checklist of body parts. The quiz is meant to give a general idea, but you can’t use it as a checklist, or assign each question a point value (the way some people who take money for this do). My belief is that we all can read David’s work and intrinsically know who we are, but we have resistance that keeps us from allowing ourselves to see it. I have always understood what kind of woman I am, physically, but when I discovered Kibbe, I thought I could magically be something different and looked at SN, SD, TR, etc. But living in my body my entire life, knowing what worked for me, and knowing what women on screen and in magazines “felt like me” and which seemed “different”–there is nothing I could be apart from one of the Gamines. And I think for most people, it’s the same. We know who we are.

The point of David’s work isn’t to give you a box to fit into, with a prescription of clothing to wear–especially now that clothes have stretch and fit around the body, rather than imposing a shape onto the body. It is to enable you to let go of what you are not and accept and love who you are.

Putting you into something that isn’t what you are and giving you a list of clothes to wear accomplishes the opposite of what David does. It puts you into a box that isn’t even your own. David’s work is supposed to set you free, not cage you.

So if you see someone offering a shortcut to finding your Kibbe “type,” don’t fall for it. You don’t need them to tell you who you are! And they will just get it wrong anyway.

Why Each System Must Be Considered in Isolation

I will admit, in the early days of this site, I thought that data from one system could help you understand what you are in the next. There are many people who think this way. But I have come to understand that when systems are looking at different things, you cannot use what you are in one to understand what you are in another.

I’m going to use the three main systems I consider in this blog: David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis, Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth, and David Zyla’s system.

DK prioritizes the yin/yang balance in the body. Clothes go on the body, not the face or hands or feet. Shirley MacLaine may have a cute, pixie-ish face that would lead some people who don’t understand his system well to put her somewhere else, but her body is all FN, so that is what she is.

Carol looks at the face. Your face will reflect your energy type. Your body type doesn’t matter. You will not always look great in the same things as your sister in the same energy type as you. You will share a color palette and some general preferences, but the exact perfect style for you is individual.

DZ looks at coloring, voice, and all-over vibe (???). His system is the hardest to DIY. Everyone gets their own set of recommendations. It is more like a common thread running through everyone in a certain archetype, and more broadly, a season.

Let’s look at Audrey Hepburn. She is a Flamboyant Gamine, 4/1, Playful Winter.

Does this mean that every 4/1 is also a FG and a Playful Winter? Of course not. It means that she has the body of a Flamboyant Gamine, the face of a 4/1 (reflecting her energy profile overall), and the combination of coloring/voice/anything else that makes David Zyla see Playful Winter for her. You can be a 4/1 and a completely different Kibbe Image ID and Zyla archetype. They are all using different criteria for assessment, and your unique combination of types across different systems is part of what makes you a unique individual.

So keep an open mind, and don’t try to make correlations across systems! Follow the unique process for each system that their creators have provided.

Dressing For Yourself

I am still firmly entrenched in my Dressing Your Truth experience. Being a 4/3 is natural and effortless for me. There is still some conflict, however.

I still love Kibbe’s work, and remain actively involved in it. I know, however, that he would never place me in a season that gets black and white. The crux of David’s work is to look at yourself with enlightened subjectivity, and to accept yourself as you are. It is easy for me to accept myself as a Flamboyant Gamine. My coloring, however, is a little more complicated in that regard.

I know that based on online photos, he sees me as a Spring or Autumn. In real life, he may switch to Summer, but Winter would just never happen, based on his color theory. But shopping for Spring and Autumn clothes, I’ve discovered, just does not bring me the joy that the T4 saturated hues do. I am happy to open my closet and see bold, high contrast colors.

So here is the conundrum: is it lacking self-acceptance to not wear the season your coloring dictates, or is better to match your inner self, which DYT T4 does for me? With style, it is easy: once you accept your Image ID, you can now express yourself in any way you’d like. But with color, it doesn’t really work that way. You can express a certain mood with any of the palettes, but some things will just not exist for you–like black for anyone but a Winter.

While the T4 palette also limits what is available, it limits to me what is already speaking to me. It expresses my inner self.

So there is a conflict here between what my coloring is dictating, at least according to David’s theory, and what my inner self is satisfied by. So far, the inner self is winning out, because it is just so much more fun for me to dress in T4 colors every day. But again, I have to wonder if it is the best presentation of my physical self.

How do you deal with conflicts in different systems? In the meantime, I have these VERY 4/3 glasses on my wishlist!

DYT Update

It has been a while and I have not yet gotten around to the historical project I started, because I had too much freelance work and then school started up again. But I have also spent a lot of time really delving into Dressing Your Truth.

I have a long history with this system. It may even be the first system I came across when I began this whole process. For a long time, I kind of dismissed it as a style system that was lacking, or more of a “starter system” compared to others. But I think part of that was that I had placed myself incorrectly, so of course the style component didn’t work for me, and since I first discovered it, the team behind it has made real headway in developing new ways to use the information.

To quickly summarize my journey, when I discovered the system, I decided I was a 3/4, since I couldn’t see T4 perfection in my features, and I related a lot to both descriptions. I never liked the T3 clothes on me–too substantial, too heavy, not enough structure. I generally stuck to the colors, because they aligned well with where I had placed myself in Sci\ART, but I never wore the clothes in any real way. Over the course of the years I believed I was a 3/4, I never did a 30-day challenge, for instance.

Then out of the blue, I saw the T4 in my face. I assumed I was a 4/1, because there is a video about how 4/1s and 1/4s can mistake themselves for T3, and somehow that more convoluted explanation made more sense to me than the simple idea of having simply reversed my dominant and secondary.

But after going back recently and watching videos on their website about the yin/yang balance and energy levels of different types, and how to make your T4 style true to you by incorporating your secondary–I realized that an S1 didn’t make sense for me at all. My style instincts were clearly pointing in the direction of an S3, and so was my movement.

Since realizing I’m a 4/3, I have enjoyed shopping so much more. It feels almost full-circle in a way, because 4/3 is fairly close to how I dressed before I ever got into style systems. 4/3 means getting to wear all the things I love, and not feeling like I’m limiting or depriving myself. I still love Flamboyant Gamine, and that is still incredibly informative for the yin/yang balance of my lines. I know how to make things work on me and how to combine them. But 4/3 gives me a different kind of yin/yang balance, the yin/yang balance of how I move through life, and how to reflect that in my style.

The real conflict between the two systems is in color. Right now, I’m enjoying Type 4 colors, and I plan on focusing on them. But I will see how it feels to live in these colors for a longer period of time.

Do you do DYT? Have you tried it in the past? Have you ever mistyped yourself in a system for a long period of time?

How to Use The Looks Men Love

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In my last post, I introduced the latest entrant in my Historical series: The Looks Men Love by Vincent Roppatte. While the system is contemporaneous to Kibbe, it has a perspective that is outmoded in 2018, and there are things in it that I can’t really get behind. But it is a fun book with some new (to us) ideas that I think will prove useful to many. So first I am going to introduce the way Roppatte says to use his work, and then I will go into how I see it fitting in with the various other systems we all already use.

He suggests using the following three-step method:

1. Choose yourself.
Read through the descriptions of all the types (apart from the Fantasy Woman), their likes and dislikes, etc., and choose the one that sounds like you. You need to be careful of three things:

  1. The current look you may be wearing may not be best for your body type or the best expression of your personality.
  2. You may be more than one. You just can’t be two things at the same time. He gives the examples of Take Charge during the day and Cool Sophisticate at night, or someone who was a Gamine when young but grew into a Romantic (in this system, Gamine is reserved for the young, which definitely isn’t my favorite approach). I have noticed that whenever there is a possibility of mixing, people get very, very excited and tend to want to be a combo of many different things and few seem to want to stick to just one, so I would suggest seriously taking into consideration looking at this system with truly finding one type in mind. Roppatte thinks that a lot of Judy Garland’s internal turmoil came from trying to be Cool Sophisticate AND Gamine and Girl Next Door at the same time, so, keep that in mind.
  3. You need to be realistic. He says that someone “fifty-five, heavy, and intellectual” can’t possibly be a Gamine, and as I said, I don’t like defining these categories by weight or age, but I would think more about who you authentically are: I couldn’t realistically pull off Cool Sophisticate or Sensualist. I’m just not that kind of woman, and that’s okay.

2. Recognize your male counterpart.
“Read the profiles of the men who are attracted to each of the basic looks. You will probably recognize one of these men. He’s the guy you married, the guy with whom you’re having an affair, or the guy you’d really like to know.” (As you might be able to tell from this sentence, while this book is outdated, it’s not conservative and would not be a good book for people who subscribe to a conservative viewpoint and would like to see a return to traditional gender roles, etc.) If there i a mismatch between the men you’re attracted to and the men who are/who you would like to be attracted to you, go back to point one: there is a strong possibility you’ve mistyped yourself. And then of course, not all of my readers are cis and heterosexual, so again, that is why this book is historical. It mentions gay men in passing, but not the possibility that someone who identifies as a woman may not want to attract men at all. Roppatte’s major point here is don’t bother with thinking about opposites attract: it says that men “look for a female expression of their own needs–and tend to first identify her by her look.” So the men in the profiles aren’t looking for their opposite or someone like them, but someone who complements them, and I think if you seriously want to use the book this way and you’re interested in men, you can do the same thing.

3. Fulfill your promise.
Read the chapter pertaining to you and understand how to achieve your look. He again emphasizes how you can’t be more than two things at the same time: Shirley MacLaine is Take-Charge Chic, but can pull off Gamine (rare at 50, he notes!), but she doesn’t do both at the same time. Princess Grace of Monaco had an image and lifestyle to project, with no messiness or the “romantic hair of her youth,” so he came up with her sleek, pulled-back hairstyle. Liza Minnelli apparently once tired of being a Gamine and decided to get a body wave, “but her public was not at all happy.” If it works for you, keep it! Consistency is key, even if you, like Shirley, can flirt with something else at times.

Now, onto how I suggest using this information. You can use it exactly as he lays it out, if that fits your desires for your life. You can apply it as an addition to something like your Kibbe Image ID, since while there are some hard and fast rules (some types are taller or shorter, some types are restricted by weight and/or age, etc.), in terms of shape, there is actually a lot of leeway. You can use everything except for the men-centered part. Or you can just read it as a historical artifact. It’s up to you. I’m not going to editorialize the content, but present it as is, even when it comes off a little strangely to us in 2018.

Historical: The Looks Men Love by Vincent Roppatte

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I haven’t done a historical series in a while! I got The Looks Men Love recently and I’ve decided to feature at least the style types of this book, which I discovered via a friend’s Facebook post.

The Looks Men Love

This book’s title is off-putting, to say the least, in 2018. The point of view the book takes, the focus on what men want, is the main reason why this book is in the “historical” category for me. It was published in 1985, which makes it a contemporary to Kibbe’s book, but while Kibbe’s book focuses on being the star of your own life, this book’s focus is more on looking your best so you can attract the men you want and who would naturally be attracted to you… and this obviously immediately excludes the members of the book’s potential audience for whom whether or not men are attracted to them has zero relevance to their lives. And personally, even as someone who is attracted to men, men are not my focus when dressing. I take the point of view that if I dress to reveal my best self, whatever that is to me, being more attractive to people I’d be attracted to is more like a natural end result, rather than a goal. Also, he limits certain types by age and weight, which I don’t care for.

But this book is still interesting for a number of reasons. The first is that Vincent Roppatte, who passed away in 2016, worked with pretty much every prominent woman of at least the second half of the 20th century: Audrey. Liza. Jackie. Marilyn. Grace. Joan. Marlene. Oprah. The authors of the cover blurbs include Jamie Lee Curtis, Barbara Stanwyck, and Lee Radziwill.

The other reason is that, if you’re able to overlook the whole focusing-on-men thing, the book itself is fun. There are six types: Sensual, Romantic, Girl Next Door, Cool Sophisticate, Take Charge-Chic, and Gamine. It’s different enough for me to take the time to share the information with you all, plus there is a Fantasy Woman aspect that no other system I’ve seen has. He also talks about, say, what kind of food and music these different types like, in an amusing way. I was able to immediately place some of my color and style friends, and even if the presentation is dated, I think the information will still be of interest to many of you.

I hope to get all of these posts up in the coming weeks, while I’m on a break from grad school. I think you will all find it at least interesting, if not useful.

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Color Resistance

I didn’t really have any Image ID resistance to being a Flamboyant Gamine. Many people come to the system with a “grass is greener” attitude, and that’s what made it hard to see themselves. I came to it with, “It can’t really be that easy or what I want; it has to harder than that.” Perhaps it’s my Enneagram 4 coming out, but I enjoy being a type that is less common and that can be disruptive to traditional beauty standards.

I have to come realize that the resistance I do have, in terms of my yin/yang balance, is that I can tend to go too yang, which is something that David identifies in the book as a problem common to gamines–that we tend to accept our yang side more easily than our yin side. It is important for me to remember that I am not yang-dominant; I am yang and yin, in a juxtaposed and almost-equal combination.

Similarly, I have a tendency to go heavier in my colors than I actually am. And this is where I really have resistance. In my heart of hearts, I love the Winter palette. I appreciate DYT, because it gives me permission to explore this desire, but I know that I am actually have more warmth, less contrast, and more delicate coloring. I can dress up and carry the movement and energy, but it is not going to be the perfect harmonious match for me. (Carol herself mentioned in a video I watched that she was draped as a Winter in the 80s. I don’t think it’s uncommon for your DYT type to not be a good fit for where you would be based on coloring alone.)

While I still think my skin generally looks OK in Dark Autumn, I think the heaviness can overwhelm me–my natural coloring can’t really hold it up. I suppose it was a bit of compromise for me–some brightness and warmth, but still with Winter. I also looked for that in Bright Spring, but it wasn’t the right combination for me, either–I think some of the colors go too cool in a way I can’t handle.

After consulting some of my most trusted Color and Style friends, I purchased a True Spring fan. I think it is a good starting point, and I like just having a fan to look at–sounds weird, but it’s true. When I read Christine Scaman’s True Spring chapter, a lot of it resonated with me, from my coloring as a child to the finishes I prefer in my makeup, which is more translucent acrylic than the oil painting of Autumn.

I don’t think, however, that my feelings on Sci\ART have really changed: I still feel like the color spaces are too limiting. Maybe they’re your top colors in a four-season space, but this exact color setting of hue/temperature/chroma isn’t representative of your entire color space.

What I have come to is simply Four Season Spring. It feels right to me because:

  • These are the colors I have surrounded myself with when I look at my interior decorating choices (See Johannes Itten and students choosing the colors that suit them without being aware of it)
  • These are the colors that I get complimented on. I did not get compliments in Autumn colors for the most part, except for my style choices. I worked retail for a while, and I heard a lot of opinions on my own choices!

When looking at four seasons, it is understood that not every color in a palette will be good and some will be better than others. When pondering Spring and Autumn, I took the Color Me Beautiful palettes and crossed out all the colors that don’t work for me in Spring (the ones that bring out redness in my face) and the colors in Autumn that feel too heavy for me.

Spring

Rather than using a palette, however, I am just going to trust me own eye and go with colors that appear to be warm enough and clear enough. I have been doing this dressing T4 (since I feel that I still need red-orange and not fuchsia, for instance). My approach is to do both, sometimes separately, sometimes in combination, if there are colors that are warm enough for Spring but also pure enough for T4. This is made easier by David Kibbe’s philosophy of head-to-toe dressing, although he would not approve of anyone who is not a Winter wearing black! If I want to wear black and my silver jewelry, I can, in an outfit that is totally in line with the T4 pure hues; if I want to wear brown and my gold jewelry, I can, in an outfit that is all Kibbe/CMB Spring.

While this may seem like two wardrobes, I just think of Audrey Hepburn’s first wedding set, which was a stack of bands in gold, rose gold, and silver, because she was so into fashion and couldn’t be restricted to one metal. Rather than just choosing between two options, I want to have both options. Maybe one option will win out. Maybe I’ll just be happy to have options and wear whatever strikes my fancy on a particular day.

Are you dealing with two (or more!) color palettes/style philosophies? How do you handle it?

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