Most of us who have delved into style systems deep enough to end up getting into a system from thirty years ago like Kibbe has undoubtedly come across many different style systems. One of the most popular today seems to be Dressing Your Truth, which is a Four Types-based system. Before I start talking about, I have to say two things. One, I haven’t bought the course and have only read Carol Tuttle’s books and watched her YouTube videos. So I don’t know the exact recommendations you get once you shell out the $99-$297 for the course, but I feel like I get the general idea. Two, I think it’s important to understand some criticism of DYT, which include not giving sources and some customer service issues. I still find DYT helpful, though, because the materials are much more accessible than the older Four Type systems, and I think it’s good for understanding your inner yin/yang balance and how it can potentially influence your style.
With that out of the way, one of the issues that many people come across is that things don’t always match up. Once you’ve typed yourself in all of these systems, your various types may not be all that compatible. For instance, I’m a Light Spring in 12-color systems, a likely Soft Natural, and a Type 3 in Dressing Your Truth. Light Spring and Soft Natural work pretty well together, but Type 3 in Dressing Your Truth wears shaded colors, colors that have had black added. This is basically as incompatible with Light Spring as you can get, which is as light as you can get and would be compatible with Type 1 energy.
Then there’s Kibbe. I realized that Kibbe’s recommendations are based on yin/yang balance and contrast/blended, and Carol’s are based on yin/yang balance and high/low energy. “Contrast” and “Energy are basically referring to the same thing, right? So I took a graph showing the exact location of Kibbe Image Identities on a graph and overlaid the DYT type, thinking that the influence of balance of your non-primary energies of DYT would pull you into a certain direction of yin/yang and energy balance on the graph and you would find the Kibbe compatible with your DYT type that way. (I found the original graph on Pinterest and I tried finding the original site, but they were all linked to the image file on Pinterest and not a website. So if this is your graph, please let me know if you want me to take this down or give you credit. I have my own graph, but it doesn’t illustrate what I’m talking about as well.)
So as a 3/4 with 1 being a strong tertiary, I figured I’d end up in on the far left portion of Soft Dramatic. I hope this makes sense. But of course, I’m pretty sure now I’m an SN, which is in the opposite quadrant. The other issue with this chart is that, despite the fact that Carol presents the Energies this way visually, the movement levels of the types next to each other on the X-axis are not equal. The movements go 1, 3, 2, 4, from highest to lowest. So I guess you could say Type 1 is Yin Highest Movement, or SG; Type 3 is Yang High Movement, or D/SD; Type 2 is Yin Low Movement, or SN/SC; and Type 4 is Yang Lowest Movemnent, or DC. These kind of seem to work, if you look at the recommendations for the types, but there are, of course, four other Kibbe Image Identities to consider that then wouldn’t be included in Dressing Your Truth at all.
More importantly, when I posted this image on Seasonal Color, it was pointed out to me that Kibbe is mainly focused on the lines of the body, and Dressing Your Truth on your inner expression. A Dressing Your Truth purist would insist that your inner energy movement would trump all. So I, as a Type 3 Light Spring Soft Natural (if I am in fact a Soft Natural, which I’m not sure of yet), should forget about the light-yet-bright colors of Light Spring and the softer lines of Soft Natural, and just dress with the sharp lines and heavy autumnal colors of Type 3, since that’s what my inner energy requires.
I am not, of course, a Dressing Your Truth purist, if you couldn’t tell from the fact that none of my blog posts have focused on DYT thus far. But I do think it’s important to understand how your inner self can affect your Image Identity. Kibbe does, after all, dress people within the same type differently. People fall in different places on the continuum. You may find that if you have a yang DYT type and you’re a yin Kibbe, you may want to look for inspiration in accessories or prints in the yang version of your type. If you’re a Type 4 and a Light Summer, try using the purest colors your palette has. If you’re a Type 1 Soft Classic, look for things that are a little more “fun” than the usual Soft Classic might wear. And so on.
This is only one way of looking at this issue of conflicting seasons and types and identities, but I think it could be a useful tool for those of us feeling overwhelmed by all of this information. Have you experienced a mismatch between your various types?