Being Honest with Yourself

The great thing about knowing your Image Identity and your season is that it makes selecting clothes so much simpler. You know what lines will be flattering, and you know what colors will work. Everything more or less goes together, and dressing is easy and you always look fabulous.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But there’s a human element, too. What if you’re a “dressed up” Identity, like Soft Dramatic or Theatrical Romantic, and you’re a stay-at-home mom with four kids under ten? The dramatic looks shown on Pinterest, complete with five-inch heels, aren’t exactly practical or applicable for your everyday life. You could very well go out and buy outfits that look fabulous on you… and then they sit in your closet while you wear yoga pants every day because you really don’t wear stuff like that in your day-to-day life.

I know that I, personally, struggle with resisting to urge to buy another pair of ankle boots with heels too high for me to walk in or wear for long periods of time. I take public transport and walk long distances, often on uneven sidewalks, mud, and cobblestones. I need shoes I can walk in for two miles, not 200 feet. And yet there they sit in my closet, taunting me.

This dichotomy of loving the way something looks vs. something actually working in my real life was made abundantly clear to me recently by my hair. I love playing with makeup. I hate styling my hair. My hair is moderately wavy, but I still can’t blow dry it straight to save my life.

So naturally, I cut my hair like this.


It required a full blowout every time I washed my hair, and I had to get to my bangs FAST, or it was a disaster. I’ve been going to my hairstylist for twelve years, and she tried to warn me. But I didn’t listen.

I spent a month in Florida soon after I got it cut, and the humidity there turned my waves into full-blown curls. Even a straightening iron couldn’t save me. I ended up straightening my bangs several times a day as best I could, and putting the rest into a ponytail. Someone more dedicated and better with hair probably could have found a way to make it work. But I’m not one of those people.

I realized that what I require from a hairstyle is two things:
1) Something that works with my natural hair texture
2) Something where the maximum amount of styling required is putting in some styling goo and mussing it around.

So I went back to my stylist and gave her this picture. Wham. I no longer need a blowdryer, and my waviness is an asset, rather than something I have to struggle against.

Lesson learned. High-maintenance hairstyles just don’t work for me, even when they look great with my FlamGam bone structure.

What are the things that, while they work for you aesthetically, just don’t work in your daily life?

10 Comments on Being Honest with Yourself

  1. Dianne
    March 25, 2015 at 12:27 am

    You are so right!
    My hair is straight as a stick. If I curl it and product it then it is styled for maybe half an hour.
    Instead I embrace its straightness and wear it that way. Voila! Les than 5 minutes to style my hair and it will look the same except for touch up brushing all day.
    Life is too short to work against your hair. Besides I think the new do will be edgy for a more flam gam face! Good choiced.

    • stylesyntax
      March 25, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Funnily enough, the woman whose haircut I copied has straight hair and has to use a curling iron to achieve the wavy look!

      I definitely agree that life is too short. For some women, spending lots of time on their hair is fun for them, and therefore a good use of their time. I’d rather be doing something else.

  2. Jayleen
    March 25, 2015 at 2:23 am

    I’m a Soft Dramatic who works from home, and getting all dolled up is a rarity. That’s one reason I struggled so long with accepting that I was a SD, because I DON’T get dressed up that often. I look my best when I do my full makeup and hair routine, but I rarely have a reason to. I have lots of high heeled shoes that sit in my closet while I pull out the same pair of flats to go on errands.
    I think this is where many women (including myself) have gotten tripped up. If I’m a SD (or whatever Yang type), why don’t I dress or act like it? (The essence thing still trips me up, too, but there’s no doubt that I am what I am physically.) So I have recently discovered I can accessorize in a SD way or not go as heavy on the makeup and still look good.
    I’m still on the lookout for a reasonable SD hairstyle, though….

    • stylesyntax
      March 25, 2015 at 5:30 am

      SD and TR are especially difficult for figuring out how to do casual wear. And I don’t really believe in the “essence” thing so much, at least in terms of personality, etc.

      For SD, I think a good option is to find a top with SD draping, but of a comfy, slightly heavier jersey material. And I think bootcut/flares or yoga pants are good on SDs. Hairwise, I think a big bun is great and really shows off the dramatic SD bone structure.

      As far as working from home goes, though, if I’m at home, I’m in my sweats, period. 🙂

  3. Rosesred
    March 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    TR and R are the most likely types for me, and I am fine with al the ruffles, the lace and lots and lots of pretty jewelry. Two things trip me up, though. First is heels: I love them, they look great with romantic outfits, but I can’t wear them at all due to medical issues. Finding flat shoes (not even asking for comfortable!) that look good is hard.

    Second issue is more of a social norm. In my field, the dresscode is classic. However, I detest the way suit jackets look on me ( even though I wore them for years) and I look very, very frumpy in a buttoned shirt. Think aging spinster, and not in a good way. Present solution is slowly intoducing peplum jackets and shrunken blazers

    Love the slightly messy bob, great way to intergrate realism with style.

    • stylesyntax
      March 25, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Peplum and shorter jackets sound like they’d work well for an R/TR in a conservative field. For the white shirt, I’d look at ruffled fronts and something like this×200.jpg Can you wear the shirts a bit more open and cover the space with a jeweled bib necklace? A silk scarf can also be useful.

      As far as shoes go, all I can think of is ballet slippers, unfortunately!

  4. Chiara
    March 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Well, according to Polyvore et al, all D types live in very cold climates and go out to formal evening events all the time. I live in a warm, frequently humid climate, and I pretty much never need to wear formal evening wear!
    Finding D style clothes that don’t lose their structure in the heat, and aren’t too hot, is quite a challenge. Also, of course, according to Polyvore, all Ds wear high stiletto boots or very sharply pointed toed shoes. I just won’t even have these in my wardrobe- too uncomfortable. What I’ve found does work, in my climate, however, is very minimal T bar sandals- the geometry and fine lines work well.
    I have fine, straight hair- when younger, I wore my hair very much like the picture you posted. I’ll swap you some of my straightness for some of your volume… It is definitely better working out the hair so you’re not fighting it- leaves more time for makeup!

    • stylesyntax
      March 27, 2015 at 3:40 am

      I really like those sandals, although I think they are too delicate for me. Anyway, I have the opposite problem with FG. I live in a very cold place, and most of the FG stuff I could only wear maybe a month or two out of the year. But Pinterest and Polyvore aren’t really that useful to begin with.

      I definitely have volume. My hair is problematic because I have a lot of it but it’s not thick, so when it’s long, it doesn’t do a nice, Blake Lively thing, but it’s not thin or straight enough to just be left to its own devices as fine, straight, early 70s hair. So something short enough to not weigh it down seems to work best. Sounds like you have perfect hair for a Dramatic, though!

  5. Cory
    April 2, 2015 at 4:30 am

    I think I’m fairly likely an SD (I’m tall with broad shoulders, fairly big boobs, relatively smaller waist, and high, square hips.) but I have a bit of resistance to accepting it.

    I have a hard time reconciling my non-femme-fataley personality and desire to be comfortable enough to break into yoga at any time with the overt and explicit womanly sexiness of SD, so when I found Kibbe, I first tried to convince myself I was an unusually tall SN. But I think realistically I’m just too “big” to be anything but the three Yangiest types. So of D/FN/SD, I think D is out because of my hips/butt/boobs, which are pretty visually prominent: I think I read as “long and curvy”, not “sleek” at all. A part of me is still hoping that maybe I am a busty/hippy FN, because I want to dress like a bohemian who really enjoys being comfortable. But straight skirts, per the FN guidelines, are not great on me, whereas skirts that taper right under the knee are, which I think is a tick in the SD column. And my facial features seem like maybe they are too yin for FN, too? And in general, if I try on flowing FN styles, I feel like I very, very quickly tip over into looking like a middle-aged lady who loves to shop at Chico’s (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just isn’t good on me).

    But… I still struggle, because the visual style SD expresses still feels so far from my inner personality. I particularly struggle with the jewelry and the makeup – I can work out a way to wear a tapered knit pencil skirt and a draped top so it feels more modern and comfortable and wearable, less vampy. But I’m not sure I can really pull off what real SD style is..? When I have been dressed up in SD style, I can see from the response I get from others that it feels good to look at, like suddenly the “kind of yang with the height and the shoulders, but also quite yin with the T&A and the mouth” snaps into place for people. But heels and bold makeup are just not me in everyday life!

    I’m sure an advanced style person can more easily find a way to do things that are on the border of SD and FN, or import more relaxed, bohemian styles into SD lines, but I’m not there yet.

    • stylesyntax
      April 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      My next post, maybe my next couple of posts, are going to focus on this exact subject 🙂

      I actually made a polyvore to show how I would solve this dilemma: So you have a turquoise necklace (boho vibe, with turquoise stones usually being an N thing, here elevated to SD level with shapes/facets). An SD would wear this to the grocery store or work. An FN could maybe also wear it, but to a formal event. The sandals are flat, but they’re patent leather with a snakeskin print, which again, elevates them to SD while still being comfortable and not over-the-top. With a black tunic top and black leggings (or whatever neutral for your season you want to use), you have the long line and the drape while still being casual and comfortable.

      As far as makeup goes, the 80s were a time of heavy makeup. I don’t do the full FG face for daytime ever. I think that for SD, if you just wear a bold lipstick, bold brows (if it suits you), and mascara, you’ll look pulled together and dramatic enough.


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