Why I Haven’t Gotten Draped Yet


I’ve had this blog for nearly a year, and I’ve been involved for the color and style community for even longer. And yet I still haven’t gotten draped, and I don’t have an appointment scheduled.

My main reason for this is primarily financial. Going to an analyst requires getting an appointment, arranging travel, and then dropping a sum of money that, while it is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, especially considering how much money it saves you in the long run, is still a fair amount of money to spend at one time. The scenario where I have the money and the timing has lined up to make an appointment just hasn’t happened yet.

But the further along I am in my color and the style journey, the more trepidation arises.

The name of the blog comes from the idea that we have our natural parameters of what will look good on us (the “syntax,” as it were). So I feel pretty stupid that I have a hard time dealing with finding out what my color parameters are. But I do.

My own experimentation in the color world has taken me from Light Spring to Dark Autumn. Dark Autumn colors seem to not have any ill effects on my skin, I like the colors, and they suit my style and personality. I don’t have any of the redness that comes with lighter colors, and I don’t have the white fuzzy beard that shows up when I wear white. Overall, I’m satisfied with the Dark Autumn color space and find that it works for me.

But there is always the question that I don’t really know that Dark Autumn is my season, and if you read this post by Cate Linden, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that, chances are, it is not my actual season.

I recognize this. I could easily end up being something entirely different. I know I’d end up looking better, if Dark Autumn is indeed the wrong season for me, but a new season would still take some getting used to. Like many people, I don’t really like Soft colors. I know that they are beautiful and more colorful than they are given credit for. But I still have a mental roadblock. If I were draped and given a Soft season, it would be difficult for me to adjust to (and combine with Flamboyant Gamine!).

I know I need to get over it, though. Except in the case of a misdrape, even though it may take some time to mentally adjust, people who have been draped see a huge improvement in how they look and feel. I know this! I blog about it! But I’m still really scared to get a result that I don’t want.

Perhaps some of this is the prescriptive nature of some people’s attitude toward seasons, that there is no room to cheat. I like this post by Lisa K. Ford, where she tells you how to make your season work for you, and how to cheat effectively if you have to. Which brings me to something I think we sometimes lose sight of: the whole point of this color analysis and style typing business is to make you feel better about yourself and look healthier and more stylish. It is, in short, meant to make you happy. The point is not to get a gold star for following the rules exactly.

And I’m sure I could take a season and find a way to fake what it is I love so much about Dark Autumn, like I suggest people do with their Kibbe type. I would find the level of darkness that reads dark on me and make it work. But still, I know that the process is not the easiest one.

Have you had similar feelings in regard to finding out your own season? How have you dealt with it?

14 Comments on Why I Haven’t Gotten Draped Yet

  1. Molly
    May 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I have had 2 drapings by qualified Sci-Art trained analysts with 2 different results. In each case the analyst was torn and took quite a long time to make the call. It has convinced me that some of us can be, quite plausibly, a mix of seasons. I looked good in colors from multiple seasons; the analyst was looking for which palette contained the most good colors. For example, although soft and light summers were the winners, I wore some dark winter shades well. We agreed that some of the neutrals from various autumns were really good. And the light spring aqua was overall my best, even though many others from light spring didn’t work. So I left each session somewhat dissatisfied and confused. Just sharing my experience – maybe if you are happy with what you have found you don’t want to tamper with it.

    • stylesyntax
      May 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      That definitely is confusing. Lately I’ve been interested in getting a Beauty Valued palette for this reason; a lot of people I know who have a BV fan prefer it to their pre-made fan. I think Kathy Pfeiffer does an amazing job, and it addresses the things you mention. This is a comparison of a draped Soft Summer’s BV fan with her Soft Summer fan. People who do custom palettes (Kathy might have been one of them; I don’t remember exactly) have told me before that they see me as in between Light Spring and Soft Autumn, and even though Light Spring is terrible, I can see where they get that from and how it relates to me being potentially DA. I need both clarity and depth, but not as much clarity as Bright Spring would have. Since Light Spring doesn’t have the depth I need, it’s awful on its own. And Soft Autumn doesn’t have enough clarity. Hence, DA–the brightest Autumn. I think I wear DA differently than most, wearing more of the bright colors. I’ve posted pictures of me with the DA fan and had people mistake it for a spring season. So I definitely see the logic of how I ended up there, and you’re right, it may not be worth it to me to have someone else tell me what I am if I’m happy where I am now.

      • Molly
        May 4, 2015 at 10:50 pm

        Thank you for your feedback. I would love a custom palette. I do like the idea of being given a seasonal category, because there are a lot of helpful recommendations on line for things like makeup. What was difficult during my analyses is that the neutral-cool colors were quite good on me, even if they were a little bright (LSu) or dusty (SSu). I think it would be really hard to commit to always wearing either soft or bright colors. Some of the custom palettes seem to allow for a little flexibility in that regard. I think this is what John Kitchener does too.

        • stylesyntax
          May 5, 2015 at 12:09 am

          It’s definitely nice to have a group to identify with. That’s my problem with going the custom route, too. Of course, the ideal would be to have both. 🙂 BV does include a strip of lipstick colors in the fan, which I also do with my DA fan. Unfortunately though, with makeup, things don’t work for everyone in a season. Like I totally avoid the brownish lipsticks/things that can cross over into TA. I stick to the DA crossovers.

          John Kitchener gives you an enormous book of colors, from what I know, with tons of choices.

  2. CoralGables
    May 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I just went a few weeks only wearing the Soft Summer colors strictly. I rearranged my closet so only Ssu was available, I got out my old gray work pants that I kind of dislike lol and a pair of dark brown Ssu pants (which I prefer over the gray). Anyways, now I am on trial with only my BV colors, rearranged my wardrobe and got out my SA brown pants that I loved so much and wearing only my BV fan colors. Since this is only Day 3, I don’t want to give opinions off the handle to fast but I am more like myself if that makes sense. Perhaps, the Ssu look is more romantic and I prefer the tropical beachy vibe to romantic. And Kathy picked out the perfect color combos for me to easily find clothing that expresses me uniquely.

    I understand your aversion to soft colors. Mine wasn’t to soft colors, but is was to anything Summer lol. I found summer colors appalling at first actually, and I was drawn to Autumn and Spring colors, and also why when Lora Alexander gave me Toned Spring (spring-Autumn) I held onto it for so long and didn’t want to let it go until I saw some of the negative effects of it’s higher saturation and spring yellow effect. When I was first draped by Color Alliance and she couldn’t decide between Summer and Autumn, that sparked my fascination. When I got redraped by 12 blueprints analyst I took the risk of paying all the money just to get Soft Summer again but I am glad I did it in the end. Best thing I have paid for is my BV fan, and the styling advice she gives was spot on for me. Now I see the beauty in Ssu, but it took me a long time to see it, to not dislike it.

    • stylesyntax
      May 5, 2015 at 12:21 am

      From what I’ve seen, Kathy does a really good job of capturing a person’s essence, with both the colors and the style stuff.

      I don’t really like summer colors in general, really. I think in the end, even if I got one of the seasons I don’t really like, I’d come around like you did. But it’s hard, mentally. Colors are a very personal thing, haha.

  3. Rosesred
    May 5, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Color Analysis is an art as much as a science, IMO. somes colors will create shadows on your face, others will make you look red or yellow. Analysts are trained to pick up on this, and that’s the objective/science bit. After that, it becomes an art.

    The judgement call; ‘no, we don’t want those shadows’ or ‘yes, the rosy glow looks healthy’ is were it can make a huge difference which analyst your seeing. That’s why I think it’s important to see an analyst that shares your definition of beauty.

    No good analyst will put anyone in clothes that will make them look ill, but I’ve seen the same woman put into BW and TS. Both looked great on her, in BW she was a strong business woman, and in TS a loving teacher. Where do you want to go?

    I think that many people have several seasons that will look decent on them, and depending on the message they want to put out, one of those will look absolutely great on them, like it belongs.

    For me, the value in an PCA was to have someone look at me with absolute objectiveness, and describing the way colors worked. It was an amazing experience and changed how I see myself. Since then, I’ve found myself in a different season than the analyst prescribed, but this does not lessen the value of her advice.

    One of the benefits of working with a season, is that all the colors with in that season enhance both each other and me. For me, it’s not limiting at all, instead it invited me to try new colors. seriously, I’m wearing lilac now. That would have never happened a couple of years ago. In the beginning I was worried I’d look like a candycane, but actually, I look more ‘present’ than in the more sophisticated muted colors I preferred before.

    • stylesyntax
      May 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      I think a good rule of thumb is to look at the analysts’ portfolios and see what kind of feedback they get. Do you like how their clients look? Do they seem to be the “last stop” for their clients, or do they seem to frequently require a redrape? Do they do a thorough job and go through all the seasons and really explain how they reach the conclusions they do, or do they rush through it and eliminate seasons pretty early on? The people who do this, especially if they’re working in the same system and were trained the same way, like all the 12 Blueprints analysts, seem to come up with consistent results, regardless of individual aesthetic differences, etc.

    • Michaela
      May 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      “It was an amazing experience and changed how I see myself. Since then, I’ve found myself in a different season than the analyst prescribed, but this does not lessen the value of her advice.”

      Very good point. I was draped as DW and didn’t feel well at these colors at all. Then I’ve realized I’m more comfortable as BW which perfectly fits me as FG and I finally found myself. Before that I preferred summer muted and light colors, so the analyst showed me the right direction.

      • stylesyntax
        May 11, 2015 at 8:55 pm

        I think that any archetype and season should work together just fine, and DW has some great brights, but I can definitely see how BW and FG would be an easier combo–and it may well be that you were misdraped. FG clothes seem to come mainly in the brightest of the brights. 🙁

        • Michaela
          May 12, 2015 at 8:18 am

          I agree that any archetype and season can work together. I wanted to be any summer before and I can imagine FG and summer together for example. The think is, DW is often presented as serious and classic. BW is more fun. I cannot be sure if the analyst misdraped me, but I definitely know what fits me now and kibbe type helped me find myself again. Recently I’ve finally realized that there are not 12 types of people and I’m not strictly following recommendations for BW. I’m sticking with winter colours, sometimes wearing BS ones. The same with FG. It’s best kibbe type for me, but this is the same as with the colours. Just something I would like to stick around, but I’m unique as everyone else and have my own version of FG.
          (Hope it makes sense :))

          • stylesyntax
            May 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm

            Well, Dark Winter is usually presented a certain way, but it can also look like this. The same thing happens to DA. People are surprised by how bright DA gets, because usually only the middle-to-dark range of the palette is represented online.

  4. Molly
    May 5, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I do also wonder whether we may change as we go through our life; color has energy after all, and we may be responding to them on a different level altogether at different times. I’m not suggesting that a True Autumn will suddenly drape as a True Summer, but when there are some close runners up it could be wise to revisit your season from time to tIme. It would be confusing to wear colors from widely varying seasons from day to day. However over the course of years you may evolve. One day you may be a 25 year old working in NYC wearing lots of black and looking an feeling good. Then virtually overnight you are a suburban SAHM in Phoenix with a baby. Different environment, life, and needs. I know, because it happened to me.

    So DA may be where you need to be now. In 5 years things may feel differently.

    • stylesyntax
      May 5, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      I don’t think I would say that our color palette needs change that much with lifestyle changes, because each palette has so many possibilities. For one part of your life, you may need a corporate palette, with the extra darks and neutrals. If you’re a SAHM in a sunny place like Phoenix, you may want to stick with the most cheerful colors of the palette. That’s what I really love about the Dark seasons; they have all of these great almost-black colors that are fashion neutrals and then some colors so bright they get mistaken for spring, as I mentioned in a comment above. So I can see DA serving me well, no matter where I am in life.

      What some people say does happen is that you may lose warmth and/or saturation and pigment, as this post explains. So it may be worth it to get redraped in different phases of life.


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