Do You Need a Professional Analysis?

This is the $10,000 question (sometimes quite literally). Like many people, at the beginning of my color and style journey, I felt that any conclusions I came to on my own were going to be inconclusive. I believed that I couldn’t know my “true” season without being draped, and that only a style expert could classify me into an archetype.

As time has gone by, however, my perspective is now entirely different. While I think there is some truth to this post, I also think there is a point where getting a professional to tell you what you are may not be the best use of your 200, 600, 10,000 dollars. Tina has touched on this on her post about when you don’t need a PCA.

I relate to the reasons Cate Linden outlines in her post as well, perhaps not in the way she intended. You can’t go into a PCA just to confirm what you think you already know. You have to keep an open mind, and prepare yourself for whatever result you get. The same goes for an type analysis.

But what is not always mentioned is that not everyone comes back from seeing an analyst, even the most renowned style gurus, happy or even vaguely satisfied. I think there is a major factor to this that can sometimes be overlooked.

If you are happy on your own, seeking someone else’s opinion might not be the best thing for you.

The more time you’ve spent in self-discovery mode, learning what works for you and what doesn’t, the harder it may be for you to hear someone else’s opinion on what works. It can feel inauthentic and wrong. After all, you know yourself better.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Zyla and getting a palette, for example. But I also know that I am satisfied with what I’ve discovered on my own, and if he saw me a totally different way, I would probably feel like I wasted hundreds of dollars. And then if he gave me something similar to what I feel works for myself, I’d probably still feel like I wasted money somewhat, because I paid to be told what I already knew.

The more you know about yourself and your style, the more you’re setting yourself up for a fall when you consult with an expert who has an image or an archetype in mind for clients who walk through their doors. The most unhappy clients I’ve seen of people like Kibbe or Zyla are ones who already had a very good understanding of their style before they went to see them. Not everyone who has a good general idea will leave unhappy, of course–some get the tweaks necessary to really take their style to the next level.

What I would consider is thinking about what you truly want. Are you seeking confirmation? If you got something completely opposite from what you think you are, would you be okay with it? Would you be able to stomach the financial loss if you don’t like what you’re told and you don’t find it useful? Have you gotten an analysis from another professional that works for you, and do you really need another? And perhaps most importantly–are you just getting an analysis because you want to know your type, since so many other women have gone and gotten it done, without really, truly wanting the type and style advice that comes with it?

For me, I sometimes do think about seeing Zyla. I’d like to be able to post my Zyla palette and become a confirmed member of a tribe, whatever archetype I would end up being. But in the end, I know that my self-determined Kibbe FG DA is really enough for me. Zyla’s autumnal insights may help me understand what Autumn FG may look like, and his approach has helped me come up with a limited palette featuring my very best DA colors. But I feel that the money I could spend on a Zyla consult would be better spent elsewhere. I would be better off spending that money replenishing my wardrobe than being told what archetype I am.

So before you make an appointment and spend the money–I would consider just what this analysis could do for you.

3 Comments on Do You Need a Professional Analysis?

  1. lux
    October 13, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Och well, I was diagnosed as a Bright Winter, Soft Summer, Cool Summer, than Winter again. I found out only what I knew myself: it’s hard to say if I’m a summer or winter and stylists can’t agree about this. I did not feel completely comfortable as a Winter but Summer was even worse (I look so terribly bad in lighter colors of Summers palettes). So I stopped to rely on 12 seasons system. I read Zyla’s book and found Jeweltone Summer identity much more useful. Now, I feel I don’t need color analysis anymore. Others opinions only disturbs me. 😉

    • stylesyntax
      October 18, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      That’s where I am too 🙂

  2. elbe
    June 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Excellent post. Here is my 5 cents. Your instincts are right (or close) in most of the cases. I believe you need professional analysis only if you feel something is off and you struggle trying to figure it out yourself. And even in this case, it only makes sense to work with an analyst who can take you through the whole process, show you how to look at yourself from a different angle and interpret what you see. Only this way you can understand and embrace the result of the analysis.


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