It’s human nature to want to belong to a group. And in a community where people are defined by labels–Soft Autumn, Tawny Spring, Soft Dramatic–sometimes it seems like finding out your label and being able to belong to a group of women who identify with the same label as you become more important than what the labels are supposed to do, which is help you find a flattering personal style.
Belle Northrup, the originator of using yin and yang to describe women and clothing, eschewed labels altogether.
…each of her individual traits depends upon the others and forms the sum total of her personality. We will not then rate this person as a “type” because she has blonde hair or is tall and willowy–partial and inadequate judgements–but we will form a picture of her in her completeness. No one part will be overemphasized, and a fairer, broader basis for dress selection will be established.
I have a good idea of my types in Kibbe and Sci\ART and Zyla. Sometimes I think about exploring other systems–Caygill, for example. But then I realize that there’s nothing another system would add that I can’t find in the combination of types I already have. It would be more of an exercise for the purpose of finding a label than something that will help me to understand my style needs better.
If you’re active in the color and style community, sometimes the focus shifts from what we’re actually supposedly here to do, which is refine our personal styles, and it becomes more about the community itself, and being able to say definitively what we are. You want to be able to participate in the roll call, and say you’re a DC-VS-BW-T4. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that these types are all really just tools to help us dress better, and if you already know enough to know that your style is as good as it’s going to get, one more definition isn’t going to change anything.
So if you already have your style pretty sorted out, and you’re stressing over your Kibbe type (or your Zyla archetype, or your Kitchener essences), I would stop a minute and ask yourself if this information is really vital, or if you just want to be able to say what you are. If it’s the latter, I’d question if it’s something worth stressing over.
Audrey had a defined personal style without knowing her type in every single system, and you can have one too. 🙂
Know your type in several systems but having trouble putting it all together? My workbook can help.