March 2016 archive

How I’m Using Fantastical Beauty

In my most recent Zyla Update, I had settled on Mellow Autumn. But Mellow Autumn wasn’t working for me any better than Gamine Autumn had. While my personality tends to score as very Autumn, and the Dark Autumn palette is the one that works best for me out of the 12-season palettes, Autumn textures and styling tends to be just too heavy for me.

Mellow Autumn is a lot lighter in feeling than other Autumns, but still, it wasn’t getting me where I needed to go. It is, after all, the Sexy Librarian. It was a little too serious for me. I have no idea where Zyla would put me. I think maybe Tawny Spring, but it’s too hard when recommendations are so personalized.

As I’ve been examining my gamineness, I’ve been thinking a lot about what works and what doesn’t. And I realized that one thing that has been missing from my wardrobe is fun. The brighter, juicier colors of Dark Autumn are where I try to concentrate my clothing purchases anyway, and I try to restrict my darker colors to pants, outerwear, and accessories. Emphasizing heavy textures, natural materials, and prints from nature don’t work well with either Flamboyant Gamine or my version of DA.

I’ve been interested in Fantastical Beauty lately, as you might be able to tell from my last post. I did end up buying the Maenad guide as well, and I can say that I did choose right with Fae as my primary type, but that Maenad fills in a lot of holes.

Sometimes, when I look at other systems, I feel like I’m looking for something that just replicates Flamboyant Gamine recommendations, because they do fit me really well. But I wish that we had a Flamboyant Gamine workshop tape transcript, like we have for Theatrical Romantic and Soft Dramatic. The jewelry recommendations are a section that I find particularly vague. Kibbe doesn’t even indicate jewelry scale for us.

So I’ve looked to other systems, namely Zyla, to fill in the gaps. But I basically haven’t been wearing jewelry at all since I decided I was some kind of Autumn in Zyla. I would buy things, but they’d just sit unworn. I decided to at least temporarily abandon Zyla altogether, and look at Fantastical Beauty for inspiration.

What I’ve taken away from Fantastical Beauty is that I need to lighten up my wardrobe. Not in color, but instead of seeking out heavier fabrics and jewelry, I need to go the opposite direction. I need to concentrate on making sure my outfits have fun, in addition to edge.

I went jewelry shopping yesterday, and it was actually a relief to look for jewelry without looking for heaviness. Instead, I concentrated on looking for sharpness.

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I will keep some heaviness–no style system can take my leather jacket away from me!–but I will try to always make sure to keep mischief, fun, and a sense of humor–which Kibbe also emphasizes for FGs–in my look. I think the lightness and fun is something that is also present in the FG recommendations if you read them carefully, but it’s good to be able to have a strong image and an additional set of recommendations to look at.

Have you mixed in this system or any other with Kibbe’s recommendations? Or do you find that one system and set of recommendations are enough?

Know your type in several systems but having trouble putting it all together? My workbook can help.

Review: Fantastical Beauty Style Guides

Most of the prominent style systems seem to be more or less based on what came before. Truth Is Beauty seems based on Kitchener’s work, which in turn has its roots in McJimsey. Best Dressed is based on Kibbe, which also uses McJimsey’s types. And all of this comes from Belle Northrup and yin/yang. And then Zyla is based on Suzanne Caygill, and Dressing Your Truth is based on any number of four-type systems.

So I appreciate it when someone comes up with something that is new. Kati L. Moore’s Fantastical Beauty system is something different. There are set of nine fantasy archetypes, each with a multitude of subtypes, as well as a “base 5” system of the base types Kibbe uses with “rounded/linear” versions, i.e., yin/yang, soft/flamboyant or dramatic. In addition to deciding on an archetype, subtype, and base type, you can also lean within your archetype, creating a system that, while it’s complex, is flexible and has a lot of room for personalization.

It is, in fact, too complex for me to explain in a blog post that’s really supposed to be a review of one of the products FB offers. If you’re interested in the system, I suggest reading the blog posts about it, and joining the Facebook group. The blog and Facebook both have new information coming forth on a regular basis.

At first, I wasn’t too interested in the system for myself. But lately, I’ve found myself feeling like Zyla’s Mellow Autumn and Dark Autumn clothing recommendations in conjunction with FG haven’t been working for me. The combination is just too heavy and serious. Even though I think my real personality is more Autumn, I think the vibe that works for me needs more fun, more Spring elements. Anyway, I decided to look into a Fantastical Beauty type instead of plunging back into Zyla.

My first thought for a FB type was Maenad. But the typical Maenad look is more boho, more music festival, although there is a type of Maenad that wears cute little dresses. I decided to go with Fae, since it seemed like it would add the lightness and fun that was missing from my look at the moment.

I think I am probably a Fae, specifically the “Nixie” subtype, leaning Maenad. In FB, your secondary type can be up to 40% of your entire look.

Anyway, I decided to purchase the Fae Style Guide, and that’s what I’m going to review today. The Fae guide is 13 pages long, including the title page and some larger illustrations. It includes a basic overview of the type; specific recommendations for clothing, hair, makeup, and accessories; color schemes and combinations for all four major seasons; and then a summary of Dos and Don’ts for the type.

After reading the guide, you should be able to understand how this type dresses; however, it does not cover how to work your Base 5 type into it, nor does it go into the subtypes in any real detail–but I have heard that Kati is writing guides for each of the subtypes as well. The system is in its nascent stage, and I can only assume that more materials will come out that will clarify some of these things, although some of it Kati may choose to reserve for clients who pay for an analysis.

There are two main issues I have with this guide. The first is price. It is 30 dollars. On the one hand, it’s an original system, with its own recommendations and its own vision, so I can understand that these guides took a lot of work and a long time to create. On the other hand, it’s on the shorter side and does not cover the subtypes or Base 5 variants of the type. From the consumer’s perspective, I would probably find $15 to be a fairer price, maybe $20, especially because there’s a possibility you may lean into another type and need that guide as well. I would like to pick up the Maenad guide, but spending another $30 isn’t something I want to do right now. Whereas if they were $15, I would have bought both in the first place. I think in the end, people would just pick up more guides if they were priced lower, making more money in the end.

The other issue is probably a temporary one, but even choosing which guide to buy feels like a gamble. I decided on Fae based on examining all of the different outfits on the blog and discussing whether Maenad was right for me with someone who had the Maenad guide already. There are no clear descriptions of the types on the site, and it’s hard to decide, since there is so much room for personalization. This is both a plus and a minus for the system. It’s definitely a plus if you get an actual analysis. But it makes DIYing hard, since there are so many possibilities even within a single archetype. The price tag compounds this gambling issue, since you won’t know for sure if you’ve chosen the right guide until you receive it and read it. Kati does have Pinterest boards for each type, but I wouldn’t have chosen Fae if the Pinterest board was all I had had to go on.

Regarding price, since so many people lean into another type, it would be nice if there were a kind of discount if you were buying two guides together, say, five or ten dollars off.

I will post later on how I’m using this new information alongside my Flamboyant Gamine recommendations. For now, I would say that it could be worth getting if you’re pretty sure of what your type is. What I’ve found most helpful is helping me to keep a certain sensibility in mind when I’m looking for clothes. I hope in the future that there will be more information on the blog that will help people choose the correct archetype for themselves.

Have you purchased a Fantastical Beauty guide? What do you think? If you haven’t but you’re interested, which type(s) are you considering?

Understanding My Place Within the Gamines, Part Two

I’ve discussed my score on the Kibbe test before. I retook it again a few days ago, and my score is evenly split between yin and yang. This should perhaps mean that I’m one of the Flamboyant Gamines for whom the straight Gamine recommendations work better, but that isn’t what I’ve found in practice. The things that the women who seem closer to Gamine (very narrow, straight bodies, cute faces) are things I can never get to work on myself. When I picture a woman who can wear the Gamine recommendations, I picture someone like Mia Farrow in the 1960s.

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I don’t relate to her at all. But recently, as I’ve been watching some Kibbe-recommended movies, I’ve realized that there are straight Gamines I relate to, and ones I’ve been compared to.


Paulette Goddard, in The Women.


Jean Seberg, in Breathless.

These women are a bit fleshier than the FGs tend to be. The “taut flesh” is something that has always tripped me up. I’m not really someone who looked toned, even when I am thin–my arms, especially.

So anyway, some of these things have caused me to question FG for myself lately. What if I’m really Soft Gamine, and the square shape of my hips is something I should just deal with using shapewear? What if I just have the wrong idea about Gamine recommendations, and they end up being better for me than the FG ones? (I’ve also had a question about essence, but then I realized that I’m probably the only one who feels like I give off a vulnerable vibe, which is present in both Soft Gamine and Gamine and not really in Flamboyant Gamine.)

I made a spreadsheet with all the recommendations for all three types, and bolded what works for me. What I found is that the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations are still the clear winner. Almost everything works for me. But there are a few areas where I found that Gamine and Soft Gamine recommendations are either wearable or even better than the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations.

The major area where I found I have a lot of wiggle room is dresses. My best dress, a fitted, tailored silhouette with a narrow defined waist, is found in Gamine, not Flamboyant Gamine. I can also wear many of the evening dresses in the Soft Gamine section. Bustier dresses (cut straight across only, no sweetheart necklines) and poufy cocktail dresses work on me. I have a small enough waist to make them work, as long as the shape of my hips is hidden.

There are a lot of similarity in places like pants and skirt recommendations. But the major area where I saw Gamine working better than Flamboyant Gamine is the hair and makeup recommendations. Maybe it’s because I have full cheeks and don’t really have the major cheekbones that a lot of FGs have. “Boyishly tousled,” asymmetrical but wavy, etc. are the best haircuts for me. Makeup-wise, while I did when I was younger, I don’t like to go that smoky in my eye makeup most of the time. And because my facial bones aren’t as pronounced, I find a softer touch with contour works better. The Gamine makeup recommendations definitely sound more wearable to me.

My conclusion is that FG still works the best, but my softer face and smaller waist give me some room to play in Gamine and Soft Gamine. I think that this is a very helpful exercise for everyone to do, especially if you’re in a C, G, or N type, since you have those extra base type recommendations to consider.