Zyla Update: Goodbye Autumn, Hello Spring

The first exercise in the workbook is about how to combine your lines and your season. I thought that I could use Zyla to do it. I wrote about using Zyla to customize your Kibbe type, about how I was going to use Gamine Autumn to make Flamboyant Gamine more in line with what a Dark Autumn needs. Then I found that Gamine Autumn didn’t work and I just was either not shopping or not wearing what I bought, so I decided to try Mellow Autumn, which is a little more avant-garde and a lot less rustic.

But again, I was finding that it wasn’t working for me. I decided to put Zyla on the backburner for a while, and after discovering Fantastical Beauty, I realized that I needed sharpness, angularity, and lightness (in feeling, not color). I decided that I didn’t need Zyla at all anymore.

I think there’s some natural law where if Kibbe is easy for you, finding your place in Zyla will be impossible and vice versa. I just don’t really see myself in any of Zyla’s archetypes. They all seem either too girly or too mature for me. With Kibbe, Flamboyant Gamine got an immediate “this is everything I love in fashion and life” reaction, to the point that I didn’t think I could be FG, since no one could be so lucky as to get the type they want.

Zyla has been much harder. But there’s been a lot of people going to see him lately, and they come back with beautiful palettes. While I’ve long thought I’d go for Beauty Valued if I ever wanted to get my colors done professionally, now I’m thinking I might go for Zyla. I love his more minimal approach to a palette, where there may be other colors that look good, but these colors are magic for you, and can support you for specific purposes in your life.

I’ve come to realize that while I may be a Dark Autumn, I use the Dark Autumn palette more as a slightly toasted Spring palette. I try to focus my wardrobe on the brightest colors in the palette, and use the dark colors for things like pants and shoes. I don’t know if it’s my Image Identity or the fact that I’m so light appearing–Caygill people have told me I’d be some kind of muted Spring in that system–but the only things associated from autumn that I like are fur (leopard), leather, suede, and thick scarves.


When I posted about my latest Zyla search, a lot of people brought up Tawny Spring for me. Tawny is too vintage-quirky for me. Mischievous is far too rustic. Early is too well-behaved. Buoyant seems the closest, but biker jackets are specifically called out in the book as a “no” for BS and the “too girly” problem rears its yang head. So after making a ton of collages for different Zyla types using his Pinterest, I decided to make a collage for me. I put things I own, things I want to own, places I could see myself living, art I like, a haircut I want, a celebrity whose style is an inspiration to me, and finally something from nature.


When I posted it, it was pointed out to me that this was already a cohesive set of images. They share a certain color palette and particular visual features. I have created my own archetype, which I actually outlined how to do in my workbook anyway. I’m not sure where Zyla would put me, but I feel like unless it conformed to what I already see for myself, I would end up rejecting it. I think there’s a far higher chance of dissatisfaction with an analysis if you already have a clear vision of who and what you are.

So I don’t know. I love his palettes–but I want to be seen how I want to be seen. Keeping an open mind is difficult, and in the end, I suppose I just have to decide whether it’d be worth basically gambling with the cost of the analysis.

12 Comments on Zyla Update: Goodbye Autumn, Hello Spring

  1. Shelby
    May 12, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I am in the same boat – Kibbe is perfect, Zyla doesn’t seem to fit. Although I wonder if Tawny Spring may actually be my type…

    Instead, I’m working with what I am. Soft Summer, Soft Gamine. Double the soft, sass it up!

    • stylesyntax
      May 12, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      That sounds like it would work well with a very vintage look 🙂

  2. Cristina
    May 12, 2016 at 2:23 am

    As close as I got my colors I would have never guessed my archetype in Zyla since my “nos” are the “must haves” in the book for my type. That said, I think he is exceptional and if you have a clear self image that is only validated and supported in the end, even if it surprises you. Even though I got my colors close my palette is still a level up and I’d do it again even if I didn’t get an archetype. Having such focused colors is exceptional.

    • stylesyntax
      May 12, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      There are people who ended up with Zyla archetypes and recommendations where they didn’t feel like their self image was supported and validated, but they seem to be rare exceptions. It is the focused colors thing that really attracts me to Zyla, anyway. I do have very strong reactions to colors, so I hope that’s enough to ensure that I wouldn’t end up with something that felt wrong.

  3. Dianne Pearson
    May 14, 2016 at 2:27 am

    I would absolutely do an analysis with Zyla if I could afford it. What I can’t understand with Zyla is why the archetypes are wed to the pallete.
    Do you?

    • stylesyntax
      May 14, 2016 at 4:11 am

      The palettes can vary a lot, but I think there are some general things they’ll usually have in common. Like usually contrast level won’t vary that much, since it’s tied in with the archetype. I think color is important for creating the overall look. Sometimes people will have a “surprising” palette for the archetype, but the palette still fits.

  4. Nikki
    June 9, 2016 at 5:44 am

    This is really interesting, because I feel that we use our palettes in a similar way (I also connected most with the Spring energies in his system), but it makes the styles he recommends in his book make me feel like I’m a square peg ramming myself into a round hole. I will say, that even my initial DIY palette (which has been tweaked several times since) included several colors which I already knew to be my best on the fan, and showed me others which look absolutely fantastic, but would have probably stayed off my radar entirely (unless I stumbled upon it eventually).

    • stylesyntax
      June 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      None of Zyla’s types really feel like a comfortable fit for me either, which is why I have abandoned finding my archetype myself and use Fantastical Beauty as a secondary influence for FG instead. I still love the tighter approach to color though.

  5. C
    January 9, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I loved using Zyla’s book to find my colors (and colors of family members too – it changed my season designation for a few of them).

    But linking personality to color (or body shape) is always suspicious to me. When i think of the archetypes as personality and interests alone, and not related to a particular color season, I’m more comfortable with them. And using them as a springboard to make your own archetype is great!

    To me there are 3 parts to a person’s style – coloring, body shape, and personality, and they’re separate and any combination can exist. Any system that conflates them is stereotyping and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    If i had the money, I’d love to be analyzed by a Caygill-trained analyst and get a full personalized palette. 🙂

    • stylesyntax
      January 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      From what I’ve heard, the personality stuff in the book can basically be ignored.

  6. Wez
    November 7, 2022 at 12:31 am

    I think Zyla mixed two elements of Caygill which has confused Mischievous Spring or The Pixie’s style. There is Provincial spring which as the name suggests is all about those low contrast but colourful French Impressionist landscape paintings but Pixie as described in Caygill’s book is Vivacious, and I think what is lost is a look similar to how I’d describe Vivienne Westwood, is a Bright Spring with a real mixed up looking cool style with patent leather and bold colours, but not well presented and formal like Vital Spring, Zyla does hint at this in his moodboard on Pinterest with Rihanna and some other pics. Worth noting as well your palette is very similar to mine and my eyes are very similar to Vivienne Westwood’s I think you sit around that Archetype and colouring of Caygill’s Pixie

    • stylesyntax
      November 22, 2022 at 12:46 pm

      I think it’s hard to draw a hard definitive line with Caygill, as her application of archetypes, even in the book, seemed to be rather flexible. She does have an entire section of special types for petite women, and I think that’s where I’d end up. This may be my issue with Zyla out of the box, in that I’m more youthful, but I don’t think I really give off a Spring vibe either. The petite types in Caygill can convey that regardless of season, and I’m sure he could incorporate that in person, but the book just doesn’t have a place for me.


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