When to Stop

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Some people picked up Kibbe’s Metamorphosis when it was still in print in the late 80s and are no closer to finding their Image Identity 30 years later. Others got draped by Color Me Beautiful around the same time and now are flummoxed by the innovations in the seasonal color world. Some people have started more recently, but seem to switch seasons or Image IDs on a weekly basis.

My advice to anyone who finds themselves in this predicament is short and to the point: Stop.

Give yourself time to adjust and understand how a season or Image ID feels. Carol Tuttle advises that when you think you’ve found your Energy Type, try living in that Energy Type for a full month. This is sound advice not only for people interested in Dressing Your Truth, but for people interested in any other style system. You can’t judge how something works for you until you’ve given it a real shot and paid attention to how you look and feel wearing it.

Now, sometimes we don’t need a full month. I realized that Light and Bright Spring were wrong for me much quicker than that. Light Spring made me completely red; Bright Spring was tiring. But if you find yourself switching seasons or Image IDs every other week, I think it would be wise to just stop and say, “OK, I’m going to take the data I have on myself, and try to give one season a fair shot.”

And if you don’t switch seasons or Image IDs, but you’re just having doubts… Consider where those doubts are coming from. Are they because you feel like something is off, you feel tired, or like you need to wear extra makeup? Or are they there because you feel like you’ve left something on the table, some stone unturned?

The truth is, I don’t know if there is some absolute truth with all this stuff. I think it’s enough if you look good and it makes you happy. The only seasons I’ve really tried are Light Spring, Bright Spring, and Dark Autumn. I’ve draped myself in the other seasons, but these are the only ones I’ve tried living in. Once I felt happy with the Dark Autumn result, I got off the carousel and moved on with my life. We could all search forever. But in the end, the point is a workable wardrobe that we look good in. You won’t ever get there if you never stop second-guessing yourself, or if you let the advice of other people on Facebook, who often don’t know anymore than you do, get to you. You’re the one who has to live with it.

What has been your experience with knowing when to say when?

9 Comments on When to Stop

  1. Laurel
    November 17, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I pretty much feel like I’ve put it ll together. I’m feeling better about my appearance than I ever have and I don’t obsess over it so much anymore. DYT was very helpful. Being a Type 4 informs all my style choices. But I also include the fact that I am TW and YinG. Surprisingly working with a capsule wardrobe was very helpful. It forced me to narrow everything down and really focus. Another thing that helped with Image Identity was the realization that I was the YinG not the clothes. Also I remember Carol Tuttle saying once that if you can’t ever come to a settled decision about what type you are it may be due to unsettled issues in your like. I got interested in all of this during a very turbulent time in my life and I know that sometimes colors, styles, types etc. was just a way to run away from terrible things that were happening. things have settled down to a great degree now and I am ready to focus on other things and just be a type 4, TW, YinG with a 27 piece capsule wardrobe.

    • stylesyntax
      November 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      DYT I kind of scoffed at for a while, but I’ve been looking into it again lately and even signed up for Lifestyle. I really like the new things they’ve come out with, like the updated palettes, and I think the styles they offer now have improved. I do see how the way I do everything else is imfluenced by being T3.

  2. Cory
    November 17, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Good post!

    I’ve been thinking about how much easier I would have found Kibbe if I had understood at the beginning that it’s really about your overall impression, not points on a quiz, and that you’re going to be an overall type and then a sub-type within that type. I think I intuitively grasped that I must be a kind of Natural, but I couldn’t make myself fit perfectly into either model, so then I flailed around for a while. Whereas it just seems like if you understand that you’re looking at five basic types, that seems really quite easy to me, and then you can branch out or add things to that basic framework.

    I think listening to other people rather than your own instincts can lead people astray in many, many realms, including personal style.

    • stylesyntax
      November 17, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      It is *very* important to understand that it is about overall impression versus a quiz score!

  3. Jessica
    November 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    This is such a good post. For me the answer “when to stop” was when I felt like I was beginning to get too much contradictory information. There is some congruence between various color and style systems, but when it feels like your place within systems doesn’t align well there can be a lot of frustration. In hindsight, I think that I would have done better sticking to just one or two sources. I know that many people love exploring all the systems in detail, and that is great if it works for them, but I became very overwhelmed with Kibbe, sci-art, DYT, Zyla, etc. Feeling that there was another answer just around the corner was pretty addictive to me. Now I am just trying to focus on what I am pretty sure of (soft summer colors and some variation of classic) without being bogged down in categories. These systems can be so fun and helpful, but if they stop feeling that way maybe taking a break is good.

    • stylesyntax
      November 18, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Oh yeah, a lot of people seem to need to know what they are in *every* system, even if they already have a palette and style recommendations that work perfectly for them. People can start to spiral, especially when they get opinions from multiple analysts and they conflict.

  4. Sara
    November 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    I feel like the pieces in the puzzle are finally starting to fall into place for me. I know I have gone in circles for sure but it feels like closing in, getting closer every time. I feel like the online community is bad about creating doubt so I haven’t really outed my type online yet but I am buying clothes again so that is a big step.

    • stylesyntax
      November 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm


  5. Daga
    May 2, 2018 at 2:56 am

    For me time to stop was when I decided I’ll just get PCA done to be sure. I was hoping to be Clear/Bright Spring I strongly suspected I was despite dark hair and brown eyes. I was so concerned that I just badly “want” to be this season – so I sat there like a stone, not to lead the consultant to any false conclusions. She said she was surprised I wasn’t happy as soon as she put the Clear Spring drapes on me because the difference was so striking. The truth was I was jumping inside, hardly able to hide it 🙂

    I did my research before draping (I could not find any Sci/Art consultant where I live so I settled on any 12 season system). My colour expert turned out great but even if she wouldn’t be – I’ve seen the drapes, the process, my skin reactions and now I know how good/or bad the drapes looked on me so it would be worth it anyway.

    I was thrilled I was Clear/Bright Spring. For some time. Now I wish I could be any other season, the softer the better! My colors are so bright and busy. When you take into account that I’m pretty sure I’m some sort of Gamine – the result is striking. I feel like I have to dress “crazy” to look normal, the colors alone catch enough attention. I could work with some Natural Etno Chic style with them, or even crisp Dramatic or Classic – it would be so much easier in terms of shopping. Being a Winter and wearing pure black, white and red would be esier as well (in shops G clothes often come in these colours and they are timless classics despite being loud).

    Don’t get me wrong, I do get amazing results with knowledge of the best colours and siluettes. It just takes so much work in terms of shopping, tailoring or even sewing from scratch. And… accepting myself. At least I know what I’m working with/on and it’s priceless.


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