December 2017 archive

Personality Plus: Dainty

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DAINTY
delicate, fragile, gentle, extremely feminine

FABRIC AND TEXTURE

-You enjoy wearing soft, smooth woolens because rough, course textures seem too harsh and bulky for your delicate tastes.

Supersoft Charming Cardigan

Supersoft Charming Cardigan in in Whisper Pink, Talbots, was $79.50, now $39.50

-You lean toward sheer cottons–organdy, dimity, dotted Swiss–but you would feel right in almost any crisp, fresh, cotton.

COLOR AND PATTERN
-Usually you look and feed better in soft, pastel hues.

-Bright reds and intense blues and greens tend to overpower a dainty girl unless they are used as accents.

-Select the more delicate prints and more subdued stripes and plaids.



Plaid Linen Blend Shirt

Charli Plaid Linen Blend Shirt in Rockport Plaid, Nordstrom, was $140, now $88.80

-Big, bold stripes and vivid, splotchy prints would be a strike against you!

DETAIL

-Try feminine details in a dress or blouse–frilly necklines, exquisite lingerie touches, and soft shirring.

-A severe, tailored style might be too “hard” for a dainty miss.

-Adorable little hats were made for your type, because you can get away with flowers, froth, and frou-frou (for dress-up, of course–not with your plaid suit and sneakers).

-You prefer smooth, lightweight leathers for your shoes and handbags. A heavier leather somehow looks clumsy on you.

Remember that these personalities don’t accompany any particular lines or yin/yang balance, archetype, etc. If you have a dainty clothing preference, you can incorporate these ideas into the clothes that work for you.

Excerpt from Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning

Previously: Historical: Personality Plus
Next: Sturdy

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Historical: Personality Plus

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As I posted yesterday, I have recently acquired Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning, a home ec textbook from the 50s/60s by Dora S. Lewis and others that turned out to be much more informative and helpful than I had anticipated.

One of the chapters is called “Personality Plus,” and it covers personality in clothing selection. It doesn’t mention physical features at all, so I think it may be a respite for people who struggle with the recommendations for their bodies or faces. You can take your personality designation, and incorporate it into any of the recommendations you’ve gotten based on your physicality.

What you are looking for is your dominant personality characteristic. The chapter acknowledges that we are all a blend with many different aspects to our personalities, but we are trying to single out one main theme. The book instructs you to “Know thyself.” It says to think about the things you’ve purchased and never worn, and what you wear again and again. By “personality,” they really seem to mean “clothing preference.” If you like sporty clothes, and you buy a frilly dress, you probably just won’t wear that frilly dress, even if it is fashionable and looks good on you.

The chapter sets up these “personalities” in oppositions. They are:

DAINTY VS. STURDY

Dainty is: delicate, fragile, gentle, extremely feminine.

Sturdy is: athletic, rugged, strong, vigorous, “tomboyish”

DRAMATIC VS. DEMURE

Dramatic is: daring, extreme, striking, unusual, sophisticated

Demure is: modest, retiring, shy, timid

DIGNIFIED VS. VIVACIOUS

Dignified is: conservative, sedate, reserved, serious, deliberate

Vivacious is: gay, sparkling, lively, flighty, impulsive

They are set up like this because you are unlikely to find these two traits in the same person. You won’t be “dainty” today and “sturdy” tomorrow. You may, however, be “dainty” with a touch of “demure” or “dignified,” but usually one characteristic dominates. You may feel that your clothing personality changes with your moods–you may feel feminine one day, boisterous the next, and still sedate the day after that. Your type will also likely change over the course of your life. A young “vivacious” may grow into an adult “dramatic”; a “demure” may become a “dignified.”

Since it is aimed at high schoolers, the book says that the reader will likely keep to the traditional schoolgirl garb of the era of skirts and sweaters, but to bring in your personality in texture and color. For our purposes, I would also add bringing in your personality to your accessories, and rather than mid-century schoolgirl clothes, to think about how you can use these when working with your Kibbe Image ID, Dressing Your Truth energy combination, Zyla Archetype, etc.

Personally I think I’m vivacious with a touch of sturdy, but I’d like to grow into vivacious with a touch of dramatic. Where do you see yourself in this system from the short descriptors in this post?

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Book Review/Historical: Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning

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Glamourdaze is one of my favorite resources for historical style system information, and when I came across this post, I knew I needed the book the post was based on.

ccandwp

The book is the 1960 edition of the home economics textbook Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning by Dora S. Lewis, Mabel Goode Bowers, and Marietta Kettunen. I bought it more or less impulsively, intrigued by the excerpts on Glamourdaze but not even being sure whether there was anything that would make it onto this site.

I could not have been more pleasantly surprised. I think this book might be the one that I would recommend to accompany all of our other work involving Kibbe, Zyla, and simply trying to understand how to put together a good outfit together. The book is aimed at teenage girls from families where their clothing budget is not unlimited, and the book teaches you how to put together a wardrobe for a limited budget and how to budget for it, how to alter and sew your own clothing, and the basic principles of design and color. It teaches you how to look at clothes with a critical eye and how to tell good design from bad design, how to put outfits together that are appropriate for the occasion, and how to figure out what you need in your wardrobe and when you should buy certain pieces. It truly provides a foundation for how you can think about clothes, beyond your type in whatever system.

There is some dubious advice in the book as well–it suggests slathering yourself in peanut oil (!) before you suntan (!) to protect your skin (!); it also suggests uses deodorant two whole times a week–but overall, despite being dated, it is very informative. There is a clothing personality chapter, and I will be sharing this information with you in the coming days. I also think I may put the good/bad design section up here, since it’s so useful. The other parts may make their way into future workbooks.

Anyway, let me know what you’re interested in! And otherwise I suggest picking it up for yourself because it is just so useful.

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Book Review: The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

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thecuratedcloset

I was recently asked about what my next workbook would be. I plan to do an expanded version of the style personality section of the first workbook, since that is the area where people seem to have the most trouble, and I hope to put it out during the first half of 2018.

In a similar vein to the work I’ve done in wardrobe planning and rebuilding is Anuschka Rees’s work, which she has on a site that used to be called Into Mind and is now just under her name. Last year, she published a book called The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe, which guides you through the process of developing your personal style, going through and restocking your wardrobe, and then maintaining and updating it.

The book is full of helpful exercises and step-by-step processes to help you achieve a wardrobe that fits your style and that serves you in all the different areas of your life. I will say, however, that I personally have some major philosophical differences with Rees. While she used to have information about seasonal analysis and perhaps other systems on her site–I can’t remember now–she is now against what she calls “style typologies.” Of course, my entire site is about these style typologies. She sees them as limiting; I see them as freeing–as long as they are applied correctly. The internet is full of people who treat Kibbe Image IDs as stereotypes, and some of these people are making a comfortable living doing it, but in the end you can express any style with any Kibbe Image ID; the Image ID just makes it easier. When it comes to colors, too, I think it’s not the best idea to seemingly completely leave out the seasonal concept, especially when you’re telling people to make their limited palettes of main colors, neutrals, and accents. You have to have either a background in art or an excellent innate color sensibility to come up with a workable palette that has harmony if you don’t have the tools of color seasons.

Another area where we differ is capsule wardrobes–she dedicates a fair amount of space to them, and I think that it is best to concentrate on full, head-to-toe outfits. I think capsule wardrobes lead to generic outfits, even if you stock that capsule with statement pieces. An outfit that tells an entire story generally requires thought, not mix and match.

Despite these major disagreements, I still think the book has practical and even fun advice for people who are looking to define their style and create a wardrobe that works for their life. I haven’t done any of the exercises from the book yet, since I’m in a place with my wardrobe where I feel like it has a cohesive style and it has what I need, but I will likely turn to it for inspiration next time I feel like it’s time for an overhaul and I want to tweak some things.

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe, Anuschka Rees, Ten Speed Press, 2016. $15.99 (Kindle Edition)/$17.21 (paperback).

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