Combining Kibbe and Dressing Your Truth

I’ve never been someone who looks at one style system at a time. I have always worked with multiple style systems. My approach to doing so has evolved over the years. In my systematic way, I used to think that you can just write out a list of recommendations for each, and see where they differ and where they overlap. I no longer endorse this approach. This is partially because I now know that “recommendations” aren’t the correct way to go about using David’s work, and partially because I am interested in a cohesive look, and I feel that picking some elements, but not others, could result in something that just looks like a mishmash. I plan to go more in depth in my new workbook, but until then, I will share how I combine the two systems I use in my daily life: Kibbe and DYT.

Color

Color is easy: I stick to Type 4 colors. As I’ve said before, I feel the most like myself in these colors. I deeply appreciate David’s feedback, and maybe if I saw him in NYC and he could style me, I could see how Bright Spring or Gentle Autumn could be me, too. I don’t think mixing multiple palettes in one outfit works, and while I thought that perhaps I would have entirely Spring or Autumn head-to-toes, it just doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t seem to ever do it.

Style

Style I would describe as Flamboyant Gamine being a kind of operating system or framework running underneath, almost subconsciously, in a way. From knowing that I’m FG, I know where my star power lies. I know which clothes will accommodate my particular body, and what is best left to someone else. DYT I can use in a more concrete way, with the particular patterns, textures, etc. that go along with it, and how to balance something that maybe isn’t 100% T4 (although it always is in color!). I don’t carry around a list of recommendations. I can look at things and determine whether, when paired together, an outfit will meet both the requirements of juxtaposed yin and yang with more yang (Kibbe FG) and yin-yang-yang-yang (DYT 4/3). When used together, even in my casual days (which, as a grad student, most are), I am able to feel 100% myself and confident in my choices.

Is It Easy?

For me, it is very easy to make the two work together. My personal T4 style keywords are “Bold, Structured, and Edgy,” and it’s easy to see how FG would fit into that (although of course you could be an entirely different Image ID and those keywords would still work for you!). But sometimes, the options you get from different systems don’t really seem to coalesce. In my case, that would be the season/color palette aspect. I’m sure there are colors on the Spring and Autumn palettes that would fit into T4, but I wouldn’t get my black and white. Trying to satisfy both would leave me with very limited options. In that case, I just had to make an executive decision in terms of which I would choose.

What has been your experience with trying to merge different style systems into one wardrobe?

9 Comments on Combining Kibbe and Dressing Your Truth

  1. MH
    November 24, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Hmmmm, the two style systems I’ve really explored are Zyla and Kibbe. For Kibbe, I know that I am some kind of Yang-dominant ID, but not quite sharp enough to be a pure Dramatic, probably. I feel like I live somewhere between soft dramatic and flamboyant natural. In Zyla’s system, I gravitate to Vivid Winter because it emphasizes a lack of pattern and strong lines, which I like and feel comfortable in, and most of the broad-stroke recommendations work for me (even though the way others interpret VW for themselves is sometimes very different from how I interpret it). It is harder with Kibbe since I interpret soft dramatic as the closest to VW but some of the recommendations for SD do not resonate with me at all (i.e. I dislike wearing jewelry and “bling”, and that seems to be extremely key for the SD look). I feel better in flamboyant natural, at least my interpretation of it, and I don’t think there is a winter version of FN in Zyla, unless it’s Antique Winter maybe, which doesn’t really resonate with me as much as VW. So long story short, it can be hard trying to blend two systems! Heck, it can be hard just finding where you fit in one system. And I acknowkedge I probably am incorrect in some of my interpretations of Kibbe, which may be adding to the difficulty.

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      November 24, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      I have definitely seen DK style SDs without a whole bunch of bling and jewelry!

      I don’t think there’s really any 1-to-1 correlation with Zyla and Kibbe. Any Image ID can be any Archetype.

      Reply
  2. Eunice
    November 25, 2019 at 4:53 am

    I’m currently using a combination of three systems – Scaman’s Sci/Art PCA, Dressing Your Truth and Kibbe. I’ve never been professionally typed, but I am very happy with what I’ve got – Bright Spring, Type 1/4 or 4/1 (still narrowing down) and Dramatic Classic.

    What is interesting is between the massive collages from each system, I have slowly been finding stuff that slips through the cracks that I am able to wear which, if I had been just following each system precisely, would be telling me that I can’t.

    For Sci/Art, I have found that my contrast is very high – almost equivalent to Bright Winter – but at the same time I am able to pull off Autumn greens better than Spring greens. Which shouldn’t be possible, but here I am:) I’ve never had the problem of mixing seasons, since rather than considering the colours as seasonal, I think about their colour value and what I can match with it to fulfil my BS need for colour contrast.

    For DYT, I felt very scared initially, as you were, when I realised I was Type 4. The perfection and symmetry that is key to this style was so foreign to me, since I was so used to telling myself that I had asymmetrical eyes, a square face and ‘big’ eyebrows. But considering that I’m a DC in Kibbe, it made a lot of sense and helped me get over myself. I can’t decide between 1/4 and 4/1, since my contrast level is between these two and outwardly I am closer to 4/1, but internally I’m more 1/4 (advice anyone??).

    Oh wow, then there’s Kibbe. Holy crap that was an amazingly funny journey. I went from a D to a FG [because I thought being Asian (youthful) equalled Gamine featuresXD], briefly a TR and then landed in DC. I never expected to be a Classic sub-type, since I looked nothing like Grace Kelly – the epitome of Classics – and struggled to look past the fact that I’m not white in order to compare properly (which, I later found out, is not helpful in the process). I can pull off incredibly long and thick jackets despite my slim build – which I understood but did not expect – and straight-cut jeans (in fact, any type of pants) is just flawless on me – both of which (I believe?) are more D-elements than DC. I don’t think I have any of the other essences – even though I wish I do – although like Benedict Cumberbatch my eyes are ever so slightly wide-set (ethereal? maybe?).

    Something else that I found that maybe you would like to take a look at

    http://dressingforyou.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      November 25, 2019 at 6:14 pm

      For DYT, I would look at facial profiling. Carol has newish videos on her youtube channel. Don’t try to find primary and secondary at once. Concentrate on the primary and let the secondary reveal itself through your clothing choices.

      Why DC and not Dramatic?

      Reply
      • Eunice
        November 26, 2019 at 2:27 am

        For DYT, I looked back at facial profiling, like you said:) I’m definitely a Type 4! I think I might’ve been psyched into a 4/1 or 1/4 because I’m already a BS in Sci/Art, and the colours are so similar!

        As for being DC and not D, I don’t have the length of bones that allows me to always wear length, neither in my face or in my body. I do have longer hands and feet, and I was also dealing with the wrong self-image – I always imagined myself as too long and tall even though I’m only 5’5. I also remembered how when I was younger I used to love this cardigan set (which is such a classic thing to do) and was so sad when I grew out of it.

        I tried using Aly Art’s interpretation of Kibbe to do my makeup according to D, SD and then DC. I found that with D makeup, I felt like I needed to soften the sharp eyeliner with blush and lipstick, while SD was almost too glamorous but did not feel off, and DC was very easy to me, and almost took a weight off. It felt like I was telling myself that I am worthy and already beautiful.

        Also, with slow changes in my dressing and makeup, my mom – who has a very keen eye in dressing oneself – slowly started giving me compliments on me and the choices I made. She also said I have a very androgynous face – not like supermodels, but in a neutral sort of way, like with the right styling I could look either male or female. I’ve been examining myself in that perspective and I can see why – there have been times in my life where I believed myself to look masculine (which in a collectivistic culture, sucks) and unconsciously styled myself as such.

        I’ve also had a lifelong aversion to curls. I enjoy seeing it on others, but the one time I tried a wig with curls, I almost wanted to scream and run out of the place. I mean, I’ve also fancied really crazy, unnatural hair colours, but over time and gleaning from comments given to me by strangers, I have found that my black, combed hair is enough for my features.

        I’m considering if I should write about this on my blog, since I do find that my journey fits closest (without having consulted Kibbe) to what he has been trying to teach and inspire.

        Reply
  3. cactus gardener
    November 25, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Thanks for that post, I actually wanted to ask you eventually how you do two systems at once, as I imagined this must be a challenge. If one system were only for shape and the other for color, why not, but as it is… Although Kibbe FG and DYT Type 4 are probably more easily compatible than some other combos would be.

    Most style systems apart from Kibbe tended to push me even more towards one season color-wise, Zyla and DYT prominently among them. It’s now all the harder to unlearn these color associations with body, styles, shapes, personality traits, eras, imagery etc. and to get back to the place where I used to love all colors. I certainly didn’t love to wear all colors, but the style systems really wreaked havoc on my general color fun outside of the wardrobe. There’s always a risk involved… Not a critique, just an observation. I actually like Zyla’s vision, although I agree that it’s impossible to DIY.

    I recently ordered a color fan from Jen Thoden, and must say that fan seems already closer to home than any of the 4 or 12 season fans I got. I realize though that the fans are rather toys for me, they’re fun to have and play around with, but that I don’t really feel inclined to use them as tools. Either because none of them hits home, or because I simply don’t want to use any system at all in that department; time will tell which is true.

    I decided to stick with Kibbe exclusively the very day I first read from him, just leaving the door ajar in the color territory until we see his big picture. The actual physical wardrobe always lags a few months/years behind new insights (or sidetrack ideas) anyway; which was frustrating in the beginning, but turns out to be a good thing. The only part I regret is that I mainly focused on color when I first set out, which probably should be last, took inspiration from at least three or four different books at once, went on the first shopping sprees even before I found Kibbe and thus hadn’t yet a guideline for shape that really worked for me. Well, I was in a hurry, because I didn’t own any wardrobe at all before that, I had literally nothing to wear. That kind of cherry-picker-merging I wouldn’t recommend to anyone if the need isn’t that urgent (which is not at all what you do obviously). I could have avoided a big re-sale pile with a bit more planning- and brooding-time. On the other hand, I have no shopping pressure now and won’t need massive overhauls while getting updated on modern Kibbe and making up my mind on how to handle color on the long run.

    (Oh, and 80ies Kibbe… I got my book in pristine condition, hurray! Just sad that the color chapter is really short, lol.)

    As always, one size doesn’t fit all. Whatever works best! But it’s probably a good idea to be clear on what we really want to use out of the plethora of theories before investing substantial money. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth Stewart
    November 26, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Another great post – much to think about here. I too have been trying to combine systems, but always return to Kibbe. Especially since going to “Kibbe U” on the Strictly Kibbe FB page, and realizing at last, from within, my true type, i.e. Romantic, with no yang at all. I have always netted compliments when dressed this way, especially since dressing HTT, and it has been a revelation.

    DYT is really interesting, but although I am pretty sure I am a T2/1, I just can’t go with the T2 color card that they send. The colors are too cool and too grey-toned for my warm coloring, and I don’t feel good wearing them. The colours that work best for me are the warm, bright and clear T1 shades – and in other systems (House of Color, CMB) I’ve been typed as a Spring, although with different emphases. The T2 lines and styles are just right, though.

    Kibbe does not equate color with style, and if I understand him rightly he sees them as separate categories that are not related to one another. This makes total sense to me.

    The very best color analysis I ever had was by a company that seems to have folded – they were called Color1, and their method was similar to Zyla. They matched my own colors in eyes, hair and skin, included my natural lip color. They concluded I was “Gentle”, but that I needed warm colors and nothing at all cool. But they are not Soft Autumn colors, being far less muted than that. Nor is there any exact equivalent in any other system I have looked at. I still use their swatch card, even though it is literally falling apart and held together with sellotape!

    If I could afford to cross the Atlantic and visit Kibbe in New York, I would!

    Reply
    • stylesyntax
      November 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      What are you basing your DYT energy type on? You need the whole movement on your body, not just one piece, for it to work. Like I do not believe I would ever drape as a Winter, as seen in my Color DIY, which is what T4 is usually correlated with. White turned out terrible in my self-draping photos, for instance. But with makeup, hair, clothing, and jewelry all together, I really like the way I look in white and it even photographs well. If you’re looking at DYT through what you know about style or color, I think you don’t end up in the right place. I thought I couldn’t be a T4, for instance, because I couldn’t imagine the colors working on me since it contradicted everything else I knew. But they do, with all five components in place, and I feel great.

      You may be a T2, or you may not be. You need to look at your facial features, and see how it looks with every component in place, not just one or two. Or DYT just may not be the system for you, and working with Kibbe’s color system may work the best for you, or a Zyla palette.

      Reply
      • Elizabeth Stewart
        November 28, 2019 at 3:09 pm

        Yes, I think it may be that DYT is not the best “fit” for me. I do identify as a “soft and subtle” person, and people see me as quiet and gentle. My energy flows peacefully, like water, just as described on the DYT videos. I want everyone and everything around me to feel comfortable and feelings are the most important thing to me. And I love the Type 2 clothing styles and lines, so it’s a puzzle. I get no compliments at all when I wear the Type 2 colours, and in fact people tell me I look tired and unwell. But when I look at Kibbe, I can find my place in his system without any trouble now, and it makes complete sense. His ideas of colour resonate with me, and if I could afford to fly to New York for a personal consultation I would do so tomorrow! Fortunately for us, he’s shared his ideas and concepts so generously that it’s really possible to find one’s own “Kibbegory” through his exercises. It has certainly been very rewarding for me to work through “Kibbe U”. I think most people would find it so, if they put in the work, which happens to be fun as well as enlightening.

        Reply

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