One Reader's Style Journey
With her permission, I'm sharing Danielle M.'s engrossing story: her personal style journey, and her experience with the Style Identity Calculator. Her story will be especially interesting to those of you with a Style ID Calculator result of more than three essences. I love her idea of "self-storytelling."
Growing up, I struggled a lot with confidence when it came to my clothes (though, I acknowledge that this is not an uncommon backstory). I just couldn't figure out why every outfit I tried on seemed to highlight what I believed were my worst flaws. As a young adult, I resigned myself to a life of never finding a way to dress myself that would allow me to express my most genuine self. My wardrobe evolved into a hodgepodge of fast fashion consisting of whatever the "influencers" were telling us to wear. Most frustratingly, on the rare occasion that I did feel wonderful in my clothes, I couldn't articulate why.
Last May, I stumbled upon Kibbe's system, and for the first time in ages I felt a flicker of hope that I could develop a personal style that would feel true to me. I'm a very intentional person in most areas of my life, and I liked the idea of Kibbe's strict rules for different body types. Kibbe's system would've been fine for me, if I fit neatly -- or even messily! -- into one of his categories. But by the billionth exasperated sigh over being utterly unable to decide between classed as a Theatrical Romantic, a Soft Classic, a Soft Gamine, or a Soft Dramatic by my own eyes and by those of some very, very patient friends and family, I accepted that I do not fit into Kibbe's system.
I purchased your *brilliant* Style ID Calculator with near certainty that it would return an even blend of Ingenue and Ethereal, convinced that because Kibbe dropped those two essences from his system, I just had to be a mix of both of them. Imagine my astonishment when upon arriving at the end of the 63rd board, I saw this: 30% GAMINE, 30% CLASSIC, 30% ROMANTIC. The first time I used the Style ID Calculator, I used a full body image from a few years ago when I was at a different weight. The second time, I used a full body photo of myself taken that very morning. The result: 10% DRAMATIC, 25% GAMINE, 25% CLASSIC, 25% ROMANTIC -- basically the same blend with a smidge of drama. Third time, I decided to actually follow your excellent instructions and use my face only. :) Result: 30% DRAMATIC, 30% CLASSIC, 30% GAMINE. From these results, it became crystal clear to me why I could've taken the Kibbe quiz again and again forever and never would've received an accurate result because he doesn't allow for a situation where someone is primarily a 50/50 fusion of a masculine/feminine "blend" (classic) ~AND~ a masculine/feminine "combination of opposites" (gamine) -- which consistently forms the basis of my particular makeup. Also, the results from your Style ID Calculator perfectly illuminate the reason why I bounced around four out of the five main Kibbe categories and why none of the guidelines for any of them would've supplied complete instructions for me. Thanks to your system, I'm finally deciphering my personal style's enigmatic code.
I've already experimented with different looks, and I've learned that outfits work best for me if I actually attempt to incorporate all four essences. I went back to see how I answered the Romantic-Classic-Gamine and the Dramatic-Classic-Gamine boards on each of my three Style ID Calculator trials, and I was surprised that it was a "3" in all cases for both boards. However, I do notice that something feels super-slightly off unless all four essences are represented in my look. I hypothesize that this is due to the fact that I seem to be comprised of all four in relatively high and equal amounts.
So, I've purchased both the Romantic-Classic-Gamine and the Dramatic-Classic-Gamine Shopping Guides and will probably end up purchasing absolutely everything in your store related to these two blends, haha!
I know that at the end of the day, it is easy for many of us to dismiss personal style as a trivial matter. Indeed, I have done so myself in the past, mostly out of feigned-apathetic declarations that sartorial concerns were just not "for me". But over the course of my journey with body typing and color analysis (...whole other tome...), I've come to view this as a process of self-storytelling, through which a more honest version of self-love blooms. This is no small thing. Instead of feeling like I have to obscure any of my features that I bemoaned when I was younger, I've come to understand how I can celebrate the delightfully paradoxical characteristics that make me... me. Cheesy as all this sounds, I've fallen a little more in love with myself throughout this adventure, and I truly cannot thank you enough for providing a language through which I can tell my tale without speaking a word. Those I cross paths with will now know upon first glance that I'm a "Cheeky Duchess" who moonlights as a "Spunky Art Critic"! :)
Eternally grateful to you for helping me to express my truth and my beauty.
2/5/2019 06:42:12 am
I just wannt to say how much I admire your knowledge about beauty. I found your blog through a YouTube video yesterday and ... wow. I’m definitely going to stay. Would love to see some celebrity analysis here :) that would be awesome.
2/5/2019 10:59:33 am
I’m loving this. I had a similar journey with my style identity, but it turned out I was making my type far more complicated than it is. I dabbled in Natural Ingenue, Ethereal Romantic Gamine, Romantic Gamine, Romantic Natural Gamine... I’m a Gamine who can femme it up with a touch of Romance and butch it up with a dab of Natural, but I don’t possess enough of either to qualify as an RG or as an NG. I was stuck between Soft Gamine and Soft Natural when I was in Kibbeland because I’m 5’2 and 38-25-39. But nope. It’s Pure Spunk for me! I’m also a classical acting student, and when the boy roles kept flooding in I was very confused. I was like “y’all don’t see the double Ds?? What’s going on?” But nope! I can pass for a boy in a sweatshirt. Or in a cloak. And that’s fine! All the better for personal branding! I Gamine’d my way right into the role of Hamlet this spring. Also, romantic partners have been being pleasantly surprised when I go nude, and that’s always a fun development!
2/7/2019 08:27:24 pm
I wish I could delete my earlier comment. I’m wild gay and so I assumed that everyone would be comfortable with my association of Gamine and Natural with boyishness and butchness, but upon further reflection, I realize that’s probably not the case. Sorry if my words are hurtful to any of you lovely readers. ❤️
2/5/2019 01:21:54 pm
This is a beautifully written account of the experience and it inspires me to renew my efforts to winnow my wardrobe down. After going to all the effort of finding my colors and my Style ID, I need to actually put it into practice!
2/7/2019 11:20:37 am
This sounds exactly like me! I'm finding some blend of Classic, Romantic, Dramatic, and a smidge of Gamine to be my best. So maybe it's something about that particular blend that makes it hard to figure out.
2/9/2019 03:57:54 am
Hello and thank you for this awesome blog. I have a question: what about people who hate what suits them? If they don't like the colors of their palette or what their season "evoke"? Imagine a soft Autumn who wanted to be a light Spring for exemple. I wonder if we can evoke another season by picking some colors in the palette who suits us. For exemple: if an Autumn (calm and earthy) wants to feel like a Spring (light and joyfull), choose this type of yellow or pink in your palette. What do you think?
5/7/2019 07:56:29 pm
I noticed, that even when palettes looked at as a whole can look very different, there are often individual colors that can resemble very much shades in other palettes, where it can be hard to tell them apart sometimes from very different palettes at times. And if you show a shade from a palette it can be very surprising and people will almost all guess wrong what palette it belongs to.
2/9/2019 02:02:59 pm
The SA could pick own color versions of the inspiring LSp colored outfit and simulate same effect but in own colors. Especially picking top in own SA color but then do bottom in something closer to LSp? These seasons are both warm and light and share some commonality.
2/9/2019 05:37:47 pm
How much do you have to know yourself to use the Style Calculator? My problem is I *don’t* know what looks good on me so I’m worried I won’t be able to give useful answers.
2/11/2019 02:54:31 am
I must admit I've always been puzzled by some women claiming they "do not know what looks good on them2; as long as one's eyesight is ok, how can one *not* know..?! I believe we all instinctively know, only we may have been blinded by society's rules, but just let all that go and you *will* see. I do not mean to offend anyone in any way, but I'm honestly baffled by this...
2/14/2019 10:58:15 am
1. Low self-esteem can easily mean that literally nothing looks good. Even when others say something looks good on you, you just think 'ugh'. Sad but very true for many of us!
2/16/2019 01:59:56 am
Ok... I bit the bullet and purchased the style calculator! I haven't received the email yet, but I thought it would be fun to post my predictions and see how they compare. I suspect I'm high on Ethereal and Gamine, and very low on Romantic. I also sometimes think I might be Dramatic Classic (or is that just because I'm Dark Winter?)- basically every day I think I might be something new. Last week I was contemplating Natural Ingenue.
2/16/2019 10:42:06 pm
Update: I've taken the test! I got 30 each for Dramatic, Natural, and Classic, and "negligible" for the rest. I'm honestly surprised to have so much masculine, yet so little Gamine or Ethereal. I suspect this is how I took the quiz- on a 1 to 3 scale I gave nearly everything a 1 and only a few boards 2. I think I'll flex my style-typing muscles a little by trying it on other faces, then go back and do myself again. Maybe get someone to do it for me. Like Helen said, self-esteem and objectivity are barriers to accuracy. I pretty much thought NOTHING looked GOOD on me, but some boards were a hard pass while others were "maybe??" The journey continues...
2/11/2019 03:10:24 am
Typo there, was of course meant to be "do not know what looks good on them". ;)
2/12/2019 12:22:46 am
Unfortunately, I’m the opposite. I found my colors quite easily, but shapes are much harder. I guess a better question to ask is: how is the test framed? Do I tell it what shapes I *think* I look good in, and it tells me which label that goes under; or do I tell it what I think I look like, and it gives me which shapes to use?
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