When you know your Style Identity, you save time and money because you only buy the clothes that are right for you, and you don't spend unnecessary time agonizing about whether something looks good on you. You also feel more confident, because you leave the house knowing you look your best.
This is beauty for women who want beauty to be quick and easy. :-)
There are seven core style essences, and most people are a blend of two or three of them. For example, I'm an Ethereal Natural, and my sister is a Romantic-Dramatic-Classic.
Figuring out your Style ID can be a little tricky. The Style Identity Calculator has helped many women, but there is an an element of art to identifying beauty, and that art eludes some of us.
Also, it can be hard to see ourselves objectively! (Pictures help a lot with this -- I always use pictures instead of a mirror when I'm judging myself in a particular outfit.)
Fortunately, you can often close in on, or rule out, a few essences without too much difficulty, and this can bring you closer to your Style ID.
Having at least a rough idea of your Style ID can significantly increase your confidence, because even if you haven't IDed yourself with 100% accuracy, once you've ruled out the essences that are no good, you know you still look a lot more authentic than you used to.
Here are some tips for ruling out certain essences, or narrowing your Style ID down a bit.
1. Positioning yourself on the masculine-feminine spectrum can help rule out or zero in on certain essences.
If you could pass as a boy in the right clothes, you might have a lot of Gamine.
If you could do drag convincingly, like Glenn Close or Julie Andrews, you might have a lot of Natural or Dramatic.
If you could never do either in a million years, you have probably don't have much of those three essences, and that leave Romantic, Ingenue, Ethereal, and Classic.
2. How childlike or mature do you look? Have you always look older than your age, or younger than your age?
If your overall look is rather childlike, and if you're often mistaken for much younger than you are, or called "cute" or "adorable," that can signal that you have a lot of Gamine or Ingenue, the two youthful essences.
If, even as a child, you looked like a little adult, that can signal that you have a lot of Dramatic or Ethereal. (Or, occasionally, a lot of Natural. )
3. If your face is impossible to caricature, that's a hint that you have a lot of Classic.
Caricature relies on the existence of a feature that sticks out and can therefore be exaggerated. If you're a Classic, no one feature sticks out. In your less confident moments, you may have called yourself plain or boring -- but you're not. You require a very, very simple fashion context in order for the beauty of your perfect average-ness to be revealed.
You can't easily caricature a perfectly average face. A caricature should look a little grotesque or bizarre, but that just can't be done with a strongly Classic woman such as Zhang Ziyi. There's nothing to exaggerate.
4. What hairstyles can you never pull off?
If you can't do shaggy or tousled hair, you can probably rule out Natural -- both male and female Naturals look awesome in shaggy layers.
If you can't do big, luscious curls, you can probably rule out Romantic. An extravagant circle is the defining shape of Romantic, and Romantics look great with these circles near their face. (Ingenues get smaller, neater circles, so if curly hair of any kind is really bad on you, you can probably rule out both Romantic and Ingenue.)
If you can't do super-long hair, you may be able to rule out Ethereal, Natural, and Dramatic. All three of these essences are defined in part by elongated lines, so people high in one or more of these three essences are usually flattered by long hair.
If you can't do super-short hair, you can probably rule out Gamine and Dramatic. Gamines, our boyish beauties, are easily identified by how good they look in very short cuts. Dramatics, in addition to being flattered by long and narrow hair, are also flattered by hair that's completely off the face -- whether it's extremely short or slicked back.
As a woman with a lot of Dramatic, Kim Kardashian can pull off both long, straight hair and slicked-back hair.
The Style Identity Calculator, as I mentioned above, has helped a lot of women, and it's pretty affordable. For best results, use it with the input of a brutally honest friend or relative, and use pics or yourself, not a mirror. (A still, frozen image is much easier to analyze.)
If you're absolutely lost, consider investing in a virtual style analysis.
Are any of these tips helpful to you? Please share in the comments!
This post first appeared in July of 2018.