A reader writes, "Your guides have been incredibly helpful to me. However, there is one part of your guides that confuses me. What exactly does it mean for a piece of clothing to be "constructed" or "unconstructed"?"
Constructed garments have a defined shape that's not simply the shape of the body underneath the garment. You can't easily ball up a constructed garment in your hand; it wants to hold a shape.
The way a garment is sewn can give it a defined shape. This is easier with heavy, stiff, or crisp fabrics.
Manufacturers also use lining, padding or interfacing to make garments have a defined shape.
Dramatics and Gamines are flattered by sharp-cornered squares and rectangles. These aren't the shapes of the human body, so Dramatics and Gamines usually need constructed garments to create those shapes.
Romantics, Ethereals, and Naturals all look their best in unconstructed clothes. For Romantics, this means sexy draping that appears to hug the body. For Ethereals, this looks like floaty, trailing garments that seem about to take flight. For Naturals, this looks like garments that are supremely comfortable and unfussy.
It's not as easy to find constructed clothes as it was 100 years ago. As a society, we've all mostly agreed to dress like Naturals most of the time. Which is great for us Naturals, but a challenge for everyone else.
Garments that are tailored into defined shapes are usually more expensive than unconstructed garments, because that kind of sewing is labor-intensive. If your style type calls for construction, you may choose to spend the money on those more expensive items. You might also save some money by focusing on clothes that are stiff not because of their tailoring but because they're made from stiffer fabrics.
If you're willing to buy second-hand, you'll find that a lot of vintage clothes are more structured than what you typically see in stores today.
Also, consider using spray starch to give your garments more stiffness! You don't hear much about it these days, because fashion is mostly so unconstructed, but clothing starch is still a thing.
9/23/2019 05:26:09 pm
This is great!
11/15/2022 08:01:13 am
Bruna, to me, linen is inherently Natural, so inherently unconstructed! :) It is, after all, very loose and un-stiff (or what's the opposite of stiff? ;)), as a fabric.
9/23/2019 07:43:13 pm
9/24/2019 08:02:59 pm
Not Rachel but--I definitely agree with seeing a bit of Ethereal in Monica. I think she might have Ethereal rather than Dramatic. Sometimes her makeup is quite intense/dramatic, and her coloring is intense/dramatic (very dark hair and very light skin), but if you look at the shapes of her facial features themselves, esp. when she's younger--I don't know if I see dramatic's aggressive energy or straight lines.
9/24/2019 12:44:25 am
Hmmm. I'd been thinking of skinny jeans as constructed, but are they? They follow the shape of the body and have no sharp corners, and must be made of soft fabric for the stretch. I figure leggings are slightly different than skinny jeans because they are basically hosiery with ambitions.
9/24/2019 02:58:33 am
This is very interesting, as I seem to fall between the two, kind of - I have at least R and I, probably E and some D. Or so I thought, but what the article says of D's being flattered by sharp-cornered squares and rectangles makes me feel I can't have much D, though this probably wouldn't apply to a minority essence? And despite this article saying Romantics do better in unconstructed, I do actually feel R's do need some construction, shapeless garments just look off! As has been previously said on this site, so this seems a bit confusing, TBH. ;)
9/24/2019 04:53:21 am
Melina, unconstructed does not mean shapeless. As Rachel wrote above, unconstructed R garments follow the shape of the body.
9/24/2019 05:11:47 am
Yes, I see that ;), but to be honest, the difference between unconstructed and shapeless seems very vague... Even after reading the article. For example, A-line skirts (knee-length or shorter) are great for me, which I take to be structured, as they hold their A-line shape? As also are coats that hold their shape (ones with waist emphasis), like the one pictured here.
9/24/2019 12:08:51 pm
"the difference between unconstructed and shapeless seems very vague"
9/25/2019 11:36:46 pm
This is so helpful! I often have difficulty differentiating between Natural and Ethereal lines, as they are both rather relaxed. But I’ve come to realize that Natural is more comfortable-simple even robust while Ethereal is more organic, frail, and jaded.
9/27/2019 08:09:03 pm
Is Emily Browning REG?
9/28/2019 01:06:39 am
Yes! That’s been my go to celeb for inspo because she is the one and only Spring REG I know of. But she is a Soft Spring/Soft Autumn type, and TBH it’s just a little challenging for me to constantly mentally adjust the colors I see on her into lighter spring and lower contrast colors. I’m always dealing with balancing my delicate coloring as is, and it would be so great to see an REG that actually looks like me (both feature and coloring wise). Someone who I can easily recreate makeup looks and lower contrast outfits from! Thank you though, Kirt!!
9/29/2019 06:37:54 am
T.N., just a heads-up, there's actually no such season as "Soft Spring", as Spring is inherently bright, not soft :)
10/1/2019 03:28:27 am
Kirt , I found some great inspiration for a REG and for other style types as well : https://www.stylebynature.fi/style-types
9/30/2019 05:18:32 am
REG makeup has been a challenge for me (I'm Soft Summer and I'd say medium-light contrast). I can't handle much on my face - my features get overwhelmed *so* easily - so I aim for EG makeup. I'm supposed to avoid a no-makeup look, but the only lipstick color that works reliably is a MLBB color. I finally found a bright (Soft Summer bright) red that seems to be good though, so I think the way to go for me is bright G colors with shimmery E finishes.
9/30/2019 02:13:55 pm
Hi Miranda! Thanks for your reply! I absolutely understand what you mean. I guess it’s going to take a bit of trial & error for the both of us... May I ask the color name and brand of your bright red lip product? I love all the REG info I can get! :)
9/30/2019 03:16:56 pm
It's Earth Red by Lip Ink (I can't keep regular lip products on for anything).
2/22/2021 01:01:10 pm
This is such a helpful post! I was resistant to the type Classic because my nose is crooked, my eyes are not symmetrical, and my shoulders are uneven... But more and more I am thinking that because of my need for smoothness in flawless skin and clean lines and structured clothes and reserved detail, I have both Classic and Gamine. That board fits me well.
4/2/2021 05:12:01 am
Revisiting this article, I was again struck by the accuracy of this sentence: "As a society, we've all mostly agreed to dress like Naturals most of the time. Which is great for us Naturals, but a challenge for everyone else." This is just so to the point! ;) I just can't help wondering why we've done so... (And not that I've ever myself agreed to anything the like, on the contrary ;))
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