Almost a decade ago, just before the beginning of the new school year (I teach, as many of you know), I went to the mall with my credit card and spent several hundred dollars on new clothes.
This was a carefully considered decision. It had been years since I'd bought myself actual new clothes. And I had calculated that I would be able to pay off the balance plus interest over the next 12 months.
In the years prior to that shopping trip, I had bought and thrown away a lot of thrift-store clothes. I felt unable to make myself look beautiful, and I knew I was wasting money. I thought if I spent some serious money on really nice clothes, I'd feel and look different.
I'm a grown-up and a professional, I told myself. It's not unreasonable for me to make a financial investment in my wardrobe.
I was right about that last idea, I think; it makes sense to spend money on clothes you know you'll be wearing for years.
Yet I don't own any of those clothes anymore.
The reason for that, as you may have guessed, is that I had a style analysis not long after that shopping trip, and discovered that most of the expensive shopping-trip clothes were wrong for me.
I had chosen mostly Classic and/or Dramatic pieces -- very stiff, structured, sharp-edged items. I think on some level I believed that the dignity of the clothes would automatically elevate the impression I made.
Yet my style analysis revealed that Ethereal and Natural garments, which are completely unstructured, were actually more dignified for me. They made my somewhat otherworldly and somewhat rough-hewn features read as noble and magical. In Dramatic and Classic lines, by contrast, my face looked a bit coarse and a bit weird... like, out of place. (You don't put Mother Earth in a suit, right?)
I was able to return, resell, repurpose, or gift most of the brand-new clothes, thank goodness.
My style analysis cost $350. That's a fraction of what I spent on the wardrobe that was all wrong for me. And that's more than I've spent on any shopping trip for myself in the years since then.
In fact, I rarely shop for clothes these days. Many of the items in my current wardrobe are several years old; when I find an Ethereal Natural garment, I keep it until it wears out, because it works for me every time I put it on.
For example, I'm on my third pair of these sandals:
They last about two years. (Thin soles!) I wear them all summer. When they wear out, I order another pair.
I've had this skirt, in off-white, for about six years. (I used scissors to cut off the highest ruffles, the ones at the hip -- I needed a narrower silhouette.)
Most of the clothes currently in my wardrobe are thrift store finds. Knowing my style ID means I zoom in on the items that will work for me, and ignore everything else, so shopping is a fast and easy process. It also means that I look better, now, in a shirt I paid seven dollars for, than I looked in anything I bought before I knew my style ID.
I spend so little time and money on clothes now. And I feel really confident when I leave the house, every day.
My hair is a similar story. I've had the same basic hair for years now. I spend zero time agonizing about what hair style looks best on me, or worrying about whether I should change my style, because I know that what looks good in my clothing also looks good around my face: layers, sinuous lines, rough edges, and a lot of length. Basic Ethereal Natural.
Some people really enjoy changing their look every season. And some people really enjoy spending hours trying on clothes. For those people, a style analysis would be a waste of money.
But if you're like me, you don't have the time or patience for all of that. You want to know, once and for all, and have it settled, so you can get on with the more important parts of your life. (I work crazy hours, and I have two jobs and two kids, for goodness' sake. I'm guessing you're as busy as I am.)
And this is my point: if you love feeling beautiful, but you hate wasting time and money, a style analysis is a good investment for you.
Your virtual style analysis comes with a report that describes the process by which I arrived at your result. It also includes specific percentage recommendations for lines lengths, shape sizes, construction/draping, and your masculine-feminine balance. You'll receive your Visual Style Guide and your What Not to Wear as well.
At $279, it's kind of a lot of money. I get that. But it's an investment in your future and your peace of mind. And I expect you'll recoup that investment, as I have recouped mine.
9/3/2018 11:56:21 am
Thank you, Rachel! I will also affirm that knowing what you actually look like, and knowing how to honor that appearance with your clothing and hair choices rather than trying to change yourself, is equally important for those people who love to spend hours trying on clothes! A formal style analysis may not always make sense for them, yes, but the notion of dressing as you actually appear - rather than just focusing on making yourself skinnier/prettier, and forcing yourself to fit the trend - is important for many trend-driven people, even if they sometimes come to these types of conclusions themselves after years of wearing bad-for-them trends, though without formal understanding of the principles.
9/3/2018 09:38:05 pm
It is worth it! It is worth it! It is worth it! We are all on a journey of self discovery. Whether we want it to or not, appearance matters. I think many of us want to believe that if we don’t pay attention to our appearance it won’t matter. Or, conversely if we do pay attention to it we are giving it too much power over our lives. The idea behind style and color analysis is to take the guesswork out of the equation and eliminate the wasted time, money, and effort. I can say that I feel much smarter since Rachel analyzed me. Do I still work at my appearance? Yes. I am EDC, and that kind of look takes some effort, especially at my age. That said, the results are worth it for me. Even on days when I don’t want to bother, I am learning to get the most out my appearance with the least amount of work. My biggest issues are that, like Rachel, I have a bunch of clothes that don’t work, and I am not sure how to incorporate some elements into my work appearance. The best thing for me is that I am no longer wasting my time.
9/4/2018 03:24:07 am
Earlier in the year, I saved up for a couple of expensive pieces that would have suited an EN or ENI (what I thought my style ID was), reasoning that I don't plan to have many clothes and they should be quality. They were so wrong for me that I only wear one inside the house because it makes me look frumpy and the other will be gifted to a friend. I spent around $200 for them.
9/4/2018 05:09:41 pm
9/4/2018 09:52:00 pm
Lisa, it was a pretty flowy linen shirt (not a button-up, the kind that's meant to be an outer layer) and a really nice waxed canvas messenger bag. The shirt is delightful - I'm wearing it right now actually - and I thought it would be a good versatile mori-style layer, but it makes me look heavy and frumpy.
9/4/2018 10:34:30 am
This price is a STEAL!!! Knowing what looks good on me and what doesn't has saved me not only countless dollars, but countless hours that I can now spend on more important things.
9/4/2018 11:43:41 am
Do you think it's possible that Megan Fox is not BW, but BSp pretending to be BW?
9/4/2018 04:14:44 pm
That's an interesting theory! Lol and coincidence because I am a BW named Megan...
9/7/2018 06:42:19 am
I met many Japanese BW with black hair, and many Tsu, Ss people who dyed hair black because wanted to encrease their skin saturation.
9/8/2018 11:13:39 pm
Hmm, I was watching the Grand Slam today.... Professional tennis player Naomi Osaka- super tan Bright Spring flowing closely into Bright Winter? (Love seeing such an ethnically diverse & accomplished woman presented on TV & media!)
9/4/2018 04:27:48 pm
Well, BWs can certainly have any color skin, or eyes, or hair for that matter. I'm no Megan Fox haha, but to my eye, Megan Fox has a BW coloring very similar to my own. Bright is likely TMIT for her, as it is for me. When I see her in bright orange or coral it turns her skin a little orange or sallow. Not her best imo. A little too light, a little too warm. The same happens to me, though even I find many BSp blues and greens to be quite wearable. I think Megan Fox absolutely slays in BW colors and if she sometimes seems springy, it might be the effect of a Hollywood tan aesthetic? She might just be a BW leans more BSp than TW, as I was at my draping. BW was best, and BSp was second best, honestly better than either TW or DW. There are a lot of ladies in my BW FB group who ended up in that quadrant as well. I'd have to say I still see her as a BW and a really successful one!
9/5/2018 12:31:28 pm
Megan, isn't it weird that she must darken her hair to look more herself- natural? Isn't it argument against BW season? I used to see her as BW, but now I have doubts. Those pictures are confusing.
9/5/2018 03:10:07 pm
I think this example & writeup here (tinyurl.com/y7o6tgm3) of Megan Fox in the blue BW dress vs pink BS dress highlight how much she -as a Bright Winter- flows into Bright Spring. I agree with you Victoria- Megan is even more successful at pulling off Bright Spring when she has a tan. At the bottom of this page, there's a GREAT example of BW Michelle Dockery who has a reverse situation- she seems extremely cool toned but, sure enough, BS is her secondary color group that she flows into. After BW, BS colors are next best and they bring out the warmth in her coloring which (initially) is undetectable to the eye.
9/5/2018 04:51:06 pm
Jn, re: "isn't it weird that she must darken her hair to look more herself- natural?"
9/5/2018 07:43:04 pm
I saw a bunch of pics of her in orange, coral, warmer tomato reds, and warmer BSp pink, and they weren't awful, but they weren't doing her skin any favors.
9/6/2018 02:57:21 am
I think she looks naturally beautiful in front of green wall and with orange coral lipstick. I also like her in black hair and pale skin :)
9/9/2018 07:15:25 pm
My style analysis was so totally worth the expense, in terms of the savings on “wrong” items alone! Not to mention being able to quit spending so much time and energy trying to figure out what works, and wondering why I never looked as nice in my clothes as I thought I would, based on the price. This was definitely an area where I never could have been objective in evaluating myself, and that’s where a talented pro like Rachel can make all the difference. Totally recommend! Just wish I had done it sooner.
9/10/2018 03:53:21 am
Is Rachel certified or self-taught?
9/10/2018 07:32:53 am
9/11/2018 12:26:42 am
LOL that's wild! I was replying to JN & Megan's comments on Bright Winters leaning closely into Bright Spring (and vice versa). I didn't realize you had commented on that thread, let alone mentioned Japanese Brights. I can see why you might of thought I was talking to you. Sorry!
Leave a Reply.
I'm passionate about helping people become their most authentic and beautiful selves.