Saturday, 2 December 2017

Friday, 24 November 2017

Possible New Blog

 A new blog is a strong likelihood and I am testing it out. 

As I suspected, it is likely that I am beginning a new blog.  This one feels done and I needed to find out if I wanted a break, an end or a fresh start.  There are things I would like to do differently but in the end I am always the same old me. 

If and when I make one, and I am working on that now, I will post the link here.  If you have followed this blog you may or may not enjoy the new one.  I cannot help but be myself though in some ways I have also held back on this blog and I need to change that.  This blog was very much focused on self-exploration.  A significant life change, a bit of a lost feeling, many new doors to open, all lead to this exploration and then I reached a place that feels mostly settled.  Not that life isn't about change.  It unavoidably is.

I may indeed repeat myself at times though I hope not to be too repetitive.  I am still me, with the same interest, opinions and writing style.  I've got no desire to post selfies or outfit of the day posts, and want to write with more of a consistent focus on lifestyle, continuing to include the fact that I live with chronic illness, am passionate about colour, love to explore systems, read, write and paint, cook and eat low carbohydrate, gluten free meals, evolve in my personal style, home decor and relationship with my partner.

I am also a strong atheist, pro-science and anti-pseudo-science, an introvert who at times loves people and at times loathes them,  a lover of psychology and philosophy, particularly Buddhist philosophy but NOT Buddhist religion, and somehow intrigued by the minimalist lifestyle movement even if upon entering my home you would not see any obvious minimalism there.

There is a possibility that I will eventually delete The Director of Awesome blog.  I really dislike how frequently I encounter my own face in a Google search due to all of the selfies posted here.  I naively had not realised that would happen when I began this blog.

Perhaps some readers from this blog will join me on a new one and perhaps not.  I just know that I still need to write, and writing tends to seek an audience to give it focus.  Perhaps I am just one of many egos all wrapped up in my own ideas and words, but there it is.  I have a new blog name so I suppose that's a good indicator that the new blog is likely.

I don't expect anyone who read and commented on this one to show up at the new one.  I'd hate anyone to feel obligated.  But if you do you will certainly be welcomed and appreciated.

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Once Upon a Time....The End

One of the strategies I use in life is what I call 'to logic my way through things'.  It's my natural response and it works well sometimes but not always.  It doesn't work for things you really have to see, though I should qualify that in that one can use logic and vision together!

Personal style doesn't work well with pure logic.  I began this blog with no theme set in stone but essentially it coincided with a big shift in my lifestyle and a realisation that I felt a little bit lost about my personal style but sensed that personal style was important to well being.  While it is my nature to prefer to get dressed and think no more about it, it is also my nature to want to get it right.  For some people personal style is purely about what they like, end of story.  For others it is about experimenting, pushing at the edges.  For me personal taste and comfort are absolutely important and may even take precedence but what does not harmonise with the lines and colouring of the body is uncomfortable to my eye, so I am interested in aiming for perfection in that. 

I have explored personal colour analysis and style stystems to the best of my ability online in order to learn as much as I could and apply it.  Along the way I kept applying  my aha moments and my logical deductions to make decisions about what would work for me and when I felt a high degree of confidence I would logic my way into convincing myself, and perhaps blog readers that this was it, this is what will work best.

Of course in reality I am not certain and can only achieve a best guess after much trial and error.  Each time I think I've landed on it, I learn something new that seems significant. I think I'm in the right ballpark now, as they say, but still not completely settled on one colour palette or one set of cohesive design lines.   I believe I am in the right range though and my experimenting a bit more focused.

I am most likely a Spring of some sort, True or Light.  I thought Light was ruled out but am discovering that it isn't.  Not everyone sits exactly in the middle of their colour palette type, but rather they tend to lean one way a little.  I might be Light leaning warm or warm leaning light but I am playing with the colours that feel right.  I am not sure if I am a Soft Natural or a Soft Classic and they aren't really the same in lines but they are similar in that they are quite soft, or very yin if you will.  They have a lightness that feels right to me and if Soft Classic is the right one, I can use the design lines in casual form easily.  The minimal, clean but soft look appeals to me and Soft Classic is how I used to dress myself way back when I didn't think about it.  Soft Natural is who I want to be.  There are things to learn from that.  Much to my surprised Dressing Your Truth type one is a reasonably good fit and playing with that, putting my own spin on it which is generally to tone it down, is enjoyable and also feels like a good fit.

It feels like I am at the end for this blog.  It was a good run, as they say and I met some amazing people.  I appreciate all of those who lurked and read, and I hope you got something useful or enjoyable from it.  It was always my hope that my own floundering and learning might be of use to others doing the same thing, even just if it provided that feeling of kindred spirits.

I wish all the best for all of you as I continue my journey and you continue yours.

Monday, 9 October 2017

On The Other Hand...

I mentioned that I had the Kibbe categories narrowed down to three and then finally settled on Soft Natural.  That's perhaps not quite accurate.  Everyone once in awhile I doubt myself and look at the other two and convince myself I am actually one of those.  This is the problem with the Kibbe categories and trying to put yourself in one.  We don't see ourselves accurately.  Even the women I know who confidently dress in their chosen style or a mix of styles may not actually be choosing their best look or the look David Kibbe sees as perfect for their lines.  That doesn't really matter though because if variety or sticking to your chosen look is what matters to you most, regardless of how it leads people to perceive you then that is what you should do.

My search is largely curiosity.  I just want to know, what is my best look, what do others see when they look at me and what clothing lines go with that.   But since I cannot afford a consult with David Kibbe it's just something I can play with and guess at.  I wonder what it would feel like if I had a consult and really disliked his recommendations.  It could happen.

But although I've got an impression of what the man is like ( a very kind-hearted, somewhat flamboyant and exuberant person who sees the lines of people really well in the way some people have perfect pitch ) I can't really assume too much about what he would see if he saw me.  I've got the impression my height would trump everything and that would lead me to one of the dramatic categories where I am very uncomfortable and just can't think that they'd be right, but perhaps that isn't what would happen at all.

Investigating the DYT Type One and how I would interpret it for myself has taken me full circle back to a rather classic style of clothing.  Classic is a style I ruled out for myself because I hate a defined waist, it's just not comfortable for me.  Nor is most type of tailoring.  I also thought that classic was a bit dull and formal and had too many straight lines that looked a bit bland on me.

But now I am reconsidering.  Maybe my dislike of tailoring and defined waists is more of a personality issue or physical comfort thing that is clashing with the lines of my body but one way around that is the fact that I've got no need for formal attire, no reason to wear a jacket or suit or tailored trousers but the casual version of classic  (the simple lines of jeans and top can be adapted to any body type and image archetype) actually works for me quite well and I often choose it.  As much as I love the boho look I find it hard to wear.  I keep simplifying my style until I seem to be heading into classic territory in almost observable daily steps.

Kibbe's classics are divided into three, although he has all but abandoned his central categories and believes people will fall into either the slightly more yang or slightly more yin version of each.  Dramatic Classic is definitely not me.  It is about sharp lines, angles and drama.  I have none of those things.  Soft Classic is a possibility for me.  The softness in  my appearance is so dominant that I thought I had soft colouring and the two style archetypes I am most drawn to are Soft Natural and Soft Classic. 

Here are the reasons I might be a Soft Classic

  • I am generally very symmetrical, crooked ears being the exception
  • I think of myself as a bit bland looking, features are balanced, feminine, average
  • I am very balanced in body shape, not at all a T, nor a pear, but not quite hourglass
  • I am soft and fleshy and rounded though not voluptuous 
  • I suit understated ( which I once was doubtful about but that was at a time when I was wearing the wrong colours so I thought the overall look was dull )
  • I have often been described by people as ladylike
  • When I was younger I looked great with a defined waist and was comfortable that way
  • Studying how I would use and adapt DYT T1 style leads me to a SC sort of interpretation of it and it's a better fit than with SN
  • My secondary in DYT is T4 which is very suited to a classic style, although a more structured and tailored one, more pure classic and quite Audrey Hepburn.

Here is how Soft Classic and Dressing Your Truth Type One could work

  • The main idea of T1 is light, bright and upward movement, light especially works with Soft Classic both in terms of colours and in delicate, feminine design
  • Type 1 can look very girly but a good adaptation of it is to something more ladylike
  • Soft Classic aims to look clean, fresh, slightly soft, yet it has some structure and crispness just as does T1  

My intention for using Type One is to avoid the costume jewelry and whimsy that is a popular interpretation of the style.   (Type One is also suited to Gamine styles)  I am wearing light, bright and warm colours, those of the Spring palette which also work as a T1 palette.  I am using light, fresh makeup colours rather minimally as that is my personal style.  I have switched from silver jewelry to gold and am very happy with how it looks.  I don't own many pieces but am generally happy with a few earrings for variety.  I have some small, textured gold hoops ( circles are T1 ) some small dangling hearts ( hearts are T1 ) and a pair that are gold shepherd hooks with green crystals ( not T1 in shape so much as the fact that they sparkle and the colour is right ).  I have a few scarves and a couple pairs of flats that are appropriate for T1 and Soft Classic.  I stray from both the styles when I wear my hiking style boots but I wouldn't want to completely follow a formula.

I love having a bit of a uniform style.  It's simple, easy to get dressed and think no more about it and know I look polished, pulled together but not fussy.  If I wear my hair in a softly fluffy sort of tousled bob I look both Soft Classic and T1 and growing it a little longer to shoulder length would work for both also.  I have learned that I can push the boundary of cute in the style of my clothing but by keeping things simple I stay in my comfort zone, stay looking classic and understated but in my own way.  I have learned that I can wear a lot of colour when it is the right colours and that I glow when these colours are light, bright and warm. 

A little goes a long way on me and that is very Soft Classic.  Type One style is often presented as busy but it doesn't have to be.  That is just one version of it.  The overall impression is about lightness, an uplifted feel, a youthful look.  This might mean girlish, whimsical and fun but it can also be a softly bright, light, ladylike and simple style.  That's where I am going with it.

This isn't the best photo but it's the only one I've got.  I had not checked for tee shirt lumps before taking the picture and ran my hands through my hair at the last minute, creating funny sticking-out bits.  I have to admit that is all very me though.  Chances are I'd look just like this if you encountered me.  Earrings aren't very visible and lippie is wearing off.  I'm also wearing a pair of straight leg jeans in a medium blue wash and mary jane flats.  I'm often astonished that in such simple outfits people have always complimented me on looking great.  Why wasn't I listening?  I thought I had to be more.  I thought I had to wear more stuff but more just weighs too much.  

Lots of people would like to put a statement necklace on me, I know.  They are popular.  I hate them.  I tidied up my hair, put on a pearl necklace ( both Soft Classic and Type 1 appropriate ) before going to dinner at my parents' later that day.

Keep it simple, go lighter.  Those are my key ideas and they are working.  I feel comfortable, I feel like myself and I look better than I've looked in a long time if not ever.

I may or may not be a Soft Classic or a Soft Natural.  It doesn't matter that I will never know.  Exploring them is taking me in a good direction.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Kibbe combined with DYT

Since I am currently diving into style systems I am also writing about David Kibbe's system which is very popular online as well though less promoted than DYT.  Kibbe has his fans and followers with facebook groups and forums and there are many images on Pinterest to be found where people attempt to create visuals for the categories and their guidelines.  This system is very thorough which will thrill some and put others off.  It appeals to me because I love things to be thorough and I think it is a better system than DYT in that sense though more challenging to figure out.

Kibbe published a book in the eighties and in that time has tweaked his system slightly.  The images and some of the suggestions are a bit dated but can be modernised with a bit of clear thinking.  As a woman of some extra height, I think Kibbe has a bias with regards to height and I think this is in part because he is not a tall man but he likes to live large.  Tall women, basically over 5'7", are prohibited from certain style categories.  According to Kibbe it just can't happen because the categories are all about the physical impression one gives based on size, line and proportion.  The categories women with height are given are all on the dramatic, flamboyant side, following the basic premise of big body therefore big accessories, big drama.  However some small women have been put into these categories despite their size because Kibbe says they give a large impression.

People like me are of course only guessing themselves into a category and not actually given one by David Kibbe himself.  I don't think that matters since it's about the person who will be wearing the clothes feeling comfortable with them and in my case I've narrowed it down to two similar categories and finally chosen one.  If Kibbe would say no, it's the other I'm not terribly far off track. 

Kibbe's categories are numerous and detailed so I can't explain them all here.  They are easily found in detail if you do a search using Kibbe and the type as key words.  Pinterest and Google Images are places to begin looking.  For Kibbe's own words transcribed from his book, visit  If you search "Kibbe Soft Natural" or any other types, this forum tapatalk (apparently renamed recently since I used to know it as yuku) will be one of the hits you get and I recommend going there.  Remember that images created by people using Polyvore or Pinterest are only their best guesses and interpretations.

Kibbe Categories, also known as Kibbegories

Soft Dramatic
Dramatic Classic
Soft Classic
Theatrical Romantic
Flamboyant Gamine
Soft Gamine
Soft Natural
Flamboyant Natural

Flamboyant and Theatrical are alternate words for dramatic and soft is an alternate word for romantic.  Dramatic is yang (masculine) and romantic is yin (feminine) and most of us are a combination of yin and yang in some way or another.

Kibbe eliminated the pure types eventually except Romantic because he decided that everyone leans slightly one way or the other so there are few pure Naturals, Gamines or Dramatics as generally they are slightly more yin or more yang.

My Mental Journey

It took me a long time to figure out which category I might belong in because I have difficulty seeing my body accurately.  I took a quiz but came out as soft classic because my body is very symmetrical so I answered questions accordingly.  Soft Classic clothing style really doesn't work on me though so I kept investigating.  There is a forum which outlines all the Kibbe categories in detail, describing what the bodies and faces are like as well as the styles, lines, textures and accessories best used with them.  Kibbe himself continues to show examples and transformations of clients on Facebook and there are of course many images on Pinterest, with varying degrees of accuracy.

I concluded I am a Soft Natural but agonised over the fact that I am technically too tall and thus should be automatically a Flamboyant Natural.  My own style preferences and what I have learned with trial and error will work for me is perhaps a blend of the two, though not much FN.   FN is too bold overall and I dip into it, pulling off some of the lines because of my height but seeming to suit the SN guidelines better most of the time.  What Kibbe himself would decree me I am not sure but I suspect FN.  He makes height very important for tall women and his own personal tendencies lean towards the dramatic.

 I just don't pull off drama at all, and if I am a Type 1 in Dressing Your Truth that might be why.

Most models are FN types.  It's an elongated T shaped body which if I have, I only barely have.  While I am tall my proportions are very even and I don't give a leggy impression.  My shoulders are not broad, definitely not broader than the rest of me but look more balanced with my hips.  The description of SN is a broad and yang bone structure with a fleshy yin body.  That's me!  Broadly curved, best in body skimming lines, almost hourglass but not flattered by a cinched or emphasised waist.  My body is very balanced, definitely not long-legged when viewed in proportion with the rest of me, although my legs will be longer than average just as my torso length is longer than average.  This is what makes me taller.

Kibbe describes Soft Natural bodies as appearing compact, not in a small sense but in terms of them not looking leggy or lean and lithe even if they are actually lean.  I am both muscular and fleshy with a broad frame and I've always felt large and bulky unless dressed in certain ways.  I look pretty darn good naked though!  Just sayin'.

Actual shape and size matter but so does overall impression which is why some people use terms like essence and energy when talking about style images.  A  shorter woman who is larger than life, such as Shirley McLaine or Sarah Jessica Parker gets put into Flamboyant Natural as a category because of that energy.  The Soft Natural is a little curvier and softer.  Jennifer Lawrence is the tallest woman, at 5'8", whom Kibbe has designated as a Soft Natural.  I am 5'9.5" and I insist on being one too.

For some people the Soft Natural category is unappealing because it's very girl next door and seems a bit of a dumping ground.  If you aren't any of the others you must be soft natural, goes the thinking.  Here I am determined to be a soft natural while others are peeved at possibly fitting the category!

In some ways the SN category works with DYT T1 and in a few ways it is completely opposite.   Only gamine style would actually work with T1. The ways in which it clashes are typically aspects of T1 that really don't work for me.  Animated cuteness is a must avoid for SN, but  light, bright, fresh, nature inspired, asymmetry and body skimming but unstructured are the basic guidelines for Soft Natural and can be seen in T1 as well.  Both types are feminine, approachable and friendly. 

A Soft Natural and a Flamboyant Natural have some things in common with DYT T2, mainly the downward flowing lines and body skimming shapes.  I am more attracted to T2 lines than I am to T1 though the colours are too muted for me and when T2 goes awry it gets frumpy.  When I go awry I get frumpy also.  Kibbe has written that a Soft Natural can easily look heavier than she is and needs the body skimming shapes to avoid this, suggesting a waist but not emphasising it, keeping silhouettes close to the body, not boxy or baggy but not tailored and structured either.  That is exactly what I need.  T1 is quite flexible in the lines and shapes of the actual garments worn, it is more about suggesting an uplifting energy with colour and accessories, the patterns on clothing, weight of fabrics and hair and makeup are significan for T1 and this makes it easy enough to align with Soft Natural style.  Tweaking both of them for personal preference and need is expected.

Flamboyant Natural adds more drama than I am comfortable with, bolder  accessories, hair and makeup, long jackets that in reality don't make me look long and lean but tend to shorten my legs.  Skirt lengths are long unless it is a straight short skirt worn above the knee and with a long top.  I don't think these are actually my best looks though they aren't my worst.  I am convinced I look great in a shorter but softly flared skirt, something just above or on the knee, which is a SN look but not FN.  Flamboyant Natural also wears thick, plush, and even bulky knits and I really just look fat in something like that.  Makeup for FN is too heavy for me.  A little goes a very long way for me and sheer and light applications are better, matte lips aren't great.   Another Flamboyant Natural look that doesn't work for me is wide man-tailored trousers.  We all make modifications and adapt to our own needs and preferences in some ways but it seems to me that too many modifications need making for Flamboyant Natural to be my best category.

Perhaps I am doing David Kibbe a disservice by being convinced he would be biased by my height and type me as a Flamboyant Natural.

                            How I Will Apply This

Kibbe describes body build and facial structure in detail but it takes awhile to understand what he means and to see how you do or don't fit that.  More words don't necessarily produce clarity, however I do think his system is detailed, thorough and very accurate in comparison with DYT.  For Kibbe, colour matters and is to be applied to your type in accordance with your palette determined by a personal colour analysis.  A Soft Natural could be using any colour palette, there is no such thing as a Soft Natural palette, though how the colours are used will vary a little by type.  Soft Natural colour use is in line with T1 in that the suggestion is for a mix of colours and neutrals in small doses, colours are light, bright and a monochromatic look is avoided.

I'm working on lighter and brighter in my wardrobe, the shirt in the above photo is as dark as I get now.  You can't see my circular gold earrings at all given the current state of my growing out hair.  Since I know SN lines work for me I am playing a bit with the DYT T1 rec's to see if they work too. 

Both Soft Natural and Flamboyant Natural will work with my style aim of Boho Redux, though I am beginning to move away from that a little.  Or at least there is more redux.  I do find myself wanting a cleaner, lighter feel  and boho relies on accessories and style lines such as bell sleeves and kimonos. These are looks I love but find I can't wear because I am a push your sleeves up and tackle the job with no encumbrance sort of person and dangling things, whether they are accessories or parts of my clothing really get in my way physically and mentally.  Perhaps that is my secondary T4 asserting itself.

Soft Natural things to avoid are fussy detail, cute and animated detail, structure that doesn't allow you to move freely, sharp geometrics, small and regular detail in prints and too much structure.  The aspects of T1 that I wanted to limit are included in that list but I am also interested in seeing where I can push the boundaries and the term 'fussy detail' is probably somewhat subjective.

Recent consignment shop purchases were bought with T1 in mind and not so much Soft Natural.  I don't think these items are blatantly not SN, though and they fit the criteria for casual, brightly coloured, open necked. Detail suggestions are shirring or applique.

I can't be sure Kibbe would agree to this being a Soft Natural outfit.  I am more sure of it being Type 1 DYT but I think it also qualifies as SN. Colours are a little off i this first photo.

I don't know if the neckline detail is what Kibbe had in mind as appropriate for SN-I think he had a more downward flow in mind.  I prefer this. 

Soft Natural does casual style well, though all style types have their version of casual.  My basic uniform of jeans, a softly draped top, flats, ankle boots or sandals depending on season, a pair of large earrings and the addition of cardigan or scarf as needed is very easily Soft Natural style.  So is the cross body bag I am likely to carry and the quick flick of mascara and slick of tinted lip gloss I will probably add if going out.

T1 and Soft Natural Style Overlap

light, bright and fresh effect
softened, curved shapes
nature inspired images
light-medium textures and weights
easy of movement
girl next door vibe
light and colourful makeup
abstract florals

T2 and Soft Natural Style Overlap

downward flowing shapes
ease of movement
S curves
antique details/old world touches
soft and natural makeup

T3 and Soft Natural Style Overlap

nature inspired/natural materials
artistic/creative effects in accessories
warm colours appropriate
T3 works better with Flamboyant Natural

T4 and Soft Natural Style Overlap

Practically none. T4 aligns more with Classic and Dramatic styles

Possibly of Interest

Another source for style category advice is a favourite blog of mine, Truth is Beauty.  Not much information is available for free, but a little is and one interesting bit of advice is offered.  Rachel suggests paying more attention to your face than your body, which reminds me of Dressing Your Truth.  She says people look at the face so the face really needs to align with the image identity.  She has gone on to create her own set of categories, and why not since so many have.  Kibbe didn't invent them and people have been modifying and adapting them for decades if not more.   Some systems want to direct you to choosing one best style type while others want you to figure out what your personal mix is and build on that.

Use the link below for more information if this is a topic that interests you or you are currently bedridden and bored, as I am.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Dotty for Type One

 I can fairly easily dress T1 without the cuteness already, based on what I am wearing regularly and my lightened up colour palette for clothing and makeup works with it.  It seems to me that as long as the overall vibe is light, bright and uplifting, some of the clothing might look a little like other types but rendered in T1 colours.  One aspect of T1 that I generally don't use is crispness and I have very little pattern in my wardrobe at the moment.  It's easy enough to give my hair a bit of lift and it is naturally random.  I am considering trying out wearing polka dots though I think I specifically will want them in low contrast and larger dots or randomly spaced dots.  Those appeal to me more unless the dots are so tiny they read more as texture in the fabric.  I also like dotted texture in fabric and dotted swiss has always appealed to me. 

Transitioning T1 and also True Spring colours into cooler weather is a bit of a challenge.  My favourite cardigan is a summer weight one, very fine knit and creamy ivory in colour.  It works well over sleeveless tops and dresses.  My other cardigans are more of a T2/3 type which might explain why I love them in theory but don't feel completely right in them.

I am very drawn to denim jackets and leather jackets but struggle to make them work.  I also tend not to feel comfortable in them.  Being a T1 might explain why.  Some T1s do make denim jackets work and I think that for me it's not that I look wrong in them but that I find they feel restrictive.  I need to move my arms freely to be comfortable.  The right jacket might exist for me but I've not found it yet. I bought an ivory coloured  soft and seemingly flexible denim jacket but never wore it.  I loved the idea of it but couldn't make it work. 

Maybe I will just have to turn up the heat and stay home in order to dress like myself but stay warm!  Hah!  

My mission is to figure out how to do ( and where to find and buy ) the right sort of layers.

 Other T1s talk about loving everything and not being able to choose what works for them.  This is an experience I really relate to both in colours and styles.  There are things I don't like but I love such a variety I can't use my taste to really narrow down what works on me.  I have to admit I've even gotten frustrated and gotten rid of clothing I now regret getting rid of, though it's possible memory is making those items seem better than they were.  Carol also tells T1s that they are highly adaptable and this is part of why they see themselves in any type.  Adaptable is a word I have always used to describe myself and so have others.  In fact it's usually something I feel good about.  Adaptability and flexibility are good but they have gotten in the way of knowing who I am and how I want and need to present myself.  An every changing persona is not what I want at all. 

Here Come the Pictures if you are scrolling through this...

Here is something else I love the idea of but am not sure if I could actually wear.  Polka dot cropped skinny jeans!  These appear to be black and white, which I would not use though it works really well with the coloured shoes. 


  The blogger in the link/photo above is really obviously a T1 and also a Mormon so she quite likely has done the DYT programme.  I've not read enough of her blog yet to know that for certain but she dresses T1 and uses the word fun in just about every third sentence.  In some ways it is women like her who made me rule out T1.  I am not this woman.  But she is the stereotype, the 'norm' and within T1 there is variation.  According to Carol Tuttle there is a great deal of variety and this makes sense because randomness and flexibility are associated with the type.

Sometimes though, I do find myself identifying with it.  I catch myself wanting to wear something because it is cute and then telling myself no I can't because I am 'big' and 'big' people can't do cute.  Yeah, self-shaming is my thing.

And yet, what is the feedback I get from people most often?  I am told how young I look, I am told how light and bright and cheerful I am. I am told that I make people feel good.  Sure people also see my secondary 4 and then I get told I am too serious, too intense.  Perhaps I confuse people with this mix.

Sometimes I feel sad that 'fun' is not a word people use to describe me but usually I think that's okay.  I am not aiming to provide others with fun.  My own ideas of fun are usually very private and solitary.

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this blouse.


Perhaps some would wear the blouse with the dotty jeans but that would be too much for me.  My jewelry and accessories would be somewhat restrained too.   While I admit I almost love these earrings....


 the sparkly jewels on them and the fact that they face the same direction so one bird would look outwards and the other would peck at my head, rule them out.

I still have the love-it-but-can't-wear-it problem.  Necklaces irritate me unless they are quite light and fine textured.  I thought that my larger body prohibited delicate jewelry but I may be wrong.  Perhaps my energy type demands it.

It is consistent with T1 to keep embellishments higher on the body so earrings work well and I would happily wear these too and keep the earrings simple.


 I love these earrings from Anthropologie- no longer available though and the link is gone.

A couple of Dressing Your Truth Videos that interested me and helped me see that I am a T1 are these.  Not only just in watching the people and taking in how they look, how they've dressed, and how they move, but in this first one, there is much information about a T1 that gave me some aha moments.  Carol gives some great feedback and support that could have been tailored for me and almost everything the T1 woman said could have been said by me.

 In the second video I've linked there are four women each representing the four types and they are great examples, very true to type and showing how distinct each type is but comfortable in her style.  Type four has chosen a relatively dramatic outfit in this case, Type one is quite subtle, not girly/childish in the way I fear T1 might be.

 In this third video, Carol Tuttle tries on the different types outfits and makeup, showing how wrong they look.  Some people are better able to pull off other types than others, so this gives a very strong visual.  She also shows and speaks with a woman of each type looking fantastic in the same outfit.

I don't know how long these videos will remain on Youtube.   Previous videos have been deleted after a few years.

More Thinky Bits in Summary

No system is perfect for everyone or perfect overall.  I think there is something to learn from most of them and I am interested in what I am learning from this one.  A mistake I probably made at first and which I see others around the internet making is taking it too literally.  It isn't personal style if you follow a prescription and that isn't what is intended.  You use guidelines and make it your own.  Sometimes you just break the rules and sometimes you bend them.  A chin length curly bob is the epitome of T1 hair but not everyone has that hair.  You make the hair you have suggest the T1 upward and light energy by finding a style that works for you that suggest lightness, movement, an upward feel or randomness. 

Dressing Your Truth is a system built on the concept of energy.  It's about your vibe, baby!  Find your vibe and then find ways to represent your vibe in your appearance.  There are suggestions, tips, guidelines.  Use what works for you and discard the rest.  Personally I mix and match system tips.  I use what works, and what feels right and the very reason I've looked into this so much is because I've had troubles finding what feels right.  I know I'm not the only one.

Systems are helpful for people like me who don't want to work too hard at getting dressed, who don't find it a form of play or creative process, but just want to get dressed and feel good, look like themselves and feel like themselves.  Systems are also great for people like me who need to amuse themselves diving deeply into something not too intellectually heavy while bedridden and exhausted. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Dabbling in Dressing Your Truth

You may have encountered the Dressing Your Truth programme online.   I certainly have and began to dabble in it a couple of years ago.  I had no intention of paying for anything so that may well have impeded my understanding of it, but I do know that it is a system that classifies people into one of four types of energy and that it isn't the first nor entirely original.  Carol Tuttle created this version of the system and she also combines it with tapping and chakras, both of which are much too out there and unsubstantiated by science for me to buy into them, though if a person finds them useful that's something.  Placebos are useful too.  Dressing Your Truth is intended to help people, mainly women are the clients, to dress and present themselves in a manner that aligns with who they truly are.  It branches out into counseling on personal issues as well under the umbrella of what is called energy healing.  Somewhat confusingly, the energy that we are is not exactly the same as our personality even though it is given that this type is our true nature.  We are instructed to consider facial features and movement when identifying our type, although in the videos offered by the DYT programme there is much discussion of personality traits attached to the energy types.

I am always intrigued by systems and as I am also intrigued by psychology the systems that attempt to classify and understand personality interest me, though I do want them to be based on something logical and measurable.  Personality is complex and probably not entirely measurable.  I enjoy the Myers Briggs Type Inventory because it classifies cognitive styles and to some degree our personalities grow out of how we think but there is always more than that.  Internet memes, articles and blogs abound talking about the personality traits supposedly attached to the MBTI types and those have to be taken with a very large grain of salt.  You don't identify your MBTI type by your personality traits, so I listened when Carol Tuttle said you don't identify your energy type by your personality traits either.  I can't help but be skeptical when she says you identify them in your face.

However, the idea of energy is essentially about how a person presents to others.  Body language, movement and the face are what others see and then how we adorn and style those gives the further information about who we are.  The idea behind DYT is that a person may not be dressing and styling themselves consistently with their energy presentation and thus may not be experiencing comfort, happiness, power or success in life because others are confused and don't know how to read them or treat them.  I struggle with this because the idea that who I am is connected to my facial features seems unlikely.  How?  Why?  Is this well measured and demonstrated or do we just see the features that correspond to the energy we sense and ignore the others?

According to Carol Tuttle we all have all of the energy types within us but lead with one, followed by a secondary that supports it.  Often we are being dominated by our secondary which makes us a bit dysfunctional or exhausted, not being true to our natural energy style.  I am skeptical again, but then I would be.  As far as I can determine, I am a Type 1 with a Type 4 secondary but if you asked me which of the four types was my true personality I would tell you it is Type 4.   If that is the case, then how is presenting as a Type 1 being true to my nature?

Some people identify their type immediately.  For those people, I suspect that what they look like and the energy type associated with that is just a really comfortable fit.  I see that in people who readily identify with their zodiac sign.  I don't identify with mine and why should I?  What scientific or logical basis is there for believing that stars have anything to do with the personality of everyone on the planet born in the same month?  None, unless you believe it is about energy.  Ahh yes, energy, that useful and vague catch all for magical thinking that needs the boost of some sciency sounding terms.  For more of that read some Deepak Choprah.

But back to DYT.   I wondered if it could still be useful, and the concept of presenting yourself authentically certainly makes sense to me.  If a person feels lost and confused about this then perhaps this system can help.  Usually I am more inclined to give creedence to a system that looks at the lines of the body and suggests how to repeat or complement those lines with clothing styles.  This is what David Kibbe's system does and the other systems that are similar and classify types into groups based on the idea of bodies that are classic, dramatic, gamine, natural or romantic in size and shape.  We can get hung up on the semantics, offended by terms or confused.  All of the systems tend to apply the concepts of yin and yang, which is basically about masculine and feminine energy or soft and curved as opposed to sharp and linear.  We all have elements of both in us, though usually one is more obvious than the other.  We are meant not to get hung up on the concepts masculine and feminine though it's difficult for people not to. 

In DYT the four energies are attached to air, water, earth and fire.  Popular symbols found in many places and throughout history though with some variation.  Sometimes metal is included.  I fantasise about creating a parody using animal, mineral and vegetable, but I digress!

Type 1 is air, it is light, bright and the associated shapes are stars, circles, hearts and upward movement.  It is considered an outward or extroverted energy.

Type 2 is water and it is soft and subtle, moving slowly and gently.  Associated shapes are ovals and S curves, and there is a downward movement and it is considered introverted energy.

Type 3 is fire and it is rich and dynamic, the movement is a forward push and associated shapes are spiky and geometric, diagonal lines, there is a heaviness and texture to it and it is also extroverted energy.

Type 4 is earth and it is a stillness, a bold and striking presence.  Associated shapes are ovals, rectangles and parallel lines, a smoothness and it is an introverted energy.

In order to determine which of these energies we lead with, we are told about the facial features, shapes and lines that are associated with each.  In various videos other factors emerge though often they seem very personality based because they are behaviours and preferences.  How do we separate behaviours from personality?  Many people find their type because they are clearly drawn to the designs and colours associated with it.  Sometimes Carol directs people who cannot figure out their type to acknowledge which type they really don't want to be and that will be the one!  In some ways that worked for me.

In DYT I am a Type 1 with a secondary 4.  If you asked me which of the four types was my dominant personality I'd say I'm more 4 but according to Carol Tuttle facial features trump everything followed by the way you move your body.  It makes sense to me that dressing yourself would be most successful if aligned with your physical appearance, though describing this as also your true nature creates some degree of confusion.  What I get from this is that I am a 1/4 blend but 1 is the way I appear so it's what I need to dress.  My understanding is that in the content that is available for a price, there is more explanation on how to bring in your secondary when developing your personal style.  I have no intention of purchasing any of this course and if one is persistent much can be gleaned from internet searches, although quite a few videos have been removed in the time I've been looking at DYT.

I didn't want to be a Type 1 and couldn't imagine myself as one.  Often the Type 1 representatives made me cringe and I couldn't imagine wanting to spend much time with them.  It took awhile to discover that while they might be the standard of the type they aren't the only version of it.  Type 1 has cuteness as a stereotype and I've never thought of myself as cute.  In other systems it might be gamine, which reminds me that I did keep thinking there was some gamine aspect to me as I explored other systems, however my height precludes it.  In DYT there is no attention paid to your height or body size at all.  Part of me is thrilled by that and part skeptical.  While I think cute is an aspect of Type 1 I suggest that more accurately it is about someone who is sparkling and bubbly in their presentation.  They night be cute, but there are two types of Type 1.  These are described as having predominantly the circles shapes or the star points.  Some Type 1s are a blend of those but usually one of them is more obvious.  I've always hated what happens to my face when I truly smile, the way my eyes disappear and my cheeks get bigger.  I'm so self conscious of it I hate having my photo taken.  Now I will try to remember to think of it as a face full of star points.

                                   Star points on the left and circles on the right.


Here is my list of reasons for choosing T1 -some of them are about visuals, such as what I see in my face, some are about how I move, some are about preferences which could be my instinct telling me to choose T1 styles.

  •  I see star points in my face-twinkly eyes, chin comes to a point and nose aligns with it
  •  also circles-tip of nose is round, eye sockets are round, brow bone is high, ears are small and round, forehead is rounded, round cheeks when smiling
  •  randomness in crooked eyebrows and ears, hair is random in where it curls
  •  also upwards moving fine lines around eyes, delicate skin that is sensitive/reactive
  •  I have a cheesy grin, I wrinkle my nose, I giggle and unless I catch myself and self-censor, tend to have some 'cute' mannerisms
  •  I bounce when I walk
  •  I have been told I am like sunshine, I am so cheerful and bubbly
  •  I use my hands when I talk and make a lot of facial expressions/animated face
  •  hair stylists never try to give me a sleek style
  •  I have been craving lightness in lifestyle, colours, clothing weight and texture
  • I dressed very T1 in youth-sailor style dresses, middy blouses, even polka dots, cute flower shaped earrings
  • I like circle shapes in jewelry more than I realised and choose circle shaped or ball shaped earrings often
  • I like to move, I like easy to move in clothing, I like light knits, I dislike feeling restricted by tailored, tight or stiff clothing
  • the mary-jane style shoes I wear are cute.  So far nobody has told me I don't suit them
  • I love perky hats and if I'm going to wear a flower, that's where
  • when looking at Kibbe style types I kept wanting to be a gamine but it's ruled out by my height
  • while I can sit very still like T4 in a formal or unfamiliar situation, when in my comfort zone I jiggle a lot while sitting, change position frequently and favour sitting cross-legged while on a chair
  • jumping around with new thoughts and ideas, difficulty deciding on a DYT type because of this is very T1 according to Carol Tuttle
  • I have also heard Carol say, what type is it that you don't want to be-that's probably yours.  Yup.  
Even while making this blog post, I was driving my partner nuts with my jumping the gun and random ways, especially making this list.  He helped me make bullet points because I was making stars which is a bit untidy looking.  Did I listen to his instructions though?  No, not well.  I kept jumping the gun and doing things that were not working.   I had too many thoughts and ideas and my hands tend to act on them quickly, making them a bit dangerous near a keyboard.  Some people speak before they think, and I am prone to that because I think out loud, work out my thinking by speaking or writing.  I also type before I think.

But I am not certain...The Four is strong within me.  In some ways the deciding factor is that I just can't wear the structured clothing deemed significant for a four. I would have to modify the guidelines so much it wouldn't be T4.

Type 1 guidelines are actually doable for me, though still with modifications.  It isn't meant to be a costume and is meant to be personalised.  

Some other points of note are that the DYT definitions of extroversion and introversion aren't about your entire personality.  You can still be an introvert and Type 1.  The extroversion of T1 refers to the energy of this type moving outwards towards people.  Carl Jung, who created the terms extroversion and introversion meant where you get your energy from not where you send it.  It is quite possible to fit the T1 energy type with my own self definition as a bubbly introvert. 

What I am now going to do with this I am not sure.  Perhaps it will help me to be more consistent, to limit myself to what suits me rather then getting sidetracked by everything that I like.

 What I've noticed is that there isn't much said about the lines or shapes of garments and since the types are not at all about body shape, an individual is left to figure out on their own what works for them.  That means a great deal of freedom which can be great but it leaves people who are completely unaware of what dress style would flatter them a little bit lost.  Within the options for Type 1 I have seen short, straight skirts, usually in jersey type fabric, short tulip style skirts, full skirts, long skirts both straight and billowy, skirts with jagged hemlines and an abundance of the popular fit and flare style dominating Type 1 Pinterest boards.

And speaking of imprecise guidelines, the colour palettes with DYT leave something to be desired.  Carol Tuttle has stated that the colours are aligned with energy and not personal colouring.  If you read my blog you know I won't be in agreement with that concept.  From what I have observed there is a hit and miss effect in that some of the people just happen to suit the colour palette that goes with their energy type but not all are being as well served by colour as they could be.  The idea for using the colour card is the same as it is with a colour fan from a personal colour analysis with seasonally named categories.  You can match the colours but mostly you place the card against a garment and look to see if the colour appears to belong in the set.  This is a process of matching colour properties.  In personal colour analysis you are matching the properties of your own colouring with the colours you are going to wear.  In DYT you are given colours that suit your energy and you are seeking those properties.  There is a cool bias in the T4 (except for the addition of orange) and T2 colours, the T1 and T3 seem more of a mixture of cool and warm.

You could translate the seasonal colour palettes in some cases keeping in mind these palettes may not be the best for your skin tone.  They just roughly correlate with the palettes assigned to the energy categories in DYT.

T4 could wear any of the three Winters, Bright Spring and possibly Dark Autumn as those colours would come across as bold and they all can handle black and high contrast to some degree.

T2 could wear Soft Summer, Soft Autumn and possibly some of the colours from True Autumn, True Summer and Dark Winter as they have a muted quality to them, either muted with grey or with black.

T1 could wear any of the Springs and Light Summer as they have a relatively light and bright look.  Many T1 example outfits are pastels, which show up in the Light Spring and Light Summer palettes.

T3 could wear True Autumn or Dark Autumn, colours that are warm and rich.  Some True Spring colours might show up here as well though they are generally clear colours.  The definition of rich is a bit ambiguous.

I am not completely sold on the idea of dressing for your energy type.  I can't see how the size, shape and lines of your body would be irrelevant.  Would you put all three of these women in the same clothing styles?  Most people wouldn't and part of the appeal of DYT might be in that it does.  Most of the volunteers who model their type do so in a version of jeans and tee shirt, the basic uniform for weekend wear, retirees and stay at home mothers.


In DYT you see a lot of the jeans, tee shirt and statement necklace uniform.  I live in the same thing with a little variation adding a blouse or sweater now and then, just like the women above.  I can't wear statement necklaces without them irritating me.

A significant part of Dressing Your Truth is getting the 'right' colours, using accessories in the appropriate shapes and adding hairstyle and makeup to suit your type category.  Then apply the following guidelines.

T1 clothing should be light and easy to move in, neither very structured not very soft and draped.  Asymmetry is good and upwards moving detail.  Cuteness or whimsy added in pattern or accessory is appropriate. 

T2 clothing should be draped, flowing downward, soft and unstructured.  Details are feminine and possibly antique or old-world looking.

T3 clothing should be textured, layered and have both visual and literal weight.  Detail in pattern implies more texture.  Accessories are boldly shaped, jagged or asymmetrical and worn in abundance.

T4 clothing is structured, smooth, tailored and classic looking.  Accessories are minimal though can be boldly and smoothly geometric.  Use high contrast such as black and white or light colours with dark or black with a bright.  Colour blocking in a single garment is good.

It must be noted that the creator and promoters of DYT are Mormon and ideas about appropriate and modest clothing are apparent in the suggestions.  You won't see obvious flaunting of curves or cleavage in this style guide though a woman's shape is not suppressed or hidden either.  T4 wears pencil skirts and cinched waists.

No system is perfect for everyone.  DYT has some dedicated fans because for them it is a great fit.  I'm on the fence.  I see some use in it but it isn't life changing for me and I don't buy into all of the ideas.   Although it seems complicated at first it's actually a simple system which has an appeal for many people.  For me, that immediately suggests it's leaving out crucial parts, but on the other hand, getting some of it right is better than not getting any of it right and finding a way to go from frumpy, uncomfortable and unhappy to feeling good about how you present yourself, feeling confident and beautiful is an empowering thing for many women.   I am not an obvious type in the way some people are, but I can still learn from it and will keep some of these ideas in mind.  My desire to lighten up and my discovery of True Spring colours working well for me seems in keeping with trying out some Type 1 style.