Sunday, 16 October 2016

Exploring Style Systems and Finding My Inner Diva

There are plenty of style gurus on the internet offering their advice, so you can pretty much find one who will tell you what you want to hear.   I mentioned David Kibbe in the previous post and I have been fascinated by his style types but struggle to make it work for me. So in case you are wondering why I am now orange and heavily made up, keep reading!

Not one to shy away from putting terrible photos of myself online, here I am experimenting 
( for the sake of this blog ) with a more dramatic application of makeup.  There is some significant lipstick bleeding going on here since the darkest lipstick I have is a gloss and I usually don't put it on this thickly.  This felt like a very heavy application of makeup and consists of face powder, concealer, blush, lipgloss, a brown and grey smokey eye with matte shadows and two coats of mascara.

I did not get a spray tan; the flash is definitely making everything more orange, but I am surprised at how this does not look awful, bleeding lippie aside.  Or am I deluded? 


After much study of his words and of the celebrity examples, as well as realising what tends to work for me and what feels right, I have narrowed down my Kibbe category as likely Soft Dramatic, although not without some resistance.  I have never in my life felt like a dramatic person so it's difficult to get past that word.  David Kibbe's book, Metamorphosis was written in the eighties so style advice has some eighties biases and then there is the challenge of what to do if your appearance and your personality conflict somewhat.  The clothing lines for soft dramatic appeal to me, but the recommendation to wear bold makeup and lots of shine and sparkle in accessories does not quite feel right for me.  Perhaps it would if I attended red carpet events.  But my life is stained beige carpet.

  It's a bit tricky to translate Kibbe into current times because his book was written in the eighties. You also have to get used to his hyperbolic language.  The internet abounds with polyvore images where people have attempted to provide examples to suit his categories but it must be remembered that those are the interpretations of individuals.  David Kibbe still gives consultations and offers clients updated suggestions but I think it's more than just the eighties factor that makes me doubt any of the dramatic categories for myself despite my height.

 Below is a segment pulled from his description of the Soft Dramatic, which I believe is the category he would put me in.  I have to admit that what he says does seem to me to fit with what I have experienced in my style exploration.  The  Sarah Pacini style I am very attracted to is usually Soft Dramatic and if I had the money I would buy those clothes. 

 Without the visual expression of your bold Yang as the basis of your look (strong outlines, geometry, and creative flair), your feminine side will seem silly and superficial-to the point of "ditzy"! Also, physically, you'll appear oversized and awkward if we leave out the bold sweep and flamboyance of your clothing. 

He goes on to say this, which I am seriously pondering as it may hold the key as to why I can end up feeling lumpy and frumpy at times.  The place where I balk is when he tosses around the word diva.

On the other hand, without the extra touches of the lavish, the ornate, the soft and the polished (which is your extra Yin), your artistry, charm, and radiance will be overwhelmed with starkness. This result will rob you totally of the magnetic pull that is so attractive and appealing. Physically, removing the softness and the glamour leaves your body type looking lumpy, while your lovely face with its full features becomes blowsy. Your diva-esque essence is awe-inspiring, thrilling and deeply inspirational to everyone lucky enough to come into contact with you.

 I did warn you about the hyperbole.

I find this image quite helpful.  While I do love the dress Elle McPherson is wearing I can see how I look more like Uma ( a short necked version ) and that dress would suit me better.  Uma is helping me to see how I could potentially look lush and not lumpy as I usually feel.  Not that I will be needing a dress like this any time soon.  I'd better Google-search Uma in jeans.  Kibbe's words scare me a little because they conjur up jumbo eighties hair and shoulder pads, purple eye shadow and heavily applied makeup, but Uma looks lovely.  I could be persuaded by this. There is drama but also simplicity and some softness.  Not much, if any glitz.


For more info on Kibbe  enter 'Kibbe' in a google search and explore all of the forums on                                                  

Dressing Your Truth

I have also explored Dressing Your Truth, though only what is available free.  I am not convinced enough by it to purchase anything nor do I feel a need to.   I like the way this programme seeks to affirm that all women ( all people in fact as this is for men too ) have their own natural beauty or attractiveness and with that comes our power.  I do think that Carol Tuttle would like to leave you with the impression that she invented all of this while she certainly did not, but then I don't know that any of the style gurus with type systems really acknowledge their colleagues or predecessors.  I find that Dressing Your Truth sometimes veers towards tacky looking makeovers and while the idea of the energy you give off having some connection to your style, and the qualities of your face also being very important do seem quite effective, I think the colour palettes are too simplified and no recognition of colour compatibility exists.  I firmly believe that we are best wearing the colours that we are, just as Dressing Your Truth says we should wear the energy that we are.  It is possible that colour guidance is more detailed with paid for materials.

A very rough outline of the energy profile idea is that there are four categories.

1 is bright and animated-there is a youthfulness about this, sparkle and pep. Bright spring colours, pastels and popsicle colours are associated.  The right style is playful, perhaps gamine,

2 is soft, subtle, draped and flowing, with a gentleness, muted colours, soft, greyed and leaning cool are associated.  The appropriate style is lady-like classic and/or romantic.

3 is rich, dynamic, vibrant, a bit in your face, let's get this done in attitude, the warm rich colours of autumn are associated with this energy as is a more earthy, natural and even boho type style.

4 is still, calm, self contained and crisp and pure hues, strong and bold are associated with this energy and the only person who can wear true black or white is a 4.  This person will have either a crisp business-like style or possible be very funky and arty.

However....... it is acknowledged that we are all a mixture and thus a secondary is suggested.  This secondary might modify your colours or your style a little bit.  If you have a 4 secondary you might be able to pull off black.

How I am Applying This

I believe I am a 2/3 as I mostly resonate with the type 2 personality but a 3 secondary warms it up a little, and thus while a 2 is likely to be a Soft Summer palette, a 2/3 could be Soft Autumn.  My 3 secondary is something I draw on at times but it is not my default nature.  I have no desire to be a leader but if nobody is leading I will step forward and get it done.  Some Soft Autumns identify as a 3/2 and that would also make sense as the 2 secondary softens the 3 nature.

There are definitely some connections I can make between Kibbe's Soft Dramatic and Dressing Your Truth's 2/3 type.  As a type 2 I am primarily directed towards soft, draping and downward flowing garments.  This fits with the Soft Dramatic lines which are softly draped, angled, asymmetrical and body skimming.  This dress would fit the guidelines for both and I realise from past experience that this is exactly the kind of dress that looks great on me.


And shoes like this pair, which I do think look great but I would never in a million years wear.  Not unless I was only required to sit down.


The best way to translate that is to pair a top like this with a pair of jeans.  Either the jeans need some flare at the bottom or they can be slim and paired with boots.  Some visual weight lower on the body always seems to work well.


This is definitely something I would wear and tunic tops of this type are on my wish list.  They are either not on trend at the moment or just not showing up in any of my local shops but I'm hitting pretty close to the mark with my blouses. My beloved boot cut denim works for both types.

Soft Dramatic requires me to draw on the 3 part of my nature, adding in more drama to the look with chunkier jewelry and bolder makeup.  Both types direct me towards longer hair, with layers and a more luxurious feel.  I wonder if that is why I never feel quite right in my pixie cut although many people seem to like it on me.  I wonder if in the past when I've had longer hair I've had the wrong shape and style.  Perhaps it's not length that is wrong but the pixie cut would look more dramatic than a shoulder length blunt cut.  Maybe people are responding to a touch of drama in my appearance when I have a pixie cut.

I feel more this...


Than this....


And quite frankly I think so does Meg.  Since Meg Ryan has always been my hair idol I am very inspired to work my way towards the look in the first picture and perhaps eventually to this-but those long bangs in my eyes would drive me nuts and my version of this would be slightly shorter.


I do love a good shag.  ( Testing to see if you are reading this, Jim )

  I can't see myself doing dramatic makeup on a daily basis though I am beginning to realise I can pull off a fairly heavy application of eye makeup and still look like myself.   However I interpret this it's going to be in a jeans and boho-blouse kind of way.  Big earrings-bring them on!  Statement necklaces and high heels, no thanks.

A blogger who explores all of the style and beauty systems in much more depth than I do is Jane Rekas at Expressing Your Truth. 
She has plenty of explanations and details about all of the people who have developed systems and contributed ideas, who trained who or influenced who. 

1 comment:

  1. Your pose in makeup is quite adorable! It looks professionally made. And who doesn't like a good shag? ;-)


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