Friday, 4 November 2016

Threeness with a Generous Dollop of Two

"What people do is, they go from one thing to the next. I call it ‘Costuming.’ We are wearing costumes to church, we are wearing a costume into the office, we wear a costume to family gatherings, we try to mimic what that [identity] looks like, [trying] to “fit in.”
Once you have this confidence and esteem starts filtering in on a daily basis, you feel good. You get so much feedback from other people, you can’t deny it. That takes over and you have less need to try and find all these things to “fit in” because what you’re wearing is your own personal style."


What I have written here is derived from my online research and the majority of the information comes from Dressing Your Truth.  I have mixed feelings about Dressing Your Truth but cannot deny that since a large quantity of information is free and easily found online it has given me much to explore.

Although the Dressing Your Truth system has a very strong internet presence, it is not original;  Carol Tuttle, creator of Dressing Your Truth was analysed by Taylore Sinclaire in the IlluminEssence system before using it to create her own programme.

For other information on 4 Types  also look up...

Carla Mathis -might be the first to have created the 4 Type system
Jane Segerstrom- book "Look Like Yourself and Love It" 20 years before DYT

These are 4 types are based on Yin/Yang properties identified by Belle Northrup and others used the Yin/Yang concept to develop style archetypes such as Classic, Natural, Gamine, Dramatic and Romantic.  The four type systems tend not to take height into account whereas the five type systems do.

For the archetypes mentioned above look up...

John Kitchener  -people are a blend of all types and you work with your percentages
Harriet McJimsey -people are a blend of types
Suzanne Caygill -possibly the first to link colour theory to seasons for personal colour        palettes and extending to personality and style
David Kibbe -people have a dominant type (Taylore Sinclaire and Carol Tuttle)

Many of these people studied with Suzanne Caygill originally-  I am sure there are others, but these are the ones I am aware of.  I have not listed those who mainly do colour palettes.

  Under either the Dressing Your Truth or IlluminEssence system I have identified myself as a type or tone 3 with a secondary 2 which happens to be a very strong 2.  Thus the rich and dynamic appearance I am told to cultivate for a type/tone 3 seems to work best if it is softened by the 2.  Softening happens not only in fabric and line, but in colour and this translates well to my Soft Autumn palette.

I have no formal or purchased association with either type ( my knowledge of what it means to be a Type 3 with a secondary 2 in these systems is limited to what is free online ) and explaining them along with my thoughts about them is complicated.  I have written and abandoned several pieces on the subject, my feelings are very conflicted about Dressing Your Truth as I have found much information to both support it and criticise it.

But Let's Talk About Me

I am a 3/2 and so I appear most authentic if I dress according to the 3-ness that shows most strongly in my physical appearance.  I round that out with a touch of 2-ness just as anybody should take any system and personalise it and this means softening it as I described above. If I do not take my secondary 'energy' into consideration I get the costume effect Taylore Sinclaire mentions in the above quote.  I've had some experience with costumes in my personal style journey and I've learned that I can like the look of a style, really want to wear and be that, and yet if something feels off about it I really do feel as though I am wearing a costume and thus playing a role.  A costume  can be a form of self-protection, a way of trying to fit in, or be who I perceive others want/need me to be, which I am sure I have done at various times in my life,  but I have also been obsessed through much of my later adult life with what I can only call authenticity.

Perhaps there were reasons, a need for some self-protection, but that time of my life is over. I have been seeking this authenticity for awhile and it has taken some time, effort and navel-gazing to find it.  It's not easy to admit to that.  I am a person who does not intentionally attempt to deceive, I am honest and generally straight-forward and have a revulsion towards  people who seem fake to me so to imagine that I may have ever come across to anyone in that way is nearly devastating.  However, I don't think I have.  Rather I think that my self presentation may at times have either undermined my strength or made too much of it and created a harsher appearance.  I can see how that would feel safe to me in times of stress and vulnerability.

Slight Digression:  As someone who sometimes looks ill-pale, dark under the eyes, tired-I like the idea of wearing clothing that makes me look healthier.  But there is a downside to looking healthier than you actually are, so it requires some strength of character to be able to go out into the world  prepared to put myself first.  I do not have the strength, stamina or energy that I appear to have or that would be expected for my age and apparent able-bodiedness.  With regards to my invisible disability, my mother used to say 'pity you don't have a limp'.  Well, currently I do. 

Back to the Regularly Scheduled Programme:

A conflict with the tone 3 energy that lead me not to even consider tone 3 but rather to lean on my secondary 2 is that I am quite introverted.  I confuse people though because I am capable of short term extroverted behaviour and my love of connecting with people often drives me to use that ability.  It is profoundly exhausting to me but I have persisted in doing it all my life.  (The light bulb came on brightly when I discovered that is a very strong trait of an INFJ.)  I had ruled out T3 at first because I am not like the typical description.  Nobody who knows me would describe me as loud and pushy and I was not a rambunctious child at all.  I had lots of energy if I wanted to but was equally capable of and likely to be still and quiet.  I have no desire to be a leader though will reluctantly do it if nobody else steps forward.  I am more likely to champion someone else as leader.  So I did not recognise myself in the generalised descriptions of T3 behaviour but I did see it in my body language and facial features which Carol Tuttle, creator of Dressing Your Truth, says is more important.   Not every T3 will appear or behave exactly like another and the secondary natures contribute to those differences as do the variations in how strong our secondaries are.

I know that in my case it means a softening of the rich and dynamic energy of T3 and that I might bring in some T2 elements with lines and accessories.  I also know that the secondary type will make adjustments to your colour palette.

Okay, I Just Have To Say...

Style systems telling you about design lines, colours, textures and shapes tend to have a fair amount of overlap for two reasons.  One is that many grew from the same source, modern style gurus had the same teacher and then went on to expand on what they learned and develop their own systems.  Another reason is essentially a copyright issue.  There is some debate over what ideas are owned by whom and possibly not enough acknowledgement of what that guru has not actually invented herself but is implying that she has.  Human beings tend to notice patterns, and in the end, these systems all are based on some patterns that show certain types of personal colouring tend to go with certain facial and body features, certain styles of moving, and something we might call a person's vibe or energy or essence.  Some people like to use archetypes to describe these.  Most of these style gurus will tell us that our natural instincts tell us which type is truly natural to us but that some of us over-think and second guess it more than others do.  Such as, yours truly.

So, How Did I Figure it Out?

 My T3 Face and Movement:

I didn't see it at first.  In many ways the T2 is the inner me and the T3 is the outer me, and I am much more in touch with my inner self.  We will all have some of every type in us, but what we are looking for is the dominant type.  Energy profiling programmes promise that by dressing in accordance with this dominant ( or as I see it, outer ) energy, we will come across more authentically to others and will feel more comfortable and confident about ourselves.  I might be tempted to argue that, because I tend to think of my inner self as more authentic.  But perhaps the inner self is too private.  Or perhaps I am just grasping at straws and this is all like horoscopes-we see what we want to see and ignore the rest.

Okay, back to my face.  I had to step back and instead of examining every small detail and getting bogged down in thoughts like, well my nose looks T3 and my skin looks T4 etc..I just thought about what the overall first impression probably is.  I came up with warmth, friendliness, asymmetry, angles-more angles than I at first realised.

My movement is quite determined and I walk with a heavy step, determined, deliberate and a quickness.  I can get quite busy multi-tasking and bang around noisily without realising it. My focus is often on getting things done.  I have a sporadic energy too, sudden movement as well as sudden motivation, alternating with rest or pauses.  I can change my mind and my direction instantly. 

While I do not identify with being loud and pushy, I do identify with being determined and sometimes impatient to get things done.  I am not much good at relaxing though it is forced on me often.  When I am comfortable I speak enthusiastically and use my whole body and face to express myself-which leads to very unflattering candid photos.  I am definitely described as intense, and I can be abrupt.  The T3 sometimes offends people without meaning to.  While this does not happen often I can do this.  I am prone to forgetting to filter my thoughts, to rephrase the original thought more tactfully or just thinking out loud and not quite saying what I really mean at first.  On the other hand, I am very sensitive to other people's feelings and always intend to be kind so if I am too blunt I am generally mortified.  Perhaps that's my T2 taking over, but I would argue ( I do use that word a lot and it sounds a bit T3 ) that everyone should be kind.

And yet, I have written before about my struggle with wanting to be more of a call it as I see it person.  Have I been socialised to be more tactful and polite than is my true nature?  I don't know, but I think I will stick with tact.    T3 and T2 are opposites and so this is a tricky combination ( as is 4/1 and 1/4 ).

Learning How to Do It
 Colour for Tone 3

For example the T3 palette is warm, earthy, rich colours from an Autumn-type palette.  For me they are a bit too saturated and sometimes too golden.  If I soften them, sort of warmly grey them down with a T2 essence, I actually get the Soft Autumn Palette I have recently decided is the right one for me and if I soften the T3 personality description I get something that feels more familiar.

Design Lines for T3

As a dominant T3 with a secondary T2 I am giving myself permission to wear the warm, soft colours I love, choose design lines that are somewhere in between soft and flowing and structured.  I have a better image in my mind now of what that looks like but still find it difficult to put into words.  I do like soft feeling clothing, dislike feeling my movement restricted, avoid collars because they neither flatter nor feel comfortable with my shorter neck, know I look best in tops with seaming that indicate a waist but do not cinch it and probably also look best with small shoulder pads but they are not on trend right now so none of my clothing has them.

In general, the recommendations for T3 design lines are to create the look of texture.  This is done with layering, mixing colours, patterns, accessories and actual fabric texture.  The idea is that a T3 woman can handle a greater mix of these than other types do.

 Key words: texture, substance, angles, asymmetry.  Triangles, rectangles and zigzags are associated shapes but I believe that for me my secondary T2 will allow for some softening of those.  Sharp angles have never been shapes that attracted me.  I've always chosen curves, ovals, ellipses and sometimes even circles.  That would be a big shift for me and I have accessories with those shapes I would find difficult to let go.  It may happen.  I may find I truly do prefer the look of the T3 shapes.  Or I  may not.  It is quite typical of me, and apparently of T3 to want this sorted out now.  Yesterday, even. 


T3 types are advised to only wear chunky gold coloured jewelry but I'm not quite there yet.  I mix metals and include silver, which will work for a Soft Autumn.  I feel uncomfortable in larger and chunkier pieces, but then larger and chunkier are relative words.   I think that some of my more delicate jewelry is delicate not because I favour delicacy but because the smaller the item the more affordable it is if it's real silver or gold.  I am reminded here that David Kibbe's recommendations for a Flamboyant Natural and Soft Dramatic are to wear what he calls obviously faux jewelry and I definitely balked when I read that.  I associated costume jewelry with chunky plastic but eventually realised that there were other types.

I tend to prefer scarves to necklaces and that works, especially for a 3 with a 2 secondary, though scarves can be a bit problematic for a peri-menopausal woman having hot flashes and they are out of the question in warm weather.  


T3 hair should suggest movement.  Often it is presented as short and spiky or what I call the soccer-mom flippy shag that was popular ten years ago, but any length can work.

  This is literally outward movement which is very T3 and my hair will basically do this naturally, without need of curling iron or flat iron.  I used to fight this look, trying to straighten and turn my hair under.

                           Martina McBride wears it well and looks like she could be T3


 Hair Shape

Although people seem to love a pixie cut on me and I agree it looks good in photos I am never happy with it for long.  Over and over again I attempt to grow my hair out and get talked into going back to the pixie.   I think I have identified the issues going on there.  For one thing, growing out hair is not always going to be flattering so my hair may be at a less flattering stage when someone says to me 'you know, you really look better with your hair short.'   I also think I've grown it out the wrong way.   I always aimed for some sort of bob as I grew it out which is a bit heavy and still looking for a T3.  That shape is reading as wrong to people but they don't necessarily know why and because the pixie looks lighter it seems better than the bob.  I'm now aiming for the short shag, sort of like Martina above.  Don't care if it is not current.

Hair Colour

My hair has changed as I age, which is typical, there are very few naturally blonde adults but many if not most of the women who dye their hair blonde were blonde as children.  I think we have some troubles adjusting to hair colour change.  When I look in the mirror and see hair that is much darker than it once was I feel confused.  I had light, reddish brown hair as a child.  I feel quite comfortable returning to that or adding highlights like that.  The main thing is to keep the hair warm.  I have tried dying it darker and/or cooler but it never felt right.  Darker and cooler colours, in hair and clothing, tend to drain my face of colour.  

T3 can pull off multi-dimensional colour - obvious and chunky highlights and lowlights.  Autumns are advised by some colour analysts to keep the look realistic and with subtle variations in colour or just an overall gloss, which conflicts with the T3 recommendation of chunky and obvious streaks of colour.  I say, do what you want.  Those who don't go for the colour chunks often go for something reddish or very red.

Hair Texture Key Words:

tousled, piecey,  choppy  razered, layers, edgy,  texture, angles and movement. 

I want my hair to actually have movement, not just look like it does.


A Conclusion about Dressing Your Truth.. Sort of, Maybe

I think I mentioned that I have mixed feelings.  My research has definitely lead me to believe that the creator of this programme has borrowed extensively without giving enough credit for the original sources and tends to imply that she has invented it all herself.  Attached to this programme is a great deal of therapy, analysis and 'energy healing' for which her qualifications are questionable.  And then I wonder how much that matters.  Many women speak online about how much this system helped them, and yet others come forward telling of some very negative and distressing experiences.  I have to admit that what I have found available free and used has indeed been helpful and while others may have done it first and do it better, they haven't hit on the brilliant marketing strategy of offering at least half of it free.    Even without credentials, it seems that more often than not Carol Tuttle manages to support and empower women, though it may be difficult to judge that accurately and certainly there are people who have experienced otherwise in their encounters with her.  I have no personal encounter to go by nor has anyone I know.

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