The Triumph of Individual Style – summary

"Image courtesy of cooldesign /"

Image courtesy of cooldesign /

Doing the exercises in the book was an interesting process. It made me look at familiar features and contours with new eyes. Some of the results were old friends, some were surprising, still others simply illuminated my existing preferences. It is quite a bit of information to take in so I’m going to summarize it here. This post can then serve as a reference for future wardrobe planning.

My body type is skeletal/moulded so my best fabrics are medium-taut to medium-drape fabrics. Predominant structural lines in my clothing should be straight in the upper body and curved in the lower body.

My body shape is hourglass, which requires clothing that emphasizes the waist, accommodates the straight shoulders, and flares over the hips. This flaring can be achieved in a fuller skirt (not really my style) or with a short peplum (such as a belted cardigan) over a narrow skirt.

My side view body contour is wavy. I can use diagonal construction lines or details to highlight the wavy contour.

If I decide to use prints, they should reflect the qualities of my facial features:  small to medium in scale, predominantly curved and horizontal, with well-defined edges, and a moderate amount of space around them.

My fabrics should be light to medium weight, and mostly smooth with a bit of texture to reflect the smoothness of my skin, the slight waviness of my hair, and their combined light and medium textural weight.

Proportions: short head, slightly long torso, very short rise, very long legs. Upper body to lower body ratio is very close to 3:5 (misses by .6″). I’ll most likely just wear long sleeves to optically balance the long legs.

Balance points and neckline shape:

Balance points

My face and body are both symmetrical – symmetrically cut garments with symmetrical details will harmonize best. Asymmetrical details will create drama.

The scale of details should be small to medium to reflect my small scale bone structure, medium scale facial features, and small-medium scale apparent body size. That means:

  • small scale details (thin topstitching, narrow plackets, ribbing, and pleats, thin heels or thin-soled flats, and skinny purse and shoe straps);
  • medium scale details in the upper part of the body (jewelry, prints, pockets, belt buckles, buttons, bows, ruffles, and other decorative bits);
  • small to medium details in the lower part of the body and a small to medium handbag.

My best colors are found in the Bright Winter palette. This palette contains both cool and warm hues, though still heavily weighted towards cool. The values range all the way from white to black, with a lot of medium value hues in between. I fall into the high contrast, high intensity category. My primary color harmony is neutral, with analogous or triadic secondary.

I still don’t have a fully fleshed out plan for fall sewing but I’m going to start with a dress and a belted cardigan. In those two garments I can incorporate the results of multiple exercises – color, necklines, and maybe even proportions. We’ll see where imagination takes me after that.

If you’d like to read more about the specific exercises, here are all the posts in the Triumph series.

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