Last year, I went through the exercises in the Triumph of Individual Style book and documented them here. I had learned quite a bit but there were things that I couldn’t quite put together. Kind of like puzzle pieces that don’t appear to fit anywhere until somebody shows you where and how.
So in January, I booked some time with John Kitchener of PSC. He offers what he calls a Style Essence consultation, which I figured would help me connect the dots. And it did.
According to John, my style essence is 30% high-spirited, 25% classic, and 25% romantic. These are my main three style drivers, and almost perfectly balanced. Together, they account for 80% of me, so we’re talking complete outfits that need to reflect this. The other 20% is equal parts dramatic and natural, but with such a small percentage, we’re looking at details rather than whole garments.
High-spirited in John’s system is the yang side of gamine, so playful and fun without getting into the cute and naive territory. I am currently expressing this by using bright color, like lime green, cherry red, or turquoise, worn in a large block (with black or gray). The more I incorporate bright colors into my daily wear, the happier I am. I plan to explore my high-spiritedness in choice of buttons and some details, like narrow trim at the edge. It is always visible in the form of my haircut (short pixie). I call this part of me cheerful.
Classic is smack-dab in the middle, a perfect balance of yin and yang. It is visible in the neutrals I choose, the smooth-faced luxurious fabrics, clean lines, and simple symmetrical shapes. Classic, elegant footwear is an expression of this side of me as well. I call it polished.
Romantic adds yin. For me, this means fabrics on the drapey side of the spectrum, waist definition, skirts and dresses rather than pants when possible, and soft, rounded details (shawl collar, waterfall neckline, etc). I call it feminine.
It is this last bit, the romantic/feminine, that I couldn’t quite place even though it was staring me right in the face. I could see in pictures that some things just worked but could not figure out why. Now I know. Funny how the real me came out in what I wore even though I wasn’t consciously aware of it.
The above picture shows the shape and proportions that I think are correct for the polished and feminine elements. The skirt is an old self-drafted TNT, the cardigan is new. It’s missing the cheerful element because I didn’t have the right color fabric, but it serves well as a wearable prototype. I have two more cardigans almost completed (need buttons and buttonholes) that bring in the cheerful bit. I will show you those next time.
See you soon!