Aug 1, 2013

Dressing With Your Surroundings In Mind - Oriental Philosophy I Want To Uphold As I Continue On This Fashion Journey

OK. Well, this will be my last post for tonight. :-)

So, if you're like me, you've probably enjoyed a whole slew of fashion and style guide books, websites and even gotten some consultations by a handful of industry 'experts.'

I've loved all of my journey thus far --
Recommendations by David Zyla to study the colors found in my body, such as hair, eye, skin colors, more specifically the 8 Personal Colors as he calls them...

Insights from IreneeOnline and 12 Blueprints, and 16 palette Seasons Based Color analysis...

More sophisticated suggestions by Sterling Style Academy and more time consuming but relevant research approach from Brenda Kinsel...

Then, there are Minimalist lifestyle suggestions from Project 333, and more self-aware consumerist approaches by Jill Chivers and helpful visual tips from Ms. Imogen Lamport, as well as the Dozen Formula...

Anyhow...
What I or we must not forget is...
Despite how *Individualistic* we are, and how AWESOME it is to be *different* you can't really put your best fashion foot forward, if you're unaware as to what is going on around you... Yes, break all the rules if you must, I'm not opposing that, but sticking out like a sore thumb doesn't equal Stylishness either...!

This of course, is something that is a lot more pronounced in my Asian culture. Generally speaking, sticking out in any shape or form puts these Asian folk into a tailspin of panic and Xenophobic tantrum. So I've learnt my lesson over the painful years...




So here are some examples from my Chip It experiments...
These are all images of Seoul I pulled from Google.

Each of these color palettes I believe are really conducive for creating my own color clusters and core wardrobe colors, since I'd most likely blend well into the Urban feel and vibe offered by my daily environment...

As you can see, there's a clear mix of monochromatic scheme juxtaposed by some vivids and some in-between-colors...

* * *



Then, above are my eye colors...

It's a brown/blue combo. I have that blue ring around my pupil, which in Zyla speak, is called your First Base Color, my Formal Attire Color.

* * *



OK, not my most glamorous picture, but still works well enough to show my most dominant body coloring...

Thanks Esther S for sharing this website! I love how 'neat' these work!!!



Finally A Color Palette For Moi: A Dissonant Color Palette For My Style in S/S 2013

OK. So I have searched high and low. The basic tenets of color theory always tend to use the same labels, and NONE of them appealed to me.

You know, your usual, Primary Colors, Triadic Colors, Split Complementary, Tetradic Color Scheme... Monochromatic, Achromatic, Analogous... etc. Then, you've got your Seasons and Season based palettes. Now offered in lovely 16, instead of the original 4.

Well. I finally put the finger on what makes my heart sing!

It appears that the reason none of the usual palettes worked for me or inspired me is BECAUSE, I'm into a whole other category called 'Dissonant Color Palette,' which I didn't even know existed until last week. :-)

Here's the lovely color scheme by itself.


OK. So this isn't what I'm going to wear. But it does show some potential...

Thanks to http://coloranddesign.weebly.com/color-dissonance.html for sharing their work online! It's inspiring!


* * *

While I'm at it, here are some really practical and savvy insights from a Men's Fashion Website which I LOVE!

They did a whole series of 100 Fashion Tips or something like it, and from their suggestions, I ONLY like 2 types of color combinations for my particular wardrobe.



This would probably cover most of my needs. :-)

OK. Here's the totally AMAZING men's fashion website I mentioned above:

If you're like me, it's GUARANTEED you'll be up all night, poring over their tips!


Love & Inspiration,

Jessica

xoxo

Theory of Color Relativity and Dressing Your Truth

Color.

It's one thing everyone chooses each morning as they cover up their humble bodies.

Today, I would like to mention, what I am not happy about some of the 'theories' and 'suggestions' as proposed by Dressing Your Truth.

As you have heard from Carol Tuttle and her team, there are 4 clearly marked color guides that they would like you to don. Now, I have experimented with at least two of their suggestions for over 90 days each, and I've done a number of my own researches regarding color theories, so this is not coming from a personal attack on their system or anything. More of an intellectual engagement of their proposed strategies, and why I am choosing to move on to something different.


Please study the color cubes, which I pulled from Handprint.com regarding Munsell Colors. The 3rd and 4th rows have the center squares in exact same colors, and the top two rows use the same background colors.

As misleading as it is, since from a young age, linguistically, we've been trained to call certain 'range' of colors a single name, eg. Blue, Red, Orange...

Now, the world we actually live in, has all kinds of colors, always interacting with all kinds of surrounding colors. Seriously, how often is it that you see a single color by itself?

* * *

Now, according to Carol Tuttle, if you're a Type 4, you'll ONLY choose to wear stark WHITE colors. Or JET BLACK colors. Even if in reality, I might look just as great in colors that are deep enough and contrasting enough, which DYT forbids me to wear.

I mean, I AM a Type 4, I love DYT's descriptions in 'Child Whisperer' about Type 4s, there's a lot of insight and wisdom there for sure.

But where the Fashion Statement is made, I am choosing to veer off from DYTs strategies. Why?

Because, I'm a Type 4, but I don't want to look like a commercial ad from the 60s.
I don't want to look like all of the other Type 4 ladies.
Because, I got draped by my local color analyst, and my season came out Bronze Autumn.
Because, I shiver at the thought of wearing Type 4 metal in the Winter.
Because, Brass/Bronze colors look better to bring out my eye color.
Because, some color combinations work for me really well, which are clearly outside of the DYT Type 4 realm.

Need I go on?

* * *

Expanding a little bit more on the idea of contrast levels, which IS an important concept in image and style, me, being an Asian coloring, as long as I have the right level of contrast, which is already in my body, which is an easy two fold split of dark hair & eyes VS lighter but warm based skin, ANY of the combos of Black/White, Black/Gray, Black/Brown, Black/Beige, Black/Blush, Black/Nude, Black/Silver, Black/Gold, Black/Bronze ALL WORK.

* * *

To go on, not only the contrast level, but the DENSITY level is another thing one must consider. Borrowing the concept from Typography Design and Layout, depending on how your facial features sit on your face-scape, the kind of pattern and size you look great in greatly changes.

If you have a face with bold lines, you can do really big shapes and still look great. If you have a mix of features, such as big eyes but smaller more delicate nose and mouth features, you'll need to have the right accents in the right places to keep things in balance. 

How and where you employ color changes the Design Equation entirely!

And I just feel that the 4 Type Cookie Cutter Method, while a great training method for women of all ages and beauties to learn from, is not customized enough to help you refine and articulate your Beauty Persona.

Having said that, I want to thank Carol and her team for the amazing work they are doing. Regarding your dominant energy type and the psychology and what helps you understand yourself and your child, and how to soothe yourself and so on, their material I believe definitely adds value to thousands of lives!

But for the aesthete that I want to become and grow into, I just find their premise a little bit lacking in Precision and lacking in depth, 'Visual' Communication-wise.

OK!

That's all from me folks!


Love and big hugs,

Jessica


So, What IS Your Favorite Color Combination For Your Clothes or Outfits?

While, I do not believe in Cookie-Cutter approach to personal styling, I sometimes feel the need to canvas the scope of what's available, in order to refine and define my aesthetic preferences...

Here are some pre-thought-out image scales to help you decide, where your orientation lies...

Ladies, I present you... the legendary works of Shigenobu Kobayashi...!!!


This gives you the overall scope of palettes you can use. This can easily be used to determine your preferences, whether you're using it to find your orientation for the 4 Seasons Color Analysis, OR to work on your core wardrobe colors for your Dressing Your Truth clothes. Of course, these are not exact, but I think it covers all bases really nicely. 

 
I found this useful to use in conjunction with the above 4 quadrant graph! Of course, there are lots more combinations available to us, but I think it gives a general direction you can use for your own clothing clusters and capsules.

The book has each color presented on a page and how the colors are often used in commercial products or spaces. If you have favorite colors, I guess these could be useful to conjure up various color combinations to try based on that one color.

This one just showed up on Google image search. But I like how it still fits into the quadrants, and how 'analytical' it gets!

If you're a die hard DYT fan, then I am sure this will be for the Type 3 person!


And another palette for the Type 3 woman...


This one looks more like a Type 4 color palette to me, but those tinted ones must be iced in texture...


OK. I hope this inspires you and helps your explore your beauty limits and options!!

Love,

Jessica



The Most Optimal Wardrobe Possible -- 'Essential Outfitter' from LearnVest

I found this AMAZING and helpful website that teaches you HOW you can actually create an entirely functionable wardrobe using 34 items only. They showcase how you can put together different looks, from Office to Vacation, to Dates and Weekends/Running Errands, using the same 34 items!

Highly recommended for Minimalists and Project 333 doers!



The Essential Outfitter

TOPS
1. Tailored white button-down shirt
2. T
3. Cardigan
4. Silk blouse
5. Fitted tank top / Camisole
6. Cashmere sweater

BOTTOMS
1. Pencil skirt
2. Jeans
3. Shorts
4. Classic black trousers
5. Mini skirt

DRESSES
1. Print dress
2. Sundress
3. Little black dress
4. Jewel-toned cocktail dress

OUTERWEAR
1. Blazer
2. Leather jacket
3. Trench coat

ACCESSORIES
1. Clutch
2. Tote
3. Straw hat
4. Scarf
5. Structured handbag
6. Belt
7. Sunglasses
8. Shawl

JEWELRY
1. Cuff
2. Dangly earrings
3. Diamond or CZ stud earrings
4. Bangles
5. Hoops
6. Pearl necklace

SHOES
1. Heels
2. Riding boots
3. Espadrilles
4. Ballet flats
5. Heeled sandals

Sub Total: Clothing = 15 / Essential Accessories = 19
Grand Total: 34


Jul 21, 2013

Why the Numbers 5, 8 Keep Coming Up in My Wardrobe Color Palette Clusters?

After I just finished writing my previous blog post, I wondered WHY I was so consistently finding this number '5.5' or '6' or '8' in my clusters...

I realized a *generalized* description or prescription of a color cluster could be...


  • 4 neutrals x 4 accents.
  • Or 4 universal neutrals x 2 nuance colors x  2 accent colors.



* * *

I researched the numbers 5 and 8 and apparently, these two numbers are well-matched in Numerology compatibility! Here's an excerpt from http://astrobix.com/marriage/numerology/8/5

Numerology love compatibility for 8 and 5



Number 5 is ruled by planet Mercury while number 8 is ruled by Saturn. This is materially motivated combination rather than physical and emotional. These two numbers are opposite to each other but both have strong personality and one cannot suppress each other. People of number 8 bring a strong direction in the lives of people of number 5. Together they can achieve material and personal success.

This combination brings out the best in each other. Once they fall in love, these two stick for it throughout the lifetime. The special bond shared between these two numbers can be an asset which is shared in business as well. It is also an excellent number combination to find in a family or a pair of best friends. This is a relationship between two individuals who don't always follow the rules and they might find themselves locking horns on the rules of a relationship. It will take careful planning and compromise to make this relationship work. Great happiness is in store for these two.

I really believe that color harmonics work or behave in VERY similar ways to 'sound' harmonies...

Our visual and auditory sensory systems MUST on some level resonate and correlate...

* * *

I was really struck also by the number 5.5 also.

Why the double 5?

And it suddenly reminded me of my previous research on traditional Korean color system and philosophy. The O-Bang-Saek and O-Gan-Saek. Now, in that theory, the 5 main colors called the 'Yang Colors' make up the ENTIRE UNIVERSE, according to ancient Chinese philosophy.

Just regarding color though, those 5 Yang Colors make up the 5 Yin Colors. And together, my Korean ancestors had 10 basic colors.

Now, those of you who are versed in Feng Shui elements will know that we currently live and operate in a totally different perceptual color scape compared to those times.

The 5 said main colors were...
White, Black, Yellow, Red, and Blue.

What's confusing for these days is that in those days, white and black were natural colors, so they're not our typical industrial stark white/jet black colors!

They're more subdued than that... more like cream/ivory and dark gray. Besides, the 'Black' corresponds to the Water element, so the dept and reflection of the Water Quality actually meant both black and blue color ranges!

And the so-called 'Blue' which in Chinese character is 'Cheong' actually represents a green/blue blend which is more like the 'sky' color. So it's a lighter and prettier color than Water so to speak!

Yellow was earthier color than our industrial bright yellow, although I guess some flowers did have bright yellow coloring, and the Red was more like a brown, and just in Feng Shui speak, Red is like Fire, so it represents light as in fireworks or electricity kind of illumination...

* * *

All of that thinking led me to research Pinterest for '5 elements' and I got a lot of images which I have filed under http://pinterest.com/jeeyoona/5-elements-color-theory-and-musings/

Now, one of the images that was labelled TOTALLY caught my eye...!


Tata! As you can see, this little diagram, actually represents both the numbers 5 and 8! Nifty, ain't it?

Now this is basically a diagram of the '5 Elements' of Feng Shui, representing 8 different sectors also known as Pa Gua or Ba Gua.

Each gua represents a direction, an area of your life, a body organ, color, element, and so on. The center is called Tai Chi and touches upon ALL 8 gua's.


* * *

I think this sheds some light on why I felt so 'restricted' by adhering to the strict guidelines of DYT. As per DYT guideline, being a Dominant 4 means, I can't embrace the 'nuances' or the 'middle paths.'

I think, being a Third Culture Kid, I have embraced both the Asian mindset as well as the Western mindset. Former through my natural ancestral heritage and lineage, and the latter through both my formal education and globalization.

I think I can now see how these diverse elements fit together, like pieces of a puzzle. A vast and myriad puzzle, that still has some underlying Principles and Laws.

For example, my dominant energy and movement may be a Type 4. But my facial features are a strong blend of Type 2, Type 4 and Type 1. It's really hard to distinguish just one element, because I'm not a Cartoon nor a Caricature. I think this may be another reason why DYT often gets criticized despite its clear cut methodology and their good intentions.

One of the ironies I had to realize and accept through my embracing and journey THROUGH DYT was specifically THAT I ended up subscribing to yet another 'prescribed' fashion system. All the while I was escaping the previous set of 'Fashion Rules' set by the 'evil garmentos' and 'fashion industry' and 'marketing divisions' -- how much further was I getting by subscribing to a different set of 'DYT Fashion Rules?' set forth by Carol Tuttle who learnt her system from Illuminescence and Taylor Sinclaire? (Sorry, if I mispelled her name here...)

* * *

Now, in my previous 'attack' towards Carol, I had mentioned how these '4 personalities/4 Seasons' approach traces itself all the way back to a Bauhaus guru called J. Ittens. Just Google 'Ittens Color Theory' and you will find a lot to learn from his categorization of different color contrasts!

* * *

OK. Now. On to the REAL MEAT!

Sorry, I had to 'build this up' in this manner, because I like to be 'thorough!' :D
Please bear with me another 10 minutes!

* * *

I looked up 'human color palette' to see if it would show me any color combinations I can work off of, regarding fashion/wardrobe color choices.

After all, as Christine Scamen of http://12blueprints.com/ argues, the human gene DOES have a certain color bias and there is such a thing as a preset color combination.

After looking through a lot of fascinating Pantone Skin Colors which came out a while ago, I stumbled across this:


or...

more specifically...
this:


and also these:



This is a model of 3 colors, and their 8 combinations!

That is, one color + white + black as a base.

Then, you get these 3 in between colors, as well as the center color!

According to this guy (shall we say, a GENIUS!) ALL of the 8 combos work!
Yummm!!!!

Just in my head, that just feels like a total Color Jack Pot to me!

After all these years, and all this searching...

I can now finally work off of a REAL COLOR COMBO MODEL,
to work on my Core Wardrobe Colors!!!

(Goes off screaming into the other room... *mentally*... ^^)

* * *

Now, I think the above model shows how Ireene Online http://ireneeonline.com/ was so right about a very simple way to create 'elegance' in your clothing choices is to go with...

Your Hair Color + White.

Of course, she is NOT the only one who advocates wearing your hair color... Almost all image consultants start off by asking you what your hair/skin/eye colors are...!

But still, I think the above model really helps you choose from a COMPLETE mathematical probabilities of whatever color your hair or skin or eye color may be, to work out your contrast level and choose another color...

(Hope I'm explaining this clearly enough...! I'm Asian coloring so the orange of my skin tone and light/dark contrast really neatly works with the above model... Not sure if for Caucasian coloring or a different Ethnic coloring, this model might not seem as evident?)

* * *

I personally believe though, working out your 'Neutral' or 'Core Wardrobe Colors' can definitely find an exhaustive combination from the above model...

More so than any 4 seasons color approach, or Feng Shui approach, or Zyla's 8 body colors approach...

The above model thoroughly and visually shows us 'Possible Color Strategies' to opt for before you head out the door to spend and splurge on your fashion choices...

* * *

OK... I'm all grins...

Just for getting to this point...

BTW, that above site http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/tech13.html has a motherload of Color Theory... Might I add, a very intense amount of SERIOUS RESEARCH...!

So, I hope you'll have some 'take away' from my blog post this morning!

As a parting bonus,

here's another lovely coincidence for the numbers 5 and 8,
that ties into a demonstration of musical harmonics...!!!

See those 5 black ones, and the 8 white ones... ^__^?V


Mmmmmmmm...

Harmony and Principles at work in the Universe of Sound and Colors!

Can't get any better than this!!!

Illumined L o v e ,
xoxox

Jessica

Why The Capsule Wardrobe Will Likely Never Work For Me (My Tentative Personal Conclusion Regarding Color Choices For My Wardrobe)

OK. I think that must have been the longest blog post title I've ever used! :D

I was spending a lot of time recently, looking at some color palettes on Pinterest regarding Capsule Wardrobes, Travel Wardrobes, or Clusters of Clothes.

Now, if you've read my earlier posts on Capsule Wardrobes, you probably saw that the *original* idea for Capsule Wardrobes always state that you work with 3 main colors for that particular group of clothing...

Now, I've been on so many style and color adventures in the past 5+ years, ranging from David Zyla's wear your 8 personal body colors, to following Brenda Kinsel's suggestions to inventory each of your jewelry/accessories in color groupings, dabbling into DYT color guides, getting a professional 4 Seasons based color analysis, as well as venturing into Fashion Feng Shui colors, learning about the new 16 different color based seasons, colors for astrological signs, AND also learning about how your contrast level is really important, as are your hair/skin/eye colors.

Anyhow, this post is really about how I figured out that I will likely NEVER be able to live with a 3 color based Capsule Wardrobe. Here are the run-downs.

a) The Capsule Wardrobe concept is not a 'complete' system in that they advise you to create multiple capsules for different roles you play or categories you need. I am turned off by its incompleteness. It doesn't seem like the optimal way... Besides, I think it costs a lot of money to have ALL of those items in such limited color palettes.

b) Wearing the same colors over and over is totally boring. Even if you had a lot of accessories, if they are the same color, I think you'll look like you just don't have a lot of clothes. I need my clusters of clothes to be a LOT more versatile than a 3-color-based decision matrix.

c) Even just choosing which 3 colors gives me a headache. Enough said!

d) If your color is white, laundry becomes an issue. Not nearly effective unless you like washing single items by hand or whatever.

e) Initially, I wondered if 2 of the colors WERE neutral colors, would that extend the utility and versatility of the wardrobe? My research on Pinterest proved that no, no matter how many items, a 3 color base wardrobe just won't cut it. I NEED variety!




* * *

Having explained myself, here ARE my personal needs-based range of colors I want for my clothes clusters.

Note also, how I am now opting for the word 'Clusters' more so than using the word 'Capsule' -- Clusters are more flexible and can be larger than a 'Capsule'!

:-)

1. The 5.5 Core-Colors Cluster

I think this is a cohesive yet versatile set of clothes... You could look both put-together with these number of colors, AND still not look like you're recycling your clothes too often!

Black
Navy/Light blue
White
Gray
Red

The 'Blue' category is split into a lighter and darker color here, making this a 5.5 color set! :-D





Black
Pink
Blue
Tan/Gold
Orange

The Tan and Gold are similar ranges but slightly different...




Vermillion/Cantaloup
White
Pale grayed pink?
Beige
Navy

Red color split into 2 colors here...




White
Black
Gray
Tan
Blue
(Red lipstick)

Red lipstick counting as a 0.5 color here...!




Orange/Red
Black
Navy
Gray
White

Red split into 2 colors...




Black
Gray 1
Navy/Blue
Gray 2
Gold/Silver

This palette is way 'dark' but there are enough 'nuances' to actually add interest!
Very clever... ^^




Ivory
Light blue/Blue denims
Red
Gold/Light tan

I think this look has 3 broad color groups in it; the lights are beige/gold/light tan, the blue has a lighter and darker color, and then, there is the pop and accent with red.

I guess when it comes to creating ONE outfit, the 3 broad categories of colors with different shades/tones/hues could work, with enough nuances then?




2. The More than 5.5 colors set

Black
Beige
Red
Navy
(Brown/White)
Pink?
White

I initially thought this was another 5.5 color cluster...
The blacks and navy are so dark they read as two different darks.
The brown and white patterned cardigan reads more as a dark/light color.
And the red and whatever color skirt that is also read as the same family.

Again, it's the contrasts, accent, and nuances that keep this family of colors really versatile yet interesting! :-D



I LOVE these!

pink
white
gray
beige
silver
black
darker beige
blue
taupe?


I love the high contrast AND varying contrast levels offered by these groupings of color! Add to that a nice feminine pink! I could be really happy wearing this for a month. With a few more colors that add interest in shoes, bag, and jewelry, I think this could be a real 'winning' set for a work based cluster!





ivory
black
gray
light gray
red/white
metallic white or silver?
dark red
white
light denim washed

Another great cluster! Enough neutrals and color variations...!
Some key pieces like pops of green or gold/silver accessories, or even black/white/gray jewelry could all transform these looks!




white
violet
red
brownish-red?
light gray
black
cream
teal
light taupe?
navy?

OK. So my eye sight's not that great for reading some of these colors, but this is probably as far as I'd push regarding number of colors.

This cluster has the following groupings:
Neutrals - Black/grey/navy/taupe/cream/white
Accents - Violet/Red/Brown-red/Teal

That's 6 neutrals and 4 accent colors.
And note that these are ALL tops. No bottoms here.

I think anything that goes beyond this range just won't work as a cohesive unit. It loses the integrity of being read as a 'family' of colors. It will look like you lack a 'core' thereby losing an 'identity.' Therefore, not that clever as a strategy. Well, at least for my coloring and aesthetics anyway! ^^




* * *

Having said that, here's what I chose previously as a color palette recently:

I believe it still loosely follows the above guideline -

Neutrals - Black/White/Gray/Beige
Accents - Light blue/Denim blue/Pure blue, Orange/Pink, Yellow

Tally goes -
4 neutral colors & 6 accent colors from 3 loose color groupings.

The colors I didn't use here are, red/green/brown/purple.



Or actually, I guess my accent colors are...
Orange/Blue, Yellow/Pink.
The blue category split into 3 for nuances.

Well. Maybe that's my *formula* for now then.

My 4 neutrals being... *black/white* and *gray/beige*
My 4 accents being... *shades of Blue/Orange* and *Yellow/Pink*

Giving me a total of 8 colors or would that be 8.2 colors?



But, you get the idea...

Hope you can relate to my musings here...!



With love and delight ^^V

xoxo


Jessica




Why I Am Stopping My DYT Type 4 Looks


my ideal self collage from Oct 2012 | Thank you~* Kathleen~^_^

OK. Today, I am deciding to share about my experiences with DYT program as a Type 4. First of all, when I bought the books AND the online videos, I typed myself as a Type 2 Dominant for Facial Profiling, and Type 1 Dominant for Body Language. I was so severely torn between the two categories, and I joined their forum and had some lengthy chats with other ladies about which I look like.

Some months later, I was typed by Carol and Sarah via several photos as a Type 2 Dominant. I decided to dress in Type 2 for 90 days, got my hair, clothes, and accessories as suggested by DYT. The weird thing was, despite how *feminine* I looked, I felt so lethargic and depressed. I'd never been so depressed in my life.

Now, living in Korea, I sadly did not have the opportunity to take advantage of the Dressing Your Truth's 'Energy Dressing' program. I did have fun though, experimenting with new styles, and really working my ass and leg off, trotting around, looking for things that matched the Type 2 guideline. Must admit though, how HARD it was to find things that had both the Type 2 color AS WELL AS type 2 design lines, textures, and metals. In Korea, we have a LOT of *gold* everywhere. It's only been in the recent 1.5~2 years that H&M, Forever 21, and Eight Seconds started providing a wide range of cheaper end yet trendy accessories and jewelry. So when I first began DYT, shopping was SUPER hard.

Anyhow, I decided that something was amiss, and found out about a local 'Seasonal Color' Draping service. It is one of the few pioneers I guess in Korea that 'mass' marketed to individuals. Other services here are usually geared towards the more traditional 'Image Consulting' and a lot of them are focused on corporate clients or celebrities.

Well, getting analyzed with professional drapes cost a bit, but I was determined to find my so-called 'Category' and to my surprise, surprise, my best colors came out 'Bronze Autumn' according to their category. The service at the time didn't give specialized sub categories, I only found out later through their web board that you could have 2 different types of Autumns. Anyhow, my analyst told me that even though Autumn Colors look best with my skin color, I was to avoid the a) muddy tones of Autumn palette, and b) to avoid bright accessories. I bought their small sized cards to take to the department store to check out some makeup from Bobbi Brown, but was really disappointed in how awful they looked on me.

The difference though, between DYT and my color analyst's suggestion is that, whereas in DYT you can ONLY wear the colors specific to their style guide among one of their preset 4 color palettes, you could actually wear non-colors away from your face and 'get away' with it. My analyst told me that she was the same type as me, and that she wears her best colors near her face and for her inner top, and that she wears non-Autumn colors in her lower body parts.

I was totally lost between the two systems that Winter, and learnt about astrology based fashion, as well as Feng Shui based fashion systems. Seriously, the world was just one big mess regarding these diverse array of fashion systems! And I slowly got really angry for how un-aligned the systems were. I just couldn't deal with all the mis-matched theories. I was disgruntled and restless.

By the time, I reached a year after I first discovered DYT program, I think I posted something on Amazon, that caught the DYT program managers' eyes. I was seriously unhappy because I had read and read ALL of the relevant materials they had out on the market, regarding fashion. They wrote an email to me, respectful but also curt, saying that Carol really wanted to help me. So I actually had a 20 minute Skype session with Carol.

This time though, she was able to see how I moved and how I spoke. And she typed me as a Type 4 dominant with a Type 1 secondary. I was stunned. Me, a Type 4???

Anyway, Carol was sure this time, and I decided to give this a try. I started shifting towards Type 4 colors. Wore more black and white. Bought a lipstick in Type 4 color. I must admit though, adjusting myself closer to those Bronze Autumn colors, and then, pulling myself out of it was harder than I thought.

Actually, back track a little, I had found a specialty hairdresser's near my new house around that time. They knew about the 4 Seasons System, and I was fascinated by their information on the website. I learnt that they were actually a spin-off from a Japanese hair salon brand. Again though, there were discrepancies. While they had the quadrants and axis worked out, using the Warm/Cool and Soft/Hard categories of a 4 Seasons approach, they were truly more Asian, in that they ALSO labelled the middle of the road categories as a distinct area. So they in fact had a 9 boxes system, much like the Bagua of a Feng Shui system. The hairdresser had been trained but I was her first customer that knew about the 4 Seasons system apparently. We talked for hours that day. She analyzed me from my features that I had a lot of 'Softness' in my face, so she put me there in the extreme 'Natural' category.

Anyhow, while initial stages of Type 4 was tough, I had my hair colored back to my original hair color, completely matching my roots, so as far as hair color was concerned, things started to straighten up pretty fast-paced. I did have more energy dressing in Type 4 colors. Training my eyes to select the correct Type 4 colors did take a while. It took courage and willingness to wear them to work too. But as soon as I started affirming my Type 4 characteristics, and focused on my Type 4 physical qualities, I actually felt better and had some wild responses from family, students, and strangers.

* * *

That Summer, I had fun with dressing as a Type 4. But I had no idea what was to come towards the late Autumn. I was doing Project 333 for the first time that Autumn, and with the limits I had I ended up wearing a brown jacket which was perfect for the weather condition.

I still dressed pretty much Type 4, and by that time, my hairstyle was Type 4 too, so things looked good.

But as the winds got chillier, I just *shuddered* at the thought of wearing high shine silvers, and wearing cool/hard colors. My physical response was too severe, I just couldn't bring myself to wear those colors on my person.

It also got me thinking too, how from my Color Analysis, it was the bronze metals that really looked best on me. And how my BEST colors were gold and grass green, my best lip color being salmon.

So, come beginning Winter season, I slowly had to let go of DYT standards and guidelines. I needed black, and a coat I got had a beige trim on the hood. I looked great in it, despite how DYT color guide doesn't allow me to wear gold. I didn't want to wear stark white either, so I started wearing grays and creams instead. So basically, I just really couldn't continue with DYT's advice.

I think this was around the time, I discovered how for *me* wearing things appropriate to my surroundings AND seasons were really important unconscious values.

* * *

That Winter was long. It was also the first time in 35 years that Seoul had been that cold. Seriously, it was the first time ever that my house's water pipes got frozen and I had to go to a nearby bath facility to shower!

Come Spring, I colored my hair brownish which I hadn't done in a long time. I wanted to test out the Bronze Autumn colors again. By this time too, I really started missing all of my favorite 'Neutral' colors too. 

Dressing My Truth as a Type 4, I couldn't wear a lot of the Universal Colors nor the Neutral Colors like gray and beige. I used to LOVE wearing both, because they always gave me such 'sophisticated' looks.

* * *

Now, it's Summer in Seoul. I've had a lot of time to process these different fashion systems. I've studied other color based fashion theories from various sources and authors, as well as style tips, including more in-depth look at Fashion Astrology.

I've found more insights regarding Minimalism and fashion, as well as the different approaches to creating your color palette or style personality.

And, I feel like I've just come to a loose 'foundations' of what works for me.

Being Asian, I definitely am a Deep Winter. I can do deep and vivid colors. I can do high contrasts. I can wear gold, bronze, and silver. My hair, although not jet black, is more of an off-black, but it's still black. I do have some slight red/brown but I am not a dark-brown either unless I color my hair. My eyes are dark brown reading closer to a black, and the rim a round my pupil is a bluish gray. Charcoal and slate colors, as well as navies are great neutrals for me, along with black/cream/and white.

With my browner hair, I tried an outfit totally in my 'Best Color' as suggested by my analyst. I took a picture of me wearing it, and I looked awful. I look very 'Un-Urban' and there is no chicness to be found.

The look was SO BAD, I actually went back to return the clothes and got other colors instead. 



So, really, what gives?

Despite the suggestions of DYT and my color analyst, why won't their suggestions stick for me? Or why aren't they giving me the most Optimal Fashion System?




* * *

And the conclusion I'm coming to is this.



a) Doesn't matter what the fashion systems say, you will have to dress appropriately to your surroundings. I live in an urban and cosmopolitan city. My color preferences for my core wardrobe leans more to Cool/Hard colors at the end of the day. Not because of anything, but because I am surrounded by a city and urban structures that look more cohesive with that palette. And as per Asian philosophy, what is more *desirable* is to opt for something that is more 'harmonious' with the environment, than to be the odd ball, sticking out like a sore-thumb in the midst of a crowd. When in Rome, right?

b) Your profession determines a lot too. I'm a teacher at an academy. Although, it's a not a public school, so I can dress a lot less traditional, the label 'teacher' dictates a certain fashion sense.

c) Trends. It doesn't matter, if you are cookie-cut into one of the 4  types in whatever color based system you go into. Color combinations fluctuate with each wave of a trend that sweeps through these big cities. Same for dominant silhouettes and design lines, and accessories. I like being current and updated. And following DYT did have a lot of merits, I couldn't just *ignore* what is currently in or what is deemed *out.*

d) Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals. I've done the Type 2 and Type 4 looks. Type 2 got me wearing grays and grayed colors, and I often ended up looking washed out, totally a wall flower. Type 4, gave me definition and articulation, but I felt like a walking billboard. And some of the Type 4 color combos make you look like a clown too. To have a versatile yet efficient and money-savvy wardrobe, the right neutral colors are a MUST. I felt that DYT severely limits my color choices there.

e) Metals. Well, here is one place where I feel like my color analyst was really right. While I can pull off both gold and silvers, my BEST metal really IS a Bronze. Something about Bronze really helps bring out my eye color. While Black still IS my #1 Base color, as far as jewelry choice goes, Bronze is my Best Bet and my Best Friend. (Haha! I guess, Diamond's AREN'T my best friend, then!!!!)



* * *

So, I've finally come to a personal resolution regarding DYT program. And throughout the whole process, I've learnt a lot about my *own* fashion values. In some ways, I feel that yes, DYT IS right on this too. Carol did mention how a lot of Dominant Type 4's ARE and WANT TO BE their own authority, even regarding fashion. They don't take your word for something. They are their own authorities, and they make their own rules. In that regard, hell yes, I am a Type 4 Through and Through! :-D

But, having been on that particular Fashion Merry-Go-Round, I feel the time has come for me to *move on* and move to other pastures.

I'm spending a lot of time on Pinterest and I learn so much from other bloggers around the world! :-) There are still new horizons to explore, more refinements to be reached and had...

The search goes on...


But, as I choose to part from DYT's guidelines, I want to thank them from my heart and my conscience, for all the insights they have passed on to me. They have given me an opportunity to make some awesome friendships, and in some funny turn of events, this blog, which truly sprang out of my interaction with other ladies who were also on the DYT journey with me, has actually become my first ever blog to have a blog post with more than a 10,000 views, and a total of 89,771 views total as I type this.

OK. So a deep, considered Thank You! to Carol and her awesome Team!

And also a very warm thank you to all my readers and followers!


You mean the world to me!

Love and appreciation,



xoxo

L o v e ,


Jessica




Headband Chic for Summer 2013: The 5 Awesome Ways to Wear Your Headband

Celebs are all into this headband thing! :-)

OK ladies, headbands are totally in. Ever since Gossip Girl stylist has gotten our attention with Blair's headband styles, this headband thing has been an on-going trend. I've personally not been so hot for headbands, because Blair's style for me is kinda 'blah' and kind of 'bleak.' I mean, if you're going to do those headbands, you gotta spice it up or rock it! :-)

So. I came across a magazine image 2~3 years ago, a very sporty-casual and hip way to wear these headbands, but having like two left hands when it comes to hair styling, I'd just never been able to actually try it myself.

Well. I've Googled some of these for self-edification, and here are the final contenders, my 'Muses' for this summer! I've divided them into 5 different categories, so do enjoy! And have a cool, fab summer with some of these lovely options! :-D


1. The Messy Up Do (aka Top Knot) with a Headband



Above: This is very similar to the initial inspiration I got from a magazine couple years ago. Messy up-do with two thin headbands that were separated apart. I think this is really 'au courant' and LOVE this look!




Above Two: More images of sporty styling but with one headband. I guess the headband can be thicker as in the example above, or go super thin like Amanda Seyfried. I think both look uber chic, especially paired with minimalist or urban suiting.





Above Three: Here are some slightly 'chic-er' styles. The hair is combed slicker so it has that smoothed out quality...





Above Three: Then, there are these 'sweeter' styles... Something more romantic and sweet in how you add waves to your updo or have your updo less high but with a relaxed chignon, or a headband with a bow... all add a gentler and more delicate touch. :-)







Above Five: Then, there are the 'Variations' -- updo with super curls and headband, updo with bangs and a funkier headband, slightly carefree teased hair with headband, or a messy updo with an accented headband, and finally, a beehive updo with a heandband! :D





Above Two: Then, there are the 'Pops of Color' in your headband with your up do's!



2. Braids With Headband



Vanessa H. looking super cute and a la mode with these headbands paired with side braids! Makes me wish I had longer hair!



This blonde has her headband worn slightly lower, kind of like a 60s style, but because the braids are so up to date, it works. Be careful not to wear your headbands like this without the braids though...

You could look like a 60s Hippie walking around the wrong decade!


3. Pony Tail With a Headband



Here's P. Hilton wearing a thicker headband with a low pony tail. I think this looks really fresh and cute for shorter hair... A great look to wear for a casual day or for those days you run errands or something...




Above Two: Two more examples of a pony tail with headband. Notice how in both cases, the hair at the crown is teased... I've checked a lot of these photos and really learnt that without the tease and bouffant/poofy-ness, this look just doesn't work... You'll look really outdated without this volume for your crown!


In case you're not sure how to tease your hair for the headband look, here's a YouTube video tutorial! I've had to look it up, cuz I'm new to this too... :-D




OK. So I hope you learnt something from that...

Moving on... ^^


4. Chic Weddingy Up-do with Headband for Formal Occasions




Above Three: I was really pleasantly surprised by how chic the same up-do with headband styles could go extremely 'chic' from my research! Hillary Duff looks every bit lady like with her well-combed and teased up-do, and her cute bangs and satiny wide pale pink headband...

I love the the feathered headband with that fishnet covering in the second example... She looks both totally cute and elegant...

The last one has a subtle color palette with a romantic and elegant feel with the wavy teased hair... The earrings add the oh-so-appropriate finishing touch... I'd say this is a perfect do for a Hollywood red carpet event... Enough elegance and subtle chicness with a touch of trendy feel! *divine*





While we're at it, here are some REAL wedding / bride feel looks with a headband! Isn't that amazing!?? Too bad I'm not a bride this year!!! ;-P


5. Hair Down with Headband Looks






Above Five: Smooth or straight hair kept down with headband. Again, I can't stress enough how in each of these pics, the crown is teased how to create that 'shape' which really updates the look.









Very feminine wavy hair teased at the top with headband... All of them very gorgeous...





Wavy but side-swept or asymmetrical teased crown hair with headband... A nice variation to the above... I guess it gives a less sweet and more edgy feel...





Above Three: Neither straight nor wavy hair... sort of messy straight hair, maybe? Or bedroom hair? Anyhow, some more examples of good headband looks... 



And last but not least, the bouffant hair or pompadour hair, totally retro glam style... for that fun night out or a costume event night...!

:-)

OK! Thanks for reading and viewing this post!

I hope you found your inspiration!!

L o v e ,

xoxo

Jessica






PS. In case these were not enough, I've added some more up-do with headbands here: