Feb 13, 2014

Fashion Systems Rank Order - With Applicability & Budget In Mind



Dear Style-Reader,

Tonight, I want to give you my current feelings and thoughts on the various fashion systems I've explored in the past 4+ years.

I just made the above stat card using Bitstrips on Facebook, to give you a clear idea of which system has been the most beneficial and fun, with budget in mind.

1. Zodiac Dressing
I've been introduced to the concept of astrological signs and how they prefer to dress from a series of YouTube videos by AstroLada author Lada Duncheva. You can view all 12 videos via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHel9v15nWY&list=PLh2h8T5IUiBRn2bpRYHW9drMShnJRkFvd 
What I love most about these is that a) they're very insightful about the complex subject matter of personal fashion and style aesthetics, b) completely free, and c) full of visual references using celebrities as well as clothes and accessories sets.

This is the approach I want to test out in the next 90 days, beginning with my birthday in March! :-) I am still unsure though on which set of astrology sets to go with, as astrology can be calculated using the Western Tropical method, as well as Vedic Indian methodology. I hear that the former was created to understand the human psyche better, with the latter focusing more on predictive aspect of astrology. Will post this after I try out my 90 days!


2. Project 333
Although, Project 333 is more about living with 'Less Stuff' and not as much about delving into your personality/psychology/fashion itself, in terms of 'Efficacy' it is totally 'Bang for Your Buck' as a system, reasons being that, a) you do not need to buy or add ANYTHING NEW to your current wardrobe!, b) it teaches you how to edit your wardrobe which is an essential skill any stylist MUST possess, c) it automatically gives you a boutique-like wardrobe once you remove all other clutter other than your 33 items from your closet!, and d) it forces you to consider your work/weekend/special occasion attire for the 3 months and gives you flexibility to switch items out, and e) it cost less than $50 for the course AND it provided me with Facebook Group access with access to other members doing the same project with Courtney Carver giving us encouragement or feedback every now and then.

I remember in my interaction with Ms. Carver, I had told her that I really NEED variety in my wardrobe, and she replied that I could find variety in other areas of my life. I remember distinctly the 3 months I did the Project 333 challenge, I listened actively to more music on YouTube than ever.

The only drawback though that a) I find editing just so very stressful, and b) I was successful for the first month, but I found myself continually falling off the wagon in the continuing months, as the weather got cold, I kept switching out so many items, I no longer held to the idea of the strict 33 items being in my wardrobe.

The most refreshing and surprising thing about doing the Project 333 was that a) nobody ever told me, 'Hey, you're wearing the same thing over and over again!' and in fact, it was during this period when I was actually doing a cross between DYT 4 and Project 333 that I got so many compliments and got photographed a lot by my students, and b) I LOVED opening my wardrobe each morning, and putting back clothes at night was a breeze too.

I actually had 3 pieces of clothing I never wore too, so one really does not need that many articles of clothing to dress oneself for work!


3. Dressing Your Truth
Ah. Dressing Your Truth. The point where my personal fashion and style quest became more community driven, and where my blog got its birthing moment!

First and foremost, I must thank DYT and Carol Tuttle's team for the MOST COMMUNITY DRIVEN fashion program on this planet! I still remember with fondness, poring over the freebie YouTube videos hours and hours in my leisure time, trying to glean more information. Ultimately ending up buying a good majority of their fashion related products; the books, the videos & membership.

If there is one crucial thing that DYT taught me, it is that your Fashion or Style Statement MUST BE A TOTAL PACKAGE. Your hair, accessories, textures, design lines, colors, and patterns, makeup - these all must come from a certain 'strategy' and 'plan' to communicate your dominant energy and movement.

The part that frustrated so many of the more 'complexly beautiful women' I've met including myself is that, although DYT tells women that it is an 'intuitive' program, it is truly not so easy to figure your dominant energy and movement out. I think many Type 4 women in particular, like myself end up spending way too many hours over analyzing their information. Somehow the way the program is set up and the way they describe Type 4 beauty and Type 4 women, it makes one want to resist it.

I was definitely one of them, thinking from their tutorial videos that I was a Body Language wise dominant Type 1, with Facial Profiling dominant Type 2. Never would I have ever guessed myself to be a dominant Type 4.

So this was a surprise, both a welcome change as well as a sore point. On the one hand, hell yeah, I like being called a 'Striking Stunning' beauty, like a model! Then, there was the other side of it, I'm so in my head, I'm not as 'Graceful' or 'Feminine' as a Type 2, or as fun and adorable as a Type 1. And not sexy and hot or creative like a type 3.

Still, DYT gave me a lot of insight into my own personality, parts of me I had not wanted to own up, and helped me embrace that part of myself and become more fully integrated with my Intellectual side.

Seriously, the only part I regret though about this particular system is, a) the cost although a fraction of what Illuminescence supposedly charges you, it still collectively cost me around $400 AND it required a LOT of my time investment too, trying to follow their suggestions and methods. I still had to get properly typed by Carol via Skype to actually know my type which is an additional $200, so the total amount I expended or would have expended is around $600. That to me, is a lot of money.

Not to mention 2 other factors you must not overlook; a) I had such a hard time shopping for the exact items that they taught me to shop for, as Korea predominantly sells gold buckle bags and items in the colder months, b) I spent additional $$$ doing Type 2 dressing for 90 days, getting haircut, buying the clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, makeup which became monumental. I'm not 'blaming' this on DYT, but it LEADS to that, as I know I'm not the only one that ended up shopping like this, trying to amass my Type 2 wardrobe. I wish I had just spent the $200 to get typed by Carol from the beginning. I wish DYT told me that you can't easily type your own self just by reading their books and just by following their video material, because I must have spent 200 hours over 2 years learning their material. Then, I dabbled briefly with Type 1 and 3, followed by finally getting typed as a dominant 4, and going out to acquire the Type 4 stuff... Thankfully the Type 4 stuff have been awesome and I am using them to completion, especially the lipsticks I bought!

I am not against DYT, mind you, I learnt a lot, I made great friends through this journey, I admire the entrepreneurial spirit Carol exudes. I do believe though, that DYT is something one ought to come with more caution than is currently given to women. It was partly the most frustrating and also the most greatly enriching fashion system I've personally encountered and fully explored. I thank DYT team and community for how deeply they have affected me, as it will have its lasting effect on me. :-) Namaste <3


4. Brenda Kinsel
Ooh. This one now goes back in time for me, as I first read her book 'Brenda Kinsel's Fashion Makeover, 30 days to diva style' some time in 2009 or 2010. I had read many a fashion and style book before this, but this was also the most 'in-depth' and accessible book to style your wardrobe, the closet it comes to how a real stylist or image consultant might help you define and put together your look. The colorful and thick papered book cost me around $26 and it actually had me actively clustering my jewelry collection, grouping things in color clusters, teaching me to inventory what I had in my wardrobe, getting me to create an actual album of my style file, with lots of collages and groupings of what I wanted in my dream wardrobe. Despite how physically exhausting it was, I loved every moment of this book!


5. Fashion Feng Shui
Among my fashion groups, Fashion Feng Shui is possibly the most 'Asian/Oriental/Mystical' in flavor. Maybe mystical is not the word, perhaps philosophical is more fitting a description. Coming from such a Far East Asian background myself though, I remember still being baffled that even with FFS, there were actually two different approaches. Hold on, let me rephrase that. Fashion Feng Shui itself is the 'International' one, and its approach is 'Westernized' for its audience. Joey Yap and Rodika Tchi however, remain more traditional and use words like Bazi and use birthcharts to determine your base and natural element, and your supportive element and so on. FFS does not rely on your birth data actually; if I remember correctly, they go by a self quiz, although if you do the full paid class thing, there is an instructor who helps you determine your 3 points of the 'Triangle' which is fundamental to their approach. I love the 'flexibility' of FFS, as well as the 'Transformative' aspect they adpoted for their methodology in getting women to balance their lives, but after having spent my dough on DYT, I've decided to sit on my money for now. The part that I do wonder about and feel a little 'less special about' is how being Far East Asian, the vast majority of my clan will default to being our Water/Earth element with our hair being so typically black and our skin being beige.


6. David Zyla
I learnt about David Zyla through his book around the same time I discovered Brenda Kinsel. So that is probably around 2009 and 2010. I am grateful for Zyla's book and his tips at the back of his book, which are definitely more money savvy than other systems. The single most critical thing about this book is that it got me to actively study and examine my own personal coloring.

I learnt from Brenda Kinsel's book that the 'Key Trifecta' is your hair/skin/eye color combination. I have seen pretty much ALL color systems and ALL image consultants repeat this aspect as being fundamental and crucial to building your own visual image.

Zyla pushes you way further. He gets you to discover and examine your 8 personal colors. I have never looked at my own body with such intensity and vigor in my entire existence on earth. I even invested in a set of Pantone color guide to learn my body colors.

From Zyla's book, which ironically contains zero color in it, I learnt that I'm actually an Autumn coloring. Which later was confirmed with a local color analyst from Coloz.com although I am a Vivid Autumn and can't do any muddy Autumn colors which makes life oh-so-difficult...

My favorite section though regarding budget conscious wardrobe building comes from the latter part of Zyla's book, where he shows women in which priority and order one can build on their new color conscious wardrobe. It starts out with items starting around your face first, so your hair, makeup, and top/blouse need to be the right color first and foremost. Then it can branch out to the other areas, with shoes being your last, as it is the furthest away from your face. In hindsight, I wish I had heeded this while I was doing my excessive DYT type shopping! That would have saved me $$$.


7. Seasonal Color Analysis
This is probably the thing that has been circulated on the internet the most by a whole lot of differing agents, all sharing slightly different 'versions' of what Johaness Itten devised at Bauhaus centuries ago.

I think this is as much a 'cookie cutter' approach as DYT, because of the rigid adherence to the quadrant idea. DYT proposes 4 dominant energies, Seasonal color analysis bases it all on the 4 seasons.

The soupier part of 4 seasons approach arises on how loosely and how rigidly you allow women or men to 'categorize' themselves in. In my personal research and inquiring at my local hairdressers' there is a Japanese based system that vastly contrasts against the American approach.

Where Seasonal color analysis draws their diagram with 4 quadrants as their base, the Japanese one actually goes with 9 areas, very similar to how Feng Shui practitioners would draw up their 'guas.' That really fascinated me.

The more problematic part with trying to implement Seasonal Color Analysis into my wardrobe came from, a) muddier colors, browns and grayed colors not being very good for me which means my palette shrinks so much that it hardly resembles Autumn any way, b) the colors that were on my color card that I purchased from Coloz company looked so awful on me once I tested them at the department store (lipsticks and nail colors), c) whatever my skin reacts best to, my hair color which is definitely the Winter kind just fights so much and it seems like everything just gets cancelled out and look horribly messed up, d) to make Autumn palette work, I'd have to color my hair and my roots periodically and I'm too lazy to do that, and e) browns are not easy to use as a base neutral, as their variances are harder to match than blacks, which makes shopping a total nightmare, finally, f) living in an urban setting, black/white/gray/blue are so much the easier colors to blend in with the environment with, and also they are so much easier to shop for and replace with.


* * *
Thanks for reading all this.
It really has been a journey!

I know there are other systems and books or approaches I haven't mentioned here. But this is all for now, folks.

Happy Valentine's Day!
May beauty, love, and joy find you each day!

Love,

xoxo

Jessica


2 comments:

  1. Very insightful... I enjoyed your analysis of the fashion systems.

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  2. Hi Gloria! Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I am so glad tha t you found it useful!! :-)

    Have a wonderful Spring 2014! Wishing you a glorious year, just as your name suggests! <3

    Love,

    xoxo

    Jeeyoon

    ReplyDelete