Tuesday, 19 June 2018

General Anxiety

I've written a little bit about being a very sensitive person and about being an introvert but I've not fully addressed the topic of generalised anxiety.  The fact is that I struggle with it though I don't have an official diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder, likely because I've never needed to seek one.  To be honest I am not really sure how much of my personal details I am prepared to divulge, though I also tend to make it my mission to help others by discussing health concerns that are less talked about, less understood and with which I have experience.  Usually that is CFS/ME or chronic illness in general.  Because illness is stressful and can itself cause anxiety, I don't really know if I have a separate condition or if it's just part of the package.  I have no way of knowing and can only make guesses which don't contribute anything helpful to the situation.  It works for me to be medicated though periodically I have gone off medication, believing all to be well.

This is a common problem for people who need to be on long term medication.  When the medication is working you feel good, you begin to believe you are cured and you don't need the medication any more.  You stop taking the medication. You may be okay for awhile.  I have done that at least twice in my life and I hope twice is enough to teach me.  I hope I remember how bad it feels to be constantly anxious and on edge: to live with your fight or flight response so readily triggered.  

There is a chance, that by writing this publicly I am holding myself accountable.  I say 'a chance' because I often don't immediately know my motive for doing things.  Feelings are something I have to work out logically.  I think that I am feeling a need to be in control, and that I am choosing to do something, write about this, so that I make myself accountable to taking care of the issue.  Of course, there is never only one reason and a secondary reason is the hope that it may help someone else who lives with anxiety or loves someone who does.

Recently I spent some time in Vancouver. It was a wonderful weekend trip though also exhausting and it must be said that as a tourist I cannot do most of the things even elderly tourists tend to do.  I don't have the stamina for more than an hour or two of mild activity.  So, it's only because I was on a mission for some particular items that I went shopping.  I don't enjoy shopping and shopping in the city is exhausting.  There are people. Lots of them.  And noise.  I'm not used to moving through a crowd and I tend to pause and give way  if my path collides with that of another person.  This meant I was pushed around, although not with any or much physical contact, but sort of bounced pong-like via aura. Crossing the street, or getting across the corridor of a mall was particularly challenging.   By the second day I was getting better at just picking my path and continuing on it, but although I got better at coping with people I didn't get any better at coping with the noise.  Loud music is everywhere, caf├ęs, pubs, restaurants, shops.  I suspect studies have shown it makes people buy more, whether that is food, drink or consumer goods. 

I achieved my shopping mission with much exhaustion ensuing and bed rest required but I came away with a renewed appreciation for small town shopping.  I am just as likely to not find what I am looking for at home, but at least I don't have to deal with the crowds.

Despite my dislike of having to function in a crowd, I don't particularly have social anxiety, which seems to be one of the more common manifestations of generalised anxiety.  Often I feel physical symptoms with no really solid reason for them so my brain hunts for reasons.  I feel jittery and tense and over-stimulated.  I worry about everything and try to control or manage my environment as much as possible because that seems like it would be calming.  Sometimes it does help, but not always.  I wake up in the morning feeling anxious and worrying about all of the things I want to do, need to do, believe I should do, can imagine other people think I should do or want/need me to do, and feeling too physically exhausted and overwhelmed to manage it all.  This feeling stays with me as long as I am awake and it is difficult to divert myself enough to be free of it.  If anything happens that is a bit stressful or difficult I might have what I call a melt down.  This will be either a fight or flight style melt down and I cannot predict which it will be.  

I don't like being that person.  It feels like having your brain and body hijacked by another being.  I am someone who doesn't like to be out of control.  I drink very little alcohol because I loathe being intoxicated. 

I am not going into all of the details about how anxiety affects my mind and body but I suspect you can imagine it or you know someone who experiences it.  It's not something you can just talk or think yourself out of.  If it were that easy everyone with anxiety would do it.  You don't talk yourself out of a broken leg. If your leg is broken and you have to get somewhere you might drag yourself or hop on one leg.  You find a strategy to cope in the short term; you don't cure yourself.  Fortunately for me, though not for many others, my anxiety has never gotten so bad that I cannot function or care for myself, but it has gotten bad enough that I can foresee that happening.  There are indeed strategies, cognitive behavioural therapy deals with these, that someone with anxiety can learn to employ to help with coping, to make certain portions of life manageable.  The brain can be re-trained to different thought patterns.  But make no mistake, this is hard work and a small repair.  It is worth doing but anyone doing it is making much greater effort than someone who does not struggle with anxiety can ever understand.  I suspect someone living with chronic physical pain might understand.  

This is not to say there aren't people who do not suffer with anxiety yet still feel great empathy and understand it through the eyes of someone who cares.  There absolutely are and someone living with anxiety is fortunate if family members and close friends are supportive.  I am certainly lucky that way, although none of my friends know about the anxiety.  You would have to live with me to know about it unless I tell you.  It's stressful being so exhausted that you cannot do what you expect of yourself, what you want to do, what you believe others want or expect of you.  It is possible that this is the main source of my anxiety, along with my personality tending towards being a worrying perfectionist.  I don't ask people for sympathy.  I generally don't mention it.  But this blog is a little bit different.  Here I am trying to reach out to anyone else who might have a similar experience and needs to know they are not alone.

I've had five days back on my medication and it hasn't kicked in yet.  It won't for about another week.  I'm taking deep breaths and one day at a time.  I will manage.  I always do.






Saturday, 16 June 2018

Ethereal Natural Classic

 I have played with the style ID calculator quite a lot, and refined my responses after thinking over a few things and puzzling about the Gamine/Ingenue issue.  I needed to resolve it and then dissolve it. 

I was confident about these things...

1. I should not have so readily skipped over Gamine elements.  I considered everything very carefully and discovered that I did actually choose some Gamine boards.

2. Gamine and Ingenue keep seeming like possibilities so I wanted to get to the bottom of that.

3.  I was very influenced by the draping in Romantic style and the ornamental detail in Ingenue so wanted to reconsider how highly I ranked such boards. 

4,  Natural and Classic on their own don't look good though pure Classic looks slightly better on me than pure Natural. 

5.  Ethereal seems really important.

Step One
So I examined all of the boards carefully again.  Ranked them with the 123 system which is essentially 1=a few things look good with my face  2= many of these images suit my face 3=all of this looks great with my face. 

My results were a bit problematic.  I got an even spread of Ethereal, Natural, Classic and Ingenue.  Results like that are too difficult to work with and probably not useful or as accurate an assessment of what I look like in clothing.  I think it comes from selecting too many options:  I had a lot of choices in the number 2 category which is 'this looks sort of good'

Step Two

The alternative method of inputting choices is to only chose the best and put a 1 in the columns.  So I selected only everything I had ranked as a 3 and was then given the results
Ethereal-50%
Natural-35%
Classic-15%

This is my happy place.  It makes sense to me.  I know there is a great deal of Ethereal and if it were practical I could successfully dress in an entirely Ethereal outfit.  An essence value of 50% generally allows for an entire outfit in that essence but Ethereal has to be converted from magical elf woman to something that resembles real life clothing.  Natural has the potential to be very similar to Ethereal.  I know the aspects of Natural which don't work for me and I know that the boxier, most unconstructed versions of it don't work.  But it can be adapted to a body skimming, elongated and loose look which does work very well.  Ethereal also calls for delicate but highly ornamental details.  Classic brings in some delicacy and I know that Kibbe's recommendations for Soft Natural and Soft Classic (soft being his term for extra feminine which Ethereal also is) both include antique details in jewelry, intricate details such as Celtic designs or Art Nouveau both of which I LOVE. 

Considering Simply Ethereal Natural
 
Ethereal Natural on it's own, without the Classic element, can lean a little too boxy in shape.   Everyone tweaks their style blend to suit their own needs, tastes, preferences and body shape, although the overall premise is that there is not much need to get hung up on worrying about dressing a pear or an apple or a banana.  Apparently I am a banana, which is a worrisome fruit to resemble given it is a bit bent.

                  Some Ethereal Natural looks I like

 This mostly appeals though I wouldn't wear such dark tights and the skirt looks like polyester so while I know it's got an Ethereal look because of the sheen, a Posh Earth Goddess objects to polyester most of the time.  Unfortunately she can't afford silk. 




Maybe not exactly this colour, but yes to earrings like these.


And yes to this pretty scarf.


This one is very boho but a bit heavy with the Natural accessories so I would modify it with a thinner belt and  lighter jewelry.  Slightly neater hair probably too.  That is essentially how I dress now though I'm a little low on boho blouses.


This one might do well.


And I would like this without the bling.  I know that sparkle is meant to be Ethereal but it's too blingy for me.   It's Disco Ethereal.

Of course, I am the woman who has picked a thousand sequins off her clothing over the years.

Ethereal Natural can wear some slouchy trousers too, palazzo pants, loose or draped pants that are gathered at the ankle if they are still slim in overall silhouette.  But I have yet to find such styles long enough to accommodate my height and they look quite silly when they are too short.

Ahhhhh Sarah Pacini, be still my heart.  I'm not even sure she does these styles anymore.  I went to the website and didn't really like what I saw there.

This one has heavy beads I would have to forgo.  But it's my fantasy so I can style it however I wish.


I recognise that I would look great in this but I don't think I would actually wear it.  It has a dramatic feel to it by nature of being nothing like what anyone else around me is wearing and that tends to make me uncomfortable.  So even if I had a million dollars to spend I probably wouldn't stock my closet with these.  Also, it wouldn't look so great with a winter coat and boots.


While I would not truly feel comfortable in this outfit, I recognise that if it were converted into a dress  these basic lines would look great.  Strangely, if it were a dress I would probably feel more comfortable wearing it.  

Much of my exploration is academic but I always like to be well informed going forward.

All images found on Truth is Beauty Pinterest boards.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Comparing Ingenue and Gamine

Skip the first half if you don't want to read about me and just want to know about Gamine and Ingenue.

When I first read about Ethereal (sometimes called Angelic) essence I knew right away that I had it and probably lot of it but I also knew it would still be part of a blend and I didn't know what the rest of my blend was.  I knew that many aspects of both Natural and Classic work for me but many also don't.  That's confusing!  I also knew that I was very attracted to Gamine style but that it was highly unlikely so I ignored it.  But then I learned about Ingenue essence and something about it seemed right.

Or was it?

I get mixed reactions from other people, some seeing something Gamine in me and some not, so far nobody seeing Ingenue that I know of.  And yet

Fast forward to my dabbling with the Style ID calculator I purchased from Rachel at Truth is Beauty blog, and I find myself persistently choosing Ingenue styles as something that I think works for me.  Other people shook their heads.  No, they said, not seeing Ingenue.  I was puzzled because I know I have been told my entire adult life that I look younger than I am.  Then some people began saying they saw Gamine.  Gamine!  I was amazed. I know there is a youthful vibe to me somehow.  I do get compliments when I add a few Ingenue features to my outfit. Is this because Ingenue is good or because it is similar to Gamine and that would be good?  I seem to add Ingenue elements instinctively and without hesitation, though admittedly not a lot of them.  People seem to like me with a pixie cut too, which is quite Gamine though in the end I am never comfortable with it.  I suspect there isn't enough Gamine, if there is some, for the pixie to feel really good.

Ingenue or Gamine...I don't think it's a significant essence but I can't yet shake the feeling that it's there and want to sort it out.

How Might I Mistake Gamine for Ingenue?  I think there are two main reasons for this possibility.  One is that while I know Gamine and Ingenue lines are very multi-directional and my need for flowing, elongation seems so strong there was that persistent youthfulness to account for so I turned to Ingenue because it has ornate detail in common with Ethereal.  Ingenue has ornate detail in the form of lacy collars and ruffles which are sometimes a bit much for me but other times work okay.    When I put my face next to those things something was reading as right.  But perhaps it's just a youthful vibe I am getting and Gamine does it better for me.  I ignored Gamine for awhile but now find it seems to work at least as well as Ingenue.

Gah!  Loose ends!  Well, that leaves me more to explore but I am still thinking it's Ingenue and that Ingenue is my missing 10%.

Thus, Ethereal (40%)  Natural (25%)  Classic (25%)  Ingenue (10%) 


  Gamine and Ingenue share youthfulness as key visual signifiers but they differ too.


Put into the context of people who identify and read as female, Gamine is tomboyish and Ingenue is girlish. Both can be very attractive and read as feminine.  Some people have both Gamine and Ingenue in their appearance too.  Gamine can be combined with other things though which make the final picture delightfully complex.  I know someone who I think might be a Dramatic, Romantic, Gamine combination.  It's a beautiful mixture.

There is a great comparison of Gamine and Ingenue essences and no judgement here.

Let's imagine both a Gamine and an Ingenue wearing short but formal dresses, something for a party or event.  The Gamine will need simple lines, not much embellishment, a trapeze style dress with a geometric pattern will look great.  The Ingenue needs her dress to be lacy, perhaps with some frills or a floral pattern.  She will benefit from an empire waist or can even have a little waist definition in the dress.  The Gamine can rock a pixie cut and some chunky accessories.  The Ingenue is better with longer, wavy hair and delicate accessories.   This is imagining pure, single essence types though and most people are a blend which will also influence the best looking outfit.  Swap their outfits and they will look awkward. If Gamine or Ingenue influences are strong in them they may have pretty good instincts for which one to use, unless they are tall.  This will confuse them.  Even more so if they are tall and over thirty years old.

I found this image on Pinterest and don't know who to credit for it.  It makes a good visual for the difference between the two essences and how they might dress, and there is a dose of Ethereal in these as well, particularly in the shimmer of the Gamine outfit and the floatiness of the Ingenue outfit.  Spell Check thinks floatiness is not a word so I feel compelled to use it often now.  I'm a rebel like that. 






In the case of taller and older women, western culture is more comfortable with Gamine looks than Ingenue.  It's okay to be youthful, even childlike but resemble a tomboy.  It's not so okay to resemble a little girl.  There are probably a variety of reasons for this but some might be the influence of feminism, women's experiences with being patronised, and discomfort around anything that suggest pedophilia.   Gamine doesn't quite work for me although I like it.

Here is another image I found on Pinterest and for which I don't know the original source.
The styles and celebrities represent two-type blends with Gamine on the top row and Ingenue on the bottom.

L-R  Gamine-Ethereal, Gamine-Romantic, Gamine-Dramatic, Gamine-Classic, Gamine-Ingenue, Gamine-Natural



L-R Ingenue-Ethereal, Ingenue-Romantic, Ingenue-Dramatic, Ingenue-Classic, Ingenue-Gamine, Ingenue-Natural

The Ingenue concept does make some people uncomfortable.  Some stylists and style experts think Ingenue style is inappropriate for an adult woman though I think this is based in some misunderstandings. I have even seen Gamine and Ingenue style blamed on mothers.  Good Grief!

 Some systems believe that the Ingenue child grows up to be Classic or Romantic. 
But why should it be so limited and rigid?  It shouldn't.  Perhaps some of the Ingenue disapproval comes from the idea that people have only one style ID rather than a blend.  Ingenue on it's own might be a little confusing, it's true, while Gamine isn't so confusing or disturbing because of the ideas we have around girlishness and boyishness.  But I believe few if any people are actually pure Gamine or Ingenue and when you believe that the concern becomes obviously silly.








Thursday, 14 June 2018

Find Your Style ID

Parsing my Own Details and Tips To Help You Find Yours


I am aware that I am blitzing my blog with this Style ID topic at the moment.  There are a few reasons for that, some of them personal and connected to health.  The other reason is that I want to be able to offer what I have learned in how to work it out and use it, in case I have convinced anyone to try it after reading my blog.

Many self-assessment tools are only as good as your ability to self assess.  They involve a great deal of subjectivity  I like a system where I am free to explore and work it out for myself but there are clear supports and organisational methods that make this easier.  The frustration can be that it's not a foolproof system if that is what is wanted. You can read about my personal discoveries here or scroll though to find the headings that indicate tips for your own use.

 I Know What Really Doesn't Work for Me

Certain styles and trends never worked very well for me.  Some of these things were so bad I never bought them although they were trendy or although I liked them in theory, but most of the others I did try, sometimes repeatedly though generally unsuccessfully.  You will notice many of them feature visual or literal heaviness
  • plaid/tartan
  • button up shirts or button down shirts-man tailored collars near my face just don't work well.
  • blanket scarves
  • large floppy hats
  • jaunty caps
  • statement necklaces
  • sneakers
  • plain, straight skirts-short are even worse than long
  • jackets-blazer, denim or leather
  • v necklines (okay in some cases)
  • plunging necklines
  • turtlenecks/polo necks
  • thick ponchos
  • masculine style boots
  • heavy, substantial waterfall cardigans
  • heavy belts
  • hardware-buckles, large clasps, studs, grommets, visible zippers
  • thickly textured sweaters
  • skinny ribbed knits
  • geometric patterns and obvious straight lines
  • thick, chunky sandals
  • capri pants and shorts (very long capris that are not skinny/tight are okay but difficult to find)
  • cargo pants
  • stiff, thick and heavy fabric
  • clothing with no movement
  • outdoorsy clothing in general


Some of these things are unavoidable at times.  Most of us must sometimes adapt to situation-specific wardrobes that are outside our ideal look.


Here is something anyone can do, using Pinterest, to test a certain look.  


Make a secret Pinterest board and put some photos of your face on it.  Use photos that are straight-on views, even if that isn't your most flattering angle.  Straight on gives an accurate image of the proportions, lines, angles or curves of our faces.  Save images to this board in small groups or even singly.  This way the images are viewed right next to the picture(s) of your face.  This gives a pretty quick indicator and you will probably get a gut feeling about it.  Delete the images you reject and save the good ones to a different Pinterest board.  

It is really helpful to use images that have been organised and identified by style consultants, rather than try to guess on your own if something is Romantic or Dramatic etc.  There is some subjectivity to that but also some degree of it is based on repeating in clothing the lines that are in the face.  It's not always easy to identify those lines so it can work just to go with the 'this looks right' feeling and then keep refining it.

I have used this strategy to refine my understanding of why I chose the boards I did when using the style ID calculator and to further work on it to get to a place I think really works.


More About Me


Here is a Breakdown of what I see in myself or in what works on me.  There may be more I am not seeing.  Some may argue that I am seeing wrongly or that they see something else. That goes for any style choices we make.

Ethereal 
  • elongation in body and face, ovals and S curves
  • something that suggests a regal or noble aura
  • non-sexy femininity
  • antique-looking detail is really good
  • detail like embroidery, lace and draping are really good
  • presence combined with some delicacy, best served by flowing lines, elongated draping
  • repeating the elongation of me in my clothing works well
  • Old world looks suit me (this is ethereal because it suggests agelessness)  
  • abstract, blended patterns look good on me
Conclusion: I could probably be costumed as LOTR elf or look appropriate in Renaissance dress

Ingenue 
  • some youthfulness in appearance-when hair off face high forehead and proportionately smaller/pointier chin is more noticeable
  • I look slightly young for my age and have done so in all adulthood 
  • Some degree of non-sexy femininity which suits daintiness in accessories and detail
  • tend to look better with less makeup or no makeup
  • can look like child playing dress up or somehow weak in strong style lines
  • flattered by short softly flared skirts despite height
  • sometimes suit peter pan collars and puffed sleeves without looking silly
  • look like myself in upward gaze with innocent overtone
  • seem able to wear some cute, small florals or dots
Conclusion: something is there that sits comfortably with a dose of Ingenue in the styling but it's not strong

Romantic:
  • some degree of roundness in facial features though less noticeable-rounded edges look soft 
  • thick, soft, wavy hair-basically an estrogen signifier
  • look good in soft ruffles, lacy things or delicate detail
  • rich colours are romantic- my personal colouring is on the rich side of soft and warm
  • possibly makes me appear womanly enough that Ingenue is tempered
  • draped lines, some waist focus though not cinched is good
Conclusion: something about softness and femininity reads as appropriate in my look but this element is not strong in me in romantic form.

Natural 
  • this type has a friendly face suited to a beaming grin- I don't think a beaming ear to ear grin is my most flattering look but I have a friendly smile  
  • Some of the lines in both Dramatic Natural and softened Natural types are similar to Ethereal and so they seem to suit me but the details of the Natural types get too heavy for my face.
  • Much of the Sarah Pacini stuff I am drawn to is Ethereal Natural-yay!-not that I have the ability to purchase it.
  • most natural patterns aren't great though softened paisley is good (relating to S curves perhaps)
Conclusion:  On its own and in some blends this look doesn't work for me but it does when softened and lightened because it looks like relaxed elegance then.

Classic 
  • possibly there is balance within my elongated facial features that could add a touch of classic.  
  • many classic lines don't look bad with my face but aspects of classic don't work as they are too plain or sharp
  • my body is very balanced which makes classic clothing look somewhat right
  • Classic can read as a bit refined and regal, which is an aspect of Ethereal that seems to suit me as well
Conclusion: okay but I can do better.  Good in situations when dressing in a classic way is required.  As with Natural this is good when softened as long as it doesn't get too delicate and dainty overall.

Dramatic and Gamine  
  • the least effective though okay if blended with other essences
  • generally there are too many lines and angles and the clothing doesn't make a connection to my face.  
  • Dramatic-too strong
  • Gamine-too choppy; some people see some degree of Gamine cuteness in me and like pixie cuts on me
  • when clothing gets too sharp or bold I look weak or diminished 
Conclusion: Some degree of Gamine may be present but not worth pursuing.  I am never happy for long with a pixie cut as it feels wrong.  I think Ethereal adds the kind of drama that works for me rather than the lines/style generally referred to as Dramatic.






I'm Too Sexy for my Shirt...Or Not

You may have noticed I referred to non-sexy femininity more than once.  I have never aimed for a sexy look when getting dressed.  It doesn't particularly work on me and I am not bothered by that.  The stereo-typically sexy look isn't actually the only way to be sexually appealing.  However, I now understand better why I couldn't perform a come hither look if my life depended on it and the hairstyle and dress one would expect to accompany such a face don't work on me. 
This is a complex area to navigate.  People have strong feelings about femininity and sexuality.  There are different ways to express sexuality and different people are attracted to different things.  Expressing some Ingenue in your appearance does not mean styling yourself as Lolita nor that you will attract pedophiles.  



Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Dealing With People Online and an Update on my Style ID Discoveries

Oh people.  They are wonderful and they are awful.  I spend a lot of time online when I am exhausted.  I have to keep my brain busy but sometimes I can't cope with reading books.  I end up exploring various forums because I am so interested in systems and in what people think but this also means I encounter a lot of opinionated people ready to tell everyone they are wrong.  I can even be that person sometimes though I try to be careful.  The most problematic thing about the internet is probably the fact that we don't have tone of voice, facial expression or body language to help us understand each other and those are so important.  Sometimes I am very wordy but at other times I am extremely brief.  Brief words can come across as angry or rejecting when they are not intended to.  Word choices matter and I am usually careful to express my opinions in a way that implies it is only an opinion and I know that.  Many people don't do that.

I have been spending some time exploring a personal style system with an accompanying blog and comments section that is very active.  It's interesting and fun but currently getting a bit tense as people are chiming in to say they think so and so has mistyped herself and couldn't possibly be a this or that and they see so and so as X not Y.  Feelings are getting hurt, backs are up.  I have experienced it myself though I put myself in a position to experience it.  I shared a photo.  And yes, one person has already chimed in to say she does not think I actually am a Romantic Ethereal Ingenue. 

You see, this category seems to be contentious.  Others are doubting it, thinking it's rare and that people are mistyping themselves.  Good Grief!  As if that matters!

 If you put on an outfit I am sure you can find  five people on the street who think you  look great and five who don't.  So what?

It seems the contention around the style ID Romantic Ethereal Ingenue is based on the fact that it is purely feminine.  It seems women are having a who is most feminine competition when that is not the spirit of the style ID calculator or that website at all.  All ways of being a woman are attractive and feminine.   So, women who are claiming a status as uber feminine are doubted, questioned, told by a stranger, "I don't see that in you" I see some of X or Y. 

Why did I put my photo on there and open myself up to that?  I don't know for sure.  I have a tendency to try things just to see what will happen.  It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks though.  I know what I saw when I put my face next to photos of various styles of clothing and I know how I will use that information going forward. 

This is all subjective.  There is no blood test for your personal colour or your personal style.  I can't leave a comment this long on that forum so yes, I am venting a little on my own blog, but also putting this here in case anyone who reads that forum ends up here.  It could happen.  I will continue to explore what I think works for me in personal style and I will continue to write about it here.  I can't seem to not do that!

It does not matter what my style ID is and what anyone calls it or if I have identified it correctly so much as it is helpful to learn things, understand and apply what is learned.  My understanding about what suits me is that it is likely influenced by some style lines that could be called Ethereal, and maybe Ingenue.  It is also influenced by some Classic and Natural  but in what proportions?  That's just for me to experiment and find out.  I have done lots of experimenting.  I know what works and and what doesn't, what is okay or mediocre and what is fantastic.  It's trying to put it together into something cohesive and understandable that is my focus now and it's all about fun.  I remain someone who has a small wardrobe and not a lot of money to spend, as well as someone who has some significant fit challenges to cope with.

Rant over.  Happy Hump Day!

 An Update on my Discoveries:

I rather like playing with the style ID calculator tool.  I have tried it out in various ways, using different photos and trying out the two different suggested scoring systems.  One challenge when you do it repeatedly is that you eventually know exactly which ID each style board represents and it's probably better not to know.  Another challenge is that as you go along you choose a board that looks good next to your face but later could encounter things that look better than you expected something could.  Do you go back and change previous answers or leave them?   Different choices can lead to slightly different results in that way.

It's not rocket science.  It's a tool to help you figure some things out, see things you've maybe not seen before.  It gets you into a more accurate space than you may have been if you were confused about what suits you since we often have troubles seeing ourselves accurately.

Changing my technique for using the calculator usually didn't give me results of significant difference, a few percentage points here or there might change.  Though I did  find that the Romantic aspect of the Romantic, Ethereal Ingenue result didn't seem quite so appealing to me and I thought it must be a very small portion.  The fewer options I chose, when narrowing it down to just the ten best boards, actually eliminated the Romantic and gave me Natural instead which I confess I like more.

In the end though it won't change much for me.  It changes little about what I've learned or about how I will dress myself going forward.  For me, labels and categories are for making something clear, for gathering information that is useful.  Then I adapt it to make it work for me in a way I am comfortable with.

Boho redux was my response to many things that are boho style and also many recommendations from David Kibbe for Natural types being heavy and overwhelming looking on me.  What Ethereal and Ingenue might contribute to a Natural makes sense to me in terms of what I learned when I played around with boho and coming up with boho redux.

I think Ingenue style in some forms can be similar looking to Classic and I think that is why other people seem to want to debate whether I am Classic or not.  Classic is almost good, sometimes good but can look just a little plain and harsh.  Again, I've stated somewhere at some time, that a blend of Kibbe Soft Classic and Soft Natural seemed right for me but in Kibbe's system you don't do blends like that.  You are one of those categories or another and given my height he quite likely wouldn't put me in either one anyhow.

Putting other people on the internet with opinions aside, the great thing about playing with a style ID calculator is that you can discover things for yourself and aren't stuck with an 'expert' telling you what you are.  Somewhere there is the happy medium between an expert's help to understand things and the objective truth of your body and facial lines.  The Style ID calculator is my preferred way of learning what looks good on me, and it's less expensive than actually buying all of those clothes, plus less tiring than going to the store and trying them on.  


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Exploring the Ethereal Face

How Ethereal effects a style blend will differ and if you have Dramatic in your mix you essentially have two opposites working together, which is exciting.  I am not an expert but as I understand it, the Ethereal element is essentially requiring you to have some degree of elongation in your overall outfit because you have some in your face and/or body.  In my case it's both and I think I probably have a good dose of it.  My body is quite Ethereal influenced, being essentially elongated but with the more subtle curve associated with an S curve.  Ethereal clothing lines suit me well and match my lack of anything sharp, the flowing S curve effect and the elongation.  It seems to me that people find their body shape reflected in one of the aspects of their style ID blend but that the face is more complicated which is partly why dressing for the face matters.

Features of an Ethereal face include an oval shape, especially elongated, high forehead and tapered chin, a long, thin nose, hooded or heavily lidded eyes, wispy, fluffy, curly and very soft hair is also associated with looking ethereal. Ethereals have a softened dramatic appearance and faraway gaze that suggest dreaminess, wisdom, thoughtfulness or other-worldliness and a look of pure femininity without a sexy overtone.  Ethereals do not do come-hither looks.  An Ethereal face looks benign or kindly and we often see Ethereal elements in paintings representing Jesus or Mary.  

It's unlikely that anyone is pure Ethereal so various Ethereal blends will differ in their appearance and individuals will have the Ethereal essence in varying proportions.  People who blend Ethereal essence with Dramatic, Gamine or Natural essences will look less soft than those who blend Ethereal with Classic, Ingenue or Romantic.


For Interest:  Celebrities Who May Have Ethereal in their Blend


You can search images of these people online and they may look more or less Ethereal depending on the photo, what their blend is and how much Ethereal they have.  It's not uncommon for an Ethereal aspect to show up in models as they are generally either Dramatic or Ethereal due to the elongation required by their job. 


  • Cate Blanchet
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Frances Conroy
  • Liv Tyler
  • Sophie Dahl
  • Gwendolyn Christie
  • Lily Cole
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Bryce Dallas Howard
  • Darryl Hannah
  • Uma Thurman
  • Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
  • Leelee Sobiesky
  • Rosie Huntington-Whitley
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Kat Dennings
  • Giselle Bundchen

I have come to the conclusion that some people have a colour palette that works more readily with their style ID than others.  I don't think there is a wrong colour palette and style ID combination but I think some are more typical, some trickier to manage and some really unlikely.  Personal preference comes into play somewhere but I also think that personal preferences exist for a reason.  I think we may instinctively know some things without knowing how or why we know them. Some people are better than others at paying attention to or believing in their instincts.

I found that while I had all the information about what worked and what didn't, I struggled to put it together into a bigger picture.  This can happen to people who have Ethereal or Ingenue essences (or both, as I have) because they are more likely to be neglected by most style advice, style gurus and mainstream fashion.  We don't see ourselves represented anywhere so we can't figure out how we fit or how our various features work together.

As I mentioned, I believe I have a strong Ethereal aspect in my style ID and I also think both the Ethereal and Ingenue aspects of my style blend have quite an impact on how I use makeup.  Or more accurately, how I don't use it. 

Makeup


Light, soft, iridescent or slightly sparkling effects are the concepts associated with ethereal colour.  Sparkle is tricky because it can also look strong and hard but to some degree it is the context.  Iridescence is slightly different from sparkle, the difference between shimmer and flash and for the ethereal look I would aim for more shimmer than flash though one or two flash points may work.  It will also depend on what other archetypes are influencing your look.  A Dramatic might want more flash and a Natural might  want less sparkle and shimmer overall, perhaps saving it for special events or night time.  An Ingenue might want the shimmer to translate into overall dewiness of the complexion and a lip gloss.

Ethereal looks in makeup are popular right now and I can find many Youtube tutorials on using various highlighters.  There is far too much makeup involved in this effect for my personal taste so I won't be road testing this.  I am inclined to suspect that if you truly do have a lot of Ethereal in your face, you will get a lot of mileage from a tinted moisturizer and a bit of highlighter if you wish.

A little goes a very long way on me and even just the use of mascara and lipstick alone can look like a lot of makeup.  This can be frustrating but I think the key is to learn to not only what colours work best for you but what formulas and understand how it is related to your archetype blend.  I have come to realise that my need for light, sheer and minimal makeup is quite likely due to having so much Ethereal and Ingenue in my style ID.  I so easily look overdone, like I am trying too hard or like a child with mother's makeup on.  That's not an effect I want.

Whatever degree of Ethereal you have and are trying to address in makeup, the key is to be subtle, begin with less and add it carefully, play with soft colour around your eyes if you like but keep face and lip colours  looking natural and believable and consider highlighters or illuminators as drama rather than bronzing, contouring and cat-eyes, unless you also have Dramatic in your blend.   I have only dabbled a little in illuminators and since I never need a formal makeup look I can't really be bothered.  An eye shadow powder or cream in your best pale metallic or an opalescent colour would have multi-uses for highlighting and adding a bit of shimmer.   

            Arwen, ( Lord of the Rings) played by LIv Tyler.
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 Liv has dark hair and fair skin thus some higher contrast that can take a bit of drama.  This is what I call a my-face-but-better look and you could believe that she actually woke up like this.  It looks like there is liner on the top lids and mascara but nothing on the bottom of the eye.  Just a bit of colour in her cheeks and a natural stain on her lips.  Her brows are probably defined but it doesn't look like they are.  This reminds me of adds for facial cleansers or creams where the model looks like she is not wearing makeup but of course she is.  Or the makeup that is put on children who are performers but not in Toddlers and Tiaras.  It is innocent, believable, and quite soft.



                                        Source

It's difficult to find an in-focus photo of Galadriel, played by Cate Blanchet.  Her colouring is lower in contrast than Liv's but the same effect of my-face-bu- better is happening here too.  Again it looks like no liner or mascara on bottom lashes.  I have never liked anything under my eyes either, finding it looks like too much. Perhaps it is an Ethereal thing.  Her eyebrows are quite likely darkened, given they are blonde, cheeks haven't got obvious colour and lips are natural looking, a bit earthy actually.  I think the colours are warmer than Cate Blanchet's best look but the idea is perhaps to give a certain impression about the character.

There will be variation on how makeup is used according to what other ID you have blended with Ethereal and I am only beginning to get a good grasp of that so not at all qualified to tell you what to do.  Ethereal Naturals will probably favour a very minimal look, so might Ethereal Ingenues and Ethereal Classics but Ethereal combined with Romantic, Gamine or Dramatic can use stronger makeup looks.  My three-way blend is Ethereal, Romantic, Ingenue but those of us with that blend are still individuals and the others I've chatted with online have a stronger influence from Romantic than I do. 

The colours of makeup and clothing come from your own best palette but how you use them is influenced by your archetype blend. 

The Ethereal archetype might take some inspiration from magical images and an otherworldly idea but it's not meant to be a costume.  You can certainly play with it as a costume if you want to but in an archetype style blend it is intended to be just as real and usable as any other archetype and the degree to which it is used subtly, playfully or dramatically is about your own particular needs and what looks right on you. 


Having some Ethereal in my archetype blend doesn't mean I am trying to look like a fairy or elf or alien.  It means aspects of this concept are part of what I am and look appropriate on me. It explains a lot too.  I better understand and accept why I cannot wear a lot of makeup without it looking like stage makeup and why I have had such a difficult time finding the right colour lipstick.  It's not only colour that is important for me, but also texture and weight.  It is probably important for everyone but I seem to have lots of room for it to go wrong. 

Now, if I could just have a Lord of the Rings makeup artist show up at my home every morning I would be all set.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Using a Personal Colour Palette with a Blended Style ID


In Tonal colour analysis I am a Warm, which means I will be able to successfully wear many colours from both the Spring and Autumn palettes, though not all of them and I have to explore them to find out.   I analysed myself as True Autumn in a 12 season system after much time, effort and cash and then I had most of my conclusions confirmed by an online analysis.  Sometimes we are not a perfect fit into a palette and this is because our style ID has an impact on what kinds of colours and ways of wearing them suit us best.  Colour analysis often does not take this into consideration but I have figured it out for myself in a long, slow and painful way.

First, I found my best palette but I had some doubts
  • Summer palettes-light and feminine but cool or neutral-cool and I am warm
  • Winter palettes-too deep and cool and leaning dramatic
  • Light Spring-too pastel and cool ( neutral-warm palette is still too cool for me )
  • Bright Spring-too bright and cool (neutral-warm)
  • True Spring-almost good.  Warm enough but some of it too bright. Good if desaturated
  • True Autumn-almost good.  Warm enough but some of it too muted and too dark, too earthy
  • Soft Autumn-too muted and dark and slightly too cool (neutral-warm )
  • Deep Autumn-too dark, too bright, too cool (neutral-warm)
Then I found my style ID and I understood why I was having some struggles with my best palette. 

The palettes most in line with my style ID are the Summers and Light Spring.  I am not a Summer or a Light Spring but my True Autumn palette does have some light colours which can read as similar to the pastels of Spring and Summer.  Especially in the context of being worn by someone who is as warm and medium in value as they are.

So, I tweak my palette and I find my comfort zone as well as making it work well for my style ID.  I tend to like the lightest of the True Autumn colours and avoid making earth-tone combinations.  I love earth tones, but they don't flatter me because they read as heavy.  My style ID is significantly about lightness.  

I have really struggled with makeup in this regard too.  Colours that are supposed to be right for me don't quite look right.  They read as harmonising with my skin and yet something looks wrong, something which I identified as heaviness and it lead me to wonder if I am a Spring.  But Spring colours are too bright.  They are brighter than I am and can overpower me.  An Autumn is supposed to look great using bronzer and contouring but I don't.   Autumns are usually directed to lipstick colours that are bronzed reds and coppery oranges.  These look good next to my skin but not as lipstick.  They almost make me look goth.  But Spring pinks and corals are clownishly bright.  I can find good colours but my options seem to be so much more limited than other Autumns I know.  For awhile I thought I was not an Autumn because of this makeup problem but although I tried out Spring it wasn't really a good solution.  I was frustrated.  Then two things happend.

First, I got a colour analysis that made a little more sense.
Second, I discovered my style ID and arrived at the big picture.

 Playing with the Palette

The colours shown below are a range of what appears soft and also bright but overall they have a medium value.  The softest and lightest ones in my palette are closest to the Ethereal and Ingenue typical pastels.  On me they will read in a similar way to how pastels read on a Light Spring or Light Summer.  




The second photo shows more of the brighter aspect of my palette and I am not as comfortable in these.  I can imagine wearing the yellows in bright sunlight.  The red is stunning but feels very dramatic to me.  I would wear it for a special occasion.  The brights just don't feel like me and I think now that it is due to style ID because I know it isn't anything to do with what looks good against my skin.  This palette is a mix of True Autumn and True Spring, though has more Autumn influence.  In some ways playing with this palette and learning about my style ID has sent me back to the True Autumn palette with a new way of using it.






This is a True Autumn fan from True Colour International, not my photo but the same fan that I use.   I only use the lighter and medium colours, not the darkest options. The browns and greys are a bit muddy for me and I look better in Spring browns.  You can see how these colours can appear soft and warm and gentle.  The overall effect of the lighter colours is not the rusty, earthy look so often associated with Autumn which I love but which doesn't work well for me. 
There are different ways I can use my colours.  I like these combinations.

All browns and creams will give me a nice soft, neutral look.  I tend to love that effect.

All blues, greens and teals will seem watery.  Add browns and the overall look is earthy.

Peaches, yellows and oranges feel warm and sunny.

Teal with browns and creams  is also a favourite and beginning to repeat colours that are in me naturally.  If I wanted to wear a riot of colour without being overwhelmed, repeating my own natural colours would be a good idea.  I could add some gold and peach to the mix.



Makeup and Colour- the Aha Moment

No matter what palette I was using, I struggled with makeup.  It began to become clear that it was less an issue of finding the right colours and more about formula.  No matter what lipstick I used it looked too heavy, a bit wrong and could so easily look harsh or clownish.  Clearly I needed a very subtle and well blended makeup application and I often go without makeup anyhow. I could write pages and pages on this subject.  I did.  And then lucky for you I deleted it.  

The bottom line is that I need makeup to look like it's not there, in a lightweight, sheer, dabbed on with fingers and mostly wiped off again sort of way.  Instead of using makeup to enhance a grown up face I need it to replicate a fresh, childhood face with no makeup on, or something like those magazine ads for facial cleanser where the model is supposed to look like she is splashing water all over a face with the makeup just removed by this miraculous cleanser but we all know she is actually wearing some.  

No winged eye liner.... in fact no eye liner.  No lined lips or sculpted cheeks, no obviously done eyebrows either as they suit my face better when they are blending into it, no colours that aren't likely to have been put there by Mother Nature.

Archetype and Colour

 What suits you in terms of how you wear your colours is influenced by what style archetypes suit you.  The more drama you have in your type the more you will use bold colour combinations, even if your palette seems soft or muted overall.  If it's the right palette for you it isn't muted in comparison with you.  

It is crucial to remember that a personal colour palette is contextual for you so colours that would look too bright on one person or drab on one person will not look that way on the  people they are harmonised with.  This is why a Soft Autumn looks more amazing than anyone else in a monochromatic beige outfit.  On the rest of us the result is drab.  On the Soft Autumn it's pure elegance.

It is also the case that certain style IDs have certain colour associations and we don't all fall neatly into line with them.  It might make it easier if you do, since the makers of clothing seem to have some inclination towards this.  How often do you see a polka dotted blouse with a peter pan collar and puffed sleeves made in black with red polka dots?  Not as often as you see it made in a pastel colour.  This is definitely challenging and I won't pretend that shopping and looking great isn't easier for people whose best colours and style ID line up well.  My True Autumn palette lines up well with  IDs which are Natural and Classic but there are ways to work with such tricky pairings as a True Autumn palette and a Romantic, Ethereal Ingenue style ID.

My preference for subtle and gentle combinations fits with the Ethereal and Ingenue aspects of my style ID.  I gravitate towards it instinctively, knowing it just looks right.  The more I try to use contrast, boldness, brightness or darkness the more I end up looking hard and angry and tired or like a child. Admiring women who can use these effectively doesn't mean I should copy them.

The women I know who truly shine when their outfit has a lot going on, bright and bold colours, layers, textures, lots of jewelry, are women whose faces look absolutely perfect in the middle of all of that and instead of all that is going on distracting from their faces, it enhances them, frames them, makes us look and see who is there.  That's not an effect you get simply by styling someone that way.  You get that effect when you apply it to someone whose face demands it.  I can think of a few gorgeous blogging friends  to whom this applies and I am sure they know who they are!  They are dressing this way because they know it is right.  They know it works for them and looking like themselves makes them happy.  They might view or name they style ID differently from the categories I have explored in various systems, but they probably use words that are synonymous for a bit of drama and there is clearly drama in their style blend.

I, on the other hand, have no drama.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.

Let's Get Back to Talking About Me and Colour

I have two out of three style IDs in my blend which are essentially about soft and light colour.  The Ethereal and Ingenue aspects are the most obvious and easiest for me to see.  My instinct that soft, light colours selected from my best palette and which in the context of my own colouring will read somewhat like pastels seems to be an appropriate one.  

I have a strong preference for cream, gold, medium golden camel, light teal (my denim tends to read as a teal-leaning blue) and colours in the peach-salmon-coral range.  This is basically the warm version of white, pink, blue and silver, colours more likely to read as Ethereal.  Ingenue colours are soft, pastel, and more along the lines of pale yellow, pink, mint green and ivory.  I'm close.  I'm giving a similar impression but working it into my own best colour scheme.  

But I also have a dose of Romantic in my blend, and the colours associated with this style ID are richer and stronger.  This gives me room to go in that direction if I want to make my overall look more romantic and this is typically what I would do for something more formal.  This is when I might even call on the bright warm red that I can wear well but which normally feels a bit too intense for me. Or a rich burnt orange or one of those jewel-like greens.   I will be playing a role somewhat while wearing it, but that's what it's like for me at formal and public events anyhow.  I may as well have a colour to help me along.

Another way of looking at this is that since my Autumn version of the Ethereal and Ingenue colours are a little richer, by way of being warmer and a bit more sultry, this is also the addition of Romantic richness working it's way into my everyday look.


So that is how I see my personal colour palette interpreted for my style ID and also, working backwards, how I understand why I greatly favoured certain options from my palette over others.
I do like it when I can create a nice tidy conclusion.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

I'm Not a Girly-Girl but I Look Like One

Processing It All

My style ID is Romantic Ethereal Ingenue and I feel both entirely unsurprised as well as utterly shocked. 

My personality may not be what girly-girl is typically understood to be but then why should that matter?  Do I owe it to anyone to be exactly what I appear to be?  In some ways it's a decision that is already made for me.  I have the face I have and it unarguably looks best next to a lot of lace, ruffle and delicate detail.  Putting it next to simpler lines, harder lines, stronger and bolder shapes does nothing of any use. 

Next to the Romantic Ethereal Ingenue lines, I look like myself. I look healthier, happier, prettier, kinder, more competent, and more present.  I can't really find a reason to object to those things.  I used to resist the idea of styling myself to be visible because the only way I understood that concept was styling myself flamboyantly and I knew that didn't suit me.  Why would I want to be visible while not looking like myself?  I would rather be invisible.

I am not rushing out to the shops just yet and I can't really justify new purchases at the moment although there are a few things on the wish list and if I am tempted to make any impulse purchases I have a better idea of what is unlikely to be regrettable.  I have some key words in mind and some mental images.  Browsing some shopping sites online last night I noticed that ruffles seem to be in, though I see very little of my good colours.

Going forward I think the main approach will be to focus on softly draping fabric in light, soft, warm colours, to keep growing my hair into a long wavy style, add some jewelry and appropriate scarves, stop worrying that makeup doesn't work too well for me and embrace the fact that a very very little goes a long way.

My best look is soft and feminine and I've been fighting it when there is no need to.  It's a bit of a relief to figure that out!

I don't know if or when I might be sharing any photos of what I am wearing.  It's out of my comfort zone and never feels to me like it's effective.  But sharing images I am collecting for inspiration on Pinterest is quite doable.  One challenge is that I essentially suit things that look like wedding dresses.  Time to search for my inner princess.

If you've read my blog for awhile you may recall I had an interest in the Mori Girl look.  No wonder I did.  It's Romantic and Ingenue, though it tends to have a dash of Natural added to it. This dress below appeals to me though in the past I would have felt guilty about that.  As though I were stuck in childhood.

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I would definitely pull this lace thing off the rack in a store although I might be a little stuck on what to pair it with.  It would be great with a sun dress, and probably also improve a tank top which always looks so harsh and bland on me.

                                         Source unknown-Pinterest says bad link

                        
If this dress came in a warm colour I would wear it.  Where would I wear it?  That I do not know.


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 Best to explore things I can pair with jeans...

I have to admit these sleeves would annoy me if they are long and I would prefer them around elbow length.   I know long bell sleeves are a good look, but I do require my clothing not to get in the way.  I could wear this first blouse for sitting around and looking pretty while I read a book.


                                                    Source-Mod Cloth

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Basically I would do well to shop at Anthropologie or ModCloth but I haven't got access to either.  I already do have some things which are heading in the right direction.  My instincts were at work even though I was unaware of it and perhaps only dipping my toes in.

Fine, delicate knits which drape softly are good.  No hard edges here!  The overall outfit would be best with more detail added in accessories.





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Soft, ethereal looking things tend to be rendered in light, cool colours except cream is popular for lace.  The ornate, ethereal types of jewelry are more likely to be silver but pearls are good and I have lots of them.


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This one is very Kibbe Soft Classic. You can see the symmetry and balance.  It is something I would have chosen before learning how much embellishment I need but I could add some.   It would be wonderful with a light weight, softly flared skirt or even ruffles. 

                                                     Source-unknown/bad link

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I have always known that peter pan collars were good on me.  They aren't always easily found though.  Shirt style blouses and pointed collars are one of the worst things you can put on me.  All that advice about the crisp white shirt, trench coat and black pencil skirt that every woman is supposed to have is directing me towards some of my most unflattering garments. Even a shirt in soft, light fabric is too sharp and pointy.

Love this blouse!  The model has it sharpened up a bit with her red lip, updo and black skirt which are pushing the blouse into something more classic because she probably hasn't got much or any Ingenue in her style id mix.  There is some sharpness in her facial bones and a slight look of danger in her expression.  You won't ever get that in my face.


                                                              Source


Black is out but the style is good.  This reads as Ethereal Ingenue in blend because the general shape is Ingenue and the sheer fabric combined with light fabric adds a touch of Ethereal.

           


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The downside to discovering that I am better in gold than silver is the cost.  I suppose I also have myself to blame in that I don't like costume jewelry so I want the real thing.

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In many ways I need to think of bridal styles for jewelry and accessories.  My style id is fairly accurately described as fairy princess ( not to be confused with Disney Princess ) and many bridal styles are aiming for a fairy princess effect.

This is really an interesting journey for me as my instincts are to avoid frou frou.  But I have seen with my own eyes how good it looks.

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I think instinct has always told me that a little something fancy near my face is a good idea as I wear scarves almost year round.  They aren't so good for hot weather though so I will want to find a necklace to do the job of fancying my neck. The scarf focus needs to be on soft and draping fabric, and some chiffon.  Ruffled edges and lacy crochet are also good.

Also I must convince this woman to give me her scarf.

                                                              Source

You might be wondering about hats.  I've always loved hats and have experimented with various styles.  Because I like certain styles which don't actually suit me I have stubbornly refused to listen to other people who told me they didn't suit me.  I love a newsboy cap.  However, I am now very aware of how my hat needs are softer and more feminine, not tomboyish.  Large and floppy brims don't work well, perhaps because they have a Dramatic element.  I can pull off a wider brimmed straw sunhat if it is not too large or stiff but I have always struggled with straw hats and the reason may be that they are just not soft enough.

            
Given that I want softness, femininity, downward lines or S curves, I think a hat that is a very soft cloche is a good idea.  I also have a soft knit beret which seems to be flattering.




This hat might be good.  Braid shapes read like S curves and there is definitely softness here, no sharp lines or angles.

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This style might work.  It has a great vintage vibe-1910-1935 seems to be the right sort of vintage for this Style ID type.  I would put a softer flower on it.

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I did have a velvet cloche once and it worked quite well for me but it was not a good colour.

Well, reality is still a jeans sort of life and a preference for clothing and accessories which don't get in my way.  I certainly know what I need if I am going somewhere that requires fancy dress but this isn't about turning my daily wear into a costume.

The Plan

I will amp up my  accessorising a little and focus on delicately feminine and ornate styles.

I will focus on keeping as many clothing choices as possible soft, draped, delicate and consider ruffles and lace, diagonal curves and limit if not totally avoid geometric lines and sharp edges.

 I will not worry about some of my taste reading as too young. (MaryJanes) Chances are high that it doesn't look wrong on me.

I will stick to my guns about unconstructed shapes though avoid stiff, voluminous or boxy ones too.

I will interpret my Autumn palette in a soft, ethereal, lighter and non-earthy way.

I will continue to keep makeup minimal and stop trying to make it more 'grown up' which doesn't work and only looks hard and over done too quickly even when the colours are good.

General Anxiety

I've written a little bit about being a very sensitive person and about being an introvert but I've not fully addressed the topic o...