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.

1 comment:

  1. I see some gamine in me, esp in pictures side on where my face breadth is limited and I have short hair. No ingenue at all, and now understand why some sun dresses feel wrong on me. But I have been told I look younger than my years all my life as well. Loving these breakdowns!
    xo Jazzy Jack


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