Thursday, 7 June 2018

Ingenue and Romantic Style Essences

So, you are a grown woman who has some Ingenue in her style identity.  Maybe even a lot of it.  There are conflicting attitudes about this essence, but I think it's possible that this is somewhat due to stylists telling people how they should look rather than how to look like themselves.  Some people look youthful no matter what their biological age and it's nothing to do with miracle wrinkle creams.  You can have a face full of wrinkles and look Ingenue and a face as smooth as the Gene Kelly's dancing without an iota of Ingenue in your appearance.  Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint what features are contributing to this look but it often has to do with large, round eyes, a large forehead and a small, pointed chin.

When Ingenue is part of your Style ID it is unlikely to be all that you are, it will be blended with something else.  However, someone with Ingenue in the mix has an appearance that suggests youth and innocence regardless of whether or not the latter is true.  An Ingenue type may quite dislike this Style ID when she is younger if she is constantly thought to be a child or teen when she is an adult or if, as an actress she is typecast and stuck in roles dictated by this Ingenue appearance by casting directors who haven't grasped the intrigue of a woman who looks Ingenue but is far from innocent.  Sometimes the Ingenue appearance comes along with a personality that seems sweet and innocent and other times with one that is delightfully mischievous. Ingenue is different from Gamine although they do share a reference to youth.  Someone may  have both Gamine and Ingenue in their Style ID.  Gamine is generally a masculine essence and the Gamine can look like a beautiful boy.  Ingenue is feminine and girlish and generally because there is so much an appearance of youth and innocence involved Ingenues sometimes look at odds with very sexy clothing.

You can read more about the Ingenue essence here  and here

I have always known that I look youthful. Strangely, as a child and up until I was about 18 I looked older than my age.  After that I began to discover that I looked younger and was frequently mistaken for being several years younger than I actually was.  People used to tell me I would appreciate this when I was in my forties.  I suppose I did begin to appreciate it then.  While it's true I have only a few grey hairs and staying out of the sun has kept my skin relatively damage free, I think there must be something else contributing to this Ingenue look though I am not certain what it is.  I only know that Ingenue influenced style looks good near my face.  I know that peter pan collars, necklines that hit around the collar bone and have some sort of detail like tucks or gathers look good.  Bows do too actually but I am not crazy about them.  Barettes holding back some hair from my face look good and so do almond toe and even rounded toe shoes with straps.  Skirts with soft flare that hit around knee length or just above it are also good.  I look better in a cardigan than a tailored jacket and a headband isn't the worst thing you can put on me.  I also seem to suit tiny prints, like small dots or florals.

However, I do think I will not pursue much of Ingenue in this way.  I have a peculiar Style ID blend in that while the elements are all very feminine there is a bit of conflict and I think I will work that out by determining where to place the focus.

In using the Style ID Calculator a few times, testing the consistency of the results, I found that if really think about prioritising the images into good, better, best I get a stronger Ethereal score more in line with what I guessed at when working it all out for myself.  This bumps Ingenue and Romantic down to each at 25%

What looks good about the Ingenue is the femininity and although it seems strange to say it, the fact that it's a relatively chaste looking femininity that comes from cuteness I didn't realise I had until I see myself looking appropriate next to cute things.  Ingenue can get too sweet and poofy and the baby doll look is definitely not good for my body type. It's a Style ID that seems to be half good for me.  I also don't think that the elements that are good or that work for me need to make up much of an outfit.

Ingenue features I will possibly incorporate are...

small, sweet prints
Mary Jane or T Strap style shoes
barrettes -at least while I am growing out my bangs
empire waists - fitted ones flatter me well
not-stiff puffed sleeves that reach elbow length and have a cuff not elastic
softly flared skirts, smooth over the hips, just above knee length


Ingenue is associated with youthful innocence and not sex appeal.  The more Ingenue a person has in their Style ID the less they are flattered by clothing meant to play up sex appeal because of the incongruity between a revealing outfit and a childlike face.  However the Romantic Style ID is significantly about sex appeal.  How does this work then, to have both in your mix?  Do I have neutral sex appeal?  Hah!

My first thought is that I have neither enough of a childlike face nor a va va voom body to even worry about this.  I look young and certain styles definitely make me look like a child playing dress up but I don't just inherently read as a child facially.  Ingenue is not that strong in me.  I also do not read strongly as Romantic.  I am not Marilyn or Liz.  I don't have a lush, curvaceous figure calling out for slinky dresses.  I think that the reason my face looks good next to clothing with Romantic influence is because it reads as very feminine, slightly delicate and soft.

These are the aspects of Romantic that work for me...

ruffles
lace
soft draping fabric
velvet
ornate detail near my face 


The overall point of being a Romantic Ethereal Ingenue seems to be that it's difficult to go wrong with ornate feminine embellishment and that ruffles, shimmer, lace and empire waists are good. 

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