Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Mix: Figuring out my Style Archetype Blend

Some Ideas about Boho Style and further hints for figuring out your style archetype if you try the face photo method. 

Ethereal style can be a softer sort of boho.  If your style blend includes Natural or Dramatic you might find full on boho a very successful look.  As long as you leave out the cowboy boots, a boho wedding look is usually quite ethereal.

Boho Concepts which are also Ethereal

draping
softness
sheerness
lace
embroidery
old velvet if it drapes
cloaks, hoods, bell sleeves
sleeves that resemble wings
kimonos
kimono-influence on blouses
old-world or previous time
Baroque, Pre-Raphaelite, Medeival
softened hippie
flower crowns
blended, abstract patters
delicate crochet
fur lining or trim for winter wear
dainty crystals
braids, flowers in your hair


Boho But Not Ethereal

rough leather and sueded accessories
keep leather very soft and supple
hats
chunky jewelry-ethnic or artsy
bright, contrasting colour combinations
geometric patterns
fringe
chunky crochet
fur vests
wood accessories and details

An Entirely Ethereal outfit might risk reading like a costume, though how much Ethereal you have in your archetype blend will probably determine how much you put in an outfit and whether it looks natural on you or more like a costume.  Some elements of boho style which are not Ethereal themselves but can work well with it are....

faded denim, especially flared or bell bottom
empire waist sundresses if there is some shape to the torso
gladiator sandals
henna tattoos if they are very delicate in design

 The Style Identity Calculator at Truth is Beauty will take all of the work out of the process and give you results you can do something with.  I tend to like doing at least some of the work, though I have definitely used the work of others by looking at Pinterest boards put together by style consultants, including those by Truth is Beauty.  My conclusions are not endorsed by Truth is Beauty and are my own interpretation.  Using images pinned by others is risky because the ability of non-professionals to accurately identify style types is less certain. For example,  I have seen plenty of pinners identifying  cargo pants as man-tailored ( Kibbe's words ) when man-tailored refers to the structured and often pleated trousers one associates with Katherine Hepburn.  Cargo pants may not be right for you and they may be typical worn by men but they do not represent the concept man-tailored.

So, I determined the following key things...

Ethereal on it's own is astonishingly good.  Classic is fairly good, turning it into Soft or Romantic Classic makes it better.  

Ethereal Classic as a category is thus a very good blend for me and adding Romantic to the mix doesn't seem to make it any worse.

It seems I can dabble in touches of Ingenue.

The Following Archetypes I Determined are Negligible or Absent in Me:

Anything that is good in the Natural categories is done better for me by Ethereal.  Much of the Naturals doesn't work for me at all.

Dramatic is okay if moderated by Ethereal and Classic but generally looks stronger than I do and my face gets lost.

Gamine is not good as it is too busy and choppy.  I am completely lost.

I guestimate that my blend is something like what follows, basing the numbers on how often I choose a collage/Pinterest board that has each style type in it. Choosing a collage is not about liking it, but about looking like it belongs with my face. 


Ethereal.....5.......40%
Classic.......4......30%
Romantic....3......20%
Ingenue.....1.......10%
Natural........0.5
Dramatic....0.5
Gamine......0

I asked myself questions such as:

Does my face look like it is equal to the level of detail in these images? 
Do I make the clothing look bland or does the clothing make me look diminished?  
Does the clothing make me look stronger or meaner in comparison?  
Do I look like an adult in child's clothing or a child in adult clothing?
Does the clothing make me look diminished, childish or weak?  
Do I look more relaxed than the clothing or more formal than the clothing? 
Does the clothing make me look more feminine than it or more masculine than it or do I seem to have the same masculine/feminine balance as the clothing?

Conclusion 

Much of my best look is a Soft Classic with a strong Ethereal influence and it can't hurt to lean as Ethereal as possible sometimes.   I could be wrong but I suspect I may have to prioritise Classic over Ethereal for practical reasons.  Real life, real clothing and my personality might not allow for as much Ethereal as I can pull off. 

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