It happened ten or eleven years ago. I was reading someone's blog post and she mentioned learning what type she was, in a system I had never heard of before. It piqued my interest, so I went to the website to find out more, and was instantly hooked! I couldn't wait to dive in and find out my own type. What could possibly go wrong?...
Choosing the Wrong Type
So, there I was, utterly fascinated with this new way of identifying your style type! The way it worked was that you find out what you were like on the inside, and that would determine what to wear on the outside.
I listened to the information, and from the four types presented, I chose two that were the most likely to be "me." Both were wrong, of course, but I didn't know that at the time.
Finally, I picked one of the two, and was thrilled to have found home. Immediately, I took all the "wrong" clothes out of my closet, and resolved to wear only what was left until I could get new clothes.
And as soon as possible, I began to buy the colors and styles that were a match for this new type.
Not only did this system tell you which colors to wear, it showed you how to dress, or what styles to choose, to enhance your type. And for me, the type I chose was wrong on both counts!
But I dove in, and bought A LOT of new clothes!!
I also tried to live in a way that matched what I thought my type was. I wanted to be more that way.
But eventually, almost a year later, I began to realize that something was wrong. I was putting some good outfits together, but I didn't look as wonderful as I thought I would.
And it didn't feel right anymore.
Without realizing it, I was already wearing mostly neutrals, and managing to avoid most of the worst of the colors, but I still knew something was wrong.
The Turning Point
The pivotal moment - the one that changed everything - happened on Easter morning, many months after I discovered this new type. I tried to find a picture of the dress I bought and wore, but I only took one, and I must have deleted it. Go figure!
Because it was ghastly!! I have tried to recreate it to some extent below, but to get the full effect you'd have to see me in it. It was kind of a slate blue but maybe a little more blue than that, and it did not look good. In fact - believe me - it was worse than that picture below.
That's when I began to take a serious step back!
Because, if I had found home, how could that dress have been so wrong? Even if it wasn't spectacular, it should have at least been okay. But instead, it was a disaster!
And that was a moment of cognitive dissonance I couldn't get around. So, it wasn't long after that that I began to look for something else.
What I found was seasonal color analysis. And within a year, I had not only finally let go of this wrong type and embraced a system that worked much better for me, I had become certified as a color analyst.
Here's What I Learned
(1) Though I love the concept of wearing colors and styles that match my essence and personality, appearance is far more important, and any system I choose to follow or use needs to match my coloring first.
(2) I need to go slowly with making changes as I learn a new system. No throwing out all my "wrong" clothes or spending a ton of money buying new ones until I have lived with and road tested the change I am trying to make.
(3) In other words, embrace with caution - at first.
(4) Once I know something is wrong with an item, outfit or collection, the best thing I can do is figure out exactly what is bothering me about it. The colors might be off, or the way it looks, style-wise, etc. Once I am clear about what is wrong, I will be much less likely to make that mistake in the future.
(5) Wearing the wrong things will (eventually) create cognitive dissonance, and wearing the right things will create a feeling of harmony. And also, will feel like me.
(6) Insight - that last one is almost sure to be true for other people who see me. What I wear will tell the story of who I am, or it will create cognitive dissonance, even if the other person doesn't register it consciously.
(7) If I wear the wrong things consistently, it will create an almost constant underlying sense of cognitive dissonance. Not only might that steal my own peace, but create disharmony in my family relationships, or friendships, as well. All, potentially, below the radar.
And imagine things like job interviews, business pitch meetings, first dates, etc.
Dressing to Feel Better or Become Who You are Called to Be
One big implication - and a positive one - is that since the way you dress affects the way you feel and tells your story, you can do that on purpose.
For example, let's say you want to feel more grounded. Or more confident, and ready to take charge. This power to affect the way you feel means you can create those feelings when you need to do so.
Or, you want to project a certain feeling or energy. Like confidence, during a job interview. Or friendliness, or warmth in other situations. This means it is possible.
The only caveat is that it has to be authentic, and you have to use your own best colors, and style to do so.
Want to explore this idea further? Read today's brief follow-up post, on style that transforms.
It's exciting to me that failure and mistakes can lead to insight and growth and possibility.
Have you ever made costly style mistakes?
See you tomorrow!
My mission is to help you discover, embrace and celebrate your own beauty and style.
Thanks for dropping by! I'll see you soon.
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