Becoming Chic: A Square Peg

Posted by in Becoming Chic

Ever feel like you are a square peg?  Or that someone is trying to fit you into a space that isn’t quite right?  Or that “someone” is yourself?  Well, in a lot of ways reducing possessions can make you a square peg with friends and family.  Most certainly, if you are also trying to move toward creating less waste and use less plastic.  I have had a “friend” try to force plastic on me.  When I refused she got angry and huffed off “life must be so boring for you” or some such.  Square peg. In the realm of Becoming Chic it was me trying to force myself into a round capsule wardrobe hole.

It has nothing to do with my seasonal selections ore even my color palette.  It has more to do with direction.  I have those things down.  It is easy to buy basic pieces that coordinate.  I had my “signature” colors picked out but when it came to trying on clothes in those colors things fell a little flat.  As a result I have largely been wearing black and navy.  Which isn’t bad but only wearing the basics can start to look a little “basic.”  I needed to shake things up a bit and reevaluate the direction I was going in.

I decided to go back to where my wardrobe journey began.  When we moved to Colorado four years ago I decided I was going to reinvent myself in a place where no one knew me.  The easiest place – I thought – would be my wardrobe.  I needed someone to point me in a direction and I stumbled upon Dressing Your Truth (DYT).  I self profiled and paid – too much – for the course.  I profiled as a Type 4 (T4).  It is Black, White and Bright all over.  I tried this system out then but since it had been four years I decided to revisit to see what specifically it was that didn’t feel right.

  1. Pattern: Now I like stripes but when it comes to actually wearing stripes I get really picky.  In the DYT – T4 world stripes are king.  “Bold” pattern is secondary to this and the issue with that is that I am only 5 ft tall so patterns can quickly overwhelm my frame.  I just wasn’t feeling it.
  2. Style lines: Tailored – not a problem for a petite girl but also not very comfortable.
  3. Silver Only:  There is no room for anyone to wear both gold and silver in DYT.  I favor silver because it is generally a little less expensive but as far as how they look I can wear gold or silver equally as well.
  4. Seemingly arbitrary rules:  It doesn’t matter what your hair color or eye color is – all the colors on the card are perfect for “your nature.”  The system can’t be customized to accommodate anything not on the color card.
  5. Awkwardness:  I got a lot of attention – DYT would say that is because I was honoring who I was.  I would say it was because I stuck out like a sore thumb.


I am not going to tell you not to try DYT but it is an investment and for me one without much return.

What revisiting the DYT system did for me now, was it peeked my interest into what other color and style typing systems there are out there.  There are a ton.  So I have taken quizzes, measurements, tried on clothes until I was sick of stores (not that I am a big fan to begin with) and looked like a crazy person in Home Depot picking out paint chips.  It was priceless I tell you – priceless…

Why was I picking out paint chips? Because of “Color Your Style” by David Zyla.  I found his color do it yourself color typing system on the blog Expressing Your Truth.

I checked his book out from the library – you know minimalist aka allergic to buying things that could become clutter – and got to work determining the following:

  • Essence:  The color of my skin.  This color is my “white,” or what Zyla calls one’s “vulnerable color.”  He directs readers to look at the palm of their hand.
  • Romance:  The color of my skin when I blush.  Zyla refers to this as one’s “passion color.”  Matching to this is as simple as lightly squeezing a finger tip. It darkens just enough to match to easily.
  • Dramatic: Generally would be referred to as your “signature” blue.  It is the color of the veins in your wrist.
  • Energy: The darkest color inside the iris of your eye (not the outer rim).  Zyla says this is a person’s “pick me up” color.
  • Tranquil: The lightest color inside the iris of your eye.
  • Base 1:  The color of the outer rim of your iris. This is what would be your “black”
  • Base 2: The darkest color/shade of your natural hair.  This is what would be your “brown”
  • Base 3: The lightest shade of your natural hair.  This would be your “khaki.”

What are my colors?  What better way that to show you.

You can see if you reference back to my original color palette that I wasn’t too far off in a few areas.  Blush Pink – check! Teal – check!  Navy – check!  What does this mean for my capsule wardrobe planning?  Well it means that I am going to be less rigid about colors.  While I can wear black it is going to begin to be demoted down to a few skirts, pants, a little black dress and my leather jacket.  I will continue to wear my other pieces I have now until they begin to show wear but will not be replacing them.  My signature colors will begin to shift a little as well.  I will keep the items that I have (the tunic and silk shell) but will be keeping a keen eye out for items in my “romance” color.  My teal will stay in place and I will be adding olive green to the mix.   Navy will continue to be one of my base colors but I will also include (where appropriate) the copper and camel colors.

Since I am still in the beginning stages of building my year-round capsule this isn’t earth shattering and hasn’t derailed my plans any. My “Spring” seasonal purchases involved blush pink and navy.  My new boots fall somewhere between copper and camel in color.  I am in a really good place to be able to make these little tweeks come fall/winter.

I will update as I get further along and choose my archetype and so forth.  I have my choices narrowed down but still mulling it all over a bit. I am also exploring learning my Base Type to determine style lines and have found a really fun typing system that ties in to all of this extremely well well at least for me.

Either way I am starting to feel a little less like a square peg.