For this post, I have decided to discuss my essence traits that impact the way I dress. These essence traits are part of style theory. Essences were developed by John Kitchener whom he built upon McJimsey’s original style archetypes based on Yin and Yang features, adding in Ethereal as the most Yin and feminine essence. These essences are often discussed with David Kibbe’s style IDs, which I will discuss a bit in tomorrow’s post! To be clear, today’s post, in addition to tomorrow’s Kibbe post, is more about my journey than it is about the complexities of these essences. I have a list of further reading and watching at the bottom to help those interested in finding their own unique essence blend!
I personally am a primarily Ethereal essence, at least that is what I have determined based on my looks, features, and how others have perceived me. I have also realized that I have the secondary influence of Ingenue and tertiary Romantic essences.
Now, how do we define each of these essences? Romantic is the lush feminine and sexy woman, the most feminine in an adult sense. Ingenue is the youthfully feminine and sweet girly essence. My primary of Ethereal is, as the name suggests, the Otherworldly feminine. Ethereal is also an example of an otherness in some way, like an extraterrestrial, coming from another time, and having Faery looks. For me, I do not embody the extraterrestrial otherness, that someone like Tilda Swinton embodies so beautifully. My looks are those that people often refer to as Faery-like, faerytale Princess, or looking as though I belong in another era. This makes me feel like I am not of this time or this place. I am often referred to as things like “Snow White” (by work friends), “Head Elf” (by work friends), “Red Riding Hood” (by work friends), “Tinkerbell” (by my high school best friend), “Real Life Faery” (by my best friend), and “Doll” (by my husband!
Now, I could see these things as insulting, if I wasn’t such a traditionally hyper-feminine person, but the truth is I genuinely adore these things about myself! I fully embrace my Ethereal-ness, my otherness. My type of Ethereal essence may otherwise be referred to as “Dark Ethereal” because I have high contrast (where many Ethereals have low contrast), someone who is discussed as being a Dark Ethereal is Winona Ryder. This means that beyond wearing Ethereal lines in the traditional pale colors I can also wear these same lines in dark colors, as my high contrast of pale skin and dark auburn hair allows it!
Beyond this, I am influenced by the Ingenue essence, as I am often seen as much younger than I am. Routinely, I am someone that people are shocked to learn my age, as I am known to look younger than my physical age. Finally, I am someone with a Romantic undercurrent. This is true in that I have obvious sexuality that I happily embrace and am even proud of!
So, I do have to admit that I did not get typed by John Kitchener. That is technically the “only” way to know for sure, as it is his system. However, I have read heavily, watched many YouTube videos, and thought about it very deeply. I have focused on photos of me through the years, as well as thinking about how many people have spoken of me (as this can give deep insight into your essence as seen by others)! All of this leads me to feel that I have accurately worked out my innate essence. I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my essence journey. I also hope that this may inspire others who are interested in Kitchener’s essences to look into it for themselves. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!