Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Review: Dressing Your Truth

Which of the 4 Types are you?

The old joke goes like this, “There are two types of people: those who believe there are two types of people and those who don’t.”

My own version: “There are two types of women: those who seem to have innately developed a strong personal style by the time their first molars come in, and the rest of us.”

The rest of us sometimes need a little help and guidance to come to an understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and why. There are scores of great style books out there that tackle the “what, when and where” of style, the purely physical and situational aspects, but far fewer that delve into the “who” and “why.”

If you’ve had the experience of wearing garments that should be perfect for your shape and coloring but knowing that some that something’s still missing, you might find Carol Tuttle’s book “Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile” and Dressing Your Truth course helpful. I reviewed both a few years back, but recently was contacted by the DYT team and asked to have another look and review again, as the videos and website have been updated and expanded.

The premise of Dressing Your Truth Beauty Profiling is that there are four “energy types.” We each embody aspects of all of these energy types but one will dominate. And finding our dominant energy type will help determine what looks best on us, and helps us feel most “ourselves.” When our appearance and clothing are in harmony with our dominant energy type, we will look and feel more energized, attractive and vibrant. Yeah, I know. It all sounds more than a little “woo woo” and New-Age-y. But, in reading through the descriptions of the different energy types, the attributes of Type 4 people really resonated with me, and the styles and clothing recommended for this energy type also aligned with the types of clean, bold style I’ve always been drawn to and feel best in.

Type 1 Makeover – April

Pros:
Dressing Your Truth a very affirming, body- and age-positive approach and program. The focus isn’t on some sort of cookie-cutter, media-sanctioned version of beauty or style, even within a Type. Carol emphasizes how the fashion and beauty industries promote a single, narrow standard of what’s beautiful, and shows a way to see past that and really embrace our own type of beauty. There’s no “10 Items Every Woman Must Have” type of advice. The idea of focusing on “dominant energy” or “movement” is, IMO a very holistic approach that addresses not only our physical selves when exploring style and beauty, but our personality, expression, and way of being in the world. With Dressing Your Truth, you become your own expert, and rely on your own intuition and judgement in determining your dominant Type. The clothing, accessories and beauty recommendations for each type are clear and a lot of information and support is available from the website. Carol might say this is my Type 4-ness coming through, but I really like being able to define, analyze and duplicate the styles that work for me, and Dressing Your Truth really provides those tools.

Type 2 Makeover – Mary Helen

Some may take issue with…
Any style/beauty advice or system can feel dogmatic and rigid, especially when it conflicts with our own taste, experience or ideas. Some may feel the 4 types are too restrictive, or simplistic. For those who have been draped in Sci-Art or other color systems, the DYT recommendations may conflict with what a color or image analyst has suggested for you. Some of the clothing shown in the course videos looks a bit dated, but I do believe some of the videos are a few years old. (But I also think the general guidelines for each type can be applied to what’s currently available.) You may not agree with or like all of the recommendations for your type. If you’re a makeup minimalist, you may find the makeup recommendations for some of the types a bit garish. Be aware that the “Beauty Profile” book and introductory course help you determine your dominant energy type, but do not provide specific style/color/makeup/hair recommendations once you do; that requires purchase of the full course.

Type 3 Makeover – Judy

The bottom line:
There are a lot of different systems and philosophies for categorizing the styles and colors that will be most flattering and work best for each of us. I’m not ready to sign on to any one of them to the exclusion of all others. Last winter I had a comprehensive color analysis by a Sci-Art trained consultant who assessed my seasonal color palette as Light Summer. A few of these colors are within the DYT Type 4 color recommendations but many are not. I do know that when I’ve tried to dress “softer” (with regard to colors or styles/shapes) that I feel frumpy and faded. I love the bolder expression of DYT Type 4, and even though I may take a pass on some of the colors recommended for this type, I know that feel and look better with a bit more contrast and brightness.

Type 4 Makeover – Deborah

I still stand by my “tools not rules” philosophy when it comes to any kind of style or beauty advice/system, but I do think Dressing Your Truth offers some very valuable tools. If you’re at a point in your life where:

  • you want to shop smarter and really hone your style
  • you are overwhelmed by all of the (often conflicting) style advice out there and don’t know where to begin
  • you are looking to update your style to keep up with changes in your life
  • you’ve done some research and perhaps even worked with a stylist or color consultant but feel that some component is still missing
  • you have a closet full of clothes but “nothing to wear”
  • you copy styles or ensembles you like but feel like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes
then Dressing Your Truth is definitely worth checking out. 

Right now, Carol is offering a free introductory coursewhich includes 20 days’ worth of videos, tips, and a special offer if you decide to purchase the full course. The full course includes the book Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile, a style guide for your type, and a $10 credit at the online store, where you can shop for clothing, makeup and accessories selected specifically for your type.

Disclosure: I was given access to the full website/program at no charge in order to review.
~

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

29 thoughts on “Review: Dressing Your Truth

  1. Duchesse

    When I look at the photos, I see safe or mumsy in the before, and more vibrant, current examples- some with restyled hair- in the after, and cannot differentiate among “energy types” in any of these photos.

    “Energy” applied in the non-scientific, vernacular way usually refers to the projection of vitality and personal characteristics. Do we not all have varying “energy”? I like the departure from prescriptive Rachel Zoe-type styling and the age-terror women like Charla Krupp preyed upon.

    When I sift through photos of myself, I notice I look *entirely* different when I’m rested, happy and/or have had the time to pay attention to my clothes and hair.

    Reply
  2. mette

    I must admit, that having looked at the before/ after pictures, I am not impressed.
    When I watched ( years ago ) TV´s before/after programs, I felt that everyone was remodeled in a much similar way, totally lacking personality.
    I have to agree with the beginning of your post, either you have a natural sense of knowing what you like/ what you want, or you don´t.
    If you don´t, you can learn it.

    Reply
  3. kathy peck

    Wow – I sort of like all the “before” photos before. To my eye, the women all look more comfortable, and not trying to be something they’re not? Also, agree with Mette – they had more individuality in the before photos.

    Reply
  4. California Girl

    Not crazy about the photo examples. IMO the most dramatic and best example is Deborah. She rocks that look and hair style. April looks better with a straight hair style. The curly look seems frivolous on her. I prefer the grey sweater which would look really nice with a pale yellow pashmina or long scarf. Mary Helen’s look is a subtle change but nice. Judy’s change is over-the-top–lose the too big earrings & big sweater.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    As one who is simultaneously attracted to, and repelled by, this sort of typing –the result, no doubt (as frugalscholar says) of early imprinting by all those Seventeen magazine “What kind of perfume/hairstyle/boyfriend is best for you?” quizzes, I appreciate your balanced overview of this, and may just check it out for fun.

    C.

    Reply
  6. othello

    As always, your post is informative and interesting. Since, I’m always open to learning something new and remain hopeful that someone’s “studied” ideas will offer a new perspective or tip regardless of how small, I signed up for the free introduction. I always had a strong sense of style, but years of practice and picking up ideas from various resources, such as the one described in your post today, enrich and widen my “repertoire”. Retirement ( since September of 2011) has thrown me for a bit of a loop, but I hesitate to throw decades worth of building a ‘career” wardrobe into recycling cans or to a resale shop as I may decide on a part-time career down the road. Besides, most of the pieces (most not all as there have been some costly errors) have been chosen because of how they demanded my attention above all other choices, how they streamlined my body and how they fit seamlessly into my existing wardrobe. If only I had the same luck with my hairstyle! YIKES!

    Reply
  7. laurieann

    While I have not done the DYT ‘program’ I spent quite a while looking over the site; reading and looking over the various videos. I’m fairly certain I’m a type 2 though I don’t go in for as much ‘frill’ on my clothing as I do drape, fabric softness and color. What I did do was a full Sci/Art Color Analysis program and I’m so glad I did. The money spent on that was well worth it. I would personally recommend that if money and time are limited (and who’s isn’t?) consider doing a full SciArt analysis first and then see if you need anything else. My Sci/Art color swatches have really given me a new place to focus my few clothing purchases from which I reaped far more flexibility than I ever had before. I’ve used a number of books as guides for body shape and clothing to flatter but I really think the Sci/Art color system has helped me pull my wardrobe together and be far happier with it than anything I’ve done previously.

    Reply
  8. Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell

    A while back they had a try it for a while before buying. I did and I did not like it at all. The video’s were way too dated and too focused on a couple of the types. I did buy the book and there were some interesting things to read, but overall I was not impressed at all. Ithink the Sci/Art would be much more valuable and would love to do that if there were anyone here who did that. I did a color analysis years ago and it was fairly good.
    DYT was just not for me.
    I really think that blogging has helped me define my style more than anything else. Yes, I still have “misses” on what I wear, but overall I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers.

    Reply
  9. Susan Partlan

    I think Judy looks better in the Type 3 before photo. I noticed that with the exception of Judy all of the women are smiling more in the after photos. The after photos strike me as over-styled. I like the idea of dressing for your dominant “energy” but in my case that would be the 2012 version of an 1890s Iowa school teacher. Spectacles and sensible shoes with a punk haircut?

    Reply
  10. J.W.

    I’m exhausted just thinking about this. If the introductory course is 20 days, how long is the full course? Where is the ‘fun’ in any of this? It seems like ‘trying too hard.’ Thank you however.

    Reply
  11. Elle

    This is frankly ridiculous to me. As earlier commenters said, the models are generally have bigger smiles “after” than before. But frankly, I didn’t see anything wrong in the “before’s” in the first place – maybe Deborah’s jacket was too big. But really, most importantly, categorizing women into four style types is insulting. Yuck.

    Reply
  12. othello

    Well, I just finished the 4th lesson in the free introductory offer from, ” Dressing Your Truth.” So far I have concluded that my energy profile is battling it out between Type 1 and Type 2. I have the facial structure and features of a TYPE 4 with dimples from a TYPE 1 and skin texture from a TYPE 3. I am small and “cute” from TYPE 1. That leaves me a complete Mish Mash. I am eager to see how I get sorted out in the future episodes of the series.

    Reply
  13. Paula

    Thank you! I bookmark this and already visited Carol Tuttle’s website. I have never heard of this before, so again: thank you for this effort!

    Reply
  14. Kat

    I have always known my own style, but have lived with/shopped with those who wanted me to be more “open” to the types of clothing that looked good on them… polka dots, pastels, ruffles, drapey types of outfits. I read Carol Tuttle’s book several years ago, and noticed that her “Type 4″ woman was really just a description of ME! When I read about the other types, I noticed that my polka dot friend had many qualities of a Type 1 – she is upbeat and sees the possibilities in everything. My drapey, pastel aunt was clearly a Type 2…she worked well behind the scenes as a first-rate organizer. I was intrigued, and I purchased a course in my type. I did not learn so much new about my own preferences with style – I have always preferred structured, linear, clean lines in my clothing – but I learned so much about myself and my friends and the ways we might view the world. I don’t think of the “Types” as stagnant categories, but as dynamic, liberating ways to see people’s different perspectives .

    Reply
  15. sharon

    I just finished the DYT on-line introduction and found it entertaining, but not as useful as the Sci/Art color analysis I had earlier in the year. (Thank you Christine Scaman!) Dressing well is more than just wearing flattering colors, it’s also about selecting clothes in fabrics and lines that compliment your shape, and also fit your personality, so I was intrigued by the DYT concept.
    In the end I walked away amused and confused. Does that mean I’m a Type 4, who doesn’t think she can be categorized?!

    Reply
    1. Paula

      same for me! (see my comment below). What amazed me most was the “pureness” my partner lives: totally type 2. Comfort above everything.

      Reply
  16. Paula

    I watched all videos and have to say I like the approach. What I did not like is the fact, that the videos leave you with the knowledge, which type you are, but without any tipps, how to dress better. I would have to spend 150 EUR to get that information. I was hoping for a few tipps.
    Or did I miss something and more videos are to come?

    Reply
    1. Anne

      Yes once you know your type you need to buy the DYT course that suits you. There you will have all the information of how to dress.

      Reply
  17. Anonymous

    It seems very gimicky to me. I’m a short, wide, buxum type 3. I will not look good in the same clothes as a tall, willowy type 3. Body shape makes a HUGE difference in what designs look good, and she totally ignores it. Also, I get the most compliments when I wear Spring colors, and she says type 3’s are Autumn. I don’t buy it. I look doudy in Autumn colors.
    – kelly

    Reply
  18. Anne

    I did the DYT course about 3 years ago now. It changed my life not only in the way that I dress but also increased my understanding of other people. I went from a 40 something who was not confident in her dressing style to embracing my style and what is more to finding a new found vitality for life. This zest for life continues to this day. Shopping is now a joy! I studied all the 4 styles and bought all 4 of the courses and this has led to a real appreciation of others – When I see a type 4 being critical I just rejoice and laugh
    now that ‘they are just trying to perfect the world”. I can’t thank Carol enough for working out this unique – and wonderful programme.

    Reply
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