Many of you have been asking about the particulars of my Style Analysis with Red Leopard, and specifically about the “Gamine” style personality. So here’s a bit more detail about the style guidelines, and how I’m incorporating them.
(No, those mostly aren’t my colors. 😉)
What Does Gamine Style Mean?
I’ll admit, that assessment both delighted and surprised me. Delighted, because in general it’s a style I’ve always loved and been drawn to. Surprised, because I didn’t (and don’t) have what I’ve always considered a “gamine” body. Yes, I’m petite, but with more curves and softer contours than I usually associate with the iconic gamines (Jean Seberg, Audrey Hepburn). Red Leopard very generally defines gamine as neat, fun, snappy, tomboyish. In their style taxonomy, a Gamine can be any shape.
But that wasn’t the extent of the style analysis, just the starting framework. The Red Leopard team took detailed measurements, and analyzed my body shape and proportions. They also looked at my face shape and features. As a result, I left with a very detailed notebook of which shapes, fabrics, accessories, and design details will work best for me. It’s a very comprehensive process, and very individualized. So the cuts and styles that work for me may diverge from someone else who is also a Gamine but has different proportions. (Manina, for example.)
Some of the personalized Gamine style suggestions were already in line with how I like to dress. Clean shapes and unfussy styles (no tiers, ruffles, big splashy prints), but with interesting small-scale details. Slim cropped and ankle-length pants. Ankle boots, loafers, low-heeled shoes. Quirky, “funky” elements. Nothing too rugged or distressed.
Then there were the re-alignments:
Fits: tops and jackets are best when shorter (top of hip length) and more fitted, but not tucked in. (After years of wearing long-over-lean silhouettes almost exclusively, this is the biggest change for me.) Avoid baggy, slouchy, oversized cuts.
Necklines: turns out I can wear crewnecks, as long as they aren’t higher than my clavicle. Boatnecks are good and shallow v-necks. Necklines are best when “neat.” I can even wear shirts buttoned all the way up, depending on what I’m wearing them with. (I tried on a few different tops they had on hand during my Red Leopard session to be able to see the effect, and they were right.)
Jackets: my best lengths are either top of thigh or knee length (so my long navy blazer is 👍). Some boxier styles are actually OK. (Again, demonstrated with some of the pieces I tried on during the session.) Mid-thigh is actually my worst length for jackets or cardigans. (I still have a few in my wardrobe; will avoid buying any more.)
Textures and Prints: too much texture overwhelms me, so big chunky sweaters are a no-go. Same for chunky bouclé fabrics ❌. Nothing too stiff, but I do need some structure. I’ve been moving away from droopy fabrics anyway, so that makes sense. My best prints are smaller and evenly spaced, not too much contrast.
Jewelry and Accessories: they suggested smaller post earrings for daytime, which I’m beginning to incorporate. I’ve been retiring my heavier earrings anyway, so this works for me. Smaller hoops are good too. For scarves, again it’s about staying away from too much volume or texture which swamps me. And keeping ties simple and neat, not a lot of fabric flapping around. Bags: small to medium sized, with some structure.
Implementing & Adapting The Gamine Style Guidelines
Now, all of these are “tools, not rules.” I’m adapting some of the Gamine style guidelines for our lifestyle, which is mostly casual, and for our locale (Southern California) where being too “done up” feels out of place. Sometimes I incorporate a some “Natural” elements into my style, which Annie says is fine, as long as it’s neat and not too bulky/textured.
Doesn’t this all feel a bit limiting? No, actually. I like having a framework, and being able to quantify why something works or doesn’t. It’s helping me to build a cohesive wardrobe but with a little more color and interest. I’ve become much more discriminating about what I purchase, and what I do have works well together. (And I’ve hung onto a few favorite pieces that aren’t quite Gamine until I can replace them with ones that are.)
It’s also helped me to appreciate the uniqueness of my physical self. I’ve stopped thinking that losing weight is going to completely change what I can wear. I’m less self-conscious, and more accepting of what I look like now. I feel freer to wear styles without worrying about whether they make me look taller and thinner.
The Style Personality Profiles
Here are the other Style Personality Profiles that Red Leopard uses. You might be one or a combination of more than one.
- The Diva/Dramatic: flamboyant, over the top, intense, can be a little bit intimidating. Think Annie Lennox, Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Rhianna
- The Classic: Elegant, well-groomed, understated and chic. Think Grace Kelly, Duchess of Cambridge, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett.
- The Huntswoman/Natural Classic: Sporty yet elegant, relaxed yet put-together. Think Meryl Streep, Jennifer Anniston, Princess Diana.
- The Adventurer/Natural: Sporty, outdoorsy, relaxed and wholesome, needs easy, textured styles. Think: Lauren Hutton, Ali McGraw, Julia Roberts.
- The Gamine: neat, cute, fun, funky. Think Audrey Hepburn, Emma Watson, Carey Mulligan, Ellen DeGeneres.
- The Princess: pretty, delicate, feminine, with small-scale, petite features. Think Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried.
- The Bohemian/Natural Romantic: Feminine, sexy, glamorous, earthy. Think: Drew Barrymore, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Winslet, Lily Tomlin.
- The Starlet: Pretty, feminine, sweetly sexy. Think Reese Witherspoon, Christina Ricci, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson.
- The Romantic: Glamorous, sophisticated, ultra-feminine and usually curvy. Think: Christina Hendricks, Elizabeth Taylor, Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey.
- The Gypsy/Musketeer: Theatrical, flamboyant, exciting and earthy. Think Helena Bonham Carter, Debra Messing, Salma Hayek.
Which of the style profiles (or combination of) do you think best suits you?