SSintropost

Introducing The Signature/STYLE Newsletter

Fashion Forward

You sit down to go through your email today and find what appears to be a newsletter. You scroll down to find pictures of blouses in the colours and shapes that suit you better than any others could.

In this email, each image would include some commentary to help you understand why the particular colours and shapes are so flattering for you. Next time you shop, your eyes would be able to seek out those designs, or similar ones that follow the same formula.

In the open ocean of retail, you have a plan. You carry the thumbnail images in your head guiding what to choose, how to venture, and where to stop. While browsing, you recognize the items that you would have purchased a week ago, with a smile of relief for knowing your better choices today.

Three months later, another email will arrive to show you how to buy dress styles that are most becoming to your body in colours that look beautiful next to yours. Three months later, it will be winter coats. You would begin to see what the items have in common, noticing the consistencies that run through each of your newsletters. As you begin transforming your wardrobe, you might notice that your overall image becomes much clearer with even small adjustments when colours and lines work together.

Not only that, since the pictures are linked to the retail sites, you would gather a selection of stores and designers that could serve you best. More of your time, attention, and money would flow in directions that help you to truly look and feel better.

We women want to navigate a shopping mall successfully to look creative at the office and still appear professional. We desire to express health and happiness in our appearance and still be taken seriously at a party. We wish for an appearance that speaks of elegance and style whatever our personal definition of those might be, authentic to our unique selves rather than looking like everyone else.

Our clothes and jewelry can be extensions of that self, being true to our extrinsic colours, lines, and shapes, with the elements of intrinsic individuality that add excitement. Together, a woman and her apparel can bring out the absolute best in each other.

 Fashion Backward

All consumers need easy access to education and resources for shopping from a personal menu of Best Choices in the 21st Century shopping arena. Advice that is outdated, geared to flatter 20 year olds, either impossible to find or too common to suit more than a narrow percentage, is not helpful.

If the woman leaves the image consulting service looking costumed for a part in on Broadway, unpredictable and eccentric, old-fashioned in some odd way that was never a style in any era, or too mystified by the system to direct her own shopping decisions, she has not been served as well as possible.

The direction of fashion is presently in reverse.

The process of fashion begins with clothing manufacturers and media that apply colours or styles to every woman indiscriminately to sell as much as possible before the trend dies out. We see the rise and fall of certain colours and styles, which, in reality, are truly flattering to a very narrow group of people, those that sell magazines.

The wasted money is one problem. Our larger concern is the loss of self-esteem that accumulates over many years of feeling that we don’t fit into a mold. Though every body is perfectly proportioned, we can feel doubt about ourselves. In time, a belief settles in that wherever we differ from models and a mannequin is a flaw.

Nothing of the sort is remotely true. We are, each one of us, the mold that fashion should be retrofitted to.

Signature/STYLE

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Signature/STYLE is a cooperative project between Rachel Nachmias and I. We will go shopping with your colours and image type in mind, assembling a collage of your most becoming selections from everyday retailers into a newsletter that will arrive every three months. Items from the fashion world will be featured, explained, and linked to direct you to colours and styles that you wear better than any other colouring or body type.

To give you a sense of what to expect, for the past few months, we have pinned examples of the 12 Seasons’ colours in combination with the 10 image archetypes (IA) to the Shopping for Your Season and Style board at Pinterest. The pins were chosen mostly from runways and lookbooks. The Signature/STYLE newsletter will contain real items available for purchase from the stores many of us visit often.

There will be 20 different versions of Signature/STYLE, for the 20 possible Season and Archetype combinations. Each will focus on one of the 4 True Seasons, as Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and one of the 5 IAs, as Dramatic (D), Natural (N), Classic (C), Romantic (R), and Gamine (G), including its Yin and Yang variations (see Rachel’s’ recent article here explaining IA.

For every Season and Archetype pair, the Neutral Seasons and Ying/Yang variations of the IA will be presented in the same newsletter. This will allow you to compare your colours and lines with those of immediate neighbours to fine-tune your application of these concepts within your own palette and archetype.

A Light Summer woman whose IA is YangRomantic (YangR) will subscribe to the Summer/Romantic newsletters. In every issue, she will find her best self in clothing, along with comparisons to how her True and Soft Summer sisters would dress, and a YinRomantic’s adaptation of similar garments.

A Dark Autumn YangNatural will subscribe to Autumn/Natural.

A True Winter Dramatic will find her customized, personalized fashion review in the Winter/Dramatic issues.

We agree that appearance improves substantially by simply knowing which of the 4 True Season groups and 5 Archetype options is yours. Even if you know Summer of some kind and Natural, you will learn so much, shop with renewed confidence, dramatically elevate your wardrobe, and skyrocket your appearance.

The Layout

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The issue will begin with an image like the one above, to feature a relevant article from our sites, a beautiful cosmetic product, or any other information that would have value to your Season and Style.

Following that will be the Product section, seen below, presenting nine garments with text describing the reasons for their inclusion. This example issue features sleeveless blouses for the True, Light, and Soft Summer woman of either YinGamine or YangGamine (YinG and YangG) archetypes, with explanations as to which woman wears the item best and why.

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Each issue will have a theme. The first issue looks at warm weather and lightweight dresses. Another one might be about pant legs. Who wears straight leg? Who wears bootcut? How wide is the bootcut for each body type that wears it? What’s the best colour in jeans or your better-than-black for other occasions?

Next time, it might be bathing suits. Which style flatters your body best and inherently understands where and how to define your waist? A True Winter YinR might express herself slightly differently in colour and style than a Dark Winter YinR. We’ll show you how each woman wears her own design best.

One day, you will find beautiful dress styles that seem to know intuitively how you want your clothing to fit. There really are items in every fashion category that have been adjusted to minimize or eliminate the problems you find over and over with mass-market or trending styles.

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The pictures from this example issue show the newsletter divided in sections. Of course, it will be merged into one piece when your email arrives. You can see the issue in its entirety here on the site itself.

Subscription

Issues will arrive quarterly.   They will be responsive to all common computers, browsers, and mobile devices.

Cost is US$35.99 for 12 months (4 issues).

A one year commitment is required. Whenever you subscribe in a given year, you will receive all the issues from that year. Subscriptions begin 12 months from the sign-up date. The first issue includes Summer 2014 (now), Fall 2014, Winter 2014, and Spring 2015.

Sign up is done in this way. When you visit Signature/STYLE, you will see a Subscribe link at the top left corner of the screen. Once the page opens,  by clicking on the image of the newsletter, a box will open to select your Season and IA groups from two separate drop-down menus. Then click ADD TO CART. A box will open asking for the email address of the recipient. You can subscribe for as many versions as you wish at US$35.99 each.

Once you have completed your selections, click on the cart icon at the upper right. A payment screen will open asking for your payment information and email address. It looks similar to the PayPal screens, but this payment is equally secure and powered by Stripe. You can complete the order and be returned to Signature/STYLE. You will receive an order confirmation email.

The first issue will arrive within 48 hours of sign up, beginning with Sunday, August 17.

If you subscribe between issues, you receive the previous three issues from that year within two days. The remaining issues of the subscription are sent as soon as they are released.

Which Season? Which Archetype?

If Christine were to categorize herself 10 years ago, she would have incorrectly chosen Autumn and Natural. In truth, she is Winter and Classic. We understand how difficult it is to know ourselves. Books and online education only take you so far. Sometimes, you need expert help.

Your best bet is to begin with a correct and thorough personal colour analysis (PCA). You can find a directory of highly trained analysts working with the carefully calibrated 12 Blueprints drapes, here in the Directory on this site and at Your Natural Design here. This service cannot be performed accurately from photographs.

Rachel can do personal Image Analysis (PIA) accurately online. You can find that information here.

If you prefer to identify your IA without the full PIA service, you will find an updated and concise self-assessment quiz hosted on Rachel’s bestdressed.us site, available in September 2014. The quiz works astonishingly well for placing you in the correct category of the 5. Once you have a quiz result, you will be invited to download a free 8 page illustrated guide for your Image Archetype. On those pages, you will find archetype descriptions, apparel designs, garment examples, modern celebrity examples, imagery and inspiration to form an image of the woman you will dress.

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Contact

You can email us at e.signature.style@gmail.com

The website is http://signature-style.squarespace.com

Disclaimers

Determining colour accurately online is impossible for faces and quite challenging for clothing. As everyone knows who has shopped online, the colours in the images may be different than the real garment. Please do remember that if you purchase, items are returnable.

We have been surprised at how quickly stores are out of stock in various items. Should your item be no longer available when you receive your newsletter, take advantage of the learning opportunity. One day, that item will reappear and you won’t miss it.

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31 thoughts on “Introducing The Signature/STYLE Newsletter”

  1. This looks pretty amazing. I’ll definitely be subscribing. Just want to wait until September and do the quiz on Rachel’s site to see if it can determine my IA.

  2. I am also really looking forward to this and will wait until Rachel gets her quiz ready. Good work ladies!

  3. Thank you. This is a really good idea.
    I just summed up the costs and compared to what a fashion magazine costs in my country per issue – it is about the same – only I always feel they are a waste of time.
    Your newsletter I am pretty sure will not be a waste of time. I have benefitted greatly from both my style test with Rachel and my PCA. I already enjoy your work and cooperation on Pinterest. I haven’t posted much there myself, but shopping is so much easier now. So go ahead and send me more stuff, more inspiration. I am looking forward to something that is targeted to me, tailored for me. Thank you, you two kind colour and style angles :-)

  4. This looks like a great resource! I’m going to wait until September when I can do Rachel’s quiz since I’m not sure at all about my IA.

  5. I am not sure if you are referencing David Kibbe when you made this comment “If a woman leaves the image consulting service looking costumed for a part in on Broadway, unpredictable and eccentric, old fashioned in some off way that was never a style or too mystified by the system to direct her own shopping decisions, she has not been served as well as possible.” I had my own experience with him and found that not to be the case at all! He chose array of clothing for me that suits my True Spring coloring as well my lifestyle from work to play! I felt this to be an insulting comment for a true genius with years of experience. If I were you I would eliminate that comment or others like myself will continue to read between the lines!

  6. Hi, just wonder who Rachel interned with in NYC? I’m asking because I know she saw David Kibbe about a year ago to style her and uses his source material heavily in her quiz. I haven’t seen her cite to him, but I may have missed it.

  7. Thanks to everyone for the comments. The newsletter has met with excellent feedback and requests to bring it out more often – which Rachel and I might be very happy to do. We love the shopping and discussing items and would love a reason to do more of it.

    Cindi and Nicole – thanks especially for your questions. I avoid naming names in my writing but am very glad that you do. These are questions everyone asks and a fabulous opportunity to go through the answers.

    About the comment “If a woman…”, am I thinking of Mr. Kibbe? He least of all, in fact. Lots of image consulting pictures appear in front of women and my usual feeling is some version of what the comment “If a woman…” says, whether magazines, Hollywood stylists, private consultants, there are many. I certainly haven’t seen them all, I am not in the room when the photo is taken, and I live in a conservative place, I’m first to admit that I have all these limitations. But some of those pictures, I think, “How is a woman supposed to get taken seriously in this?” Now and again, any consultant for anything can (and probably should) infuse some individuality, but the woman gets lots in these infusions. She also doesn’t have a clue how to shop because there is no system in place, or she can’t fathom the one that exists. Some of his client images are a little bewildering, but as I said, he least of all and he has a unique vision and brand, as it should be. His is the only system that ever made any sense to me. I can see clearly that it works instantly when it’s interpreted correctly and modernized from the original book.

    It is important to emphasize that I don’t feel anyone should get all their advice on any topic from one source. Everyone has something to add. It is not us or them, it is us and them. Many consultants have a beautiful and unique creativity. Within their service are gorgeous ideas, great and surprising expressions of individuality, all of which are good. For the woman who already understands her archetype, perhaps these are the best services she could pursue. But if you’re coming into it like me, needing a scaffold on which to build an entire look in every wardrobe category at a price point I can manage, to look modern, healthy, and competent, that I can replicate over and over in any store no matter which item I am buying, I seldom find my answers in many of the looks I see.

    As to Rachel’s interpretation of image and terms like Romantic, Dramatic, and so on, that have existed in fashion for ages, and how they relate to Mr. Kibbe’s work, I will step aside and allow her to answer. She may do this here or in a blog post which I will come back and link to.

    Again, sincere thanks for asking.

  8. A few feedback comments as this project gets going,

    – Not all of the links are working on every computer and browser. I don’t fully understand the reason at this time. We’ll work on it. In the meantime, link archives are kept so if any isn’t working, email me and I’ll connect you with the item with a direct link. Stores sometimes change their entire links libraries unexpectedly, even very big stores, which breaks the link for anyone showing their items on their blogs and sites. Email me, I’ll find the clothes for you.

    – It’s true that certain items or sizes are sold out. Part of the reason is that this issue came out a little later than we hoped. That will not happen again. First time projects always pop up unexpected issues to work through. Still, sold out items can happen anytime. Some stores must buy very few of certain inventory styles and sizes. Since we are not Vogue and can’t access fall inventory in April, we’ll do our best.

    – When items show Out of Stock, look in the Sale section of the store. Once they move them to Sale, the link changes. The up side of the issue now being end of summer is that most of the items are at well reduced prices.

    – As indicated above, there will be 9 items total, with definite possibility for expanding that number as opposed to bringing out more issues per year. The items shown, at least in the early issues, will be similar to those above in that they are widely appropriate for a woman of that IA. If you are the rare individual who knows her IA, what the styles truly are (and are not), and where to find her clothing, you may feel that the items shown are not as inspired as you’d hoped. You may be over-qualified for this product. The woman seeking personalized, creative style advice more unique to her would be the perfect client for an image consulting service that works one-on-one. For women like me who are still learning their best style guidelines, the early issues of Signature/STYLE will show more all-encompassing styles. Once we’ve all reached the same baseline together, and once Rachel and I understand from your feedback what adjustments you would like to see, we can migrate to more exclusive choices.

  9. Hi. I have subscribed to the spring gamine newsletter and wanted to let you know it is really helpful for me. I haven’t been able to really get a handle on the gamine style on my own. It helps to see the differences between the light/true/bright colors and the yin/yang versions of the style. Thank you for doing this!

  10. Christine, thank you for your response. It was a very easy conclusion of me to make because it is well know that Rachel has seen David Kibbe and has fashioned her style business after his, using a version of his quiz and using much of the same terminology. I still feel it would be nice it you would remove the comment because others than myself have thought that you were speaking of David.

  11. Agree with Cindi. I appreciate your response too Christine. Cindi and I are not the only ones who’ve seen this and thought you meant David though, especially since Rachel uses so much of his material for her business, and even until recently was using the names of his archetypes as well (not just the Romantic, Dramatic, etc., but all of them, even when she was building her initial flowchart). I just think it’s bad form not to cite the original artist(s), especially if you don’t have permission to use their material for personal gain. I know from reading your blog for years that you always give credit for those who trained you, so that’s more for Rachel to respond.

  12. I wish Rachel would come up with her own system and her own test. Sure, lots of people have used Natural, Romantic, Dramatic, and there’s no problem with using similar terms. But Kibbe laid out his types very clearly, and he included a test in his book that Rachel has taken verbatim and added a sentence to. I also think the use of Kibbe’s descriptors such as “Fresh and Sensual Lady” is overstepping the fair-use line. Adding a scoring system to his test does not make it, as Rachel calls it, “fundamentally her system”.

  13. Hi all. I’m not really able to comment on the few most recent posts (regarding David Kibbe). I am somewhat familiar with his name and system, but have never read his book. But as far as the new joint venture (the newsletter) I am very excited about this. I had a PCA done with Heather Noakes not that long ago when she was traveling in the New Orleans area. I was analyzed a Bright Winter and have to admit that I wasn’t expecting it, and was somewhat intimidated by the palette. Well, fast forward a couple of months and I am knee deep in my new colors (clothes and cosmetics) and loving them! I’ve just felt though that I could take things a step further and perfect it all with “style.” Sounds like this newsletter will help greatly. ‘Looking forward to taking Rachel’s quiz and then subscribing!

  14. In my opinion thinking of David Kibbe in context of that sentence (that it must be about him) is quite diminishing for him. In the past I wasn’t kin of his system or his book- because it was written long time ago and examples, some recomended styles and rules fit best for that times and I’ve seen some examples of using the book like 30 years hasn’t passed – not by the author but by less talented stylists/fans. That been said, I wouldn’t think that Kibbe as a brilliant stylist is making someone look costumed, odd or old-fashioned. I haven’t seen his recent work but assumed he of all can use his system now, with as good results as in the past.

  15. There’s a point you make that I really agree with, Daga, if I understand you correctly. That is, what might have applied to a look 40 years ago doesn’t apply in 2015. Although I do not know for certain, an example is Peter Pan collars. It might have been part of a Classic look at some point but I do not see it working on a modern Classic woman, no matter how Yin she might be. Your “like 30 years hasn’t passed” was very apt and important.
    Also, sometimes the creator of a system is not the person who implements it best, or markets it best, or adapts it for a changing consumer base best. Nobody is that unique or indispensable. As soon as the paradigm assumes a real physical form, there are already people who will come along and use it better, see it more profoundly, and shape it into more than the originator could see at the time.

  16. That was my main point Christine. When I first knew Kibbe system I saw it as a set of rules, more than a philosophy. The problem is that strict set of rules, specific styles or shapes are 100% accurate only for that time in fashion (even if its ambition is to be universal). The philosophy behind it (as I discovered recently) is timeless, but the other elements require adjusting according to modern fashion and creating a look by adding the elements together.
    I love what you did with Rachel. I see a new, modern approach, important changes which made the system more appealing to me – don’t know is it entirely new system, cause there a resemblance to Kibbe (and others) and I’m still learning it. What I like the most is that Rachels approach is flexible and her looks are contemporary, fashionable. I think change to Yin/Yang was brilliant cause I see it more as a continuum in each category (R,G,N…) which allows to further adjust each category and make it more individual – like we all are in our bodies and faces. It allows me to see archetypes not as stereotyped close categories but as “frames” allowing to create with personal taste and style – with wonderfull advice from you :)

  17. Well…I did in fact see David Kibbe, last month. All of his examples and clothing choices for me were very modern, and in tune with my personality and my lifestyle. I’m not sure if I’m understanding you Christine, so I’ll ask to clarify this in my own head: are you saying that David Kibbe is no longer the right person to implement his own system? Isn’t that like saying you are better than Kathryn Kalisz was at using her system? David has never stopped styling people, his book just happens to be 30 years old. His ideas are not stuck in the 80s, nor is he.

  18. Daga, Kibbe’s book may seem like a set of rules, but that’s because he was trying to write something that people could follow without seeing him for a consultation. If you’ve read Christine’s book, you’ll see she does similar things with the personalities of the seasons and such. Kibbe’s approach is very much a philosophy – a philosophy to embrace who you truly are rather than try to negate your “flaws” through fashion. Kibbe certainly doesn’t see the types as stereotypes as you imply, nor is he inflexible. He’s very fashionable and contemporary; his book is quite old and outdated, but he is not!

    I’ve seen both Kibbe and Rachel, and Kibbe nailed my type and style; the clothes he chose for me make me feel thinner and more attractive. Rachel tried to give me an extra dose of yin, and suggested styles that I’ve attempted unsuccessfully in the past. The difference is that Rachel has very strong opinions of how a person *should* look, whereas Kibbe truly embraces who you really are. He’s amazing, and absolutely implements his system the best!

  19. Nicole – I don’t really see any of this as being about me. I try to keep the lens angle far wider than that. The frame that I place around my thinking is always aimed towards the best possible strength and health of our industry, our group of analysts, and the clients whose lives we strive to improve. All I’m saying is that great things start somewhere, everything can always get better, and does get better with every new mind that comes in contact with it. No ideology, or anything else, can be frozen. Progress will happen, and it is for the good overall, although destabilizing in the moment as everyone reflects on the new directions. Apple Computers will be different and better after Mr. Jobs’ passing. It applies equally across every industry. It’s not good or bad, it just is.

    Gertrude – I agree that he is brilliant. For my taste and from what I have seen of fashion, he is absolutely far and away above the rest. And YES about the part that there is nothing wrong with women’s bodies. We do not need fixing, and the more work goes into fixing us, the worse we look and the weaker we become. He did women such an enormous service when he showed us apparel in that way. It’s not possible that his clients would not be entirely satisfied, as would many clients of any fashion consultant. Every woman will have her own experience and that’s fine. Every woman will have her own opinion about it all. Good. It’s normal. But our apparel is far too big a topic to narrow down to one woman’s outfits or opinions. There are several sides, all of which bear some consideration and ought to be given their space. The whole will be stronger for it.

  20. Nicole and Gertrude – read my first comment, I assumed that Kibbe can do it well, that’s why I didn’t think that the sentence about “old fashioned, odd etc.” is about him the first place (hope that was clear – cause I’m not fluent in English). My opinion couldn’t be directed against him cause I know too little of his recent work to criticise it. I was just describing what I thought just after knowing the book and some examples of less talented stylists cause there are many fans of his book around the world- not all creative enough to implement it in modern way. The book is outdated (like any style book afer decades) – but when I understood the philosophy behind it – I changed my mind about Kibbe. My warm words directed to Christine and Rachel is my personal opinion, cause I know their vision from reading blogs, watching them on Pintrest. They made me see what I was missing in the book and opened my mind. I like their ideas and mostly share their point of view – although I have my own strong sense of style and seek for inspiration only.

  21. Is the image archetype quiz ready yet? Haven’t been able to find it on Rachel’s site. Thx

  22. Yes…I was wondering the same thing. I’ve been checking every few days on Rachel’s site for the quiz. Ladies?

  23. Me too. I’ve been waiting to register for the newsletter until I can take the quiz. I’m hoping that it will be much easier to get right than Kibbe’s. I’ve had a terrible time with it for a lot of years!

  24. Rachel is working on it. She promises before the next newsletter, which will go out in the next 2 weeks.

  25. Really looking forward to the quiz, whenever it is up. I’ve tried the illustrated Kibbe quiz and just find it confusing.

  26. I would love to subscribe to this service *if* you were swatching the items in person. For me, the biggest value would be in knowing it was the correct color. I hope you will add this to your service!

  27. I appreciate the point, Anna, I really do. Unfortunately, it is not possible. Some of the retailers are in the U.K. (by request from our readers), and even in the US, we’d have to visit several cities to find all the items in regular stores that can be had online. Probably among the many reasons why online shopping in women’s clothing exceeded that in stores many years ago.

    The quiz is having technical difficulties. Although quite excellent, full of original content from the POV of how women see themselves and answer these sorts of questions, and an accurate guide to what you can cross off the list, the great element of a woman’s essence absolutely factors in. How to verbalize this in a way that woman can understand on their own is challenging – I cannot (and should not) say, but it sure is in my mind as I see body types analyzed and quiz results interpreted in light of the woman herself. Even in the same category, we are excellent in different things. Anyhow, digressing, Rachel and I have decided not to delay the next issue for all the subscribers already paid and waiting for it while items are still in stores. We feel a greater weight of commitment to those already on board. I can’t give you an ETA but know that we are thinking about it and progress is happening. Computers, ay? They don’t often do exactly what we expect them to.

  28. Thanks for the update! Computers make everything easier and harder all at the same time!

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