Audio is transcribed with AI software, please excuse typos and mistakes.

Speaker 1 0:00
Hey baby, What’s your type? Are you a flamboyant natural? Or maybe you’re a style scientist? Are you a type three? Or perhaps you’re more of a left and down? If you’re wondering if I started drinking before recording this podcast, I can assure you I have not. These are all descriptions from styled typing systems you can find on the internet that are all designed to help make it easy for you to get dressed and love the results. But do they? Do they really? Today we’re going to find out let’s get started.

Speaker 1 0:46
Hello, gorgeous. Welcome back to the everyday style school, the podcast that gives real lifestyle advice to real life women. If you’re new here, welcome. I’m your host, Jennifer Mackay, Mary. I’m a wardrobe stylist who has been dressing everyday women for over 20 years. And I’m the founder of everyday style, where we’re on a mission to inspire women to love the way they look and give you the tools to make getting dressed easy. If you’re a longtime listener, thank you for choosing me again this week. Before we get into today’s topic, which I will admit I’m a little passionate about, I want to say that this is not to throw shade on any creator out there, I have tons of respect for my fellow stylists on the internet. And for that reason, I’m not going to even share what most of these systems are types are. And the creator of the one I am going to name charges 1000s of dollars for an in person consultation. So I’m pretty sure he’s going to be okay. The names of the creators of the other systems or even what the systems are, it’s just really not that important. They’re just examples of the idea that putting yourself into a predetermined category makes style easier. And if one of these systems has helped you, I think that’s fantastic. I truly do. There are lots of ways to reach a goal. And if you found something that works for you, I am thrilled. Hopefully that saves you from having to write me a strongly worded email to defend your favorite system. Or if you’re the creator of the system, I respect your work, you don’t have to email me either. Let’s move on. Okay. This show has actually been in the works for ages. And the idea for it happened when one of my sisters, the one who’s bodyshaping, looks are closest to mine, texted me and said, What’s your Kibi type k i BB E. And I was like my kibble type, like what do I feed my dogs? And she said, No, what’s your Kibi body type because I can’t figure mine out. Now, I hope at this point, we can all agree that I’m a person who knows a thing or two about body types, right? Because I’ve seen a thing or two about body types. But I had never heard of this. I was on a walk when I got her text. But I told her I checked it out when I got home. And that’s when I went down a Kibi rabbit hole for hours. And in the end, I was more confused about my own body shape than when I started. For those of you who are in the Kibi Dark Ages, like I was, here’s a quick definition taken right from the internet. That Kibi body types are a Total Image system based largely on a person’s balance of yin and yang. There are 13 different body types, each falling somewhere along two axes. Yin and Yang contrast, blended. Right. Got it all makes sense. Now, if you’re confused, though, if that didn’t clear it out for you. Don’t worry, there’s a quiz, which involves starting with a full length picture of yourself which cool that totally makes sense to me. Yes, we’re all on the same page. One site though, recommends printing that out and then tracing around your shape like a crime scene body outline, because apparently that makes it easier because this test is so hard, I don’t know. Anyway, then you answer all these questions about your bone structure, your body flesh at your facial features, even your hair texture. The questions include things like the size and shape of your hands and feet, and how much flesh you have on your upper arms. On the surface. The question seems straightforward, but they are deceptively hard. Like is your jawline, delicate, tapered or slightly rounded? Or is it rounded or softly wide? Or is it moderate? I don’t I don’t know. I don’t even know the difference between slightly rounded, slightly wide and moderate. Like they’re all the same to me. So good thing there are pictures but the pictures that accompany the examples are so similar that they’re almost of no value whatsoever. But I was determined for the sake of research to get through this. The question about hair texture was the only question that I was like yes, yes, that one I can answer easily. There was No hemming and hawing that one. To be honest, I got so frustrated with this thing that I skipped to the end to read through the descriptions of the body types, figuring that I could find myself that way. Because again, I know a thing or two about body shapes. The description that fit me best was unnatural, mostly because that’s one of the only body types of 13 that does not have a waist, which I consider to be my defining body type characteristic. Turns out naturals have soft Yang, which is what I’ve been saying for years, but no one would listen to me. Obviously, I’m just kidding. I still don’t know what that means. And I’m not going to find out. Anyway, another site gave clothing ideas for a natural and I was like, Yeah, where’s some of that? Some of that looks actually like my wardrobe. And on that page, it said, what if I’m a natural, but I don’t look good in these lines and clothes? And here was their answer. Chances are you have the natural body type, but you don’t have the natural essence. You gotta be kidding me. Now I have to worry about my essence, y’all. I don’t, I don’t know my essence. I just want clothes that make me happy and show off my legs and maybe camouflage my tummy a little bit. Why is it so difficult, I give up, I have laundry to do. And I have kids to drive around, I do not have time for My Essence currently. Further down the page, there were actual outfit examples, not just like pieces of clothing, and they were nothing that I would wear for my body shape. And they didn’t even really fit the clothing ideas at the top of the page. So again, I’m totally lost. My friends, I spent hours on this. And I have not one more nugget of helpful information or a shred of insight to help me get dressed. And again, I’m not starting with no knowledge, I should have been ahead of the curve a little bit. And I don’t know, maybe that was actually more detrimental. Maybe if I went in totally blind, I could have seen it easier. But as it is I was I was completely lost. Now one of the criticisms that you’ll find online about the Kibi body type system, other than it’s hella hard, is that it doesn’t account for diversity of size, shape, ethnicities, anything, it’s very hourglass normative, if you know what I mean. I live in a world where I have never seen and probably will never see my body type represented anywhere. I am not patiently awaiting the release of the broad shouldered narrow hips slightly Apple shaped Barbie, like it’s not going to happen. And frankly, I’m not that bothered by it. But when you have a system that’s supposed to help everyone find their type, and you exclude a heck of a lot of people, I get the criticism, I get it. If you look at the Kibi body type examples, it’s like, do you look like this supermodel? Or that one? Do you look like this size to celebrity or that one, there is a section of each type that talks about if you’re overweight. And that was actually more helpful than anything else, because it talks about where flesh goes on your body. And most of us have some flesh, I feel like the kidney body type system kind of made fleshy people an outlier. But most of us have flash, right. But most of the Kibby sites I looked at didn’t include a single example of someone over a size six. Now there are plus sized Kibby sites out there. But for the most part, it’s very, very focused on skinny people. That’s what it is. Also, almost every single picture of every jawline, every nose, every bus line was a white woman with Rihanna and Halle Berry thrown in here and there for good measure. And God forbid you have a saggy bus line or saddlebags, you can just get out of town with those lady Kibby is not for you. It’s just it’s very, very limiting, very limiting. So clearly, I am not a huge fan. Although lots of people are there are Reddits, and YouTube channels and websites devoted to this. And again, if it helps you have at it. But for me, it speaks to my larger problem with these highly specific, incredibly detailed typing systems. First, it feels like when there are so many categories, surely you must fit into one right? And when they’re so detailed, it has to be more helpful than generic advice, right? Nope, it’s usually the opposite. The more options there are, the less likely you are to identify clearly with any of them. It’s like well, I guess I’m a little bit of this one and a little bit of that one, and maybe some of that one over there. But I also identify with that one over there. Not only does it leave you to still figure it out for yourself, but you feel like you’re the weird one. Like there are all these options and everyone else fits into one of these categories. So the fact that you don’t makes your body too strange or abnormal to fit in any category. Are you? But I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve had over the years, who told me their body is too different, too strange too out there too weird for anyone to describe or type. And yes, while lots of bodies defy standard labels, none has been too strange for me to dress well. It’s just that we get so caught up in that label and needing to identify with this little type that we can’t see anything else. The other issue I have is that so many of these systems use pretty random questions to categorize you, which increases the chances you won’t really fit anywhere, like what is my curly hair have to do with my upper arms, I’m still not sure that connection on that one.

Speaker 1 10:42
Another typing quiz is all about your personality, except when it asks about the shape of your cuticles. But then it proceeds to give you clothing style silhouette and color advice. And I would bet a million dollars that everyone who walks swiftly does not look good in the same clothes or colors, or everyone with the same shape cuticles, probably doesn’t wear the same colors, either. There’s another typing system that gives style advice based on your Myers Briggs Type, which was kind of interesting. But I don’t ever know if those things are accurate. I look at the questions and I’m completely lost. Like, I don’t know if I like clowns. I’m not afraid of them. But I don’t want one at my next birthday party. You know, I’m cloud neutral, I guess. I honestly don’t know, if I’m an introvert or an extrovert. I really, really like being around people, until I really, really don’t. So who knows. And if you answered the questions wrong, then you get the wrong style type. What I will say about this particular typing system is that it doesn’t appear to go into giving specific advice about colors or silhouettes that you should buy. And it’s just kind of more style based, which I give the creators props for. If you’re just asking about my personality, just give me advice about how to dress for my personality, that would make a lot more sense to me. Now, the second issue I have with all these typing systems that give you this where this not that advice is that you expend a ton of effort first trying to put yourself into the correct category. And then learning all the rules about what you should or shouldn’t wear. And I have had women bring their little style rule books. I don’t know they probably got him from an image consultant to shopping sessions with me fabrics, they should be wearing necklines to avoid, like the whole thing. But there’s a huge chunk of knowledge, this way of dressing yourself skips, and it’s actually the most important part. And I want to tell you a little story to demonstrate. A few years ago, my daughter liked to do her homework in my office. She said she liked working at my desk, and she could shut the door and concentrate. Cool, whatever Have at it. Each night, my husband would check her math homework, beaming with pride because she got every answer right? And didn’t even have to show that much work together. She just kind of intuitively knew math, I guess. Now my husband is a statistician. Yes, we are very different people. So he just figured his math genes passed down to her. One day, she came home with a math test with a shockingly low grade. And what happened written at the top? Yeah, what happened? Indeed? Well, what happened was when she was working in my office, she was just asking Alexa for the answers, and then playing on my computer for a while until it felt like it was safe to go back out. And we would believe she had been doing homework. She had the right answers. But she wasn’t practicing how to find the answers. So when she had to do it on her own, she couldn’t. It’s the same thing with these typing systems that give you the what to wear answers, but don’t teach you how to find them yourself. When your style changes. When your body changes, or you leave your style rulebook at home, you just don’t know what to wear. It’s the worst when trends change. When the tried and true styles for your body shape aren’t in the stores anymore, you’re left to figure it all out again. And you know, the reality is people don’t update these were this not that rules fast enough to keep up with trends. So you’re always feeling like you’re kind of behind the eight ball. If you want to dress your best and discover your style for life, no matter what changes. You have to learn how to dress your self and find your style. Otherwise, you’re going to need that little rulebook for life. So if these systems don’t actually make style easier, and sometimes just lead to more confusion and even feeling bad about yourself, why are there so many of them? Well, the truth is, there’s a lot more money to be made by giving people the answers than there isn’t teaching them how to find them. Also, consumers love a system. They love a method. Our brains are hardwired to want to sort information and make thinking Easy. We all want a built in Alexa. And that’s what these systems are. Every business guru out there tells you, you have to sell a formula or a framework or a method in order to be successful. And I’m going to be fully honest with you, I would love to be a bazillionaire. So I decided to come up with my own method of discovering what your body shape is not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I’ve come up with something pretty great here. If you’re on a walk, stop what you’re doing, pull up your notes app. If you’re driving, pull over. You don’t want to miss this. It’s gonna change your life. You’re ready, okay? It’s called the look method L Okay. Goes like this. l look at yourself in the mirror, just stand there and look. Oh, open your eyes and look at your body. I know it’s uncomfortable. Do it anyway. O, O M G, put down the tape measure and just look at your body. K. Keep on looking until you understand if your top and bottom halves are balanced or not. Keep on looking until you recognize how curvy or not your waist is. And keep on looking until you identify the parts of your body that you like and want to highlight and the parts you’d like to cleverly dress. That’s it. Let’s not overcomplicate this, yes, this is just a first step. And once you know these things, once you’ve gone through the look method, you have to learn what to do with that information. But luckily, my friends, there’s a class for that. And I bet you know where to find it. And we will link to the style circle in the show notes so you can get it. But here’s the thing. So many women would rather spend ridiculous amounts of effort, comparing their hand length to their face length, or using their secret decoder ring to figure out what square cuticles mean, to actually avoid looking at themselves and understanding their own bodies. Y’all it is just your body. Hip dips are not a sign of failure. An apron belly doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. And truly understanding your body and how to dress it well. Without a confusing, expensive gimmick is the best gift you can give yourself. Once you understand your body, you can start to give it some grace. Now, maybe you’re thinking, but can you talk about the four body types? You even have a quiz to help us find ours? Sure do. And I will linked the quiz in the show notes. There are a couple of reasons I do this. And the first one is that the four basic body shapes are a pretty common concept. Most people can pretty easily somewhat identify with one of the four shapes. So it’s a common language we all speak if I got on this podcast, and I said things like, Okay, for our style explores today. You’d be like, what, what are you talking about? I had someone years ago, email me. And she was mad because I called people rectangles instead of contoured columns. And I was like, because people know what a rectangle is. They don’t know what a contoured column is. That’s why it’s just a common language. That’s it, that’s all. The other reason is that I think there’s value in using your primary shape. Most of us have a primary and a secondary as a starting point, the 10 body type wardrobe essentials that I send you when you take the quiz are where you start, not reuse stop. To me, it’s easier to get into a general category and then refine from there than it is to start by putting yourself into this highly specific difficult to determine box from the beginning. I’m all about small, quick, easy to understand wins, that actually makes getting dressed easier. I think it’s a more realistic approach to style. So yes, I do talk about the four body shapes, I think there is value. But you know, the first thing you learned in the body shape classes, what are the four body shapes and now put that label down because we’re not using it anymore? That’s how it goes for us. So what’s my point to that? A lot of these typing systems are just buzzfeed quizzes for style. Sure, it’s kind of fun to discover something about yourself. But does knowing which Disney Princess you are really helps you in the long run. When it comes to style, the easier thing to do is to put down the limiting label, and put the work into learning how to dress yourself for life. The types are for the masses, and you’re an individual, it’s the reason you never have and probably never will fit perfectly into a predetermined box. You’re not weird, you’re unique. embrace that. All right, that’s all I have for you today. I hope today’s episode convinced you to take all these typing systems and methods with a grain of salt and instead focus on becoming your own personal style expert. It’s worth it in the long run. I’ll see you next time and remember your everyday matters. So get dressed for it and that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening today. If you’re loving the everyday style school podcast I do like to invite you to become a member of the style circle. It’s our monthly all access membership that gives you everything we create to make style easy, so you can save time and money have easier mornings and more confidence all day long. You get our seasonal capsule wardrobe guides, all of the master classes we offer and our exclusive members only podcast, the everyday styles will extra credit. Plus, you’re invited to the Facebook community where you can get even more style support and inspiration. I would love to get to know you and support your style during it’s just $19 a month less than the cost of a clearance shirt you’re never going to wear. Come join me and make your everyday style easier.

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