Monday, October 6, 2014

Dressing My Truth: A Journey; Part One

Several months ago, I glanced over posts on my Facebook and Pinterest newsfeeds about something called Dressing Your Truth. What I gathered from it at the time was that it was just another way of finding out what colors to wear-- like the classic summer/autumn/winter/spring system. I didn't take it too seriously-- with clothing I never have. I just wear what I like, what I feel like wearing, or what fits my current function.

A couple weeks ago I was visiting with my sister-in-law and she mentioned the system to me and I finally became interested. For the rest of my post I'll make it easy on myself and assume my reader is already more-or-less familiar with the system. So if you're not, and you're interested in learning more, visit to sign up for the free email course.

I watched the course, and concluded that I am a Type 3, with a secondary Type 1 energy. This system is about so much more than what colors to wear, or wearing what's "in fashion"! It's about dressing in a way that fits our brand of energy and drive; dressing in a way that helps us to focus our natural gifts, and to also be taken more seriously by the rest of the world.

I'll admit at first I was a little skeptical. Especially as a Type 3, which is culturally-speaking a rather non-feminine movement. Type 1 is light and free. Type 2 is soft and relaxed. Type 4 is simple and elegant. Type 3, though, is none of these. Type 3 seemed so intense and pushy. Intimidating. That's the word-- Intimidating. The one thing I have tried so so hard not to be, and according to Carol Tuttle, it's "just my nature"!

How on Earth was dressing as a Type 3 supposed to help myself or anyone else?

I had to stew over this for a while...

So I thought about the times I've dressed as a Type 1, in light, cheerful colors and bouyant textures. I suppose I wanted to portray myself as someone who was light-hearted, happy, fun to be around, approachable, bubbly.

But I am not bubbly. I try to be, and I fall flat. It's my secondary Type, but it's not how I lead, so I can only keep up the facade for so long before I end up disappointing myself. And apparently everyone else too. Because they see this woman dressed this way and subconsciously expect a cheerful, bouncy person, and what they get is not what they see.

Then I thought about when I've dressed more as a Type 2, in relaxed, comfortable clothing in subdued colors. Actually, I only usually wear clothing like this when I'm in my own home or when I'm going somewhere where I don't care about making a good impression (like the grocery store). The clothes feel good on me, but I know I look rather frumpy in them. Also they make me feel tired.

But what if I did wear this type of clothing trying to make an impression? The people around me would expect someone relaxed and slow-flowing, a more motherly nurturing type, perhaps-- a peacemaker. Again, they would be liable to be disappointed. Because I am very much the reverse of relaxed and slow. I want to get things done, and I want to get them done NOW. And if I'm trying to inspire others to likewise spring into action, that motivation is hardly likely to come from a woman dressed as a hippie grandma (Okay, I'm having a little fun with Type 2, no offense to those are this Type, as Carol Tuttle points out, those who really are Type 2 will look beautiful in Type 2 clothing, it's just not my Type).

Then I thought about dressing as a Type 4. I actually love the Type 4 color pallette: black and/or white contrasted with bold statement colors. I actually think I look good in Type 4 clothing for the most part. Subconsciously I think I have turned to this style in my attempts to get people to take me more seriously as a woman who means business. Makes sense, considering what's typically considered "business wear" in the fashion community.

But, again, I am giving the wrong impression. The type of "business" I usually mean is not micro-management; perfecting pieces, products, or systems; or doing things "the right way." I just want to get things done. I don't want to spend precious time perfecting an already-acceptable job when I could be moving on to the next project, like, yesterday. Come on people! Let's move it!

My family will attest to the fact that I am constantly trying to get them to MOVE. Get up and get dressed. Now. Stop talking so much and eat your breakfast. It's time to go. Now. Good grief where are your shoes? Put down the book and find your shoes! You don't know where they are? Look, they're right there. (My family will also tell you I can almost always find what they are looking for, even though our house is a mess). Get off the computer, it's time for dinner. I didn't mean ten minutes from now I meant NOW. Come on let's get in the car. We don't have time for this!

And so on.

Even when we're out having fun, I'm a driver. Okay, we've spent enough time here, let's move on to the next activity. Was that good ice cream? Good. Let's run to the bathroom and clean you up before you get the whole place all sticky.

Admittedly, we all could benefit if I would just lighten up a little. And I try. I really do.

Supposedly as a Type 3 I should be better at motivating people. I should be striking people as a ready, active, dynamic go-getter, But no one-- most particularly my family-- seems to take me seriously. It doesn't help I suppose that my husband is a Type 2, my oldest son is a Type 1, and I'm not sure about my other two boys but I suspect my middle child is also a 2 and only my youngest is possibly a Type 3 like me (oh yeah, he and I are going to have so much fun together when his older two brothers are in school next year!).

Could it really make a difference if I started dressing more like the Type 3 woman I am?

But then I come back my original concern: What if it makes me too intimidating?

Then I answer myself, I'm already intimidating. And it's possible that dressing as something other than what I am actually makes me even moreso. How? Because when my drive is not being taken seriously, I get stressed out and upset. I turn into a raging bull. But what I really want to be is a fierce-but-graceful lioness. Everyone is going to run from the bull, and I can hardly blame them, I must be dang scary like that! Not to mention it makes me clumsy and rather destructive. But they might actually stick around a while to appreciate the lioness and be inspired by her outwardly-poised-inwardly-fervent demeanor. In other words, full of ready kinetic energy, just waiting for the right moment to spring into action to make this world a richer place.

Could "dressing my truth" really work? There's one way to find out......

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