Sunday, December 7, 2014

Readers' Questions: Which System do I prefer? (update)

Consultant Map

originally posted 5/24/13, updated 8/25/13, updated again 1/10/14, updated again 6/6/14, updated again 12/7/14
 two readers asked similiar questions:
  • "Which is your favorite program or model from all that you've looked at?"

    "Of all the different personality/energy typing that you know of, which do you like best and why?"
The short answer:
  • I wish I could choose. I'm so skeptical and always seeking integration.

The longer answer:

If there were one system I could recommend above the others, I would probably rename this blog.  Obviously, I love systems, but I'm a skeptic that any one author can find the perfect one, therefore, I advocate using the best of each while being aware of each system's inherent flaws.  And the reason this blog is called Expressing Your Truth, is because ultimately only you know it.  And finally, while your temperament may have some aspects that are constant but it is more complex than simple, your personality does develop over time, and your intentions change depending on the contents of your day, so there has to be some flexibility.

Some of the criteria that I feel make a better system are:

  • The author has enough knowledge and authority, but gracefully pairs it with enough humility.
  • The system doesn't reek of being overly proprietary (and superior).
  • There is enough access to the assessment tools that you can begin to use the system by yourself, paired with enough knowledge and access to consultation to help when you are unsure.  Kind of like a bike with training wheels.
  • The system is fun and flexible.
  • There are adequate visual examples.
  • There are either enough consultants in the system that you could conceivably meet face to face with one, or the system is easy enough to generally learn on your own.
  • The system gives credit to it's sources.

All that being said, here is a short review:
Just my opinion

TUTTLE (Dressing Your Truth) - A- [I bought the T2 course and traded it in for the T4 course and later cancelled my membership. I have read all her books, except Child Whisperer, which I refuse to read because she is not a parenting expert and so many other books predate presenting this material.] Obviously DYT is the most commercially successful in terms of marketing, and thus in terms of accessibility.  They are hugely generous in their highly addictive youtube series. (Although with other supposed experts in the system on staff, why is Tuttle in every single video?)  This system has created a culture and community that is raising women's self-esteem and creativity across the nation. She is based in Utah.  It also increases knowledge of personality types and self awareness. There are levels of access for every budget.  Tuttle incorporates a vast understanding of energy dynamics, etc.  Unfortunately, it does so without a nod to the vast history before her.  She did not make this up and yet verges on guru status.  She also does not have a degree even though it is somewhat implied.  You can type yourself from the books, and you can learn more from the courses. You can feel as if you are consulting with the author, and you can visit the source for conventions and obtain skype or picture consults (apparently).  I have heard from many people that you may get contradictory information or opinions,  I've even heard of one woman typed by her differently a few times.  That is also somewhat the problem and a good thing, you can't really be sure what type you are.  I used to feel this was a flaw, but now I say good.  Maybe the truth is we aren't so written in stone.  And finally, I see a lot of judgment of one another that is really hurtful ("She can't really be that type, doesn't she know she is that other one.") When you choose a Type, which you essentially have to do on your own (though you can get consults), you get a color card.  Every woman of a type uses the exact same color card. Does not relate to skintone or any body colors and is not individualized.
The Course costs $297 and is sometimes on sale for much less.

CAYGILLA+, Suzanne Caygill is the true source of all of this.  Caygill is not really a four type system, but rather 4 seasons, but still the source of the four type systems.  Unfortunately, she is gone and the picture references in her book, Color the Essence of You, are all incredibly outdated (and the used book is very expensive). (Pinterest board)  Caygill had 4 seasons, with about 4-6 subtypes each (look at pinterest board). The palettes you can get are amazingly personalized.
You can get color analysis done in the Caygill method with two versions of palettes that are offered. One is fabric sticks and the other are painted fabric palettes.

Caygill Convert: my Caygill analysis
Suzanne Caygill Color Legacy facebook group

fabric sticks, Patrician Winter

hand painted Soft Winter

by Suzanne Caygill 

1980 classic, collector's Edition. Behind most of modern color analysis. Used for high prices.

Anne Sagendorph-Moon, DRESS FOR YOUR FUTURE, Oakland, CA
Anne also does Skype sessions! Dress For Your Future $550

Lois Marlow-Scott, Ten Thousand Colors
Hand Painted palettes, $400
Soquel and San Jose, CA

Rochelle Hirsch

Hand Painted Palettes $350-$900

Sci/Art is an offshoot of the Caygill method
Jennifer Butler was a Caygill student, as was David Zyla

JACKSON, B+,  Carol Jackson's Color Me Beautiful is probably the most famous color book.   The four seasons system from the 80s that popularized this type of work is also incredibly outdated and unfortunately oversimplified some of Caygill's ideas. Color Me Beautiful has become a bigger company in the US and UK.   Jackson reduced to just the 4 seasons, without any subtypes.

 Color Me Beautiful 
by Suzanne Caygill                      
  by Carole Jackson

KENTNERA-, Kentner's Color Me A Season is the most easily accessible system with and education component.  Visit my other blog on CMAS Kentner's system will determine your dominant season and subseason. There are four palettes and your best colors get marked on the back, including your body colors.  Kentner also has 6 style types like Northrup/McJimsey.

Color Me a Season and A Rainbow in Your Eyes by Kentner

You can get a CMAS Color Analysis through 

In Person $165, Group $140 each, Online/Virtual $75 – Introductory price is $50 UNTIL 12/31/14.

(Palettes are $26)


COLOR ALLIANCE, BEAUTY FOR ALL SEASONS, now bought out by COLOR ME BEAUTIFUL, A, I was analyzed by Kathleen Moore Cook online with Color Alliance in Sept. 2013.  This system has four seasons, that can be true, light, vivid or contrasting, and then your hair, skin and eyes, determine a final added adjective.

sample palettes

Norma Virgin was the originator of the Color Alliance system and the original CA company, Beauty For All Seasons. "From Color Alliance ® (CA) Also known as Beauty For All Seasons - (which no longer exists, actually now it is used in conjunction with Color Me Beautiful/Color Me Direct).  These fans are actually made by Jeunique, Beauty for You, Color by Dezine in New Zealand, owned by Fran Muntz.
US$85 + $15 postage

SONGER & KITCHENER (Personal Style Counselors) A- [I've not had a Kitchener evaluation, but have considered it as I'm in the neighboring state.] Kitchener and his teacher Songer, who was a student of Caygill, are probably the most established company with the most longevity, making the Caygill type system current.  There are some great videos for his system, but of course they are far fewer than DYT.  If you can get to Oakland, CA, or he happens to travel to your area, his 1:1 consults are intensive and reviews are very good. He recently made his videos membership only. When you get analyzed by Kitchener, you get a personalized palette (of fabric swatches) with percentages of the four types he uses, as well as archetypes. He has started doing virtual analysis and he travels.

Services $165-$490

PFLAUMER: Shopping for the Real You, This book is said to include information on the inner harmonies used by Personal Style Counselors (above) and some of McJimsey's info. Buy here:

Jane Segerstrom's Look Like Yourself and Lo... 
by Jane Segerstrom

SEGERSTROM (Look Like Yourself and Love it 1980.  I have this book.) I just mention her because it shows how far back this 4 system typing goes!  She also has a section on body colors, like the Zyla colors.  Segerstrom has four types only with colors determined by chroma like DYT, but existed way before.  Before DYT

The book contains instructions to use color plates to create your own mini palette based on body colors, called a Signacard.

Color for Body & Soul: Discover Yoursel... 
by Naomi E. Donner 

DONNER (Color for Body & Soul, I have this book.) I mention this book because it shows how far this information has come from, in this case Finland!  Also, she does a wonderful job of giving credit to historical sources.  She was a student of Caygill, having spent some time in the states. Four types with the properties of the seasons for colors.

SINCLAIRE (IlluminEssensce) B+ [I have met Taylor B. Sinclaire when she came to Portland, OR.] Sinclaire was also a student of Caygill. She has put incredible amount of thought and energy into a well developed system.  You can be toned by her in person if she travels near you or you live in southern CA, or you can send in videos and pictures and be given your Tone.   There are four Tones (very much like seasons).

Again there are only before and afters, and no other examples of outfits in the four tones.  The web page is pretty static.  There is no web community to discuss it and the follow up is extremely poor.  They do offer occasional "Tone Talks."  If you want to learn your secondary, you can attend a 4 day intensive, but it is rather expensive.  It is my sense that this system's audience is executive professionals, with the ability to pay for high end image consulting.  When you get analyzed by IlluminEssensce, you get a color fan for your Tone (not personalized, but it indicates colors for different purposes).  The fans are also shrunk down into cards.  Does not relate to skintone or body colors, but the colors are marked by purpose of categories of colors on the fan version.

by Jennifer Butler 

BUTLERA, I started exploring Jennifer Butler's website and joined her affordable membership site (totally worth it!).  She is based in L.A. area and travels up to the Bay Area of CA as well. [I have now purchased her book!]  Not only was she an original student of Caygill, who has been around for a long time, I sense that she is building her online presence.  She has been recording webinars and mentions that she will be starting an academy. [Very expensive!]  When you get your colors done by Butler, you get a personalized palette with fabric swatches for different purposes, including relating to your skin, hair and eyes.  She uses the four seasons, but has the multiple subtypes that Caygill intended.

    Packages run $1,000 to $5,000 and will soon be online only (except for color).
    Design Online currently on sale $175.

    ZYLA (Color Your Style) B- [I have his book.] My sense about Zyla is that his book is meant to develop his client base more than anything.  There are beautiful metaphors and archetypes, essentially dividing the seasons into subtypes somewhat like Caygill, as her was a student of hers also.  I also personally find his basic color system somewhat dissatisfying.  I even felt it was incredibly distracting for awhile.  He is based in New York City, but has been travelling doing private assessments. Zyla's book is essentially a do-it-yourself, he shows you how to find colors from your skin, hair and eyes, and combine those with the four seasonal palettes.  He then suggests subtypes, but you have to figure out which one you are, or want to be.  You can see Zyla for a consult, he also travels to do them, and get a custom palette from him, or follow directions in the book to make your own with paint chips.


    WRIGHT (Colour Psychology, 1999. I have her book.) What I love about Wright is the study she put into understanding the psychology of color, behind the four seasons or types.  Unfortunately there are hardly any pictures to use as examples of the types. She is in the UK, but was also in the US at one time. Wright has four types, briefly mentioning secondaries.  The types each have a palette based on chroma like DYT, but way before.

    RITER (Science of Personal Dress) B+ Riter now has a very detailed ebook of the accumulated content of her web page.  You also can purchase her color tester and she will help you determine your season (similar to type).  There are a lot of good tips and concepts, though I find some of them a bit off perhaps.  And the graphics are amateur and outdated.  There are outfit examples, but alas many of them appear to be from the 80s.  Overall though, I refer to this ebook a lot.

      How Not to Wear Black 
      by Jules Standish
      • STANDISH: How Not To Wear Black
      • JULES STANDISH “The Colour Counsellor” "How Not to Wear Black"
        Colour Analyst, Stylist, Wardrobe Consultant, Personal Shopper

      • FASHION FENG SHUI (DONNELLY and others) A- What I love about FFS, is that it is so organic and fluid.  I love the energy of the elements as they are depicted in this system, and I also love that you can combine your dominant energy with your intention, thus whatever you choose to highlight each day. My only issue, which is somewhat ridiculous, is that it based on 5 elements instead of 4.  I just wish it were easier to line up with the 4 type systems.  But the reason this is so is because (2,000 year old) Eastern traditions use 5 elements, whereas we think of only 4 in the Western traditions.  In the East, they don't use Air, but instead have Wood and Metal, though those are not replacements.


      • Overall my main concern about Seasonal Color Analysis is the systems are generally outdated and unpopular, there are really not enough consultants to go around (certainly not in my area), distance analysis is questionable and thus the system is used without draping by those of us who are overly curious, without really knowing what we are doing. (Just sayin') I'm not going to grade these systems individually because I don't have access to enough knowledge about them.
      • KALISZ (Sci/Art) SCAMAN
      • The best place to read more about all of these is the yuku forums:
      • also

      • OTHER:
      • KIBBE  B, There are some things about Kibbe I absolutely love.  Yes, it is outdated (the pics are hilariously 80s), and yes the quiz is complicated and subjective, and it doesn't deal with color so much as design line, but I love the variety and diversity it encompasses!


      Get Swatch Books, Fans, Palettes



      Allison @ Allie Browns Layouts said...
      This comment has been removed by the author.
      Unknown said...

      Jane - You might want to move Zyla. His colours really don't fit into a 12-season system, it's a lot more Caygill-esque I think.

      Jane Leu Rekas said...


      SWriter said...

      I think you have to find a course or program that resonates with where you are personally. What is often overlooked is the sales approach of a consultant.

      Your site has demonstrated how this is an ongoing process with lots to consider.

      If a consultant will not provide the type of education you need so that you "know" why a certain style and style features work for you, then they may not be the one for you.

      It is too expensive time wise for someone to just curtly define you into a category and then leave it up to you to run around in circles.

      That to me is not good business.

      I also don't like consultant strategies where you have to pay more to get all the pieces(especially when an upsell isn't necessary)

      My take is that beauty and fashion are fickle businesses: there are a lot of people who are just interested in the sale and for you to become a testimonial for their services.

      You have to trust your gut: do you resonate with them? if there is any doubt stop.

      Go somewhere else.

      One thing your site has demonstrated is that there are many people in this field. There is no reason to feel stuck.

      And in fact for the money you pay for some courses, you may as well take art classes yourself and learn the principles.

      That said: I'll use Jennifer's Butler's course as an example. Her books help you to determine why you wear certain designs and clothes for your body features. It's a really good course for that.

      However, if you want the color analysis part, then you'll have to pay more.

      Then there are other consultants that give you the colors, like PSC and then you need to take another session to learn "how" to work your colors with your body style and design.

      Some courses give you a set color for your body type and energy essence. They don't subscribe to seasonal colors.

      The question is: what do you want? and how much involvement do you need before you feel confident in your own decisions?

      Like so many things in life, I think many people want the quick, fast and easy answers. But life is not such.

      I have many associates and friends who don't dress with systems, and I still love them and respect them. If their clothes make them feel comfortable and successful why would they change? and moreover who am I to react to them in the negative?

      Women get a bad shake in the beauty and fashion business.

      It seems someone is always trying to help us to define who we should be and what our beauty should look like.

      I have decided to free myself from the tyranny of fashion and companies that I feel view me as a commodity and not a human with feelings. I'm not a dollar sign.

      It's time for us to gain confidence and be true to ourselves and not be subject to anything that lowers our confidence and self esteem.

      When you pass on, you can't take this stuff with you.

      I doubt if I'll be remembered for the dress I was wearing at the last event. Nor will I care.

      Unknown said...

      Pretty Your World is way beyond 12 seasons. You can remove me from that list...thanks!