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  • Writer's pictureRita

Finding my Home Quadrant - Style Story by Sylricka

note from Rita: this essay is written by my wonderful and beautiful client about her style experiences.

For the great majority of my life, style never came easy to me--my outfits always felt boring, very incohesive, generic, and confusing. But my outfits weren’t this way because of lack of trying! Actually, I’ve always enjoyed fashion, and even in childhood I found myself mesmerized by what celebrities wore to big events like the Grammys, Oscars, and the New York/Paris fashion weeks. However, as a teenager, I knew (post-Y2K at least) that a lot of the red carpet fashion was out of reach for me as a “regular” person.

So, when it came to dressing myself, most of my outfit ideas came from attempting to recreate outfits that looked good on other people, on myself. Eventually I discovered Youtube and Pinterest, and was inundated with inspiration. During this phase, I noticed that the most popular Youtube videos and Pins showed people wearing very sophisticated, unexpressive, neutral outfits, so naturally I tried to emulate this with my own clothes...but it just didn’t feel right.

Looking back, it’s clear to me now that I lacked self-awareness and connection to myself--most people I know describe me as an outwardly outgoing, friendly, and funny person, but my style rarely reflected this post-undergraduate school. As I progressed through graduate school, and eventually to the “working world”, I was increasingly surrounded by a culture wherein people were expected to be more serious, and thus most people dressed quite conservatively in the sense that no one really wore color and accessories were very minimal. Therefore, I felt as though dressing in a way that was all-around more neutral and unexpressive would make people “take me more seriously”.

In hindsight, I don’t think I had an issue with people taking me seriously in situations that warranted seriousness, and most of the environments I existed in were quite supportive, despite being uptight. Still, I felt as though if I dressed in a way that would reflect my essence or personality, particularly in intellectual spaces where no one looked like me, nothing I said would be taken seriously, and that I would “stand out” even more. I was afraid of being seen as “other”.

So, I started to dress myself mostly in black and neutral colors, keeping everything very muted in an attempt to shrink myself, and to keep my “real self” safe and protected against any perceived or real judgment. Eventually, my mood began to reflect my clothes. I no longer felt like myself, and this was extremely distressing. I lost who I was as a person because I had intentionally tried to lose myself.

Thankfully, I have an amazing therapist and an incredible, compassionate, supportive partner, both of whom helped me work through a lot of my internal turmoil. With their help, I slowly began to shed the things in my life that did not bring me joy, and things that did not support me or my (renewed) vision of myself. Naturally, one of those areas that I needed to attend to was my wardrobe. While I am much more aware nowadays, I wasn’t always aware of the fact that my clothes made me feel a certain way. There was actually a point in time where I decided that I wanted an all-black wardrobe. Seriously. I became absolutely determined to wear all black in all seasons, (can you imagine doing this in the summertime?!). Luckily, I came to my senses and regained clarity on the things I wanted in my life, and I quickly realized that neutral and all black outfits made me feel down, uninspired, stifled, and trapped.

So, being the fashion-obsessed person I am, I decided to search outside of Youtube and stumbled upon countless posts about the Kibbe System on Reddit, and so down the Kibbe rabbit hole I went. I have a science background, so Kibbe appealed to me because, on the surface, there seems to be a relatively fool-proof formula to it--all I needed to do was figure out my body type (shape), and then there was a thorough guide on how I *should* dress based on that. It made sense to me...until it didn’t. I’m petite, narrow, and I have a lot of yang in my bone structure (à la Flamboyant Gamine) and per Kibbe recommendations, I should dress to emphasize these qualities. This seemed simple enough, so I began focusing excessively on the fit of my clothes. In line with Kibbe’s recommendations, I bloused my shirts, “man tailored” my pants, and wore loose-fitting tops with fitted bottoms (and vice versa). But I still didn’t feel good when I looked in the mirror. Eventually, through further study of Kibbe, I noticed that “sassy chic” was given as advice for the overall vibe that FGs should channel. Ah ha! I just needed to channel more of the “sassy chic” vibe in my outfits! However, I quickly became frustrated because when I attempted “sassy chic”, it felt too edgy, too “spicy” for me.

Because I felt as though the essence of FG conflicted with what I felt inside, I began searching to see if there were any essence-based systems for dressing, and that’s when I found Style Thoughts by Rita! For the first time, I felt as though someone finally understood me, in a fashion sense (no pun intended)! When I heard her describe style as therapy, it completely resonated for me. That was the missing piece--the fact that my clothes, and how I show up for a situation, mattered because it is one of the tools that I can use to support myself. I realized that, in the past, I had been dressing exclusively for the situation (which I liked to do), but with a disregard for my own self-approval. I eagerly signed up for one of Rita’s style talks, and couldn’t wait to learn more.

During my style talk, Rita read👏🏾 me👏🏾 like👏🏾 a👏🏾 book👏🏾! After I chronicled my style journey, I ended with, “ yeah, I uh, used to have more fun with my clothes in like, high school...hehe.” To which Rita responded by looking straight into the camera and asking, “So where is the fun now?”, without missing a beat. 💀💀💀 Yup. I 1000% deserved that. And actually, to this day, one of the things I do when I’m reviewing an outfit is to ask myself “So where is the fun?” 🙂

All of Rita’s recommendations for my archetypes and keywords were spot on, and I am so incredibly and eternally grateful for her guidance. I relate mostly to the Main Character/ Popular Girl archetype, but with a touch of a ✨Princess vibe✨, especially for more formal or special occasions (admittedly, I do like the ~finer things~ in life!). The keywords dreamy, radiant, delicate, and refined with ease, are what I am most drawn to. However, my interpretation of this archetype goes beyond just visuals--it is also a mindset that I have adopted for myself. I am aware that there are some interpretations in the social media space of “main character energy” being synonymous with arrogance and selfishness, but I like to remind myself that those are just that...just interpretations.

For me, mentally, the Main Character/Popular Girl is about being confident, believing in myself, being okay with being the center of attention, developing and pursuing my interests, and trying new things. It’s about allowing my light to shine, and about bringing my authentic self to every situation and embracing my quirks. It’s about not being afraid to stand out in situations where I’m going to stand out anyways, and allowing my clothes to be a tool I can use to support myself in such situations. Much like the Main Character in any story, it’s about perseverance...about going through something and coming out better. It’s about being invested in my self growth because that’s how I am better able to help and inspire others. 💛

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