Four Essence System: Introduction
This system is for those who wishes to develop a personal style, and you can refer to my foundational personal style beliefs here.
Personal Style is Overwhelming
If you just want to buy a pair of jeans, there are dozens of choices in the store: the shape and length of the legs, stretchy versus stiff fabric, the rise of the waistband, the color... And that's just jeans. There are hundreds of boutiques, millions of garments. When you consider all the makeup, hair, accessories, colors, the options are truly limitless.
Styles are constantly changing, so many things are cute, and we are all being pushed to buy, buy, buy. We are generally over-stimulated and pulled in several different directions at the same time.
Also…There are so many things to think about if you want to “have good style”! The looks you like. Physical Comfort. Getting the fit correct. Finding colors that flatter. Understanding how to combine patterns, textures and shapes in an effective way. Finishing outfits using accessories. Social Expectations. Personal Joy. Professional or Social Goals. There are so many factors, and we tend to worry about things which don’t actually matter to us, while neglecting other things which actually do matter.
And…It’s hard to know where to start! Should you create a capsule wardrobe? Just buy a few things each season? Should you create head-to-toe occasions for your specific outfits? Should you use Pinterest to create your dream aesthetic and then shop based on that? Should you find a system that gives you a checklist and then purchase things based on that checklist? Should you buy timeless classic pieces? Should you find a relatable style icon and adapt their looks to your life? Do several of these things at the same time, and see what sticks? So many competing style philosophies out there, each with their own advantages.
The Essence System Offers Guidance
The goal of my essence system is to help reduce overwhelm and to make the style process easier and more enjoyable. The essence offers guidance in two parts: your unique beauty and your effective styling process. The essence system links your unique beauty with your effective style process through a “style logic” belonging to each of the 4 essences.
Your Unique Beauty
The first part of the essence system is an invitation to discover your unique beauty, which naturally links to your best personal style. This beauty is in how you look (your physical features, coloring, face and body) but it’s also in how you inhabit your body (your voice and mannerisms, your way of moving) and in your general way of being (somewhat metaphysical but tbh undeniable). It’s central to the way others perceive you, and it can explain why some visual styles feel completely wrong on you and why some other styles are completely right.
The system offers the left/right and up/down distinctions to help label this unique combination of features. The “quadrant” labels (and the optional archetypes) help you express and enjoy your beauty through styling choices. The quadrants describe the very different types of beauty in our world. We have so many different style icons in our society, and their style is so different.
The essence system maps the difference between icons like Rihanna (high- effort glamor, sensual, extravagant), Selena Gomez (sensual, delicate, effortless glamour) or Miranda Kerr (elegant, sophisticated, understated). Although these are all beautiful women, they wouldn’t want to swap wardrobes. Each of their styles is an effective expression of their star persona because it’s based on their unique beauty.
Your essence is your guide for understanding your own effective style expression. For example, if you have essence described by the “right+down” label, you have a very delicate and radiant beauty. You may especially shine in looks that are somewhat understated, that feel like *you* but which still incorporate elements of sophistication and play. You probably feel overwhelmed easily, like you’re lost in a costume if the clothes don’t feel right for who you are. You may feel wrong in looks that are too dark and moody, or feel bad when you feel like you’re trying to be edgy or sexy.
Your Effective Style Process
The second part of the essence system is that you are encouraged to develop an effective style process. An effective style process is where your style efforts are rewarded. You should not feel like you are spending tons of money and time trying to find things for your closet without being able to find anything that *works*. Whatever you’re putting in (time, money, emotional energy) should be strongly exceeded by what you’re getting out. It’s also important that you are getting out what you most care about, rather than focusing on outcomes that don’t matter to you.
For example, if you’re a person who values freedom and personal expression, the essence system encourages you to focus on creating outfits that feel expressive, and on a shopping/dressing process that centers on flexibility and intuition. I encourage you to release other less important “style rewards.” It may not actually be important for you to stick to a seasonal color palette, or to chase a “cohesive wardrobe” with a clearly defined signature aesthetic.
The essence system helps you understand what matters to you, so you can focus on receiving those rewards and releasing other forms of pressure.
Learn about the Essence system
The essence system is definitely a new way of thinking about style, so it does require some learning and a willingness to see things in a different way… but it’s not so difficult! Once you get the hang of it, it should be pretty easy and intuitive to place yourself and the people you know. And I promise it’s worth it - I’ve personally seen how it has helped hundreds of people.
I have a series of videos on my channel explaining the essence system but I will also be publishing written material here – I know it can be easier to learn from a concise text.