Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Are you yin or yang?

I touched on this subject when I wrote about my Style Consultation in January. As part of  my style analysis I completed a questionnaire that revealed the yin and yang aspects of both my appearance and my personality.  Many of us are a mixture of both yin and yang. Even though we may be firmly in one camp, sometimes we may want to appear a bit more yin or a bit more yang.

In my case, being short and youthful (according to the lovely Fiona!) makes me yin, whereas my angular face and body make me yang. My interest in clothes and shoes is yin but my creativity using ideas rather than my hands is yang. My result was ten points for yin, four for yang and six points were half & half.

I thought it might be interesting to look at a few characteristics of both yin and yang in fashion. In a nutshell, yin aspects are softer and more feminine, while yang traits are stronger and more masculine. Imogen of Inside Out Style has written an excellent post about ways to balance your yin and yang.

If your fashion personality is classic, dramatic or athletic, yang clothing will suit you. If you are a natural, romantic or creative, then yin clothing will suit your personality.

Yin vs Yang
Looking at the outfits show above, I think it is obvious which one is more yin and which is more yang. Both jackets are striped, however the one of the left is a paler colour, with less contrast and the lines are softer. The jacket on the right is higher contrast, darker and with a sharper silhouette. Skirts are usually yin whereas trousers tend to be yang: this skirt looks soft and feminine while the trousers are straight and in a brighter shade. Finally both outfits include flats, however the pale blue ballerinas have a rounded toe and the black and white pair have a pointed toe.

Neither of these outfits would be my ideal choice as I prefer straighter skirts on the odd occasion when I wear one and, though I like the outfit on the left, the jacket is too dramatic a style for me. My preference would be to swap the skirt and trousers, then wear the yin outfit.

Are you more yin or yang? Do you prefer yin fashion styles or are you more drawn to yang fashion?

8 comments:

  1. Fascinating!! Great tips. Sue- thank you so much :-)

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    1. Thanks, Shawn and Emily. Glad that you enjoyed the tips.

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  2. This is fascinating; I'd never thought of yin and yang in terms of appearance or clothing.

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    1. Neither had I Vicky until I had my style consultation.

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  3. Back in the 80s, I treated myself to a day with an image consultant in New York City. His name was David Kibbe and he wrote a book back then called "Metamorphosis". Not only did he do a seasonal color analysis for us, but determined our style (Classic romantic for me), he also determined your yin/yang status. He said I was so far yin that I was almost off the charts! However, he stressed that I was not the ruffled kind of yin like Bernadette Peters, but my "yin" would be expressed in softness of fabrics rather than ruffles and flounces. He was 100% right. I have never felt right in a classic blazer and the only kind of suit jacket I wear is a Chanel-type cardigan, collarless style, nipped in a little at the waist for shaping. My favorite kind of skirt is the one that is straight-ish but has a panel down the center with pockets in the seam, and a few tiny gathers at the waist. I adore a-line skirts and I do wear them but they are a little more yang than I am. The only heels in which I am comfortable have slingbacks. Such a girly-girl, even at 68!

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    1. Wow! I must say that I envy you for your consultation with David Kibbe - I have read so much about him! Having said that, I did enjoy my own style consultation and colour analysis in London with Fiona Ingham. Colour-wise I am a Jewel Winter and style-wise I'm a Natural Gamine. Nancy, I think we should enjoy our personal style no matter how old we are. If you want to be a girly-girl at 68, why shouldn't you be?

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  4. Nancy

    I envy you your Kibbe consultation. I think I'm a Kibbe soft classic--not a hard yang but a yin body (all soft and fluffy) with a yang personality. My colors don't support the kind of high contrast stripe Sue has shown here but I'm also too strong for soft girly colors. I always say I'm average height (I'm 5'3"ish), average weight, average hair color...I could easily commit a crime and no one would be able to pick me out of a lineup as my physical characteristics are too average1

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    1. Robin, next time I spot that a crime has been committed in your area, I'll know who did it! I could probably get away with a crime too, as I'm so short that people wouldn't even notice me!

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