How do you respond when someone tells you how to dress?

Like most people, I’m resistant to the idea.

It reminds me of being five years old and being told to dress up for a party. Or being in seventh grade and having to wear the dreaded gym uniform. (Mine was a unitard the color of butterscotch pudding.)

So when I heard that a Mormon woman from Utah had an online program that told you how to dress according to energetic type, I was suspicious.

Was I going to come out of the program wearing a prairie dress and looking like a sister wife? Not that there’s anything wrong with prairie dresses. I’m sure there are lots of women who can rock that look.

rockin the prairie done

But I’m not one of them.

I first heard about the Dressing Your Truth program from my friend Marcy.

One day, Marcy came over to our house. She was her usual perky, peppy self, but there was something different about her. She looked fabulous.

She was wearing a yellow shirt with a fuzzy pink vest – you heard me right, a fuzzy pink vest – and she looked great. More than great. It was as if her clothes were a natural, elemental expression of her spirit.

Marcy is one of the most light-hearted people I know. In spite of the fact that she was often dressed in black, her playful spirit managed to always shine through.

But now there was no separation from her essence and her outfit. Her outsides matched her insides. It was amazing.

Marcy comparison done

What happened to you? we said.

And that’s when she told us about Carol Tuttle and the Dressing Your Truth program.

Tuttle describes four energetic types, each of which has a different color palate and style guide. It’s similar to the seasonal typing system, but this system also talks about the personality aspects associated with each type. (At the time this blog was posted, the program was only for women. They now have a program for men as well.)

The four categories are:

Type 1/Air: Bright and Animated

Type 2/Water: Subtle and Soft

Type 3/Fire: Rich and Dynamic

Type 4/Earth: Bold and Striking

In spite of Marcy’s transformation, I was hesitant. Years ago, I had my colors done by the woman who was cutting my hair. She told me I was a Winter. She also told me I should style my hair in a more feminine manner so I could attract a man.

As you can imagine, I stopped going to her shortly thereafter.

I’ve always associated these typing systems with rigid standards of feminine beauty. My gender expression doesn’t fit into these standards, so why would my clothing choices? My dressing preferences are more in line with these sporty gals:

photo: tomboytailors,com

photo: tomboytailors,com

In checking out the info online, I didn’t see any women who looked like me. They were all on the feminine end of the spectrum.

And yet there was something about the course I found intriguing.

I kept reading and searching. Finally, I found some videos on You Tube of Carol Tuttle interviewing men in each of the 4 types. Once I saw these, I was able to identify and confirm my type.

I’m a Type 4. Bold and Striking.

The types are divided up according to movement, and my type is the stillest one. Because of this low-movement aspect, the Type 4 palate is the pure hue for each color. Black, white, bright red, blue, orange, etc.

Although I love and identify with this color palate, I wasn’t sure about adorning my body with these colors. Bright orange? Really?

I started with T-shirts. A low-cost experiment.

Lo and behold, the bright colors worked on me. Even those colors, like bright orange, that the seasonal/Winter system told me I couldn’t wear.

photo: melissa phillippe

photo: melissa phillippe

Even though DYT is not overly queer-inclusive, I do appreciate that they talk about different kinds of female beauty.

Types 3 and 4, for example, do not conform to the soft, feminine model encouraged by society at large. (For the record, my wife Melissa is a Type 3, which puts us both on the less-femmy end of the spectrum. Check out this video with both of us in our DYT glory.)

I know some of you are rolling your eyes about now. I am NOT letting some woman from Utah tell me how to dress!

Dressing Your Truth is not for everyone, but for those of you who are curious, check it out. (And start with the free course. Then you can explore the material for no cost, and when you finish the free part, they’ll offer you the full course for a lot cheaper. Just sayin’.)

So the next time you see a bright-orange (or bright-blue or bright-red) Goofball coming your way, you’ll know who it is.

Thanks to a woman in Utah, I’m dressing my gender-flexible Goofball truth!

photo: melissa phillippe

photo: melissa phillippe

Are you a DYT fan? Share your comments below! For those non-DYT folks, how does your style of dress reflect who you are? Share your comments too!

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