Define Your Style by Discovering your Style Essence Blend

Style essence blends are the foundational building blocks of personal fashion, each representing a unique set of characteristics and aesthetics. 


In a recent coaching session with Laura on my podcast, we explored the concept of style essence blends. While many are familiar with the seven distinct style essences, the magic truly unfolds when we start blending them.

Each style essence represents a unique set of characteristics and aesthetics. Think of them as individual notes in a melody. However, just like in music, when you harmonize different notes, you create a new, more complex tune. Similarly, by combining two or three style essences, you can craft a personalized style type that resonates deeply with your individuality and character.

Laura, like many of us, had questions about her unique blend. How do you determine which essences reflect your inner self? How do you blend them seamlessly to express who you are, not just on the outside, but also in alignment with your inner beauty and values?

In our session, we uncovered the nuances of blending style essences, offering insights into creating a wardrobe that is not just about trends but about true self-expression. This concept is not just about fashion; it’s a journey towards recognizing and celebrating the diversity and beauty that God has created in each of us. Join us as we explore this journey with Laura, uncovering the art of blending style essences to create a signature style that is uniquely yours.

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Stacey: Before we get started, do you want to share how you got these 15 minutes of style coaching?

Laura: I’m like a kid going to college for the first time. I love how there’s so much freedom and encouragement in this group.  There’s just so much information that everyone’s willing to share from their style journeys. 

To be honest, I’ve been in other groups before and not had this amount of encouragement and information readily available. I’ve been so excited to see how everybody’s putting their outfits out there and I guess I got overzealous and responded a lot. That’s how I got here today. So thank you everyone I appreciate it. 

Stacey: Thank you so much for sharing that. I tried to create this group to be a safe and inclusive space. It’s that way because of the members. I am just the facilitator, so thank you for saying that. I think you’re the first person who’s ever been a brand new member who won the Style Star. 

It’s usually people who’ve been in the group for a while. I was quite surprised. Having said that, we were going to just jump right in. What would you like help with today?

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Determining Style Essence Blend Percentages

Laura: My main thing is trying to understand the essences and how to translate those into your outfits. So specifically, is there a formula for figuring out what your percentages are and how does that translate into the outfit, hair, makeup, and the whole head-to-toe look?

Stacey: There’s not really a formula. It’s sort of an artistic ramble along the pathway. Once you figured out your style essence blend and given yourself some numbers, there is a way to look at how to apply it to your wardrobe that’s a little more concrete than finding out your percentages. 

It’s about looking at what you need and what feels comfortable in the essences for you. I’ll use myself as an example because it’s always the easiest version to use. I have three style essences: natural, romantic, and gamine. 

At this point, I honestly cannot tell you what the percentages are but I do know that natural is smaller. I think I gave it a breakdown of  40:40:20. 

The first thing to consider is how many essences you are looking at. Are there 2 or 3? When you’re looking at two essences, you’re trying to determine if one is dominant more than the other. If so, how dominant is it? Is it 55%, 60%, or 80%? 

When you look at something with a big percentage like that, like 80 and one’s 20, that 20% is kind of a splash on top. Whereas if you’re looking at more of an even split, it’s going to be something you kind of need to disperse throughout your body evenly. 

With three, it’s really the same process. You’re asking yourself if one of them is dominant or if two of them are evenly split and one is a minority. I would say that when you’re doing percentages if you have an essence that’s less than 20%, it’s maybe not an essence for you actually. 

Does that help a little bit with the percentages? It’s an exploratory process. I wish there was a concrete way to do it, um, but there’s really not.

Laura: I’m in the process right now of learning that God’s way tends to be very line upon line and precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little. A prolonged process of getting to know him, getting to know you and who you are in him. 

I come from a scientific background, and so I’m looking for the formula to make everything easy. I guess that’s what I have to get used to.

Translating Style Essence Blends into Your Outfits

Stacey: It’s funny because I tend to be very logical. I want things to like fit into a box. Honestly, when I’m teaching, creating things, and sharing things with people, I’m trying to figure out how can I strip this very thing, this big thing out into the most logical version that I can. So I understand and appreciate that. 

As far as translating it into your outfits this is probably not more specific at all. What you can do is go back and look at some of the favorite things that you’ve worn in the past. In the present, I don’t think your essence has changed a whole lot, honestly.

 I think sometimes your percentages change but I feel like it’s being carried through even if we don’t really see it, like color. You can look at prior outfits that you wore and everything from your shoes, to the accessories that you choose, to the way you wear your hair, or the type of makeup that you choose. 

It’s all going to appear in different ways, but it’s going to be fairly consistent if that makes sense. For example, I have three essences, natural, romantic, and gamine. The natural, I don’t pull as much because I need so much contrast from the gamine that it’s hard to put them together at times. 

One of the areas where the natural essence has to come out is in my makeup. I can’t wear a lot of high-contrast makeup. I look kind of silly for the most part. Then also in my fabric types and how my fabric lays, are two areas where the natural essence comes into play.

Having said that, it’s an exploratory process about finding where you want those splashes to come out in your outfit, but it will be consistent over time. You’re not going to wake up one day and be like, I’m going to go with a full dramatic face today when you’re used to wearing a natural face. 

We tend to gravitate to them in the same places. For me, the romantic comes out a lot in textures. I don’t wear it in silhouettes. I don’t like my clothes to be very curvy and form-fitting for the most part. Maybe a splash, but not much. 

In things like a sparkle here and a sequin there, this is where that romantic essence tends to come out. Honestly, it’s going to be an assessment of going back through what you can find that you really love and asking yourself what essence applies. 

If you have a shirt you love, ask what essence you’re seeing in this shirt. Which essences apply to your fabric choices, jewelry choices, and how you wear your hair?

Laura: Okay. So just a real quick question. If I find a shirt, can I go to the Facebook group and ask what essence this shirt looks like? Or, if I’m kind of confused about that, is that a  resource I can use? 

Stacey: You can ask because several people in there have gone through the process and are familiar with the process. 

Laura: Excellent.

Stacey: Essence is one of those things that is something that I tend to keep in the courses, but I’m always happy to answer the questions here (in the group) with you as best as I can. 

Laura: Perfect. Eventually, I’m going to go through your course. I’m saving up money for it right now. I’m really excited about this whole program. What I’m hearing from you is that the essence isn’t even so much about deep diving, but just listening to yourself and building yourself from your own body. Yesterday I got a lot of feedback about clothing my line and not necessarily overthinking it.

Never Too Late to Learn About Style Essence Blends

Stacey: Right. What I love about essence is the same thing that I love about color and that is it’s God-created. It’s how he’s built us. The way I talk about Kibbe usually is the same kind of conversation. It’s how God has built us very specifically, and then it’s learning those things about ourselves so that we can choose clothing that is in alignment with that. 

We don’t go to the beach and expect to see a cactus for the most part. We’re really just trying to get to the same level of cohesiveness and authenticity in our clothing. It’s about learning ourselves for sure.

Laura: It’s interesting too because I’m 55 now, so I feel like I’m late to the game, but it’s still exciting. Better late than never. 

Stacey: It’s fun. It’s never too late to learn who you are. I feel like style becomes more of a learning thing the older that we get. When you’re 25, you can kind of wear anything and get away with it. Nobody cares. 

You’re young and carefree and, can wear things that when you’re 40, 45, 50, 55, it just doesn’t, doesn’t hit the same way. I think as we get older, we’re all learning ourselves more and becoming more authentic and in alignment with who God created us to be. That great sanctification process.

Laura: Yeah, I think I just, one last thing I was going to say for me because I was overthinking. I know that I’ve always gravitated to natural stuff. I’ve always really felt comfortable in natural looks, but I think I was always looking at that flamboyant natural and trying to fit the boxes onto me. 

Then realized, as I went back and started reading everything in Sew My Kibbe about the shapes and stuff, those are the shoes I naturally gravitate to. I naturally wear makeup that’s natural, like what you were saying with not a lot of eye and maybe a bolder lip, but that’s it. 

I guess I’m realizing I’m naturally in that place. So for me, I guess my last thing is to figure out whether I’m two essences or three, and I may just be two.

Stacey: What are you thinking? 

Laura: I know for sure I’m quite dominant with natural essence,  but I also like a little bit more contrast. I like a lot of lush textures like tapestry and those kinds of things. I had a beautiful pair of tapestry shoes that I absolutely loved. I wouldn’t wear a whole tapestry jacket, but I like it in a purse. 

I also like my stuff smaller. I don’t like a big baggy purse. I like a small boxy purse or a crossbody bag. So I’m wondering, is that a gamine thing? I’m definitely not ingenue because I can’t do polka dots and ruffles or anything like that.

Stacey: Actually, I wrote that one down as a possibility.

Laura: Did you really?

Pairing Style Essence Blends with Color Analysis

Stacey: Yes, because the small scale is an ingenue thing. I think I’ve talked about this a little bit, but essences typically have color families that kind of go with them too. So it’s something else to look at. Also shapes and patterns, especially the scale of the patterns. 

Specifically, you talked about lush, which is usually a word that I stick to romantic because you’re getting large-scale prints in that area. A lot of the time they’re round with soft edges. A bold watercolor print would be something you might find in the romantic essence.  I wrote down natural essence. 

You said boxy, which is the gamine side coming out. Gamine is high contrast in the colors as well and the shapes that you see for that are going to be more square or triangular. There are three of the essences that are more high contrast, and those would be dramatic, gamine, and romantic out of the whole bunch. 

The other ones are a little bit lower in contrast if that helps you kind of think about that a little bit. Natural, romantic, and gamine is interesting.  I like to lean more towards a mule than to a kitten heel, which I would think of as being romantic. 

Again, when you are looking at combining them, it’s about where that’s showing up for you specifically. A kitten heel, depending on how the shoe is styled, could also be classic.

Laura: Okay.

Stacey: Depending on if it’s a kitten heel in purple, pink, or red colors with a metallic finish. That one’s going to have really strong romantic vibes, whereas a kitten heel in black or tan leather with very sedate classic timeless styling is going to be in that classic area. 

It’s not like you can just take one thing and say it belongs in this category. It could go in a couple of different ways depending on how it’s overall styled. I like to talk about shoes when it comes to essences because you often see mixtures of essences in a shoe. 

A Birkenstock for example, the frame of the shoe is very natural but it’s also got that big boxy look. 

Laura: Yeah, I can’t do it though.

Stacey: They’re natural but if you look at their full line, you’ll see that they’re bringing in other elements. Some patterns have really small ditzy florals that would be that ingenue on top of that natural shoe. You have some that are metallics or suede, which would be those romantic elements on top of that natural shoe. 

When you look at shoes, you can kind of see how they mix the essences in a way that kind of helps.

Final Thoughts on Style Essence Blends

Laura: So do you think it would be a good idea this early in the process just to focus on the top two that I can find and maybe wait on that third one?

Stacey: I would, because finding that third one, especially if it’s not like an in-your-face obvious one, can take a while. I can tell you that when we’re in the intensive, we sometimes spend weeks going over essences.  

If you feel stuck on the third one, I would focus on the first one for sure and give it a percentage so you kind of know and then nail down the second one. That third one may be affected by how the other ones are playing out.

Laura: Okay. So I think, I think I’m going to leave here kind of focusing on finding out more about romantic.

Stacey: Yes, I would, because you said tapestry and lush, and the square shaping stuff kind of throws me a bit.  I would focus on that and just kind of explore it and see if it’s something that you think it could be. There is a resource, it’s called Truth Is Beauty, that has the best content on essences that you will find. 

She’s put together some Pinterest boards that combine the essence blends. Be sure to look for those. It’ll help you see how they come together and see what’s not you at all or if you see yourself more in this. 

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Style essence blends are a great way to tie together the different pieces of your signature style.

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