Perhaps you could write another post about what to wear when you have a yin personality and would like to wear yin, but yang looks better on you and vice versa? I like the examples you give in interpreting yin and yang in a garment.
There are so many ways you can make garments look either more yin (receding, soft, feminine) or yang (advancing, strong, masculine). With patterns,fabric, scale, texture, contrast, structure, shape, line and design elements, they can all shift the way a garment communicates. In the picture above you can see from left to right we move from more yin to more yang on the
And here you can see you can take a floral pattern (more naturally yin) and make it more yang by changing the size and scale and the contrast levels.
Using these concepts can help you find the balance of advancing and receding elements (masculine and feminine, soft and strong, however you like to term it) to balance your physical appearance, and communicate your personality to the world.
If you enjoy the yin but look better in more yang shapes or colours, think about changing the fabric to something softer, or add a yin pattern or other details.
If you’ve missed the other posts on understanding yin and yang you can read them here:
Using Yin and Yang in Clothing Design to Balance Your Appearance
Thanks Imogen. These examples are great, and the first polyvore in this post is very me, but I can also look at the yin examples and think,I’d never wear that!
I think this helps me understand a little better about what pattern and levels of contrast I am attracted to (yang), although I do often try these things on, I end up purchasing (and wearing) items and outfits with a touch more yin.
Luv the visual examples! Great read
Are the formality of a garment related to the Yin/Yan concept or is this only about one’s personal style?
Its looks like the structure and cuts of yang looks more formal than yin, but I often hear that bright colors (like a red blazer) are considered being more “fun” than serious (while dark muted tones are consider being more serious) so thats why Im wondering. 😛
ah commented to fast. Was going to add:
Whats so Interesting with the yin/yang concept is that it’s explains why I prefer printed garments that has a feminine print/fabric but has a darker background, higher contrast or ordered pattern, because it seems like I always drawn to a combination of both soft and structured garments. Like the example of Yin with a yang twist except that Im drawn to darker palettes.
(My style is basically classic with a feminine twist + an subitle edge (I prefer more dramatic color palettes or wearing it as an accent) I love florals and polkadots, but prefer them when they are in a more structured style, like pencil skirts and darker backgrounds. Ive never liked geometric and abstract prints, because they look too overwhelming to my eyes. For less feminine prints, I prefer the classic and relaxed ones – stripes and checks! :P)
No wonder Im struggling with defining my personal style because Ive never liked dressed in only one style…
I’ve never met anyone who sticks to just one style – most of us have a myriad of styles that we utilise depending on the situation.
WHen you consider the yin and yang of colour, there are many situations where it’s actually about the occassion, rather than strict rules. Lighter, brighter, warmer colours are more advancing (yang) but we also see very dark colours as very strong and advancing.
Im reading alot about the Dresscode, thats typical where people speak english, here those dresscodes has literally disappear, people wear sneakers to office/work, but I like using them as guidelines when I dress (e.g. the guidelines about smart + business casual are very alike the way I dress for everyday wear, even though we dont have those dresscodes where I live). But sometimes, choosing colors/prints for the actual occasion is a bit tricky. So thats why I asked.
Recently Im shy-ed away from wearing florals, pinks and bright reds even though they are my favorite colors/prints, because of those weird rules. LOL Like believing that people take you unseriously at the work for wearing a red blazer or floral pencil skirt. Guess, Ive some insurity issues going on, regarding my personal style… 😛
I’m finding this yin-yang analysis interesting because it seems to capture the main tension in clarifying my style. My physical appearance is very yin (petite, youthful, slim but fairly curvy, soft summer colouring). In contrast, my personality is fairly yang (strong, direct, intense, serious, not at all stereotypically feminine) with a little yin influence (informal, flexible).
I gravitate to the darker colours in my range, medium to low contrast. I like the look of structure but not the feel (I need to be comfortable and able to move freely), so I think, for instance, a sharp blazer made up in a knit would work well for me.
thank you for this post and the pictures are making in clearer. i don’t know why this seems so confusing to me… if the florals were replaced with geometric patterns, would the same rules apply? lower contrast, smaller size and soft fabric would be yin and changing those would move it to yang? I’m trying to relate this to my own wardrobe, but I don’t have many floral patterns, mostly geometric and stripes.
Yes Liz – same rules for geometrics as florals. But geometrics are more naturally on hte yang side, but you can still make them appear more yin with lowering contrast, making smaller etc.
I have found these posts on yin and yang absolutely fascinating as the concepts are fairly new to me. I went for a style consultation last October and that included a yin and yang test. Out of 20 questions, 10 showed more yin, 4 were more yang and 6 were in the middle. My style was defined as Natural Gamine after we had finished with all aspects. What I especially like here is the clues on adding more yin or yang, as I guess that many of us are somewhere in the middle but leanings in one direction.
PS Just spotted errors on my post! Last sentence should start “What I especially like here are the clues…” and end “…but with leanings in one direction.” Hmm. Does this make me more yang than yin?
Sounds like you’re naturally slightly more yin – but if you want to be more balanced you can add a little extra yang. Totally up to you!