Align – English

Align Style Analysis

"My idea of beauty is something that is totally true to itself" – Keira Knightley

The greatest style secret of all is harmony. Repeat the natural patterns of your body lines in your clothes, and the experience for the viewer is pure, visceral satisfaction. Totally believable to look at, impossible to look away from. Instant charm/charisma.  

With great joy, I present to you Align Style Analysis. With this system, I have cracked the code to dressing true to yourself. With it, you’ll be able to easily and consistently find clothes that let you feel like you. Designs that you love and that love you back, are items you can invest in and enjoy every time you pull them out of your closet.

The Align Philosophy

Align was created to give you the key to line harmony. What does line harmony actually mean?

It’s all about scale, proportion and emphasis. It’s about the properties your clothes should have to make you look proportional, and free from distortion.

The right clothes will simply make you look good. The wrong clothes can distract the viewer by placing the emphasis in the wrong place. Whatever your shape or size, they might make you appear too short, too tall, too skinny or too heavy, top heavy or even asymmetrical. These are all illusions, results of the wrong scale and/or proportions. But the viewer can’t know that. However, when you wear the right lines in clothes, you’ll look breathtakingly real.

In addition, the system of Align is designed to always be compatible with your own taste. Whether your style is classic, vintage, minimalist or other, the analysis adapts to it. Because these are expressions of personal taste, much more than of body type. You can dress in almost any of these styles. While it’s true that some are more native to you than others, all can be adapted, a little or a lot, to suit each body type.

After all, every body type speaks a different language. Speaking Greek makes no sense when the person listening only understands German. Translate your message to the language that your body speaks, and you’ll find designs that communicate exactly what you wanted to say.  

Finally, Align is meant to establish the idea that beauty can take any shape. The narrow-minded ideas of what beauty should look like to deserve that label, stemming from media, are damaging to women (and men) of any age, but especially the young ones. Thankfully, they are also simply not true. With Align Style Analysis, I have the privilege of showing you that there never was anything wrong with your body – all you needed was clothing that mirrored the line patterns of your body.

The Science of Align

The theory of the Align system lies with the universal concept of yin and yang. In the abstract, yin is small scale and rounded, while yang is large scale and straight. With this concept, a theoretical model is created that’s designed for linking appearance with design.

Still speaking in the abstract sense, yin and yang can be applied in horizontal, and vertical directions. This creates four pure influences:

  • Horizontal yang straightens and increases width, so shapes (energy? force? shape is not abstract enough at this stage) are straight and wide
  • Vertical yang straightens and increases height, so shapes are straight and tall
  • Horizontal yin creates curve and decreases width, so shapes are curvy and narrow
  • Vertical yin creates curve and decreases height, so shapes are curvy and short

How would these forces combine into the building blocks of your physical body? Well, ignoring biology for the moment, let’s imagine how these forces work and interact together by weaving lines through each other. These lines oppose and counteract one another to build tension, balance shape, and create form. Within human beings, lines are woven into ever-finer layers, expressing detail and individuality, culminating in a solid, three-dimensional body.

Nobody is made of any single influence. There are always multiple influences at work. But there is always one with a stronger presence than the others, and so everyone has a dominant, primary influence, and a lesser, secondary influence. In different combinations, these create sixteen possible types (see also below). Finally, a tertiary influence finetunes within the type, bring the total to 60 subtypes. Each (sub)type has a unique pattern of yin and yang, which we’ll use to find the clothing that suits you seamlessly.

Please note that within the Align system, yin and yang refer to shape only, and have no connotation beyond physical appearance. As such, they have no bearing on femininity or masculinity. Even the yangest woman can be undoubtedly feminine, even more so when she embraces the natural lines she’s been graced with.

The Align Types

Majestic
Imperial
Mysterious
Liberal
Striking
Expressive
Distinctive
Dignified
Graceful
Celestial
Evocative
Captivating
Luxuriant
Transcendent
Dynamic
Intricate

To see examples of people with these body types, as well as what clothes they wear best, please visit my Pinterest page. 

Your Analysis...

My goal is to give you a thorough understanding of your body lines, and what to look for in the stores. At the same time, the experience should also be easy and comfortable.

An analysis starts with an brief explanation of the Align system. I show you images to explain what I mean, it’s so much easier to show shapes than to talk about them. Then comes the exciting part, we’ll discuss your body type! I’ll show you what influences I see in your body, and how they are combined in your specific body subtype. I’ll talk about the general traits of your body type, and how you fit within that group.

Next, I’ll talk you through how your body lines translate to clothing. I do that in two ways: first by talking about general design elements, like silhouette, volume and detail, then later by showing you what the actual clothing looks like.   

For the design elements section, the questions I answer are:

  • What are the general proportions that suit you best?
  • What silhouettes should your clothes have?
  • How long should your tops be?
  • Where should your pants stop and your shoes start?
  • Where can you carry volume?
  • Should emphasis be horizontal or vertical?
  • When lines cross, what angles should they make?
  • What range of detail can you carry?
  • What prints would work for you, and which would you better stay away from?
  • What fabrics are naturally suited to you, and how should they be applied?

...In Detail

For the wardrobe section, we’ll go into detail about clothing items, accessories and styling. For this part, I show you many examples of each possible item. We’ll discuss what your basics look like, bringing the proportions back to their bare essentials, and how you can add interest and excitement by adding more your innate influences. In each category, there also exciting pieces of design that explore the edges of your style, still securely within the realm of your true expression. For some items, I also show you possible ‘pitfalls’, the designs that are similar to your ideal but still not quite right. With all these examples, you’ll learn what your ideal clothes look like pretty quickly.

More specifically, we discuss:

  • Tops
  • Sweaters
  • Cardigans
  • Blazers and jackets
  • Pants
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Outerwear
  • Evening wear
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Jewellery
  • Glasses
  • Hats
  • Hairstyles
  • Makeup

Afterwards, there’s always time for questions. You’ll receive the images I’ve shown you in a pdf file, as well as a written guide with all the information.

I have wanted to have an image analysis for years- just the idea of someone telling me what clothes suited me was so appealing. I’ve always loved clothes and been very interested in fashion and colour. It has often frustrated me how a particular item can be so attractive on someone else, but not seemed to work on my body shape. Having had PCA [personal colour analysis] I knew how having a guide on what to buy colour wise had helped and I just wanted to have the same for clothing styles. I have read lots of stuff on this but find it mostly amounted to ‘ covering up your worst features. 
So the analysis with Florentina was something of a revelation. For a start it wasn’t about hiding things I didn’t like about my body. I honestly feel different now I know how to dress my body in a way that suits it. I feel my clothes can reflect how my body really is, rather than how I wish it would be. The guidelines are easy to follow and I am already tuning in to my style and becoming more confident at working out what might work. I went shopping the other day and was able  to disregard a number of items I would previously have gone for, knowing they wouldn’t work. This is liberating!! I think it’s going to make me a much more discerning shopper- I have not always made good decisions when it comes to buying clothes. It also gives you a framework for online shopping.

What clients have said about Align

‘After receiving my style analysis from Florentina I truly feel confident that I will be able to make the correct choices for myself as I shop. Her system makes it very simple to learn to recognize quickly what will work and what won’t.

I love that Florentina is focused on the lines and nature of the curves in the body and face and how to make the most of those when it comes to clothing and accessories. She doesn’t focus on a theme or personality behind the lines, instead she delivers straightforward advice on what will look best given your natural shapes.

I really appreciated that Florentina gave a lot of advice on everyday clothes as well as clothes for special occasions. Florentina takes her time as she talks you through the style guides via Skype and you never feel rushed. In fact I had to get off the phone before she was ready!

To summarize, Florentina has provided an invaluable service and made it very easy for me to spot things that I will look amazing in. I have had a few different analyses over the past few years and none have lead me so easily in the right direction as Florentina’s.’

‘I enjoyed my Align Style analysis, and felt immediately that it was something I wish I’d done twenty years earlier to avoid making purchases that sat in my closet unused, because the colour or general style was good, but did not ultimately suit my overall shape.

The recommendations made a lot of sense with my previous experiences of clothing and what has worked best and had staying power in my wardrobe, even if I never quite new the theory behind why it worked so well. I also found it was good to confirm the concept of repeating the patterns that naturally exist in my shape, rather than trying to contrast against them to minimize or ‘balance’ something wrong or imperfect about me. The overall effect of the Align system is harmonious and timeless.’

From a client who requested particular focus on hairstyles:

‘I love my hairdresser, but we have never spent time to really analyze my face lines and shape to achieve the best style possible. So I made an appointment with Florentina who brilliantly analyzed my face and body lines. She provided written, verbal and visual resources for me to communicate to my hairdresser what I want done to my hair. During our Skype session, Florentina gave very detailed illustrations of what would work for me and what wouldn’t. Many things in my past became clear as she spoke. I had so much fun listening to her insights. I think I will have even more fun trying new styles from this day forward. I can now take what she taught me and form many great looks. Florentina is lovely, gifted, professional and is clearly passionate about what she does. She was easy to be in contact with even though I’m in the USA. She even provided natural hair examples of how to wear my 3c textured hair! Thanks Florentina!’

The Practical Details

Align Style Analysis is currently set at an introductory price of 200 euro. For the moment, Align is open to women only. Appointments are in person or online via email and Skype.

Availability is limited to one client per week. Please enquire at florentina@callastudio.nl for more information and dates.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me at the above email address. I’ll be happy to tell you more.