After Five Months of Dressing Your Truth – Type 4/3 Before and After

DYT Before and After

It’s been 5 months since I started the Dressing Your Truth 30-Day Challenge, and the change has been indescribable, but I’ll try. My exterior has definitely changed, but even more importantly, my interior has. I went from trying to hide, disappear and be invisible to reclaiming who I am. I was so often told that I should be different than who I am, so I stopped being me altogether and retreated within myself. Now I understand my strengths aren’t weaknesses, my gifts aren’t flaws, and who I am is perfectly me. I’m not allowing people to tell me I have to fit a mold. I’m proudly being exactly who I am.

I want to be clear that it isn’t a free pass to take those strengths and gifts and abuse people with them. Type four boldness can also be quite offensive when all filters are removed. Type three push energy that gets things done can also push people over and be overbearing. Type two deep feelings can become emotional extortion and abuse, and type one flightiness can become downright rude when they stand people up or are hours late because they lost track of time. Again. I can still be bold and be selective with my words. I’m not always successful in choosing the right words, but I do try, and that matters.

If you find yourself saying, “I can’t help it, I’m a type…” then that might be your clue that you need to reign it in and use some good, old-fashioned manners. In fact, you CAN help it. Sometimes extra honest words pop out of my mouth, if something catches me off-guard, but I work on filtering. I learned long ago that not everyone appreciates extreme honesty the way I do. If I ask your opinion, I truly want your honest opinion. Years ago I started prefacing my answer with, “Do you want my opinion, or do you want my approval, because I can give you either one.” It usually gets a laugh, and sometimes the answer of, “I want your approval.” To which I respond, “I think that’s a great idea. You should do it.” Obviously I wouldn’t give that answer to something illicit, illegal or immoral, but I can stand behind your choice to paint your car to look like Sponge Bob Squarepants. Absolutely. Do it. I call shotgun for the first cruise down Main Street.

Lessons I Learned During My Dressing Your Truth Journey

I now understand the conflict I experienced my whole life between my type 4 primary and my type 3 secondary. Fire and ice in the same body. I couldn’t reconcile the extremes. Now I can. I understand that my secondary 3 push to get things done makes me extremely efficient and effective, but I can’t allow it to take over or I will run myself into the ground. I need down time each day. I need alone time each day. That is how I recharge my type 4 self. Sometimes interaction with people recharges me, but that is the exception, and it recharges my secondary 3. I understand my drive and perfectionism isn’t the same for others, and that I can’t expect them to perform to my standards or intensity, and sometimes I can’t either or my body will pay the price.

I’ve learned that I can dress to channel the energy I need for the days’ activities. If I know I have a hard day coming, or the day after a hard day, I can wear black to soothe, ground and center myself, and it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks it’s too dark. I can dress in brighter colors to seem more approachable and open, like when I volunteer in my daughter’s kindergarten class each week. Sometimes I will choose a bright color to channel more energy or a brighter mood, and sometimes I will dress more fiercely with extra secondary 3 elements if I need some extra feistiness or push.

I’ve learned that the style choices that work for one type 4, or even 4 million type fours may not work for me, and that is why this journey is unique to each of us. My type 4 style works for me, and won’t work for others. It is very personal. I still find inspiration in the outfits of others, like a color combination, but there is no one I’ve met whose style I could copy and feel like it was me, and that is a good thing.

I find it interesting that I’ve come full circle to my style. About 5 months before I discovered DYT I wanted to experiment with a capsule wardrobe, and I filled out a style finder profile to help me find what was right for me and narrow down my wardrobe. I found it the other day, and the words I listed were: Preppy/classic, classy, cool/chic, unique, feminine, natural/effortless, polished, European, comfortable, tailored, refined. That defines exactly where I have found myself now.  I knew who I was, I just didn’t know how to get the details right, and now I do. The trouble I had before is I was doing all those things, but in the wrong colors. I had to swing really wide during my challenge and fall into the secondary 1 trap, get mad that I got it wrong and jump straight into the extreme secondary 3 pit, clear my head, realign my focus and climb up onto the type 4 platform.

This brings me to another thing I’ve learned. My primary energy type is my PRIMARY. It comes first, always. Incorporating my secondary 3, which is a very, very strong secondary, is still just that: secondary. And often subtle. It might be extra texture in a sweater, or my hair, some pointy shapes on a shirt, or earrings that could definitely put an eye out.

I recently went for a check-up, and my doctor walked in and said, “Whoa! You look fantastic. I love this new look. Are you going to get a Harley now?” He was referring to my moto jacket. I said, “Maybe. I’m finally dressing so that my exterior matches my interior.” He said, “Oh, so this is how you feel?” and I responded, “No. This is who I am.”

If you want to read more about the inner changes and things I discovered about myself, the 30-day challenge posts give more detail.

So here I am before my Dressing Your Truth transformation:

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This is me trying to soften myself, trying to disappear and be invisible. I’m wearing a type 1 color cardigan with a type 2 color t-shirt, type three necklace and makeup and type 4 jeans, but all in a type 4 cut. I didn’t discriminate, did I? Did I look fine? I did. But I didn’t look stunning like a type 4. I also didn’t feel fine. I felt conflicted all the time, and I was hiding. Makeup experts will tell you that brown eyeshadow makes blue eyes bluer, but as a type 4, black eyeshadow and eyeliner make my eyes bluer and my face clearer and brighter.

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And after. I actually left my head on this picture because my hair was a big transformation, as well as my makeup. This is a very classic type 4/3 outfit. Type 4 elements: colors are bold hues, bold color blocking on the sweater, tailored, fitted, straight clothing lines (that doesn’t have to mean tight, but not loose and baggy, dangly, drapey, bulky, swingy, swirly, slouchy, swishy, bouncy, etc. There is plenty of room in between). Secondary 3 elements: the texture of my boots is pebbled instead of smooth and shiny, there are studs on my belt, the zippers on my jacket, and my hair. My hair is my everyday secondary 3 accessory. The blue stripe is actually a bold type four element, but the textured, edgy cut is secondary 3. Typical type four hair would be smooth, straight, clean lines. Think sleek a-line haircut as an example.

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Type 4s get stereotyped as wearing all black or black and white or black and red, so I experimented with something different. This is a very different bold type 4 outfit. Color blocking with 2 (3 when I had my coat on) bold hues. The flats are reflective, shiny silver and have pointy toes. The lines of the clothes are tailored and have no movement (meaning nothing is swinging or draping, etc.). The only secondary 3 is the texture of my hair. Yes I really wore the coat. I briefly considered grabbing my black one, and decided to just embrace the bold and go all the way. I received so many compliments on my style from strangers and acquaintances alike who, “wish [they] could pull this off”.  That is one more lesson I learned. There can be a difference between getting a compliment on your style and your outfit. Sometimes it means the outfit is wearing you, and sometimes it means the person doesn’t know that vocabulary. I tend to specifically hear people love my style now, where before I heard more that they liked my outfit, my shoes, my necklace, etc.

DYT Before and After

I’ve gotta tell you, there have been many, many people in my real life who didn’t recognize me for a while. I have a neighbor who, granted, may not even know my first name, but I’m friends with his wife. I talked to him on three separate occasions, and I could tell you that he had no clue who I was. I thought it was hilarious. He knew he should know who I am by the familiar way I addressed him, but he couldn’t place me.

To experience Dressing Your Truth and find your personal beauty, click here for the free discover your beauty course.

Disclaimer: When you click through my link, I receive a small credit in the Dressing Your Truth store if you choose to sign up for the full course. I’m not a fashion blogger or a Dressing Your Truth expert. I’m just finding my way.

28 Comments

  1. Brittney

    Awesome! I love it, and I love the new you!! I loved you before but you really do seem so much happier and sure of yourself. Who would have thought DYT could make such a difference. I’m still learning but love the insights I’ve gained already! Thanks for your advice and inspiration!

  2. Shelli

    Gorgeous! An amazing transformation. I agree, the internal benefits are just as fantastic as the external. Way to go!!!

  3. Mandi

    Wow.I loved the journey of your blog.Such a great idea to take a picture of your outfit of the day to just be your own observer.I will definitely try that.I can relate to so many things in your journey and find relief and comfort in like minded people just trying to live their truth.Thanks so much!

  4. Malia

    I love your transformation so much! You are a big inspiration to me. It took me a long time to figure out my secondary, but I hope I can fine tune my style as amazingly as you have now. 🙂 So glad you posted this!

  5. Leo

    Good stuff April. Keep it up!

  6. Kris G.

    Love your heart, April. Before, during, and after. Way to embrace the you that the Lord made and set her free to shine.

  7. Nicki

    You look fanatastic! I enjoyed reading about your journey. It’s inspiring reading about how you learned to accept all of your strengths and weaknesses and understanding your different personality traits while learning to embrace them.

    You are beautiful inside and out. I love your new look (I loved the old look too, let’s face it you always look good :))

  8. Nicole Evertsen

    Well I had the opportunity of living with April for 4 months and oh how amazing she is! I’ve learned with her so much and I know how amazing she is inside! I’m so happy that now you look what you really are inside! I love the crazy fun look! That’s how you are inside! The coolest mom ever! I’m so proud of your changes and of how you always want to become better for you, your kids and your husband.. I’ve always told you that you are an inspiration for me and you never disappoint me on that. 🙂

    I love you!!!!

  9. Christina

    WOW that’s an amazing transformation. Congratulations on finding your true self!

  10. Jen Peterson

    You go girl!! You are so amazing April! Thank you for sharing your journey! You know how much I love Dressing Your Truth, not only because it’s a simple way to look amazing but it allows you to understand and accept who you are, and as a lovely side effect it allows you to see and understand others for who they truly are inside! I love seeing you own it April! You are so stunningly gorgeous both inside and out!

  11. Brandi Sherman

    I just want to hug you ????! Loved all the new posts. A ton of great information. I’ve recently started paring down my closet and it all really makes sense.
    Your true self is beautifully fierce and I’m glad she is coming out to play!

  12. Alicia

    You are a total babe, I need to read this book.

  13. Lora

    Stunning!

  14. Lisa

    I should definitely look into this. I definitely don’t feel like I dress how I feel most days! Not to mention I’ve always struggled with style. Very cool April!

  15. Jennifer

    “…dress to channel the energy for the day…” Yes! It’s amazing how significantly we can affect our energies with our choice of clothing and accessories.

    Our styles are a bit different (I’m more casual and have a different way to project a bit of s3 edge), but seeing your OsOTD and reading your thought process has helped me more than anything else I’ve read or videos I’ve watched on this energy profiling journey.

    What you say really resonates with me and sparks ideas. Thank you for that.

  16. April (Post author)

    Thank you everyone for your supportive comments. I really appreciate it.

  17. Anonymous

    Wow April! So amazing! I have been studying the materials for four years now…and I am finally certain that I am a 4/3 as well. You wrote down the EXACT description of me when talking about yourself! Congratulations you look stunningly hot and thanks for helping me to clarify my true nature. YAY for you and thank you Carol Tuttle for these amazing tools!

  18. Britt

    Wow April! So amazing! I have been studying the materials for four years now…and I am finally certain that I am a 4/3 as well. You wrote down the EXACT description of me when talking about yourself! Congratulations you look stunningly hot and thanks for helping me to clarify my true nature. YAY for you and thank you Carol Tuttle for these amazing tools!

  19. April (Post author)

    Britt I’m so glad you found something that resonates with you. Try it out. Dress 4/3 and see if it feels right to you. I’d live to hear from you again to know if it is right for you. I don’t know if you read the posts about my 30-day challenge, but I share a lot more thoughts, though I was unknowingly dressing as a 4/1.

  20. Erica

    You are such an inspiration! After so much obsessing and over analyzing, I finally figured out today that I am a type 4 and I am so glad I found your blog. These selfies are so helpful to me. Thank you and congrats on your new fierce look!

  21. Anonymous

    The T4 transformation is fabulous! You look amazing!!!!!

  22. April (Post author)

    Erica, I encourage you to take your own selfies as you take this journey. It will help you see trends, what you like and don’t and why. I wrote a post about the power of selfies. I’m still refining my look and feeling more and more like myself.

  23. Nathalie

    what an amazing transformation! you were beautiful before, but after, WOW. The confidence just exudes right off the page! Thank you, very inspiring. (I’m just discovering that I’m a type 4 after believing I was a 1 for a year… Big changes coming up! )

  24. April (Post author)

    Thank you Nathalie! What a compliment. Good luck on your T4 journey. I would love to see a before and after!

  25. Nancy Johnson

    April, I loved your post. I’ve been following DYT for many months now. Thought I was a T1, then realized I was actually a T4 (unsure of secondary) and dressed as such for a few months, liked it OK, but doubts persisted. One thing I knew for sure: I WAS NOT a Type 3. But what was I? Well, Carol Tuttle was right: If you can’t decide, you’re probably not being honest with yourself. It turns out I am a Type 3. I’ve been working all my life to bury my true self, believing a softer woman would be more likeble. My true T3 self is so buried inside me that I had no idea that was me. Now that I’ve opened up and allowed an honest assessment of myself, I can see it was there all along. And so begins my journey to Live My Truth. DYT has been like free counseling for me! BTW, I have a very strong T4 secondary. Can’t wait to see what the next phase of my life will bring.

    I so enjoyed your post. You’re a great writer and incredibly articulate. (More gifts!) I will be back to explore your blog and when I buy the DYT full course, I will use your link. ?

    Thank you for sharing.

  26. April (Post author)

    Nancy what a relief to recognize and accept yourself! It is such a healing journey, and I’m so glad you have found your place. I strongly encourage you to buy the course. It makes everything so much easier and clearer, and being able to interact on your type board is so validating. I love being with my people in the T4 group. They get me. Thanks for reading my post. I’m going to be moving all of this content to a new blog, and I hope you’ll follow me there. I’ll post it here when I’m ready to launch. Good luck on your journey!

  27. Paula

    Hello April,
    I am a 4/3! You look incredible in all of these pictures. Thank-you for your blog and for posting these beautiful pictures of yourself. They and you have really inspired me! You look breathtaking!

  28. April (Post author)

    Paula thank you! I can honestly say a year later that my style has evolved even more, and I’m even more content in my skin. I’m launching my new blog this week where I will continue sharing weekly outfit posts if you’d like to follow along. I’ll share here when I’m ready to announce it.

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