Down the Kibbe rabbit hole

Thanks to threads by caro in oz, Gigi and links posted by Suz, I got sucked into researching the Kibbe archetypes and I wanted to record my thoughts here. Apologies if this retreads ground already covered in the other threads, as this is as much for my benefit as anything else. :)

I found basic idea and the archetypes themselves very useful. From an aesthetic perspective, it makes perfect sense to accentuate your physical proportions and attributes with whatever you're wearing, which is what I've been trying to do all these years, so it's interesting to read how these have been interpreted by stylists.

I did the quiz and downloaded the spreadsheet. I reached the conclusion that I'm somewhere on a continuum between Soft Dramatic and Flamboyant Natural with a touch of the Dramatic. This made a lot of sense, considering my preference for loose pants, sharp shoulders, graphic patterns and oversized pieces. So far, so good.

Where it all collapsed a bit was in the style inspiration I found on the Internet. This is terribly subjective and there are interpretations out there which read to me as extreme and/or wide of the mark, not to mention a load of things I wouldn't be seen dead in. :P It's not really helped by Kibbe's own instructions, which in spite of their wisdom are by now terribly dated, as others have pointed out. 

However, I did find a few things which resonated. 

First, this graphic, via Pinterest, which struck me as a very good representation in contemporary styling of how I understood the type definitions. I can see immediately from here the outfits which would suit me best. I could easily wear SD or FN as they are, and D would also work with a little tweaking.

I found some interesting commentary on Style Syntax, who approaches the system critically, albeit from her own FG/SD perspective. Being a huge nerd and a visualisation specialist, I really like this diagram. Yin-yang is on the x-axis, blend-contrast is on the y-axis. I can see exactly where I fit in here. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • AM replied 6 years ago

    And I'm trying to catch up with you as you've gone deeper down the hole.
    Thank you for your resources and what you've found helpful.
    I'm classic with a tiny dramatic. Which makes a lot of sense for me.
    I've only completed the quizzes Suz posted and nothing was mentioned about ying/yang. Can you recommend any short cuts on how I can do this ying/yang assessment?

    Looking forward to following this post. Thanks!

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    AM: here's one visual explanation. 

    I saw another one explaining it as the difference between Alexander Calder (yin) and Piet Mondrian (yang) but I can't find it just now. Maybe someone else can post it?

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    I started down the hole but got claustrophobic then backed out. I will watch from the sidelines.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    This is a great roundup -- thank you! Sounds as if you have figured out how to make it all work for you. I like that graphic, too. Of course, being some kind of gamine, I like ALL the stripes!  ;) 

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    I tried taking the test. My results were:

    A    3
    B    0
    C    10
    D    0
    E    3

    I'm gonna give it a whirl and say this must mean I'm Dramatic Classic. But I think my answers were wrong. I don't feel I see myself clearly.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Suz: from your Evolving My Style part 1 #4, #7, #11 and #15 really pop as FG for me. Just FYI ;)

    Deb, Rachylou: it is all a bit dense. It's probably a sign that I look in the mirror far too much that I'm able to even answer these questions. :P

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    I tried to do the quiz before when people on the forum talked about it and I have no idea what answers are right for me. I know some, but most answers leave me very confused because I don't get what that would look like or how they differ from each other...

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    approprio: thanks for the ying/yang short cut. Very helpful. I'm a yanger.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Astrid: it's hard to explain. It's to do with fullness, definition, soft vs angular.
    For instance, from the pictures I see of you, my best guess is that you're a soft natural or soft gamine. You look quite petite and I see some contrasts in your defining features, but more towards the "romantic" (soft) than the "dramatic" (angular).

    Sorry if this sounds like a lot of woo. It does make some sort of sense. :P

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    And rachylou, I'm gonna call it and say you are a gamine of some species too, on account of your slender figure, long limbs and soft facial features. Possible Quirky Waif.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, you have a good eye.  I agree with your assessments of Rachylou and Astrid.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    heh cheers CocoLion, I'm resisting the temptation to go analyse everyone now! Luckily I have to go out soon, otherwise I would be here all night :P

  • Vildy replied 6 years ago

    here ya go

    now off to look at your pinterest finds

  • Gaylene replied 6 years ago

    Those visuals are really helpful. And I agree with your analysis of Astrid and Rachylou. I think the reason so many of us have difficulty finding where are in Kibbe's system comes from our interpretation of the labels and the difficulty of judging our own shapes and features--what is "moderate" or "long" when I have nothing to compare to as I look in the mirror? And, to further complicate the issue, there are many of us who rebel at the very idea of putting ouselves in some arbitrary category, especially if we don't like the supposed representatives that Kibbe has chosen. (Still laughing at the wail from one forum member "But don't want to be lumped in with Bea Arthur!")

    Finally realizing I am a Dramatic, though, has been good for me. I can now see why some items are hard for me to style, even if I love them. I'll still continue to buy what I love, because I'll never give over control of my wardrobe to ANY system, but I now have a tool to help me make that final decision with a bit more understanding of what a garment can offer me. And, incidently, that striped outfit for a Dramatic would be a slam dunk for me!

  • replied 6 years ago

    I'm sooooooooooo much a Calder!

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Go ahead and analyze me too!

    a. 6 answers
    b. 1 answer (but could have been an "a" answer, I was waffling)
    c. 4 answers
    d. 5 answers
    e. 0 answers

    So I come to Soft Dramatic.  Most of my yang comes from face, hair, yin comes from body.  If I lose weight I become more A, or yang.

    Or maybe I answered all the questions wrong -- hard to see myself.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Thanks for the analysis and explanation! Seems like others see it that way too. I'm going to go back and have a look with that in mind.

  • milehighstyle (Linda) replied 6 years ago

    I think I'm right smack in the middle of yin and yang, at least the way I dress is.  I don't know if I'm "doing it wrong".  (of course I'm not, as long as I'm having fun, right?)

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Interesting! I envy you the clarity that you have with this visual system. I'm like Astrid--I have a hard time typing myself. I seem to come up with a lot of Cs, though. So I think I'm some kind of classic. Maybe just classic. Which would perhaps suggest I should be wearing more classic styles, to best complement or highlight my natural features.

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Oh, thanks Approprio! thanks, Gaylene!

    It's so interesting. That makes sense, but I don't think I'd ever have guessed. I don't make an impression on myself. I think I don't see myself in the same way a person doesn't see a building they walk by every day.

    Anyways, I can see myself being in with Bette, Claudette, and Debbie. But I have to study pics of Merle Oberon. I'm not entirely sure why she's in with Meryl Streep.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    CocoLion: I agree with your self-assessment. You're quite yang, and I see what you mean about weight loss pushing you into Dramatic territory. But I'd say you'd look quite fine as Soft Dramatic, which seems to suit your personal style better anyway. (see #13 from the hawaiian cruise collection)

    Firecracker: I'm gonna stick my neck out here.... Your body shape is indeed admirably well-proportioned so that puts you in Classic territory. You seem to have equal parts yin and yang in your face, which makes it quite contrasty. However, your distinctive hair is quite emphatically Yin, leading you to the more romantic end of Soft Natural which is where you seem to be in your style. But if you were to decide to cut it short (not that you should!) that might emphasise the Yang in your face and you might try Dramatic Classic. Does that make sense?

    Gaylene: I'm with you on the idea of being pigeonholed because I'm quite resistant to that sort of thing myself. And I frankly hate most of the styling I see around this particular system. That said, I'm thinking of this as a continuum which offers a frame of reference with which to understand some principles of proportion and aesthetics, and those do seem to make sense.

    And since many of us here seem to have quite a well-developed sense of what suits us, it's just as easy to define the styles by the physical attributes of the people wearing them rather than vice versa.

    FWIW, my self-assessment went something like this:
    Soft Yang: broad shoulders, large hands and feet, wide chin, blunt nose
    Strong Yang: tall with long limbs, slim hips, straight hair, high cheekbones
    Yin: large bust (distinctive) full lips, tiny ears (not in the quiz)
    Hence: Yang-dominant, FN/SD. Feel free to put me right on this.

    I'd better go to bed before I start selling you all snake oil. :P

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    I want some of your snake oil. Really well done!

  • frannieb replied 6 years ago

    How interesting - these style chats are so enlightening for me. I took the quiz and am a classic shaper for sure - Place me as a soft classic looking at pictures I resonate with the style and those are the type of clothes that look best on me.
    I have really been thinking maybe I'm more of a dramatic classic but maybe not.

  • viva replied 6 years ago

    Wow. I am super impressed by this thread. To me this seems like a really interesting intellectual exercise. I have to admit that I'd love for you to read my kibbe tea leaves, Approprio: you seem amazingly good at it.

    But, here's my question,and I hope you won't take this the wrong way: Does having this kibbe insight really help? Is there real value to it? Do you know yourself better than you did before? Or, was it just fun and interesting?

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    I'm going to chime in here. My quizzes pegged me as a strong classic with a tiny bit of dramatic. This was so helpful because I really love the dramatic but not too much. I really do favor classic but with some subtle details of interest. So it really helped me to accept that as much as I love style that has artistry or edge -- well, I'm more of a classic. 

  • Tania replied 6 years ago

    This is the first time I've looked into the kibbe stuff.  Interesting perspective.  I tend to think in terms of yin/yang.  I've also been struggling to identity and give voice to various elements in my personality and body that don't always seem to work together. 

    And, if you are inclined, I'd take any thoughts on what I might be!  I went through the quiz and had a balance of A/E.  Then I went through again with my husband, who moderated some of my responses to be more C, with answers mostly evenly divided among the rest.  Which leaves me where I started...I think I could go in different directions depending on how I feel. 

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Ok, so I'm googling to find guidelines for soft gamine. I'm afraid I'm a bear of small brain, and the spreadsheet is a lot of words, lol. I did read it, mind. I learned about chally (challis) fabric and the bouffant dress (very informative).

    I have to tell y'all something: There is a reason Bette Davis played Baby Jane. Soft Gamine does not  grow old nice. It just gets creepy. I do look good in a bouffant dress, if I say so myself, but at the same time I will either look like a blast from the past or like I'm sailing the Good Ship Lollipop. It's not cool.

    I need the antidote for this.

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago


    I get the Classic, but I'm not sure about the Dramatic. Somehow I thought I had an element of Natural, but not seeing it here? Interesting what you said about Firecracker and her hair. I have similar texture, but I have just cut mine short!

    Addendum: just checked DC on it.

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Hah!!  It's always tea time down the Kibbe rabbit hole :)

  • Helena replied 6 years ago

    Ooh, I love this rabbit hole! Have a crack at me too Approprio - please! I THINK I am a dramatic classic, light on the dramatic (AM - kin again!). I THINK this style suits me and is right for me ... however, I will echo the issue that there are not enough good examples of modern interpretations of the clothes ... so in terms of application, it's a bit of a guessing game. I do love the stripes example you found though Approprio ... it's the most helpful one I've seen. There are a couple of good ones on Pinterest, but most are collages of celebs from the 80's, sadly ...

  • Ariadne replied 6 years ago

    I did this a while ago and I think I landed on Soft Classic, but now that I look at it all again, I think I'm a Soft Natural.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Oh my, oh me too! I actually have a lot of D answers - soft short body type, soft flesh (egad) with muscles I have worked at adding, but I am not really sitting well with the ornate romantic thing. Plus I do not have a tiny waist and never did. I do have a lot of asymmetry and angles in my face which adds some drama - but the questions don't really have the right answers. Lips - not full, not thin, but rather lopsided and uneven! Nose - not super big, not tiny, somewhat crooked and asymmetric! Full cheeks, angular brows - I am lost!
    As for you Approprio, I think soft dramatic makes sense.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Runcarla I see you as having Natural qualities as well so I'm going to say Flamboyant Natural as another option to Dramatic Classic.  Of course I'm not the expert here, we have to see what Aproprio says!  ;-)

    Viva -- what do you gain?  To me this is mostly about fun, with a bit of self-awareness thrown in.  Also it's interesting if we see ourselves as others do.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Shevia you look dramatic classic to me.  Because you look like Jackie O to me who was a dramatic classic.

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 6 years ago

    Man, I wish I knew. I think I did this quiz the last time someone posted a link, or at least attempted to. But I somehow ended up with a preponderance of answers that didn't put me in a type at all??

    I had a visceral reaction to the Vivienne Files Calder versus Mondrian link: I am definitely a Mondrian. Which is funny, because I think the shape of my body, except for my height maybe, is totally Calder.

    ETA: ok, went back and did the linked quiz, which is slightly different than the one I remember seeing before, or I'm just spacing. I got a) 1, b) 3, c) 5, d) 3, and e) 4. Which apparently puts me in Soft Classic, i.e. The most boring middle of the road type ever. ;) I mean, who doesn't want to be compared to Olivia de Haviland (how old is this book again?)?

  • replied 6 years ago

    With Kibbe -- as with color-system books -- I don't think the quizzes, theories or celebrity examples help as much as just trying stuff on and seeing what the mirror says. It's like finding your colors -- the right ones just click. (Or they did for me.)

    One interesting factor Kibbe uses in typing people is facial symmetry/asymmetry, which I don't think other systems touch on. Personally, I used to try on all sorts of lovely jewelry -- pearls, gold hoops, diamond studs -- and wonder why they never looked right. It's because my face has an asymmetrical quality and needs asymmetrical jewelry to not look funny. Same with prints -- neat geometric ones are all wrong on me, larger irregular ones work. (His advice is much more detailed.)

    I certainly don't like or use all of Kibbe's suggestions (bold tropical prints, anyone? Bea Arthur vests?) but overall he's helped me see myself more clearly and dress accordingly.


  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    I had a look at pictures yesterday and I don't think I'm a Gamine, not even a soft one, I'm not angular enough for that. I can see soft natural looking at body type, but most examples of outfits/clothes have me run screaming. ;) Too drapey/fussy/detailed for my taste. I guess I can get behind it if I think soft straight lines with a little drape... Just like with the bag below, picking the first one over the second. 

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Disclaimer: this is entirely subjective and probably all wrong. Any styling advice you get from random people in the Internet is bound to be nonsense. All renderings of these archetypes you find elsewhere are terrible. You know  better than anyone what suits you.

    frannieb: I'm gonna say FN, on account of your dramatic choices and lovely poncho collection. I'm thinking locks are pretty yang-y, but I could be wrong there. They might be yin.

    viva: Gamine tending to FG, just like Twiggy ;) here you are in a great understated FG look.

    AM: DC makes perfect sense, and explains why you remind me of my sister ;)

    Tania: I'd say Natural (on account of your strong features and athletic build) tending to SN?

    torontogirl:  how can I possibly tell when I can't see your face? :P

    shevia: yes, I'd agree with CocoLion, SD works for you, but I also see a touch of FG.

    One more note on the archetypes: I'm seeing these as guidelines on how to use colour and silhouette on the spectrum of opposing aesthetics rather than renderings of particular styles. I can't stress enough how badly these have been interpreted by random people on Polyvore. 

    And I'm a professional designer and visualisation specialist, so there's that.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, you're right - most of these interpretations are pretty bad. But I think it's good to keep in mind as a concept. It's probably comparable with the Soft Summer color examples you find on the internet (Pinterest and Polyvore) which are mostly horrible or plain wrong. No wonder people don't want to be a Soft Summer... :D

  • replied 6 years ago

    Here's another yin/yang article:

  • Helena replied 6 years ago

    LOL, Approprio ... what, you're not psychic?!?!? ;)
    I'll pm you ... some of my old WIWs have face pictures :)

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Interesting! Thanks for the analysis - I have only begun to realize my dramatic size lately. FG is something I had never considered. It is always intriguing to hear how others see you. And Denise, I am not going to complain about being compared to Jackie O, thanks for the wonderful compliment!

  • Sheila replied 6 years ago

    Shevia, I see you as Flam Gam as well !

    approprio... you have a good sense for this !

    It is kind of the same territory I see myself in... FN/SD... but sometimes I think DC or TR or even SN....
    Yang for sure... I just can't see whether it is sharp yang of blunt yang... Hard to tell the difference ourselves.

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    Ooh, I love that link of viva. FG is a good call. And it makes me feel I can see the difference between FG and SG now (and that I'd be on the SG side).

    But ok. So what does it all mean? I'm looking at the spreadsheet and it's talking to me about tulip and mermaid skirts. I guess I could find a mermaid skirt (but I don't think it would be that easy). Also, it's not clear to me that the goal is any less classical... albeit perhaps it's not conventional, in that everyone should look like the "classic" type.

    ETA: Sudden realisation - an SG body type, for example, is not necessarily the same as gamine clothing style.

    Right. *Duh*.

  • Janet replied 6 years ago

    OK, I'm at least peeking down the rabbit hole. 

    I tried the quiz again, and some things I'm just not sure how to interpret, when it comes to my own body/face. But here are my best guesses:

    a - 1
    b - 4
    c - 3
    d - 4
    e - 5

    And there is no corresponding category that seems to fit those numbers. I seem to be "e" dominant, but I balk at the "romantic" moniker. Does anyone care to venture a type for me, based on what you see of me? Maybe I'm just really bad at identifying my own traits. ;-) 

    Just curious. 

    ETA: I just read a bit more, and through process of elimination, I guess the most apt description for me is Theatrical Romantic? ("Very curvy body type, with an hourglass figure; slightly angular bone structure (small, delicate, and slightly sharp); facial features are round, full and lush; facial bones are delicate, narrow and slightly sharp.") 

    Most of the others seem completely off the mark for me; I'm not symmetrical, I'm definitely not a gamine, etc. But then, the description for Soft Natural seems somewhat applicable too: 

    "Soft body type that tends toward fleshiness and curve, particularly in the upper arm/thigh and hip area (may become extremely soft when overweight); softly angular bone struicture that tends towards soft width or a slight elongation; facial bones are very full, very soft, and somewhat rounded." 

    Actually, I think the facial description of the TR is more accurate than the SN for me. And either one could describe my body type -- fine-boned, even though I'm not small in stature. A curvy figure but with prominent shoulders and bony hands, feet, wrists, ankles… 

    See why this is confusing to me? So much is interpretation. 

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Janet, I find it confusing too. Actually I just saw that the definition of SN means you should have dominant answers in B which I definitely don't have. Maybe I'm a soft classic instead? That would mean C, paired with D/E. I have no idea...

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    Ok, I bit and took the quiz. a - 4, b - 7, c - 5, d - 1, e - 0. What this means? I have no clue. A natural classic? And I do not get the yin/yang.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Deb, if I have understood it right the yin is soft/round (D/E) and the yang is straight/angular (A/B). C is in between. So if a type mentions yin when it comes to facial features you are supposed to have more D/E in that part of the quiz.

  • replied 6 years ago

    When I took the Kibbe test, I had mostly Classic answers, but I know I'm not a Classic. The closest I might be to a Classic would be Soft Classic, but I'm not sure. I lean towards Soft Natural because my body type needs soft tailoring and my answers to his essence quiz (in his book) put me squarely in the Natural category.

  • Gaylene replied 6 years ago

    I agree those questionnaires are hard to interpret, but I think the Kibbe system gets a bit clearer if you can first figure out where you are on the yin/yang
    dimension. Words like soft, rounded, delicate, and small describe the feminine yin and sharp, angular, broad, long describe the masculine yang. If you look in the mirror and focus just on your physique and features, it's often not that hard to see which side is stronger--all the while realizing that most of us will be a blend. The stronger the influence of either yin, or yang, the easier it is to recognize which side is your dominant player.

    Once you've figured out which side best describes you, then you can eliminate some classifications which, in turn, makes it easier to concentrate on the descriptors that fit in your end of the yin/yang continumn. That's why the grid is handy, as are the descriptions in the spreadsheet. I think it's also easier if you just think of the labels as letters so you don't get sidetracked by your reaction towards a celebrity or word. As Rachylou points out--Gamine as a type isn't the same as a gamine style.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    I have to say I see neither side on me- definitely not small or delicate and not sharp and long either. A mix of softness with moderate angels, blunt and/or wide. Whatever... I give up. :D

  • Gigi replied 6 years ago

    Sorry to see that I've woven you into the Kibbe web of doom, approprio! :) I don't have time to read all the responses now, but this thread looks fascinating, and I will be back to fall further down the rabbit hole. Ha.

    I do want to say that that chart you found on Style Syntax is quite interesting. It would seem to indicate how, once you have pinpointed your main style, you could move to nearby styles and make them work for you with some tweaks. For instance, I am SG, and from the chart, it appears that TR is right next door, and that is a style that infuses some of my own dressing.

  • CocoLion replied 6 years ago

    Janet I think theatrical romantic suits you well.  But lets see what the thread-owner says, you do have a great eye Approprio, I'm not surprised at all you are a design pro.

    Janet when you wear that 3.1 Philip Lim vest it suits this style well.  So I think you can still be modern and edgy but have this type.  I guess to me the awareness that comes through identifying oneself is of the most benefit.  While his style recommendations are difficult as they are so dated, not relevant to how we dress today (for one thing, much more casual than in the 80s).

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    I'm going to repeat my disclaimer - don't take my word for this and don't for heavens sake let this prompt you to start dressing like Dita von Tease because someone on the Internet said you're a TR...

    This system is based around a fairly simple set of principles of proportion. Don't feel bad if you can't see it. I've always had a freakishly sharp eye for these sorts of things and I'm quite often able to spot things that are invisible to other people. It is what it is, it's why I do what I do.

    DO NOT take any styling advice based on this, unless you've understood why these classifications exist and what they mean. Anything you find online will be completely bogus. Just keep wearing whatever you want to wear. :)

    torontogirl: You're tall, slender and angular in the body, with quite classic facial features. DC looks about right.

    Deb: you're a natural. Possible FN? 

    Janet: SN tending to TR. Don't feel bad. It's probably why you can still wear cowboy boots. ;)

    By the way, if I've assessed you, please feed back to me. I'd really like to know if this is making sense.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    I bow to your suprior eye. ;) Just a question - you mentioned SN or SG at the start. In that graphic they are definitely apart, so there seems to be no overlap. I think SG has a lot more tailoring, while SN is overall more flowy/ornate. Is that right? The first dress I'm wearing is rather flowy, the second one more angular/sharp (but I also weigh way more there). While I think #2 is a great dress, the first looks somehow more harmonious. Do you agree? That would mean SN and not SG, or not?

    (I'm sorry for taking over your thread.)

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    I've had limited internet time lately, on a trip. But I wanted to respond approprio: I think your analysis of me makes sense. I've gone back and re-read the quizzes and come up with a lot of C answers, plus a few Bs for body type, and then Cs and Ds for face/bone structure. So I think I'm a dramatic classic, and I agree with you that my hair skews my face toward the soft side. In recent years, when I have tried to wear my hair short as I used to, I feel my face looks too severe. Looking at the spreadsheet of styles, lines, etc., I get quickly confused. For dramatic classic, it lists a bunch of sharp angled, high contrast looks that I feel overwhelm me. Maybe I'm more classic-classic after all.

    I think Astrid looks like a Soft Classic. Don't ask me to explain myself too much, though. I've been focusing on "classic," since that's where most of my answers lie, so I have a thin if nonexistent grasp of the other types!

    p.s. this is a fun thread, approprio! I really appreciate your eye.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Thanks Sharan. :) That's the other option I was thinking of. I rather liked the description of shape/line.

  • Windchime replied 6 years ago

    Uh oh, I just got pulled in! Attempting the quiz myself, without consulting anyone else, I got a result of Dramatic Classic. I'm surprised about the Classic part; will have to think about it some.

  • AM replied 6 years ago

    approprio: Glad you agree with my DC assessment (and light on the D). I can't decide if I should purchase this book or try to find more shortcuts for understanding DC...any thoughts? Do you find the spread sheet valuable?

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Firecracker: that's interesting what you say about the shorter hair. The style you have right now rocks the house, so no reason to change a thing. But it's fun to decode the system, no?

    Astrid: what did I just say about styling advice being bogus? :P 

    Yes, I can see you more clearly in those pics and I'd definitely say SN. Also, you could argue that the second dress is a bit more FG than SG on account of the bold colour and large print. I bet you could wear that shape in a more muted colour scheme. 

    I've been thinking that the naturals and the gamines should maybe be closer together in the diagram, because as I understand it these types carry more "contrast" than the classics (mixed yin and yang features).

    But what do I know? I've only been doing this a couple of days :P

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    eh... AM: sorry, missed your question. Not sure what to recommend. I found the spreadsheet somewhat useful, but I'm not going to rush out and buy the book just yet. I'd much rather trust my intuition based on the continuum of value and contrast.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Oh I missed Runcarla! I looked at your pics before I looked at your scores. You're angular, but very well proportioned. I think DC before anything else, but you could play up your yin features and go for SN if you prefer.

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Thanks approprio. :) I'll have a closer look at SN the next time I'm having too much time on my hands.

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago

    Thanks CocoLion, Approprio. This kind of musing around actually helps me a lot! Though I like the monicker of 'natural' the images used to illustrate are too flowy and bohemian for what makes me happy, whereas the tighter lines, and formality of 'classic' make my heart sing. The images for DC look like my Pinterest 'aspirational style' board!

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    Fun thread. I've just started reading the book & it's fascinating :) His sections on what the specific types are not is enlightening imo.

    Kibbe also says it can be helpful to have someone else "type" you as they can be more objective about specific body parts. He also says to trust yourself - which can seem contradictory to the first statement but isn't when you explore his idea of resistance to your type. 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, I agree they should be closer together. I think FN is higher energy, and SN is lower energy. FN is bold/geometric in patterns and color use, and SN is all about watercolor/blending. The one with the circles was done by someone else, and I used that for a model for my diagram with the lines. I will probably remake my diagram when I get around to it with FN in the first quadrant to show its higher movement.

    (My diagram shows the types as a continuum--I.e., as an FG, I may be far more to FG side than G than some other FGs, and this affects how we interpret our type.

  • Sveta replied 6 years ago

    Wow, how did I miss such  great thread?! My Kibbe assessment several years ago (from CocoLion light hand) was really helpful. I placed myself as Soft Dramatic which really opened my eyes why I feel wrong in certain clothes. Realization that you need to embrace your own facial features and body and not trying to be something you are now was a turning point for me.
    BTW it is so great to find a type twin in you Approprio :-) I read your yang / yin categories and it sounded completely like me (with the only substitution of curvy hips / small bust). On the other hand while we both have the same Kibbe type of SD our styles are very different but both true to the Soft Dramatic definition I think. 
    Thanks for the fun read!

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Hey psychedelicate! Thanks for a chiming in. And even more thanks for your critical resource on Kibbe archetypes. I've enjoyed exploring it.

    I'm still trying to figure out how I think that graph ought to look, because my feeling is that the naturals and the gamines are more closely related. I'm also reaching the conclusion that TR doesn't take up much space on the continuum, and is actually pretty rare. I personally wouldn't expect to see a concentration of those "yin" qualities in real life, grown up women with actual lives. :P

    Sveta: I'm still trying to work out whether I'm more comfortable with the SD or FN definition. From a styling POV, I feel I could go either way, and both feel like interesting starting points given my preferences. It's interesting to compare where you and I overlap, even though we have very different styles. 

    I think any style definition gives a wide range of possibilities to create something individual and personal, so I've found all the prescriptive styling recommendations to be quite problematic. I think the best we can do is treat it as a set of boundary conditions to help us define for ourselves what does and doesn't suit us. That's the aspect I'm finding most useful at the moment.

  • frannieb replied 6 years ago

    Approprio - I think my dreads are more yin then yang - the have much more movement, texture and look softer IRL.

    Interesting assessment on FN will have to do more reading.

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, what do you mean by "yin qualities"? TRs actually tend to be intense and intimidating-seeming--"resting b**** face" is a perennial TR issue. Personality, though, doesn't actually mean anything in terms of your Kibbe. It's what people would think your personality might be upon first impression (typecasting). Kibbe says that your external self is finite, and your internal self is infinite. Your Kibbe type and personality/tastes may match up; they might not. He has a quiz called "the fantasy quiz" in the book to determine whether they do or not. Then you have to reconcile the two. There are actually a fair amount of TRs around. Kibbe says that D and FGs are the type he sees the least. N types seem to be the most common. (If you were not aware, he no longer assigns N, C, and G as types. I wrote about it some here: and am planning a bigger post on it soon.)

    But the graph has nothing to do with how many people there are of X type. It is simply the range that you see within in a type in terms of amount of yin/yang and movement. In TR's case, there may be so much yang that whether this person is an SD or a TR is a hard call, or they can seem very close to straight R.
    FN is close-ish to FG. FG has N in it, and FN is fairly high contrast. SN can seem close to SG because there are youthful SNs who many may think are SG (Emma Stone), but it is actually closer to SC. Watercolor and jersey dresses are fabulous on SNs and a G-type's nightmare. SN is very far from G.


  • replied 6 years ago

    psychedelicate,  I think these points you make are so important:

    "Personality ... doesn't actually mean anything in terms of your Kibbe. It [Kibbe type] is what people would think your personality might be upon first impression (typecasting). Kibbe says that your external self is finite, and your internal self is infinite. 

    "Your Kibbe type and personality/tastes may match up; they might not. ... [If not], then you have to reconcile the two."

    I guess people might balk at the "have to." Obviously, no one is forcing a system on anyone, and if you're a radical dresser, none of this matters to you anyway. But the sheer realism of Kibbe's approach -- upsetting the "one hourglass fits all" and "a long leg is the only leg" advice of most style gurus --  is what made it enlightening and worthwhile for me. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    gauche - I couldn't agree more with:

     "I guess people might balk at the "have to." Obviously, no one is forcing a system on anyone, and if you're a radical dresser, none of this matters to you anyway. But the sheer realism of Kibbe's approach -- upsetting the "one hourglass fits all" and "a long leg is the only leg" advice of most style gurus -- is what made it enlightening and worthwhile for me." 

     I'm still reading the book but much of the Kibbe stuff that is on the www doesn't relate to his concepts AT ALL.

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    gauche, yes, "have to" obviously only applies to people who wish to follow Kibbe's system. :) You are right that the idea of not trying to create some idealized vision of "symmetry" and highlighting exactly what it is that sets you apart is where Kibbe radically departs from other style gurus. If you compare me in my Kibbe type (FG) to me in what Trinny and Susannah prescribe for my body type in their system (skittle), there is no contest at all. 
    caro in oz, what have you been reading? Most get it wrong, I think, and focus more on "essence" rather than line and you end up with "SN is boho" and "FG is punk or mod," which is what you see on Pinterest and Polyvore.

  • Caro in Oz replied 6 years ago

    psychedelicate - I've mostly read info on forums, Pinterest & from clicking through to various links from them. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book & I'm really glad I bought it :) I agree that people get very confused with essence, imo it's still a fantastic concept though.  

  • replied 6 years ago

    Hi psychedelicate. What I meant about people balking at "have to" was this: I think some people dismiss Kibbe's system out of hand because they think it means submitting to some soulless, personality-less straitjacket of dress. They hear "have to" and shut down even considering what it might have to offer.

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Interesting. I am an INTJ, so to me it just means less wasted time. I can go to a store and just immediately look for the things that are FG and Bright Spring and know they will look good and that's it :) There are no guessing games. Some people enjoy the mystery, though.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    " think the best we can do is treat it as a set of boundary conditions to help us define for ourselves what does and doesn't suit us. That's the aspect I'm finding most useful at the moment."

    Love that. 

    I feel as if Kibbe gives us a set of useful guidelines (not rules) about line, detail, proportion, that are all about flattering who we are vs. making us conform to some unreal idea. These guidelines complement an understanding of colour. 

    Thanks for starting this thread, Approprio -- it's a fun and fascinating one. Caro, your enthusiasm is making me want the book itself. Approprio, I couldn't agree more that the internet Polyvores are mostly pretty awful and unhelpful...

    Your typing, though, has been fascinating! Having spent a fair bit of time trying to figure it all out and having also spent a lot of "time" with forum members here (and in some cases also in person) I wanted to shout "BRILLIANT" at most of your designations and even at your hesitations. 

    I had planned, actually, to start a personal "Kwibbeling" thread as part of my "Evolving my style" series, but now I don't feel like I need to; the discussion here has been just what I was hoping for only better! 

    So, do you think I'm right in thinking FG for myself now? I had originally thought DC, but more and more suspect FG, but (as I have confessed on another thread) have some we say, reconciling, myself to some aspects of Kibbe's FG styling suggestions (or at least, to my understanding of them, which is possibly mistaken). 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    FG and DC are very close. They are made up of the exact same components in the same amounts--just in one, they are put together in a contrasted way, and in the other, they are blended. If you look better in a long line than FG's chopped-up silhouette, you are DC. FG has a lot more going on.

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Oh just blinking as I take my first sips of coffee but Suz I am extremely intrigued since I have been put in the DC/FG box up thread. FG is something I had never even considered, so of course I was fascinated. So please muse your pretty little head off on the topic.

    Approprio you have a wonderful eye, thanks for all the effort you are putting into this. Your assessments all have been "aha" moments for me.  Psychedelicate you are a true Kibbe resource! Carry on!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, psychedelicate. 

    Well, maybe I will have to start that thread after all, to do a "showdown." 

    It's a bit tricky in my case because I am relatively low contrast with soft (fair) colouring as well. A true summer or soft summer. 

    You don't normally think of high contrast for a summer. In favour of a FG designation, I have always liked high contrast in some forms. And I think I do carry it off. NOT a big bold black and white pattern near my face (that would totally wash me out). But two tone shoes, contrast on the bottom, a white top with navy jacket or vest—all these I can do. 

    Then again, at least one forum member here whose judgement I trust (CocoLion) prefers me in very simple outfits (which typically have involved a long line...I believe, though I might be wrong about that.) 

    Another forum member who knows a fair bit about this (Sheila) sees gamine and in particular remarks how I can manage a broken line. 

    My hunch, actually, is gamine. I've always liked a high-hip length jacket, never worry much about wearing a contrasting top and bottom (even though I am short at 5'4"), wear belts happily, etc. Also, I am in love with asymmetry. And have a markedly asymmetrical face and body. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Shevia, I am absolutely on board with both of those for you. I agree that you have a resemblance to Jackie O. But the way you wear that asymmetrical hair and something about your "thrown together" tomboy style screams gamine to me, so I suspect that is more accurate. I think DCs are more STILL vs. DYNAMIC. There is so much fun and mischief in you. So much movement. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    So what's supposed to be closest to SN on the scale? He got rid of Natural, right?

    I don't find his book dictatorial. I think he presents his ideas as guidelines; not like the Colour Me Beautiful book that made women feel like they had to fit into one of only 4 seasonal categories and stick to a very limited number of colors. Oh, and Kibbe's book gets into that 4-season color analysis thing, too. I just ignore it because I prefer the newer 12-season system, and even then I wear a few colors that aren't in my palette. 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Oh if you are markedly asymmetrical, welcome to FlamGamLand :D

    Re: being a summer. You would wear something that looks high contrast--on a summer. So a winter FG would wear black and white. As a Bright Spring who leans a bit dark (even though I'm blonde, go figure), I'll wear a mid-tone color from my palette with black. As an summer, you'd wear something even closer in value, but it'd look as high contrast as b&w would on a winter.

    Here is SSu FG. I think the skirt of the dress is a bit off, but it should give you a good idea of what "high contrast" looks like on SSu.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, psychedelicate! I saw that board a while ago but forgot it, yes. I'm probably true summer, so can go darker. This still feels too "soft" and not "crisp" enough for my personal style, but I like how it highlights the lines of the clothes in combination with a softer palette than is typically shown. 

    Here was how I interpreted an outfit I copied lock, stock, and barrel from Angie -- except she is a spring so can go higher contrast than I can. 

    (Oh, and Approprio, apologies for the threadjack). 

    So, Angie's is both higher contrast to her skin/hair (since she is fairer than I am) but also higher contrast in itself (B&W skirt). I went for the dark jacket (probably a bit darker than my ideal, but I like it) with a light grey and the lower contrast skirt. A bit of higher contrast in the shoe. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Suz, just curious ... where do you see marked asymmetry in your looks? 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Mostly my face. Crooked nose, deviated septum, one eye markedly bigger than the other, crooked smile. I know everyone has some asymmetry (well, most) but mine is strong enough that when getting professional head shots, the photographer remarked on it. The eyes in particular are noticeable IRL if you are paying attention to it. You can see it in quite a few of my WIW photos (not this one due to the angle). 

    I'm also slightly (but less noticeably) different on the left and right side of my body. Again, I know that to some degree this is normal. 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Would you say your features are clearly mixed? Like my nose, face shape, and eyebrows are Dramatic, and my lips and cheeks are Romantic. Overall, my face is angular, but there are marked touches of yin.

    I actually just got my nose fixed, but I had a crooked one with a deviated septum as well, as you can see in the pic.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Interesting! Thank you. You have an amazing face. I see lots of drama in it. I definitely understand why you would say you are FG based on facial features alone. 

    It is always hard to be objective about ourselves. My best estimation for myself?  Predominantly yin features. Predominantly yang facial bone structure. High cheekbones, squarish jaw, long face, high forehead, big ears.  Some pics of varying quality. 

    I'm the middle one in first photo. 

    You can see the crooked nose and the eye difference quite noticeably in photo 4. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    I was hit in the nose twice when I was a child--once by a basketball and once by a kid who hit me with his backpack when I wouldn't let him cut in line to wait for the bus. So my nose is definitely not symmetrical, which is one of the reasons I don't part my hair in the center.

    I'm not sure about the rest of my face, but it seems rather symmetrical to me.

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Thank you, Suz. Hopefully it will still retain its drama once my nose heals. I had fractured my nose several times, so fixing it was necessary for health reasons. 
    I think that yes, your face could fall on the FG side of things. Like yin and yang, you can be not 100% contrasting or 100% blending. So I think you are more blended than I am, but you would still fit more with the FGs than the DCs. I would actually say your facial features are predominately yang. Symmetry in Kibbe is also not always about whether one half of your face is a mirror image of the other. The fact that my facial features are extreme in terms of yin/yang is also asymmetry.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Suz, for what it's worth, I think your features (especially that smile) tip the balance toward making you more DC than FG. You remind me (in the best of all possible ways) of Emma Thompson, especially in the fourth pic. Just FWIW!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Ah! I get it. Yes, I see that about your face. (i.e. asymmetry being in the extreme yin/yang contrast) 

    I hope your nose heals well! I think the drama will still be there. It is partly in the strongly marked brows and that won't change. 

    And you are probably right about my face -- as I say, it is hard to be objective about ourselves. I know that IRL the overall impression that my face gives to many people is "angular" (people say so) -- which suggests yang to me. 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Yes Gauche, it's not immediately apparent to me. I could really go either way, and I don't immediately see the variation in features that you can see in my face. But it's not always that evident, I think.

    Suz my pre-op morph still showed a dramatic nose, just symmetrical and more refined. So we'll see!

    Also these may help:

    Shari Belafonte, for instance, is not as dramatically obviously FG in her face to me.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Interesting - thank you, gauche! I do think it's a tough call. Which is why I had originally typed myself as DC. 

    I will gladly take a comparison to the lovely Emma Thompson! But to be honest, the 4th pic is in some ways the least "like" me (even though it is a full frontal pic). My husband says it is the least "Suz" image of the lot that the photographer took that day. Also, my hair was in a very "soft" (and "un me" style at that time -- trying to grow it out. Always a mistake for me. I always, always, ALWAYS feel more like myself in some type of pixie.)

    A couple more. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Oh - I had not seen those collages of all smiling faces -- thanks, psychedelicate. Fascinating. 

    Well, in the end, I think we just need to use these as guidelines and trust our hunches about what works on us - the name is less important than finding a way to highlight our best style, I guess. :) 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I still see Emma!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    I do see what you are saying. It's not a comparison anyone's ever made before....I have got lots of others, but not that one. Hmmm. Much to ponder! Thanks for your thoughts. 

  • Sheila replied 6 years ago

    Suz, This is odd because I have actually thought that Angie would be a Kibbe Flamboyant Gamine.
    In those pictures of yourself, I see a very similar type to Angie.

    I am not knowlegable in Kibbe but very interested in it. I know House of Color in the UK offers workshops where they measure and look and attempt to offer style advice base loosely on the Kibbe system. A friend was recently typed a DC and I had always thought SD as she is quite chesty... but seeing her in DC clothes is absolutely perfect. Just to let you know that I am wrong more than right. 

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    It's not an easy call on the face of it. Maybe I ought to read the actual book. :)

    I think a lot has to do with personal energy, which is only evident in real life. Angie is a vivid extravert, quick, tidy, decisive.

    I am an introvert. I need lots of time alone. But I am also very sociable and high energy, animated, and quick moving. People often describe me as vivacious or bright. And sometimes witty. (Little do they know. )

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    I actually see Angie as a DC or D. :) She can wear things like baggy on top and bottom, which is anti-FG. Also, her vertical line looks long.

    Personal energy really has nothing to do with it. It is the lines of your body and echoing them in your clothes. Regardless of my personality or energy, I have a body and face full of asymmetry and short angles, with a couple of touches of yin.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    approprio, I'm back to say I went over the quiz again and spent more time on the facial part of it, looking at a few photos of myself. I am fairly certain I'm a classic (with just one b and the rest c's this time) on the body side. But my analysis of my face is d, e/c, d, c, c, c, e. My interpretation of that result is soft classic in the face. Overall I think that would make me a Soft Classic, rather than a Dramatic Classic. Here are some photos of my face, in case you're interested in weighing in, as I'm still a bit befuddled over the face analysis and what it might add to the pretty clear "classic" body type. (Photos 1 and 3 are pre-brow-shaping!)

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Sharan, I don't know what category you are, but you look beautiful in the close up pics! Your humour is more evident than in the full body shots for some reason and I am loving it! :) 

  • deb replied 6 years ago

    Firecracker, pic #5 is my favorite. You look stunning in it.

  • Ariadne replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I've always thought of you as some kind of Gamine, FWIW.  But I haven't ever read the actual book...

  • Jeweled replied 6 years ago

    I found this page about Kibbe types, yin, yang, etc. easy to understand and well organized (it's one link, even though it's wrapped into 2 lines here):

    Hope it helps others who are trying to sort out Kibbe and what type you are!

  • Janet replied 6 years ago

    That's a nice summary, Jeweled. But the more I read, the more I feel like I don't fall neatly into any of the categories. For instance, nothing about my body is gamine (except maybe long limbs), but my facial characteristics put me in the gamine category! I give up. I'm just gonna embrace the mystery, and keep dressing the way I dress -- I think it suits me. :-D

  • replied 6 years ago

    The summary helps me more than anything else. It still doesn't really tell me how to dress, though, and I'm still trying my best to interpret Kibbe's style recommendations for Soft Natural. Again, the pictures in his outdated book offer very little help, so I go by verbal recommendations and dress the way I think best works for my physical characteristics and represents who I am on the inside.

  • tulle replied 6 years ago

    Fascinating--especially that diagram, which explained to me why, though clearly a Gamine, I've always tilted longingly toward the Classic:  both types are located on the axis between the stark angularity of the Dramatic and the embellished curves of the Romantic--either of which extremes would totally overwhelm me. I have flirted with a classic Grace Kelly look at times (love the luxe simplicity of those clothes) but in truth I just don't have the height or bone structure to pull it off without looking boring or not-me.  As Kibbe pointed out, at 5'2", nobody will ever mistake me for a tall person, so why not celebrate being small?  The diagram makes clear that a Gamine, while best in shapes similar to a Classic's, needs a bit of contrast, structure, and geometric intricacy to frame a smaller face and body.

    Suz, when I look at that photo of you between the Soft Dramatic woman on the left, and the Soft Natural on the right, there is no question:  you are the epitome of the true Gamine, the bright pixie, wearing enough color and contrasting detail to draw attention to your delicate features. 

    And Firecracker, you may not feel so dramatic, but to my eyes, you are!  Dramatic Classic, absolutely.

    Betty Crocker, I think it's important to remember that for a Soft Natural, the natural part is just as important as the softness, and often results in interesting combinations, like faded jeans with cashmere sweaters, which look simultaneously casual and very feminine.  Knits, especially knits with both texture and drape, should be good for you, whether in dresses, pants or tops.  Natural fabrics like washed linen, and jewelry made of hand-crafted metal and opaque stones, are better than shiny synthetics or sparkly bling. Suede is perfect for Soft Naturals, and there are some amazing fringed suede jackets out there now!  Just make sure you maintain waist definition, and you'll look great.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Thanks, tulle. I already do a lot of what you recommend, so I guess I'm on the right track.

  • Staysfit replied 6 years ago

    I'm late to this party, and have been very confused by Kibbe. I took the quiz, and if I am a good judge of myself, which I may not be given my history, I get the following:

    D 2
    A 14

    Did I count correctly? I answered A to all but two questions in the quiz! Is that even possible? That puts me squarely in the Dramatic category, and strong Yang. I would have guessed I was Yin for sure, so I am baffled.

    Does anyone who has seen my pictures think Dramatic makes sense? I know I have mostly shown straight on photos, so you cannot tell much about my prominent nose or jawline! :-)

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    Dramatic makes sense to me, Staysfit. One of the challenges for you might be to combine the soft colours that flatter your complexion with the drama that flatters your features and lines. Typically we think of "dramatics" in high contrast or all black or all white. So it's an interesting conundrum when their colouring is softer. 

    And thank you, Tulle. I am pretty sure you are right, but will start a thread on this when I get time. 

    By the way, Staysfit, if it is true that I'm some species of Flamboyant Gamine, I face a similar dilemma to yours and maybe we can learn from one another. I'm a True Summer in my colouring. That's not the typical, expected colouring for a gamine. 

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    Tulle, that's interesting that you see Dramatic Classic in me. Looking at the characterizations on the enneagram site linked above by Jeweled, I can see it, too; I appear a bit narrow, and even when I gain weight, I don't look especially curvy; probably just a little wider. So back to DC I go! (Though not super D; it's still secondary at any rate.) Thanks!

  • Staysfit replied 6 years ago

    Suz, I'm always up for a challenge and from what I've seen, so are you! Having color constraints will only make shopping interesting. I still need to learn more about the Kibbe categories and how they may be of benefit to everyone and to me. I did notice that the examples of skirts for Dramatic style are my favorite pencil skirt style, so I may not be too far off with what I'm doing.

    Thanks for this post approprio, I'm one step closer to understanding Kibbe after months in the dark!

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    This is a very interesting thread!  I have tried to understand Kibbe before and always been confused.  I took the quiz and ended up as a Classic.  I think my issue is that I wear earth tones and I look best in them.  I always think of myself as a Natural.  But I do not meet Kibbe's criteria.  I noticed Meryl Streep was a Classic and people told me I looked like her when we were both younger.  Think Deer Hunter. 

    I am interested in feedback if there are enough pictures on my WIW.  I know I don't post a lot.  Wearing Yoga pants is not that exciting!  Or should I post them here? 

  • Sal replied 6 years ago

    Interesting read.....I  feel some people fit very neatly into Kibbe categories and it really works for them.  Others, not so much.  This is probably the same with colour analysis and shape analysis, some people are obviously True Winters, and others clearly an IT or a pear.  But many of us have a bit of one and a bit of another.

    In the 1980s when I was a teenager I was diagnosed as a Spring (although she also thought Summer for a wee while)....30 years later I consider I am a Clear or True Spring, but I may be wrong on this, and while I kind of follow it,  I am pretty slapdash.  

    With the body shape, I most closely fit an hourglass (Figure 8 type) with similar width shoulders and hips, and a defined waist, but I am not extreme.  Some days I consider myself more of a rectangle or even a pear when I struggle to find great trousers.  After recent YLF threads I have realised that being short waisted is the most important "dress" or style factor.

    With Kibbe I think I would fit into the Natural spectrum somewhere intuitively from reading the descriptions...but my a, b,c,d and e are ALL over the place on the quizzes.  I am muscular but definitely have a soft tummy even at my slimmest, I have a sharp nose but a square face, I am busty but athletic, I am in proportion with long legs, with kinky hair.  I am not dainty  but I look blowsy and overdone in Romantic clothing.  Whilst I like some classic pieces of clothing I am not terribly polished and feel much more comfortable when I am not too crisply or conservatively dressed.  

    It is interesting to think about what you are not and in a way for me that may be more helpful than thinking about what I am.

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Actually Kiwigal that is a great point.  I tend to approach colour analysis and body shape the same way --- I use the process of elimination. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Style Fan, I used the process of elimination for color analysis, too. That seemed to be the only way to figure it out, lol, and I think it's the same way with Kibbe.

  • jackiec replied 6 years ago

    Diving in here, although this type of analysis always overwhelms me. I've done the quiz a couple of times and always come up, similar to Staysfit, as dramatic. While I'm not sure you'd glean that from my WIWs, I do see some of it in what I am drawn to. I bet if I went back to my angular inverted bob haircut I'd seem a bit more dramatic. It's true, though, that I don't do well I soft, curvy, ruffled, romantic type of styles. But I dunno. Interesting to read responses.

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    StyleFan, I wonder if you are some variety of Natural. I see a square jaw and square shoulders with a well-proportioned body that reads a bit athletic. That's how I come to an overall Natural look. (Soft or blunted yang, in other words.) Do you think this is on track?

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Firecracker thanks for the feedback.  I do have a square face (after much analyzing).  I am very flattered that you see my shoulders as square!  I always see them as wimpy but that might be because I am weaker in my shoulders.   (I have had a lot of injuries such as MVA that have resulted in problems).

    I would prefer to be a Natural over a Classic so I will look back at the definitions and post again. 



  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    posted twice

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Stylefan, DC can actually contain N. (So can FG.) I would try both DC and FN and see what works best.

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    I have read through all the threads and am trying to understand Kibbe.  (Scratches head a lot).  Thanks psychedelicate for your great posts and your feedback about DC and FN.  I will try that. 

    I will do the quiz again with the help of DH who has a good eye. 

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Okay I took the quiz again with help of DH.  We did not agree on a few answers.  He thinks my eyes are bigger than normal.  They are not.  I wish they were.  All my facial features are C.  My answers are almost all C.  All moderate C.  Here is the breakdown:

    C - 13

    D - 1  (Hipline)

    A or C -  2    (jaw and hair could be either)

    B or C - 1  (vertical line)

    Here is my profile picture.  I may be scoring wrong.

    Open to feedback.

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    How tall are you stylefan? I think Ns are taller than Cs.

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Height matters less than perception of height. It won't make or break C or N. C won't likely be extremely tall or short, because it is moderate in all things.

    I would say don't concentrate on the quiz very much, especially because what Kibbe means by certain things is not easy to figure out and there are no pictures. I would think more about whether you need streamlined simplicity or curves or movement or whatever.

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Okay I now understand why I am confused.  It is hard to figure out what Kibbe means. 

    To answer Rachylou's question I am 5'7" or 5'7.5".  Depends on the time of day.  I do lots of Yoga so I am pretty stretched out.  (People apparently get taller when they do Yoga or Pilates daily after a few years)

    I am thinking about whether I need streamlined simplicity or curves or movement or whatever.  I looked back at a picture of me in a more complicated outfit than I usually wear.  (Curves and Movement).  DH hated the outfit.  I hate ruffles and frills on me.   I like a more structured top.  I prefer I unstructured bottom. 

    My favourite outfit is structured jacket (stops at waist), preferably something high end with BF jeans.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I'm only 5'2" tall, but I'm a SN. No one has ever said I'm short, so I don't think that's the first thing people notice about me. I have broad shoulders, a medium frame and a neat hourglass figure, which I think might be more noticeable than my height. I don't have a slight build.

    What do you think of these dresses?

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    That is interesting about the unstructured bottom. The closest thing to that in Kibbe is probably FG, since we do a combination of opposites. Do you have a picture of what this looks like?

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    bettycrocker, I looked at the dresses and struggled to find one for me.  But I rarely wear dresses.  I have one dress.  I will try to post picture if I can figure out how.  That dress looks good on me on is a G dress.  Very structured on top and a bubble skirt.

    psychedelicate, here are 2 outfits with a structure jacket and a flowing bottom.  I have realized that the bottom has to have some stiffness to work for me.  The outfit with the skirt needs work.  I think I will do it the way Angie suggested on Friday. 

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Interesting. I will really have to sit and think of a Kibbe type who does it this way...

  • tulle replied 6 years ago

    Style Fan, just chiming in to say that you look like a Natural to me.  Nobody wears a denim jacket like a Natural!  If I were you, I'd forget about dresses entirely.  For dressy occasions, just wear luxe (high-waisted) pants & tops/jackets. For skirts, you could try longer A-lline ones with tall boots. And speaking of boots, I hope you have cowboy boots--I'll bet you look great in them!

  • Mellllls replied 6 years ago


  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    tulle your comment about denim jackets was music to my ears.  And of course I have cowboy boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have worn cowboy boots since I was in my twenties.  I am in Florida for 2 months and I am regretting not bringing my beloved Fryes with me.

    I usually do wear a luxe skirt and top for weddings etc.  Rarely ever wear dresses.  There is one in my closet.

  • Marley replied 6 years ago

    I have been going through this thread as well as studying all of the links and taking the quiz  - and I'm really confused!  My responses to the quiz questions added up to:
    A - 5 or 6
    B - 2 or 3
    C - 7 or 8
    D - 0
    E - 1

    So that would indicate that I lean toward a Dramatic Classic.  But when I break down the various categories I come out like this:
    Bone Structure - moderate - C's
    Body Type (Flesh) - yang - A's
    Facial Bones - primarily moderate - C's
    Facial Features - primarily moderate - C's
    I'm not sure if that fits with a Dramatic Classic or not.

    What throws me off is the explanation of the quiz results.  It says that to be a Dramatic Classic that your Body Type (flesh) and Facial Features should be balanced between the extremes of Yin and Yang - and I don't really know what that means?  My best guess is that they should fall into the C category - which my Facial Features do, but not my Body Type (flesh.)  How do you reconcile what category to go with when you don't quite fit into any of them?


  • Marley replied 6 years ago

    Oh, one more thing!  What is the difference between sinewy and muscular?  I've always thought of them as being the same thing - how do you differentiate between the two?

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    Marley, based on no expertise at all, and terrible self-diagnosis skills, could you be a soft dramatic? Sinewy sounds to me like striated as opposed to rounded muscles. Again, I am making this up!

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    You can have your yin/yang balance show up in different ways in different areas.

    For instance, I'm FG. My face is a mix of soft yin and sharp yang, favoring yang. My body has yin length all over, with mainly N blunt yang showing up in its appearance/shape. These are all elements found in FG, and taken as a whole, it all adds up to FG.

    So if you have a classic face and bone structure and then dramatic flesh, I can see DC working. You would need more E answers for SD and there is nothing Classic about it.

  • replied 6 years ago

    psychedelicate, thanks for introducing us to Kitchener; I hadn't heard of him. Have you found that, like Kibbe, he is subject to internet misunderstandings by his followers? Googling, I got directed to a Pinterest board illustrating some of his Angelic/Ethereal celebrity types. One of them was Donald Sutherland! Not exactly what I expected ... but I guess I can see it ... he does look sort of otherworldly.

  • replied 6 years ago

    Oops ... posted to wrong Kibbe thread. Wrong rabbit hole!

  • replied 6 years ago

    I'm looking at this graph again and realizing that it represents the way I dress. Soft Natural (SN) overlaps Soft Classic (SC), Natural (N), and a very tiny bit with True Romantic (TR). This is very revealing to me, as my wardrobe contains elements of all of these styles. I guess the trick is to know how much of each should be in my outfits. Obviously, the very small about of TR means my clothing should just have touches of that style. Interesting!

  • psychedelicate replied 6 years ago

    Gauche, Kitchener's system isn't DIY at all--he's never written a book or anything--so I think the Pinterest stuff isn't as bad as it with Kibbe. He is also very accessible. When there was a Kibbe Men's group on Facebook, he would participate in that, so maybe he mentioned D. Sutherland had SOME Angelic. Usually, people have a mix of essences.

  • replied 6 years ago

    The pinner thought Sutherland was Angelic except when he had curly hair that "made him look insipid and empty headed. ... He is otherwise Angelic in face and body." Made me laugh! 

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Okay now I am going to research Kitchener.  I am curious.

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