Do you know your body type? You might be familiar with the general body type system and terms like hourglass figure, pear shapes, or inverted triangle. But did you know there is a system that allows us to describe our bodies in more detail? A fashion stylist David Kibbe identified body types based on bone structure, facial features, and more. Read on if you want to know more about the Kibbe body types and discover your own with our Kibbe body types quiz!
Even still, if you want to learn your traditional body type, we’ve got you covered!
The idea behind the Kibbe body types
David Kibbe introduced the new style theory in his book “Metamorphosis” released in 1987. The core idea behind Kibbe’s archetype system is the principle of Ying and Yang, which means that all things exist as contrasting opposites.
Our features also exist on the scale between soft and sharp, round and angular, delicate and broad, etc. Yin represents curvaceous figures, flowing silhouettes, and smooth lines. Yang represents harsh lines, elongated silhouettes, and geometric shapes.
Unlike the popular fruit body shape theory, which focuses on styling individual body parts, the Kibbe’s theory strives to create a complete, cohesive image. Kibbe wants to emphasize a person’s natural appearance and attributes instead of following every random fashion trend.
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Kibbe body types
We can separate Kibbe’s system into five general families of body types: Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine, and Romantic.
Dramatic is the furthest on the sharp Yang spectrum. Its defining traits include tall, narrow frames, angular features, elongated limbs, and visible bone structure. Dramatics are either very tall or appear so and have little to no definition in their hip-to-waist proportion. A lot of supermodels belong to that body type. Good examples of the Dramatic type are Keira Knightly, Tilda Swinton, and Cate Blanchett.
Natural falls on the moderate Yang side – often called a “soft Yang.” Their features are angular but with a Yin softness to them. Naturals have broad shoulders, long limbs, a rounded waist, and straight hips. Their noses are pointed, their cheeks are taut, their eyes are wide-spaced, and their lips are broad. Some of the celebrities that belong to the Natural type include Angelina Jolie, Michelle Obama, and Natalie Dormer.
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Classic is the most moderate and symmetrical body type, representing the ideal Yin and Yang balance. Classics have balanced proportions and features and aren’t too tall or too short. They have angular facial features that are proportioned. People with the Classic body type might appear nimble and slender due to their symmetrical proportions. Grace Kelly, Zhang Ziyi, and Marion Cotillard are good examples of Classics.
Gamines appear petite and delicate but with angular features. Their Yang nature comes out in slightly broader shoulders or facial features. Gamines often have big, doll-like eyes, moderate lips, and taut cheeks. They have a flat bust, waist, and hip line. Mia Farrow, Edith Piaf, and Winona Ryder all belong to that type.
Romantic sits on the opposite end to the Dramatic type. Romantic is all about lush, soft Yin. People with that body type appear more subtle and shorter than they might be in reality. They’re curvy and voluptuous, with a full bust and hourglass figure. Their eyes are large, lips – are luscious, noses – are delicate, and cheekbones – round. Marylin Monroe is the best know example of the Romantic type. Others include Madonna, Drew Barrymore, and Christina Ricci.
The thirteen body types are a combination of these five categories. It is rare for someone to be pure Classic, Romantic, or Dramatic. Most people are mixed.
Soft Dramatic has a lot of angularity blended in with distinct curves. Soft Dramatics are tall with strong shoulders and backs but have softness around their hip and bust area. Ava Gardner, Sophia Lauren, and Rachel Weis come to mind as examples of the Soft Dramatic type.
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The Flamboyant Natural archetype is tall but lacks the sharp angles of the Dramatic archetype. Flamboyant Naturals have broad shoulders and blunt features, as well as large bone structures. For examples look up Brooke Shields, Nicole Kidman, and Cindy Crawford.
Soft Natural is softer, curvier, and more petite than the Flamboyant Natural. They have an angular, broad bone structure softened by their flesh. Famous Soft Naturals include Katy Perry, Kat Dennings, and Julie Andrews.
Dramatic Classic is a balanced type with some angular characteristics. They have broad bones, slightly square, muscular bodies, and a bust-waist-hip ratio that is proportionate. Olivia Munn, Jackie Kennedy, and Sienna Miller are all good examples.
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Soft Classic means soft, delicate, and symmetrical body without broadness. If they have curves, they don’t affect their overall body shape in any way. The Soft Classics have evenly proportionate facial features. If you’re looking for visual reference, look up Dakota Johnson, Saoirse Ronan, or Naomi Watts.
Soft Gamines are curvy but not voluptuous. They’re petite with delicate broad contours and angular bone structure. Vanessa Hudgens, Lucy Hale, and Sarah Hyland are all Soft Gamines.
Flamboyant Gamines have narrow, slim frames, petite bodies, and exaggerated features. The Yang part in them comes out in muscular, square shoulders and sharp facial features. Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, and Zooey Deschanel all belong to this type.
Theatrical Romantic is the typical soft Romantic type but with a bit of an edge. There is some sharpness to their features. They have angular shoulders and delicate bone structures. Hedy Lamarr, Salma Hayek, and Mila Kunis are great examples of Theatrical Romantic.
Learning which of the Kibbe body types represent you will help you build your wardrobe to flatter your natural features in the best way. If you’re ready, our Kibbe body types quiz is waiting for you! Find your body type with just a few simple questions.
What results can you expect in this Kibbe body types quiz?
Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine, as well as Romantic.
What are some off the Kibbe’s body types?
Some of the original types include Soft Dramatic, Flamboyant Natural, Natural, Soft Natural, Soft Classic, Flamboyant Gamine, orTheatrical Romantic.
Does Kibbe’s body type change with weight?
It doesn’t, because Kibbe’s system considers your bone structure, not your weight.
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