When I first started this blog, I imagined that I would do things like put together Polyvores on how to, say, dress boho if your Image Identity is Dramatic Classic. But blogs, I think, end up taking a life of their own, and determine their own direction, and this particular blog has ended up more like a research notebook of my theoretical thoughts on Kibbe, as well as a journal of my own color and style journey.
Kibbe’s system is a particularly complex one. For whatever reason, he doesn’t say out loud the things that become clear if you really look at the celebrity examples he gives, things I’ve talked about in my recent posts, and things that Sarah has seen and developed further in her Guiding Lines system.
One of the problems with Kibbe is how he contradicts himself. He says that personality doesn’t matter, and then he writes a lengthy explanation of the personality of each type. He gives a list of things you won’t find in the face and body of a given type, and then in real life gives this type to people who do have these things, like hourglass FNs. So we’re left with all of this conflicting information, often feeling like we understand less about the system than we did when we started.
What ends up happening is that, after a while, we all end up with our own understanding of Kibbe’s system and how it works. Are there any that are right? Many would argue that Kibbe is always right, and the only way you can truly know your type is to go see him. But there are a couple of specific instances where I have disagreed with Kibbe on how he typed someone, and they received other analyses that seemed more suitable for them.
My personal understanding of Kibbe is as follows: 1) Your Image Identity is defined by your lines. You can see them in your face, your body shape, even the shape of your fingernails. You are matching the lines of your clothes, jewelry, hair, etc. to your own lines. 2) Style is something completely different. Your task is to figure out how to express your style using these lines. “Vibe” is a myth. While some are more challenging than others (such as the aforementioned DC boho), theoretically, anything is possible. 3) Strike the word essence from your Kibbe vocabulary because it will only confuse you.
Does everyone agree with me? Of course not. People have their own views, and some have even developed their own Kibbe-based systems. Rachel Nachmias, for instance, says she considers “the extra je ne sais quoi that some have called ‘essence.'” Who is correct? Both. Rachel’s is correct within her own system; mine is correct within my own.
I don’t have plans to go into image consulting or anything like that. But I enjoy discussing it, and I think that what Kibbe started works amazingly well. But if you are looking for information that does have to do with this “essence” business and using it to determine your Kibbe Image Identity, you’ll have to look elsewhere, since it doesn’t fit with what I have found to be true in my own study of the information presented to us by Kibbe.