Why I’m NOT a “Curvy FG”

Update, 11/5/19: Please read this post. I no longer consider the ideas presented here to be valid.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Sometimes I consider deleting old blog posts that no longer represent how I see Kibbe’s system. I try and go through my posts every few months and add notes to posts that I feel represent an idea that I’ve “archived,” so to speak, and that no longer factor into how I see Kibbe’s system. But I keep on seeing these posts referenced in other places regardless, and I feel like I’m confusing people, despite my clear note explaining that I no longer agree with what I wrote.

One of the major ideas that falls into this category are the ideas of a “curvy FG” and “g-leaning” and “f/n-leaning” FGs. Seeing these terms now make me twitch. I’ve come to realize that I am not a curvy FG. I am simply an FG.

Part of this confusion is, of course, due to the idea that Kibbe has gotten rid of the middle types. Gamines and Flamboyant Gamines have different body shapes. Gamines are narrow and straight in addition to being angular, sharp, etc. and Flamboyant Gamines are broadly angular. “Broad” is the key word here, because it’s the major idea that gets lost.

The broadness is what makes the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations possible. If you want to hang a boxy top off your shoulders, you need broad shoulders to do it. All of the things that define Flamboyant Gamine as a separate type require a more significant bone structure than G has to pull them off.

So I’m not a “curvy FG” at all. I’m a regular old FG, no special changes necessary. I’m fleshier, because I’m a little overweight, not because I’m “curvy.” “Broadly angular” is how I would define the overall theme of my body shape. I have broad shoulders and wide, flat hips with angles in between. The Flamboyant Gamine recommendations as written respect this.

The issue arose when Gamines who are a little more yang were folded into FG. This does both groups a disservice. Suddenly the overall picture of the FG body shape gets a lot more narrow. Those of us who have the bone structure as described in the book somehow become the outliers.

I don’t think that FGs should be split into “N-leaning” (broader) and “G-leaning” (narrower, aka Gs). This is just a workaround for a supposed change that actually over-complicates Kibbe’s system. When I say “I’m an FG,” it should be understood that my wardrobe is built around the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations. Yes, Kibbe says you should also read the chapters for Dramatic and Gamine, and that Gamine is more important for the overall picture. At thinner weights, I think FGs can pull some things from Gamine. When I was very thin, I even sometimes dipped into SG (although of course at that time I had no idea SG existed). If you are broad enough to carry off FG, you are not going to need Gamine to make FG work for you; it may just be a possibility to expand your wardrobe possibilities, and one you may not always have at all times in your life.

Where I would use “leaning” is for Gamines themselves. I do see that there is variation in facial features that shows that the balance between yin and yang is not 50/50. But these Gamines should still base their wardrobes on the Gamine lines. Where they can pull from FG or SG is in things like pattern, jewelry, and even, in a way, “essence.” A Gamine that leans yang can easily pull off the mod and punk looks often associated with FG. And a yin-leaning Gamine might have even more of the “sweetness” and ingenue qualities ascribed to, sometimes mistakenly, to SG. Think Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.


Unlike FG’s ability to steal from Gamine, this is something I don’t think would change over the course of your lifetime with weight gain and body changes. In my observations, it is mainly derived from facial features.

So, in closing, I’d like to retract the entire idea of “curvy FG” and the idea of there being two kinds of FGs. When I say “Flamboyant Gamine,” I am referring to the Flamboyant Gamine described in the book, one that is not mixed up with Gamine. I consider myself to fit in this group with no exceptions needed. If Flamboyant Gamine had been presented this way to me to begin with, I would not have wasted months in Soft Gamine and Soft Natural because I felt I wasn’t skinny and lanky enough for FG. In the end, isn’t simplicity and clarity in a system like this what we need?

8 Comments on Why I’m NOT a “Curvy FG”

  1. Cory
    June 25, 2015 at 12:13 am

    Ah, yes, very clear! I think there’s some kind of psychological block where women have been so bodyshamed for so many years, particularly if they’re carrying some extra weight, that we really cling to the idea that we’re “curvy”. (I get it, no judgment.) And the words Kibbe uses can maybe trigger that block in the mind, where “broad” is so associated with our ideas about male bodies that we don’t want to think that it can be part of a description of our female bodies..?

    When I first explored Kibbe types, I immediately decided that I couldn’t be any kind of Dramatic, even Soft Dramatic, because while I am tall/long, I’m too busty and hippy to ever be angular, even at my lowest weight. So it somehow made Soft Dramatic invisible to me, even though in retrospect it’s somewhat obvious and I don’t really understand what I was thinking- hah.

    • stylesyntax
      June 25, 2015 at 2:06 am

      “Curvy” really just has been used as a euphemism for so many years by fashion magazines that it’s come to mean “not thin.” I remember seeing “thin, athletic, and curvy” in teen magazines years ago, although you can be all three of these things at the same time.

      When it comes to FG, really, I think the actual FG descriptions just get ignored for some reason.

  2. lux
    June 30, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Anyway, I think your ‘Curvy FG post’ is really helpful. It gives the idea how D “curves” look like and how they differ from R curves.I remember the pic of Audrey – looking at her I realized that my curves aren’t angular at all, I’m just thin, but still curvy. For so many years I felt that I have to choose: I’m thin or I’m curvy? I realized I’m both at the same time – just like you wrote. 🙂

    • stylesyntax
      June 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Yup! Curves have nothing to do with weight.

  3. Cece
    September 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Hi, I’ve been following you on your journey and it’s been enlightening. I have had the same struggles figuring out where I belong in any given color/style system or spectrum. I do find Christine Scaman’s 12 Blueprints site very helpful though. I agree with your musings about other people, maybe a celebrity, one might find resonates with their own personality or essence. If people have said you remind them of famous gamines and you yourself can on some level identify with the likes of Audrey Hepburn, that is good enough to take to the bank! You see something there that you recognize as a sameness. Like attracts like, other people just confirmed it. I am a aSci/Art light spring, probably a kibbe soft natural or classic (don’t know) and at least a dozen people have said I remind
    them of a younger Jessica Lange. I love her movies and there is something in her toughness combined with vulnerability I completely “get”. It’s an “ah ha”.

    Best of luck to you! Take care.

    • stylesyntax
      September 12, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Thank you!
      Jessica Lange is R in the book, but she does feel more yang to me.

  4. gitte
    December 18, 2019 at 4:09 am

    I really think I am a pure gamine – Honestly, I do not exactly fit anywhere else. The gamine recommendations look amazing on me, opinion of multiple people, and I am angular, narrow, dainty. With slightly yin-leanign flesh. I don’t have broad shoulders and pretty much nothing natural about me (my cheekbones are a tad wider? My upper legs are a bit muscular because I am quite athletic?) so I think I would be more soft gamine, but not sure honestly. I am exactly 5’5″ by the way, my height allows me to fit everywhere.

    • stylesyntax
      December 18, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      It’s not about recommendations. It’s about yin/yang balance. You will have a little more yin or a little more yang. I think you have a much more Natural idea of what FGs look like. FGs don’t have broad shoulders. FGs are, as David says, “waifs.”

      This post is very old and not at all what I think now!


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