An Open Letter to “Kibbe” Analysts and Their Adherents

I have gotten some comments, both here and on Facebook in the Kibbe groups I run, frequently rather rude, on why I am so, for lack of a better word, dismissive of all of the various analysts on YouTube and blogs who claim to be able to teach Kibbe to others, and charge for typings, and send out PDFs with various information, and so on. Generally, they point out that this or that person has helped them a lot with understanding themselves and their style, and the materials that I provide here and that David himself provides in groups and on his own blog are less clear and less helpful.

The best analogy I can come up with is if you were learning a language, and it was hard. You came across someone who promised to teach it to you “the easy way,” and you followed their materials and yes, it was easier and less ambiguous to you. But they were teaching you a grammar based on your native language, and the wrong vocabulary. The relationship between the actual language and what you learned is minimal at best. You learned faster and it was easier, but was it really worth it?

Some people may say that this is a bad metaphor because they actually got something that helped them from these other people. But unfortunately, they accomplish the exact opposite of what David teaches. The only thing they share with his work is (some) terminology, even when they have used his book, or parts of it, as their source material.

And yes, the material that David puts out and that I follow is not as easy to follow. That’s because the point of view is completely different. As I have been able to learn from David Kibbe, I now understand that a gallery or “outfit ideas” or “coats” for a specific Image ID are not helpful. What is important for people to do is develop an understanding of their own yin/yang balance and to put together outfits thinking of them as a whole, not parts. Trying to teach people to see in a new way is not as easy or as popular as simply showing a bunch of visual aids. But the latter is simply not how David works in 2019.

So yes, I use my platform to speak out against misinterpretations of David’s work and the people who profit from them. I also do not allow these misinterpretations in any of the Kibbe-focused spaces I run. I understand that not everyone is going to like it–some people prefer the “easy” way, and there’s nothing I can really do about it except continue to set the record straight in the spaces I do have control over.

10 Comments on An Open Letter to “Kibbe” Analysts and Their Adherents

  1. Angie
    September 19, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    I thought a lot about it after your last post. I joined the Facebook group, which frankly I found too complicated and time consuming to be of use to me in my current life stage. You know what? I realized it didn’t matter if that little Russian chick on YouTube wasn’t teaching Kibbe correctly. I found her teachings helpful, and I’m cool saying I learned some style tips on YouTube. They don’t have to be That’s ok. ?

    • stylesyntax
      September 19, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that. It is a shame when people don’t want to bother with free feedback and instruction from David Kibbe himself.

  2. Elizabeth Stewart
    September 20, 2019 at 5:30 am

    I appreciate what you say here and can verify it from my own experience. I’m one of those who were analyzed by someone who said she had been trained by Kibbe. The advice she gave was based on the traditional method of looking at one’s so-called flaws. Having read your posts, I took your advice and worked my way through the Kibbe University tutorials and exercises, and it was really transformative. David Kibbe has been very generous in sharing his ideas and methods online, and I found his way really empowering. You learn to dress “from the inside out”, by understanding your own essence, based on your actual type.You see yourself as a whole, not as separate bits which need to be corrected. I am now reorganizing all my clothes into head-to-toe outfits and seeing where the gaps are, and everything is falling into place. I wish I could afford to fly to New York for the complete experience, but the online site is really wonderful. Incidentally, I have got a lot of compliments, which is nice.

    • stylesyntax
      September 20, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      I’m glad to hear this! That is what I hope people get out of what I write here and what we do in the groups–the exposure to what David actually has to offer and what he does offer, very generously. That’s what I mean when I say the others accomplish the exact opposite; the focus is still on “correction” versus self-acceptance and love. 🙂 Even if the person gets your type “right,” since there is a 1/10 chance they will (as long as they don’t still use C/G/N), the outcome is still so different when you do it David’s way.

  3. Loralee
    September 29, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    I would live to join the FB group. I’d love to learn it this way! Where do I go???


    • stylesyntax
      September 29, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      Strictly Kibbe

      • Loralee
        October 7, 2019 at 10:23 am

        Thank you!

  4. Silver Roxen
    September 30, 2019 at 8:52 am

    I’ve definitely stopped referring to the YouTubers. I saw that once decided to make some changes not be confused with Kibbe and as usual people still don’t understand what his system is actually about.

    As someone stated above the little Russian chick was actually one of my first resources, aside from you into this system. Since she actually read from the book I thought she was a bit better informed.

    There is one YouTuber so far that seems to understand the yin/yang balance and what makes an outfit work.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that most of these analysts are SGs.

    Its not just YouTubers now, Instagram is getting in on the action as well.

  5. MK
    March 2, 2021 at 10:10 am

    As I am revisiting Kibbe after a few years, I’ve been refamiliarizing myself and have run across many of the types of (mis)information out there that you have written about. I would love to join Strictly Kibbe, but cannot due to not being able to join Facebook. What would you suggest for someone in my position? I cannot afford to travel to see Mr. Kibbe in person either, but I want to do this right. I really hope he writes a new book, or even an ebook for purchase online, but until if/when that happens, what would you suggest? Thank you!

    • stylesyntax
      March 2, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Hi MK, unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you. Many people do make a Facebook account just for this purpose. I hope to get back to posting videos about the book on my YouTube channel soon, and there is also his website.


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