Height in Kibbe: About Dramatic, Soft Dramatic, and Flamboyant Natural

Before I start, I’d just like to say that while I usually try to stick to things I can find direct citations for when it comes to Kibbe, this is something that I’ve seen come up so frequently that I’d like to address it. Please do not ask me what you’d be with your vertical and outline combination; this is based on what I’ve been able to learn from David but is not authorized by him in any way. Please join Strictly Kibbe if you would like help on your journey with Kibbe.

With that, something I have been seeing a lot lately is people saying that D, SD, and FN are broader Image IDs, and tall women are going to find that their Image IDs are less to specific to them than to me at 5’4″, for example. It’s true that my height doesn’t rule out anything for me, but it doesn’t mean that every Image ID is open to me, either. I believe that D, SD, and FN don’t cater to wider variety of women than the rest, except for the fact that they cover a wider range of literal heights.

Let’s think about what goes into the yin/yang balance of different Image IDs. Putting flesh aside, we can divide them into two fundamental elements:

Your vertical can be:

  • Short
  • Moderate
  • Long

Your outline can be:

  • Curvy
  • Straight (nothing really in your outline to accommodate)
  • Wide (has width somewhere from the ribcage through the shoulders)

While there are subtler nuances, this is basically what you’re dealing with when it comes to the physical reality of your body. When it comes to the tall Image IDs, I often hear people say that they are so much more diverse in terms of appearance because they are the only ones open to tall women (over, I would estimate, 5’8″). But I would counter with this: tell me what is missing for these women, because I really can’t see it. If you are tall, and don’t have width or curves, you’d be D. If you’re tall, and have curves and maybe width, you’d be SD. If you’re tall and accommodate just width in your outline, you’d be FN. The other variations come from having short or moderate vertical. You have literal, physical length. You’re not going to be moderate/symmetrical/balanced, because the length rules out that symmetry. You’re not going to have a combination of opposites, because your length is too significant for that balance. You’re not going to be all curves with no vertical, because you have that vertical.

I don’t believe that tall women get the short end of the stick, and I’ve never seen anyone put forth a convincing argument for this. All the Image IDs have a broader range of women than Hollywood might make it seem, because generally to find success in Hollywood, you have to adhere to a certain beauty standard. In real life, you’re able to see the true range of each Image ID. Each Image ID includes a wide range of women who share particular features in their physicality, but every individual in an Image ID is unique. If you are a tall woman, you just happen to have one major piece of the puzzle solved for you, which is your vertical. So yes, ultimately, you can narrow down your exploration to these three, but it doesn’t mean that your actual options are narrower than anyone else’s, because we are all limited to one ID based on the constraints of our physical selves.

16 Comments on Height in Kibbe: About Dramatic, Soft Dramatic, and Flamboyant Natural

  1. Charity Irene
    June 3, 2020 at 7:12 am

    I appreciate this. I think it’s way easier to decide on which types you need to narrow down from if you pay attention to the height limitations and include them accordingly.

    Decided to join Facebook in the hope of learning more from the actual source at Strictly Kibbe. Would appreciate being allowed into the group. I sent in a request and hope I did it right.

  2. moon
    July 21, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    I think the issue is less about having options and more that there seem to be many medium-tall women, mainly in the 5’7″ – 5’9″ range – who have to accommodate far more for their broadness and/or curvature than they do for their height. In that case, either it is a mistake to “force” Dramatic into their typing, or Dramatic-inclined types must have a much wider range of clothing choices. And there are just so many examples of Kibbe-verified individuals who don’t fit the height “rules” – Romantics: Christina Hendricks 5’7″, Jessica Lange 5’8″; Classic: Diane Sawyer 5’8.5″; Soft Classic: Kate Middleton 5’9″, Carolina Herrera 5’8″; Soft Natural: Chloe Sevigny 5’8″, Heidi Klum 5’9″; Natural: Ali MacGraw 5’9″… I think the point moderately taller women are making is that it’s clear that the vertical -isn’t- always a solved piece of the puzzle for them.

    • stylesyntax
      July 22, 2020 at 12:45 am

      Christina Hendricks is now SD. David does not google celebrity heights when asked about them, and of course it didn’t exist when he wrote the book. The “public” heights of celebrities are frequently exaggerated, which is in line with my own experience and that of others I know. (Also, he no longer uses Classic/Natural/Gamine as IDs.) Celebrities are also meant to serve as inspiration, not data to move the goalposts for what the definition of an ID is.

      It doesn’t matter if someone feels like their curves or width is more significant. The existence of length simply cannot be ignored. If you have someone 5’7″, they have some length, but it may not dominate (you can be balanced); after that, it will dominate. It must be accounted for in the design of their clothing. If you put a woman of that height in clothing for a moderate or short vertical line, it will not work for them, and why would you not want to make use of an asset? Additionally, if someone has width or curve with vertical, all of these things will be accommodated equally anyway, so “dominating” here doesn’t mean that curves or width is accommodated to a lesser degree.

  3. Samantha Bee
    October 7, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Great post! Was having so much trouble narrowing down my Kibbe type and was about ready to give up when I came across this. Just being able to narrow it down to three types helped a lot. Thanks ?

    • stylesyntax
      October 7, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      I’m glad it was helpful! 🙂

      • galzini
        November 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

        Me also. I was puzzled by the odd results I seemed to be getting from tests. But I’m 5’11” and this made it clear I had to be FN.

        • stylesyntax
          November 24, 2020 at 7:18 pm

          I’m glad it helped provide some clarity for you! 🙂

  4. FN
    June 14, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    For certain, I have wide hands, feet, jawline and thin lips.

    But height-wise, I’m in that gray area at 5’8.25″. I’m thinking FN, yet my borderline height might preclude this?

    • stylesyntax
      June 14, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      There’s nothing “borderline” about 5’8.5″. That is a height where vertical will be automatic. But even for women who are short, they can still be a “tall” type. It’s only the reverse that wouldn’t work.

      • FN
        June 14, 2021 at 6:21 pm

        Thanks for the input.

        So – at 5’8.25″ – I can only be typed as D, SD, or FN, simply by virtue of my height?

        • stylesyntax
          June 14, 2021 at 6:26 pm

          Yes, because a dominant vertical is automatically present and needs to be accommodated, since the length is literally there.

          • FN
            June 14, 2021 at 7:13 pm

            Multiple sources I’ve seen give a range of 5’7″ to 5’9″ for height to be to be considered tall. I always wondered why it wasn’t more precise, for those of us within that range.

          • stylesyntax
            June 14, 2021 at 8:32 pm

            At your height, there’s no question there; I’m not sure why people are saying otherwise, but it doesn’t come from David.

  5. FN
    June 14, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you, Stylesyntax. Your replies have afforded me much needed clarification, and I appreciate it.

  6. SarahD
    February 15, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    5’ 7.75”
    Automatically d, sd, or fn? I
    don’t have broad shoulders, they’re a bit narrower than my bust and hips (which are equal).

    • stylesyntax
      March 26, 2023 at 10:53 pm

      Yes, at your height, those would be your options.


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