Archive of ‘Gamine’ category

The Two Types of Flamboyant Gamines

Update, 6/24/15: Please read this post. I no longer believe in the idea of “curvy FG” or the idea of “two types of FGs” as described here.

When I last talked about FG, I discussed the physical guidelines that can help you decide you’re a curvy FG or a Soft Gamine. Today, however, I’d like to expand on the idea of a curvy FG, and discuss what I see as the two categories of Flamboyant Gamine.

Kibbe has, for the most part, done away with the middle categories of C, G, and N. The obvious result of this is that people who would have once found themselves comfortably in one of these middle categories now has to decide whether they fall on the yin or yang side of the scale. (Note: I am linking that post mainly for the chart. Some stuff in that post, especially about how I see myself, no longer applies.) This means that people who have just a little bit more Dramatic than Romantic in the composition of their Gamine are now Flamboyant Gamines.

This is actually a huge change. In the quiz, while I know some feel that it can only confuse you, it actually gives very good clues as to how the types are put together. If we look at FG, he says that FG is nearly equal A and E answers (Dramatic and Romantic) with extra B answers (Natural). These extra B answers ensure that even if you have more E answers than A answers, you’ll still be yang-dominant. Gamine is just an equal mixture of D and R, but if you had a little more D than R, you’d probably still fall into the Gamine category, rather than Flamboyant Gamine.

But now that G has been eliminated, those of you who have more D than R, with no N, would still end up in Flamboyant Gamine. There have always been people, such as Twiggy, who have seemed to lack N and ended up in Flamboyant Gamine. But they were exceptions. Now, there are lots of Flamboyant Gamines who don’t have N at all, and thus will look a little different. What the N does is widens. It adds a more mesomorphic figure. It may even add curves–I believe all curvy FGs are FGs with N. N is, after all, sharp D yang softened by some yin. Those without the Natural yang are the people who look more classically gamine, rather than the sturdier and wider FGs with N.


2typesofFG

Tina Turner and Geraldine Chaplin
(Sources: 1, 2)

The elimination of the plain G type has created two kinds of FGs. We can think of them as F-leaning FGs (Flamboyant Gamine with N) and G-leaning FGs (Flamboyant Gamine without N). I do not like to use “N-leaning” or “D-leaning.” I find it misleading, since neither kind of Flamboyant Gamine can borrow recommendations from the Naturals or from the Dramatics. F-leaning FGs are actually the FGs described in the book, and will probably find it easier to stick with the book recommendations for FG, without dipping into the Gamine section. G-leaning FGs will likely prefer the Gamine recommendations to the FG recommendations alone, and may find some of the FG recommendations, such as plunging necklines, to be unflattering, but may want to sharpen up Gamine to work with the extra yang they have.

I am sure that you can find a similar phenomenon among the N types, C types, and SGs. For SG, for example, I think the general idea would be the same, with some SGs having moderate yin (D answers on the quiz) and some not. I just happen to have spent more time thinking about FG, and have observed the patterns in our FG Facebook group. The division is very obvious. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, especially if you’re in a type that had the middle type eliminated.

Soft Gamine vs. Ingenue

One of the notable things about Kibbe’s system is that it lacks the Ingenue category. If you look at the quiz, A answers are Dramatic, B are Natural, C is Classic, E is Romantic, and mixed A and E is Gamine. But he does not mention Ingenue, nor what the D category means, at all. The D answers correlate to the Ingenue answers for systems that do have this category. As someone for whom D answers predominate on the Kibbe test, this is something I have thought about a lot. I have seen D-dominate people be categorized as Soft Dramatic, Soft Natural, Soft Classic, Soft Gamine, and Theatrical Romantic. I am still more or less trying to decide between those five.

What to do with your D, however, is a topic for another day, one I’ll cover when I feel like I’ve figured myself out. What I want to discuss today is how Soft Gamine often gets conflated with Ingenue, and how they are, in fact, not the same, and shouldn’t be used synonymously. Kibbe himself has apparently said that no adult woman should dress as an Ingenue. Many of the modern interpretations of Soft Gamine that you’ll find on Pinterest and Polyvore, however, retain the sort of cuteness and innocence that you’ll find in Ingenue, and many people do, in fact, name their boards or sets “Soft Gamine/Ingenue.”

I think it’s important here to clarify the major difference between Soft Gamine and Ingenue, and that is the amount of yin. In McJimsey’s interpretation, the Ingenue is the polar opposite of Dramatic. In Kibbe, I would say that the polar opposite of Soft Gamine would actually be Dramatic Classic, since it has the opposite ratio of yin/yang and is blended (see my chart here to see what I mean). In Kibbe, Romantic takes the place of being the opposite of Dramatic, so I suppose that if Ingenue were even on the scale, it’d be off-the-charts yin.

Kibbe’s system also does not change with age. In McJimsey, and Carole Jackson’s Color Me Beautiful, a Gamine or an Ingenue will eventually mature into a Classic or a Natural (in a Gamine’s case) or a Romantic (in an Ingenue’s case). I think Kibbe’s system only really works for adult women, and being a Gamine is not something you age out of. Betty White, as a Soft Gamine, is a perfect example of this, I think. At 92, she still has the Gamine joie de vivre:
BettyWhite1
(Source)

Soft Gamines are yin in size, yin in flesh, slightly yang in bone structure, with yang drive and charisma and yin charm. This is a far cry from McJimsey’s “artless and naive” Ingenue. A Soft Gamine is a force to be reckoned with. While there are some recommendations–peplums, bolero jackets, bouffant skirts–that can apply to both, a Soft Gamine does not need the ruffles and daintiness that an Ingenue does. A Soft Gamine is a grown-ass woman.

There’s a reason why Kibbe’s prime Soft Gamine example is Bette Davis:
bette-davis-blonde
(Source)

It’s because Soft Gamines are awesome. So let’s give these Soft Gamine Betty(e)s some respect, and stop confusing “Soft Gamine” and “Ingenue.”

McJimsey’s Gamine

In the book, McJimsey spells “gamine” as “gamin,” but I’ve gone with “gamine” here because it’s what is usually found when discussing this style type, and also because “gamin” is the masculine form. As I’ve mentioned previously, McJimsey places Gamine at the yin end of the spectrum, and has it as more yin than Romantic. McJimsey’s Gamine is the yin version of the Natural. Like the Natural, she is fun and casual, but she is small in stature and looks young, and often is young. In her system, it is a common type for high school or college-aged girls. She is mischevious and has some Peter Pan to her personality. Physically, she is slender, but not fragile; she often has a turned-up snub nose and small, round features, except for her eyes, which may be large. She often wears her hair in bangs or in a ponytail. Her skin varies from fair and freckled to dark, and her hair can be any color, but her youthfulness is always her most distinguishing characteristic. She does not usually wear makeup apart from a touch of lipstick. If she tries to look more sophisticated with a lot of makeup and so on, she will lose her youthful charm and look like a poor imitation of herself. She looks best when when she wears simple, playful looks.

McJimsey’s Gamines are Goldie Hawn, Audrey Hepburn, and Ethel Kennedy.


(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

The Gamine is the more modern of the two yin types (the other being Ingenue, which I’ll cover in my next post). She wears young clothes, like what you’d find in the juniors section. Gamine clothes do not, however, vary as much from year to year as the Dramatic and Romantic clothes do, and are less extreme, although Gamines may fall victim to fads. Skirt length is more indicative of changing styles than silhouette. Yin people generally wear shorter skirts, so when miniskirts are in fashion, they tend to go very short. Fashions specifically mentioned for the Gamine are:

  • short box or bolero jackets
  • Small waistline
  • Full gathered or pleated skirt
  • Checked or plaid cottons
  • Sweater with shorts, jeans, or skirt–they look better in jeans and shorts than any other type
  • Tailored and tucked in shirtwaist blouses, either white or with small geometric prints
  • Shells in colorful stripes
  • Sleeveless overblouses
  • Peter Pan or convertible collar, or scoop and bateau necklines in more casual situations


    Since she is small, small details suit a Gamine, but she should avoid frilly or lacy trim. Her clothes should have small buttons, small pockets, collars, and cuffs, or small bows or braids for interest. Gamine fabrics include gingham, pique, shagbark, corduroy, jersey, soft tweeds, and flannel. For formalwear, sheer cottons are appropriate for summer, and velveteen or taffeta for winter. Plaids, checks, or stylized florals in bright, youthful colors are flattering. Good colors for Gamines are white, bright yellow-reds, clear blues, and aqua. Dramatic colors like purple, gold, and chartreuse are not typical, and should only be worn by a Gamine if she has Dramatic or Romantic qualities. Shoes include flats and shorter heels and small clutch bag. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum, as it is not youthful. Handmade silver Indian jewelry or simple rings or pins can be worn, if kept to a minimum. Gamines wear berets, pillbox hats, and small roller hats, though the casual Gamine doesn’t wear hats very often.


    (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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