Archive of ‘My Kibbe Journey’ category

Why I’m Not a Soft Natural

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I don’t like body-type recommendations very much. I much prefer Kibbe’s emphasis on creating harmony within yourself, and not trying to conform to classical rules of beauty and symmetry. That being said, there is obviously a body-type component to Kibbe. You wouldn’t have an apple-shaped Theatrical Romantic, for instance. But recommendations for my type (hourglass–my shoulders and hips are even, and I have a small waist) conflict with FG, and FG works, so that was enough for me to dismiss body-type recommendations as nonsense meant to achieve something that isn’t possible.

While I’m still not their biggest fan, I am now realizing that there is a way they could work for me. Yesterday, one of the members of our Facebook style community began a project mapping Kibbe Image Identities to Imogen Lamport’s body types. Now, of course I went in with my usual suspicion of body-type dressing, especially since I know that my body doesn’t fit the Flamboyant Gamine recommendations very well. I consider myself to have X with a secondary H. The more weight I gain, the squarer my shape gets, my hips especially. This person sees X-H as a Soft Natural shape. I do, too. I see similar shapes to my own when I see Soft Naturals, and I’ve never understood why Soft Natural is just so awful on me. If you read the description of a Soft Natural body, it sounds like me, weight gain patterns and all.

But I think there are words in Kibbe that are loaded. These words are loaded because he seems to use them in a different way than people who aren’t Kibbe. One of these is “curvy.” I think that in Kibbe, “curvy” means a curved line, not just 36-24-36. He describes Soft Naturals as, “slightly curvy, tends to an hourglass shape, but not extremely so.” We tend to think of how curvy someone is in measurements. But I think Kibbe is talking about the line we see. An SN can be mathematically curvier than a TR, especially when you consider that Naturals are often curvier from the side than the front. But the TR will have a curvier line to their bust, waists, and hips.

And this is exactly why Soft Natural doesn’t work for me. I don’t have a slight curve. I have what I described in this post: a very tapered ribcage on top of squarish hips the same width as my shoulders. My torso shape is composed entirely of angles and straight lines, no curve in sight.

Who else had this non-curvy hourglass body shape?

alittleblackdress3
(Source)

Audrey. Hepburn.

This shows that even a wasp waist is possible in FG, provided that everything is composed out of angles and straight lines, no curves. While an I or a plain V might be more common in FG, I think that if you combine I or H with V, you get the FG version of “curves.” We can only highlight our waists in something that follows our shape exactly, whether it’s from structure or bodycon. We cannot softly emphasize, the way SNs do. A softly flowing curve makes no sense over dramatic angles. I also don’t like to cinch, but your mileage may vary. So this is why both Soft Natural and recommendations for X shapes did absolutely nothing for me. I am an inverted triangle and a rectangle masquerading as an hourglass.

I think that if you are searching for your Kibbe type, read what Kibbe says about bodies very carefully, since he often means something a little bit different than other people. If you have no curvy lines, you can’t be a curvy Kibbe type. You want to match what you’ve got. So even if you have something that may seem to kick you out of a type, like a wasp waist for FG, really look at what is creating these particular details. You may end up with something totally different from the obvious answer.

My Kibbe Journey: Part 3.5

This is a follow up to my most recent post, because I feel like some interesting things were going on in the comments that I felt deserved post of their own.

I feel like I’m having a new Kibbe realization once every 48 hours. This is, I suppose, working with my own interpretation of Kibbe, because he is very right-brained/intuitive about it, and I want to plot everything on a graph. But that’s okay, because this is my blog and this is helping me to work stuff out. You don’t have to look at Kibbe the way I do if it’s not helpful for you.

Yesterday, I was reading about Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn, and how Twiggy is an FG with D influence and Audrey was an FG with Classic influence. Now, this does not mean that you don’t still fit into FG. You are still just the one category. But it can be helpful for those of us who are not Liza Minelli or Vivien Leigh or anyone else who is the prototypical celebrity for any given type.

Now, it’s pretty obvious I have some extra yin–I have yin flesh and I’m not boyishly straight, like you’d think of an FG as being. The only type in Kibbe where you have yin flesh and a yang face is actually SD.

Put me next to an SD, and it’s obvious that it’s not me. But if you look at a picture of Sophia Loren, I have what is basically a compact version of her body: very tapered ribcage and square hips matched by relatively broad shoulders:

Sophia Loren
(Source)

If you look at the chart of the logical progression of Kibbe types from yang to yin, contrast to blend, FG and SD are actually right next to each other. So instead of my extra yin coming from Soft Gamine, perhaps my extra yin is coming from a Soft Dramatic influence. Soft Dramatic is way too big on me, but perhaps I can add touches here and there. I would place myself where the red dot is:

map

I’ve long loved this Polyvore set by papillonnoir1:
2 winter kibbe gamines

The FG outfit is very much my style, and the skirt is drapey and asymmetrical in a way that seems to border on SD to me. Of course, I think SG peplums are also an option for me, but they seem to have disappeared from stores. So I think that keeping to FG’s rule of the first layer being narrow and cut close to the body, I am going to experiment with a little touches of SD draping as a way to highlight curves as an alternative to SG ways of highlighting curves.

My Kibbe Journey: Part 3

***5/1/2015: I now see Kibbe in a totally different way than I write about here. Please see this post for my current views.***

Sometimes I feel like it may seem like I have no idea what I’m talking about, because pretty much every time I come to write a blog entry, I feel like I have decided on a new Kibbe type for myself, or a different season. But I think that most of us who set off to determine our Kibbe type find that it’s a pretty convoluted and confusing process, and many live in what turns out to be the wrong type for years–and the only way to actually confirm is to spend around $2000, plus hotel, airfare, etc., to see David Kibbe in person.

So. With that in mind, I’ve come to yet another major conclusion about the whole process. I recently joined a Kibbe group on Facebook, and there is a wealth of information there, including how Kibbe feels about the book, and how he wanted people to use it (look at the types presented, try stuff on it and see if it works, no quizzes necessary). It turns out that my approach to Kibbe–look at lines only, and then use your personality/essence to make it your own–is totally wrong. You should start with your essence, and then make adjustments to fit your body as needed.

This all became clear to me a couple of days ago, when it was pointed out to be that Charlize Theron is an official Kibbe Theatrical Romantic. One of the key features of a TR, according to the book, is a wasp waist (which I have, which will become important later). Charlize Theron has a straight figure, one that’d probably be called an inverted V. Looking just at her body, I’d probably be inclined to put her in Flamboyant Natural. But her face is so beautiful and full of S-curves. She looks the most herself when she is glammed up and dripping with jewels. If you compare her Dior ad to her sweatshirt look from Young Adult, which is truer to the person? I think it is jarring to see her look so dishevelled. You can tell she doesn’t have any natural in her at all.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Charlize’s glamorous face supersedes the fact that her body lacks these key physical feature of a TR. The TR clothes follow the lines of her face. The more reading I do, the more I realize that it’s about figuring out what is key about you, how you look the most yourself, what people notice first. Like Zyla, Kibbe was inspired to do what he does from the acting world, where he saw some people get cast and some who did not.

So maybe what we should do is typecast ourselves. I wrote about this idea in my first post in this series, and then I said I was wrong. But now I realize that I may have been right. I’m not a Soft Natural, a “Fresh and Sensual Lady.” I am much more aggressive and dynamic and funny. The energy I put into the world is that of a Flamboyant Gamine. My TR-style wasp waist that was tripping me up before? That’s not the first thing people notice about me. My task now is to find the FG clothes that work with my body, instead of hiding it. But I feel like it will be a relief to go to stores and be able to try on the clothes that appeal to me naturally, and not have to feel like I have to fit myself into styles that should work for me, taken as a sum of body parts.

My Kibbe Journey: Part 2

My last post on my Kibbe journey was only twelve days ago, but reading it again, it feels like a lifetime ago, in terms of where I’m at with Kibbe’s system. Basically, I still see the things in me that led me to believe that I was a Soft Dramatic, but after trying on clothes, I now believe that I actually fit with the Soft Naturals.

This makes sense, because I think it seems to be fairly common for Soft Naturals to misdiagnose themselves as Soft Gamines, and vice versa. This pin by Rachel Nachmias has been a revelation for me. Yes, I am youthful looking, but my bone structure is too substantial and my face is too yang.

Looking around for Soft Natural clothes has been a breath of fresh air. I don’t feel at all like I did when I was looking for Soft Gamine clothes, like I was trying to put myself in a box that wasn’t right for me at all. Part of this stems from my most major Kibbe revelation of all: Image Identity does not define your style.

When I look for sets and boards for various Image Identities on Polyvore and Pinterest, I find that most of Identities are seen in a very narrow way. For Soft Natural, this seems to be Boho Chic with a dash of Jennifer Aniston. I don’t even like Jennifer Aniston, except for her Living Proof line at Sephora. I had spent all of this time I’ve been looking at Kibbe feeling turned off by Soft Natural because it was presented in this very narrow way. But as I read about Kibbe’s clients’ experiences, it became clear to me that there were no set styles. Obviously, it’s easiest to dress in your “native” type, so a Soft Classic in a Classic style or a Romantic in a Romantic style. Some things are more challenging, like making Dramatic Classic boho (as was recently discussed on Seasonal Color. But Kibbe seems to dress everyone differently to work with the individual.

I think it’s important to not look at “examples” of dressing for a type because it can really throw you off. You get mired in thinking that a Soft Natural, or whatever you think you might be, has to dress in certain ways. Just look at the guidelines in regard to print size, fit, cut, etc. and try things on. Ask for objective opinions. See how you feel.

I know that my Soft Natural will look different than the Pinterest boards. So will my Light Spring. But it’s the one that will work for me.

For some Soft Natural non-Boho inspiration, I’m on the fence as to whether this works, and it’d probably on work on SNs who are super skinny, but I like the mix of textures and the fit of the dress that Carine Roitfeld, my favorite SN who doesn’t often dress SN, is wearing:
la-modella-mafia-Carine-Roitfeld-Fall-2013-fashion-week-editor-street-style-2
(Source)

My Kibbe Journey: Part 1

When I started looking at Kibbe, I was fairly certain I was a Gamine of some kind. I’m small in general, with especially small feet and hands, short legs for my height, and what I felt was a gamine energy. When a friend compared me with a celebrity, it was usually someone like Jean Seberg, who is obviously ultra gamine:

jean-seberg-in-jean-luc-godards-c3a0-bout-de-souffle-breathless-photo-by-raymond-cauchetier-1960
(Source)

At first I thought I was a Flamboyant Gamine, since those are the clothes I’m drawn to naturally and what my closet is already full of. But as I read the description, I realized that I was in no way leggy and lacking curves, the way a FG would be. I figured then I was a Soft Gamine, since I have curves, short limbs, and feel heavy even when I’m not, since I don’t build muscle easily and am always soft.

But when I would go to a store and look at Soft Gamine clothes, I didn’t even want to try them on. They just felt wrong. At first, I thought it was just a classic case of resistance to my Image Identity. But I liked the idea of Soft Gamine. I had no underlying psychological issues about being Soft Gamine. The clothes just didn’t seem right.

So I went to Seasonal Color, and asked for some opinions. I found, with the help of the very helpful members there, that the broken, staccato silhouette of the Gamines doesn’t work for me. I need a continuous line. I also found that my face while my face has a lot of volume, it still is quite yang in structure. (This makes sense, considering I’m a Type 3/4.) It lacks the sweetness and doll-like qualities of a Soft Gamine face.

Where my face does fit is with the Soft Dramatics. I have full features and a prominent nose. I also have the high hip common to Soft Dramatics, and I can relate to the idea of my curves being “circles placed onto a square,” the source of which I can’t find at the moment. But my limbs are shorter. Also, it’s far harder than I imagined it would be to find Soft Dramatic clothes in stores; I think I am going to wait until fall clothes are in so I can find some nice sweaters with SD lines. I also think I’ll probably have more luck in expensive stores, so I am going to have dress up nicely and brave the snobbishness and try stuff on in fancy places.

There are also the Classics and the Naturals to experiment with. I don’t relate to the Classics at all, though, because my features are not even. “Symmetrical” is not a word I’d used to describe myself. But the only thing to do is to try things on and see what works and what doesn’t.

How are you doing with Kibbe? Do you know your type and happily go to the store and buy all the clothes and love it? Do you know your type but are unsure if you can live your life in that type? Are you completely lost, like I am?