Archive of ‘Kibbe’s Metamorphosis’ category

Type, Essence, and Style

One of the things I love about our style and color community on Facebook is that even when my ideas are challenged and I disagree with someone, it usually leads to a better and deeper understanding of the Kibbe system. Recent discussions have led me to crystallize what I see as important parts of the Kibbe system.

The way I see it now (and I emphasize “I”; I know some will disagree with me), your Kibbe and the way it works on you specifically is made up of three parts: line, essence, and style. I know that I have come across as anti-essence before, but I think I really just didn’t understand what essence was, even though in the post I linked to, you can kind of see how I’m dancing around it.

Line is your body lines and facial features. Look at the examples in the book and try to see what the women he placed in one type have in common. Is the vertical line long or short? What is the shape of their torso? And so on. This is how type is decided. What recommendations will suit you is determined by what belongs on your face and your body.

Essence is the impression that these lines create. It is what creates the personality stereotype Kibbe discusses in the description, which may or may not apply to you. What essence does is create something akin to a seasonal color palette. It is easy to understand that what looks high contrast on a Soft Summer person would look low contrast on a Bright Winter person. Image Identities work the same way. What looks normal and casual on a Natural type would look sloppy on a Classic type. What looks normal and casual on a Romantic type would look formal and fussy on a Natural type.

Style is taking your personality, preferences, and the look you want to achieve, and understanding how to express it within the parameters of your Kibbe Image Identity. So let’s say that you, like a commenter on my last post, are an SD who wants to be comfortable and a bit boho, and you don’t want to wear heels all the time. You would feel more comfortable in FN, but understand that you are an SD and look fabulous in it. So what do you do?


Here’s what I would do. What’s SD’s version of a jeans-and-a-t-shirt look? Probably one of your draped tunics, in a comfortable fabric like jersey (ignore the necklace in the example in the Polyvore set). I’d do it in your dark neutral for maximum drama. Then I’d continue the line with leggings (or another comfy SD pant of your choosing) in the same color or a similar one. I’d take the ultimate lazy shoe, the flip flop, and find one in patent level with a snakeskin print, bringing it to the SD level of chic drama. I’d take Natural’s perfect gem, turquoise, and find a statement bib necklace with turquoise-colored stones cut to be faceted. I would then take one of SD’s favorite motifs, snake jewelry, and find that in turquoise as well. Lastly, I would wear your version of a red lip, because if you don’t want to bother with a full SD makeup look, a good bold lip, some mascara, and as much brow drama as you can wear and still look normal should be enough.

This is just as comfortable as a Natural look, and has some Natural elements, but it is done through the parameters of the SD style “palette.” I even think an FN could wear that necklace. But they wouldn’t wear it to the park or the grocery store, like an SD. They’d wear it to a nice dinner or a formal event. The FN style parameters are different, and if a certain piece works, it’ll still look totally different on them.

One last example. Many were surprised when Audrey Hepburn was revealed to be Flamboyant Gamine. Visually, to me she fits perfectly, even if she is a bit taller than average. But she is seen as one of the icons of classic, chic dressing of the 20th century. How could she be a zany FG, the Image Identity often associated with punks?

Let’s look at one of her looks from the movie Sabrina. Givenchy did an amazing job of creating Flamboyant Gamine looks that are chic and sophisticated and classic, yet still FG (even if Edith Head took all the credit).

Here she is when she makes her big debut upon returning from Paris. Spoiler alert: William Holden falls in love with her immediately when he sees her.



Does she look impossibly chic? Absolutely. But try to imagine Grace Kelly in a turban, big hoop earrings, huge eyebrows… It would look ridiculous on a classic person.



You can express any kind of style you want using Kibbe. You just have to do it in a way that is in harmony with the eseence of your Image Identity. What reads as classic on FG Audrey is entirely different than what reads as classic on actual Classic Grace, and her classic would look stuffy on Audrey. But the actual effect of these two women’s versions of classic is basically the same.

In the book, Kibbe says we can express the infinite (our selves, our personalities) through the finite (our type). That is where essence comes in. It defines the boundaries of what will make sense on you, and how styles will be perceived. It defines your type’s palette. I don’t think it is the gestures we make, or the way we speak. There is always a wide variety in any type–Shirley MacLaine and Cindy Crawford are very different women, but they are both just as FN. Essence is simply the style version of the hue/value/saturation levels in our palettes.

How do you manage to express yourself within your Kibbe Image Identity?

What Is Kibbe (to Me)?

11/21/19: This post is ancient! I definitely no longer feel this way, since I have been able to learn from David himself. 🙂 Please see the home page for my current thoughts on everything Kibbe-related!


When I first started this blog, I imagined that I would do things like put together Polyvores on how to, say, dress boho if your Image Identity is Dramatic Classic. But blogs, I think, end up taking a life of their own, and determine their own direction, and this particular blog has ended up more like a research notebook of my theoretical thoughts on Kibbe, as well as a journal of my own color and style journey.

Kibbe’s system is a particularly complex one. For whatever reason, he doesn’t say out loud the things that become clear if you really look at the celebrity examples he gives, things I’ve talked about in my recent posts, and things that Sarah has seen and developed further in her Guiding Lines system.

One of the problems with Kibbe is how he contradicts himself. He says that personality doesn’t matter, and then he writes a lengthy explanation of the personality of each type. He gives a list of things you won’t find in the face and body of a given type, and then in real life gives this type to people who do have these things, like hourglass FNs. So we’re left with all of this conflicting information, often feeling like we understand less about the system than we did when we started.

What ends up happening is that, after a while, we all end up with our own understanding of Kibbe’s system and how it works. Are there any that are right? Many would argue that Kibbe is always right, and the only way you can truly know your type is to go see him. But there are a couple of specific instances where I have disagreed with Kibbe on how he typed someone, and they received other analyses that seemed more suitable for them.

My personal understanding of Kibbe is as follows: 1) Your Image Identity is defined by your lines. You can see them in your face, your body shape, even the shape of your fingernails. You are matching the lines of your clothes, jewelry, hair, etc. to your own lines. 2) Style is something completely different. Your task is to figure out how to express your style using these lines. “Vibe” is a myth. While some are more challenging than others (such as the aforementioned DC boho), theoretically, anything is possible. 3) Strike the word essence from your Kibbe vocabulary because it will only confuse you.

Does everyone agree with me? Of course not. People have their own views, and some have even developed their own Kibbe-based systems. Rachel Nachmias, for instance, says she considers “the extra je ne sais quoi that some have called ‘essence.'” Who is correct? Both. Rachel’s is correct within her own system; mine is correct within my own.

I don’t have plans to go into image consulting or anything like that. But I enjoy discussing it, and I think that what Kibbe started works amazingly well. But if you are looking for information that does have to do with this “essence” business and using it to determine your Kibbe Image Identity, you’ll have to look elsewhere, since it doesn’t fit with what I have found to be true in my own study of the information presented to us by Kibbe.

Flamboyant Gamine “Curves”

This is basically more or less on the same subject as my last post, but I thought it was important to give it a separate post because of my other posts on the subject.

To recap, before, I thought that, if you were curvy, the difference between Flamboyant Gamine and Soft Gamine was in the face. I think you’ll still see a difference in the face, but there’s a difference in the body, too.

The SGs and the FGs have a much more similar shape than we usually think of them as having. The main difference seems to be that FG will have angles and an SG will have a curve.

Let’s look at Brigitte Bardot (SG) and Audrey Hepburn (FG). Brigitte’s measurements at one point in her career, according to this website, were 36-20-35. Audrey’s were 34-20-34. So relatively similar–Audrey is technically an hourglass, and Brigitte was a slightly top-heavy hourglass and just a little bit curvier by the numbers.


Their shapes are incredibly similar… yet it’s clearly evident that the extra Romantic in SG has given a little bit of a curvy shape, and the extra Dramatic in FG has resulted in a shape composed entirely of angles.

SG’s curve is not as dramatically curved as a Romantic’s, such as Elizabeth Taylor (36-21-36, so not too far off from our G women above). But you can still see the curve vs. angularity in FG.

So what makes a “curvy” FG instead of a Soft Gamine? Angles instead of curves. I think you’d still be able to tell from the face, but it may be easier to see in body shape.

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?


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.

Shopping for Your Kibbe Type: Line or Vibe?


This is an issue that came up recently in the Flamboyant Gamine Facebook group. Flamboyant Gamine is often associated with the 60s Mod fashion, with generally features a lot of short shift dresses with A-line skirts. If you read the recommendations for Flamboyant Gamine and even Gamine, however, A-line skirts are seen as “too symmetrical” and get a “No” from Kibbe for both types.

Now, these do often work on FlamGam bodies, especially if the FlamGam in question is narrow-hipped, like Twiggy. This look is, in fact, so closely associated with FG that I think that people who would look good in actual FG recommendations might question themselves if they don’t look all that great in what Twiggy was wearing in the 60s. I would consider myself among this group of people–I looked great in it in high school, when I was very thin, not so much now.

This all comes back to the question of “vibe,” and how important it is. It also raises the idea of people making something a certain type, not the clothes themselves being a certain Image Identity, something that has gained a lot of traction in Kibbe circles recently.

I think this idea, more or less what Kibbe himself says now, but something that we can’t take to an extreme, comes from the fact that clothes now are constructed differently than they were in the 80s, when Kibbe wrote the book. Most things now come with stretch. If you take a bodycon-type dress and put it on a Romantic, you see sexy curves. If you put it on a Flamboyant Natural, you see their strength and power. If you put it on a Flamboyant Gamine, it looks fun. And so on. On the other hand, if you take something that is very specifically Soft Natural, like a jersey wrap dress (my clothing nemesis!), and put it on an FG, the dress won’t magically become or look FG. It will just look bad. So you have to be careful, I think, when you go outside the guidelines. It may work. It may not. If absolutely everything were simply to be shared across types and your body would just alter it, there would be no reason for Kibbe types at all, because we’d all just look fabulous in everything.

Some would say that a wrap dress has the wrong vibe, and that’s why it doesn’t work. It probably doesn’t. It is my opinion, however, that if we spend too much time looking for vibe, we end up with something akin to Dressing Your Truth: everyone in a type more or less dressing the same. Sometimes, people are shocked when they see the photos of outfits that are Kibbe-selected, especially for types like Soft Natural and Soft Gamine, which happen to be types that have their stereotypes (“boho” and “cute, in a Zooey-Deschanel way,” respectively) firmly entrenched on Pinterest, Polyvore, etc. When this happens, I think we have to ask ourselves whether Kibbe is stretching the boundaries of what a certain Image Identity can wear, or if he is actually following the rules he set out, and it is the outfits that people found looking for an SN or SG “vibe” that actually were the ones that broke the rules. As I’ve written before, I doubt that people in the Facebook groups would recognize the outfit worn by the SG in the book as Soft Gamine if someone posted it as a try on.

As for what the role of “vibe” is in clothing selection done using your Kibbe Image Identity, well, Kibbe basically contradicts himself on this one, even in the book. He says that our inner self is infinite, yet our physical self is finite, and we should express our inner self through our outer appearance. Which is great. It is a shame that his section on how to dress Shirley MacLaine is her New Age phase has never made it online, because I think it would be helpful for people who feel at odds with their Kibbe, personality-wise. The Fantasy Quiz is also not online, sadly. But the long-winded personality descriptions for each of the types ARE readily available, and I think this can lead some astray, both in finding their Kibbe type and how to dress in it once they have found it.

Among people with certain Kibbe types, you’ll find as wide a range of personalities as you would with any random group of people. You will likely have had some common experiences due to your physical similarities (e.g., for FGs, feeling like your appearance is kind of “weird”), but you will have different tastes and interests and values. You will not be a homogeneous group.

So what should Flamboyant Gamines do with A-line Mod shift dresses? Try them on. If they look good on you and you like them, great! I think they have enough crispness to fudge the rules. I think they can successfully convey an FG look. But if you are considering a type, I think it’s important to look carefully at the recommendations, and examine things with a critical eye using these recommendations before deciding whether something is a certain type or not. Don’t blow off a type because things seen as having this type’s vibe don’t work for you. The actual recommendations may suit you perfectly.

Forget About Essence in Kibbe

One of the main things about Kibbe that causes confusion is the idea of essence. He says that “inside” and “outside” can be different, but yet he also goes into the personality of the various Image Identities at length. This can be confusing if, say, you are physically a Gamine, but have a more reserved Classic personality.

I think you have to go back to Kibbe’s inspiration, which is Old Hollywood image making. It didn’t matter what your personality was; they would concoct an image for you based on your physical features alone. Romantic Marilyn Monroe was given a “sex kitten” image, and that was all she was allowed to portray. I think Kibbe does much the same thing, really. He gives you a “metamorphosis” based on what he sees, and nothing else.


Another way to look at it is to think of animation. When designing a character, animators look for how to express who the character is using line. You wouldn’t give a princess-type character non-princessy features unless you were trying to make some sort of statement. Sharp features go to sharp characters.

Real people, of course, are far more complex. Kibbe is a surface system. It doesn’t work with your personality or lifestyle to try to create something that works with who you are. It simply is meant to create some kind of ideal image of you. It doesn’t work if you look at it as, “But that is not who I am.” He talks a little bit about it in the book, when he goes into how he would dress Shirley MacLaine in her very yin New Age phase. But how to do that for yourself is something that Kibbe doesn’t really go into detail about. Figuring out how to reconcile the two is your job.

I think part of the confusion also stems from the fact that Kitchener uses essence in a different way, and everything is custom. Kibbe is not, and is not going to go deep into you as an individual. Look at your lines and your geometry, and reflect them in your clothes. How to reflect everything else while staying in your Kibbe type is something you have to figure out on your own.

For me, I find that Flamboyant Gamine fits me better, personality-wise, than any of the other types, and I’ve never had a problem with how to express myself within my Kibbe type. But I’m sure that plenty of you have struggled with this, and I’d love to hear how you managed to resolve this issue, or where you are in the process.

Statement on Kibbe, Part Two: My Own Interpretation of Kibbe

I thought it might be worthwhile to talk a bit about how I see the system now, and the ways in which I’ve deviated from how Kibbe present(ed) it and the ways in which I haven’t.

1. It’s all about geometry.
Kibbe doesn’t talk much about face/body lines in the book. But if you look at the celebrities he uses as examples in the book, you can see it. This is the philosophy used by Guiding Lines. I think that it is something that you can train your eye to see. Lately, my accuracy rate with guessing what people will be typed as by Guiding Lines has been 100%. I don’t think I could do what Sarah does (drawing your face and body lines on top of your photographs), but I am pretty confident in my ability to see it. You can try to do the same thing for yourself by looking for harmony in facial collages with Kibbe celebrities.

2. Forget about personality, taste, etc. when deciding your type.
As I have often complained about, Pinterests and Polyvores, even my own, show just one interpretation of a style. But if you just take the lines and Kibbe’s general guidelines, I think you can express yourself and achieve any style you desire. This is where John Kitchener can help, I think. Or you could try writing a style statement or creating a mood board. And then take that information and filter everything through the lines for your type.

3. I do agree, more or less, with eliminating C, N, and G…
…To a point. I can see in people who are in the Cs, Ns, or Gs that there are people who are much closer to the middle than distinctly, say, Dramatic or Soft Classic. They will probably want to base their style on the middle type, but add touches from the yang or yin type accordingly, pretty much like what I wrote about Gamines here.

4. Modern Kibbe examples are just asking for trouble.
Kibbe has typed some modern celebrities in recent sessions with groups. I believe, however, that the things he says during these sessions are to be taken with a grain of salt, because he likely hasn’t made a thorough study of the celebrity being discussed and just says what’s come to mind from what he’s seen in passing in magazines or whatever.

This is what I’ve come up with so far. Thoughts?

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.


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.

Kibbe Style Stereotypes

If you don’t have the physical copy of Metamorphosis and haven’t ever seen the pictures from the book, look at the image below. What type do you think this is?
photo (50)
A monochromatic look? No line break? Maybe it’s some kind of classic, or even a dramatic.

Nope. It’s the Soft Gamine makeover from the book. You may be asking, “But where is the line break? Where are the cute details and the Peter Pan collar?” It doesn’t fit in with the popular image of Soft Gamine at all. But it has crisp details (the shoulders), interesting accessories (big red bead necklace, little gloves), and there is, in fact, a line break. It does not obey the popular rule for short women that you should have your hosiery and your shoe be the same color to create the illusion of a longer leg.

Kibbe himself, according to people who have seen him in person, seems to go back and forth on how useful the book is. Some he tells to ignore the book, some he tells to read it. But while the recommendations can be outdated (I don’t buy sweaters with shoulder pads!), I still find that the recommendations are very useful. It helps you understand the parameters of your type that you can do then use to create your own unique style.

What I would definitely avoid doing, and I think I have mentioned this before, is relying on Pinterest and Polyvore to get an idea of the way your type should use their lines. Even with my own Pinterest, I’m not entirely satisfied with how I represent the types, because I feel like I know my own type the best and the rest I usually just repin from other people. We end up with stereotypes like Soft Gamine=Ingenue and that Soft Natural=Boho. People who come back from Kibbe with these types assigned to them do not end up dressed how the type is generally represented at all.

I think that we tend to look at the types with a point of view that is too narrow. While there is debate in the Kibbe community right now about whether the book has any use at all, I think it’s still the best resource for understanding your type and the lines that it requires. Anybody else’s interpretation should only be considered once you have gotten to know your type well, and when you know what works or what doesn’t.

Determining Your Kibbe Type: Listen to Yourself

When you first discover Kibbe and start looking at blogs, communities, forums, etc., inevitably you’ll begin asking for feedback on what other people think you are. This can sometimes be helpful, but other times it can set you back farther on your Kibbe journey than you were when you started. The only person who I would 100% trust when it comes to my Kibbe type is Kibbe. While I know many people who have been very satisfied with their analyses from people who offer their own services based on Kibbe, they are still offering their own vision of what Kibbe says.

This fact goes double for random people in communities. No matter how much of an expert someone seems to be presenting themselves as, and no matter how sure they sound of how they see Kibbe, don’t forget to listen to what you think and what you know about yourself. This would apply even to me, if you happen to see me around on message boards or if you ask for my advice in the comments. Like anyone else, I’m always learning new things and coming across new discoveries in this style analysis business, and I don’t claim to be an expert, just someone who loves discussing this subject. This especially goes for things I wrote early in this blog. If you read My Kibbe Journey, I went from thinking I was a Soft Dramatic (correctly recognizing the mix of yin and yang in my features), to Soft Natural (thinking that I was a youthful looking SN, recognizing that I had gamine youthfulness but was too yang for Soft Gamine), to finally Flamboyant Gamine, where I remain today. But since I discovered Kibbe, which was only around April (!) of this year, I have had many a world-shaking revelation.

And there have also been instances where someone else’s vision of Kibbe has distorted what I knew from the beginning, which is that Flamboyant Gamine is where I belong. Others’ doubts and distortions clouded my instinct. How did I know I was Flamboyant Gamine? Looking at the groups of celebrity examples, I knew that the Gamines and Flamboyant Gamines were where my “people” were. While I do distrust Pinterest and Polyvore and recommend staying away until you know the difference between Kibbe’s recommendations and a type’s stereotype, everything on a Flamboyant Gamine board made me go “I WANT THAT.” I knew from experience that these were the clothes that worked for me. And for every style I tried outside of FG, I just wanted to add angles and asymmetry to it. Lastly, and most importantly, if you put my face in the Flamboyant Gamine face collage, it just makes sense there.

Basically, what I want to say is that there are two important sources of information when trying to determine your Kibbe type: things that come straight from the horse’s mouth (the information Kibbe provided in the book, although there are some errors–we just learned that Natalie Wood was supposed to be in the Soft Gamine section!–and things he has said to people during their sessions with him) and you. Use your own eyes to see what people verified by Kibbe have in common, and try to discern patterns. Listen to your own inner voice and how you feel in different clothes, and try to see yourself objectively, although it’s very difficult. It is still fine to ask for advice and to seek out information (or an analysis!) from non-Kibbe stylists whose work is based off of his system or people in communities and on message boards, but ultimately, your happiness with your Image Identity is what matters, not someone else’s opinion. Listen to Emerson and “trust thyself.”

Below are images from my own Pinterest that I have connected with along my Flamboyant Gamine journey. I encourage you to look for places where you see yourself, too.

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