Posts Tagged ‘natural’

Bringing Back Natural: The Conclusion

One thing that is inevitable with all of these systems is that you’ll realize something that changes your perception of a certain system. This has happened to me several times with Kibbe: when I realized that face was more important than I previously thought, when I realized that I could be a Flamboyant Gamine even if I’m not shaped like Twiggy, etc.

Since I wrote my last post, I’ve been thinking about the issue of what Natural or blunt/soft yang really is. I think I may have figured it out.

Some people view the different Kibbe base types as essences, and you’re either the yin or yang version of this essence. I don’t think this is really the proper way to look at Kibbe. Perhaps the confusion comes from systems like Kitchener, who views people as being composed of percentages of essences.

In Kibbe, however, your essence is your type. The base types are more benchmarks for certain ways that yin and yang can fit together. After looking at the book some more, I realized that Natural is a representation of mostly yang with yin added to soften the edges a bit.


This chart is from the book. For the sake of argument, let’s say that Natural is 75% yang/25% yin. This means that natural features, like broad shoulders, can be seen as having this much yang and yin. The yin widens the features. So a wide natural nose is a like a Dramatic nose with the width that comes from yin. If we look at its opposite, Moderate Yin (D on the Kibbe quiz), which for some reason Kibbe didn’t give its own base type, it’s as if Romantic yin has been stretched out a bit and made sleeker.

So I have been wrong in the past when I have said that N blunt yang is another ingredient in Kibbe’s system. There are still just two influences: yin and yang. When we say that a Flamboyant Gamine can have blunt N yang, it means that they can have features that show this 75% yang/25% yin balance. While the pure yin influence shows in size, and the mix of D and R can be seen in their Gamine facial features, this N influence can also cause Flamboyant Gamines to be stockier, for instance, than our Dramatic counterparts.

I’m still not entirely sure why he got rid of the pure Natural type, though. I suppose that you’ll still have a more yang or a more yin impression of someone, and you’re just as unlikely to have everything about you be a perfect 75/25 mix as you are a perfect 50/50 mix.

Bringing Back Natural

Obviously, I spend a lot of time thinking about and overanalyzing Kibbe. One of the things that has thrown me for a loop as of late is the fact that Kibbe has gotten rid of the Natural category. Now, getting rid of Classic and Gamine I understand. Very few people will be either a perfect blend of the two or a perfect contrast of the two. Nearly everyone will fall a tiny bit on the side of one or the other. But Natural is different. Natural is only one element, blunt yang, which you can also sometimes find in Dramatic Classic and Flamboyant Gamine.

The other pure types, Dramatic and Romantic, can still be found in Kibbe. Yes, Dramatics are rare, but he didn’t get rid of them completely. So why did he get rid of the pure version of the other element in the system?

I don’t have much to say about this. I’m just confused right now.

So is OG Natural Ingrid Berman.


McJimsey’s Natural

Natural is a yang expression like Dramatic, but instead of angles and formality, the Natural is strength and informality. While the Dramatic is tall and thin, the Natural is more substantial. McJimsey chose the word “natural” to define this type because a Natural shuns artficiality and prefers to wear more natural-looking makeup and hair, and casual, comfortable clothes. Facial features are square and blunt; the smile and the eyes are friendly. She has a little bit of yin in her face, in contrast to the strictly yang Dramatic. A Natural can be either well-proportioned or stocky, and may be overweight. She usually has brown, auburn, or red hair, and a tan and freckles. McJimsey says that many yang types combine both of these types, and can adjust their look for the occasion, emphasizing one or the other, unless their figure limits their ability to wear high-fashion clothes. Again, while school age and college girls of above-average height may see themselves in the Natural type, especially since it is so informal, at that age, they will most likely be a Gamine/Natural hybrid. A Gamine Natural should look for simple clothes, and also clothes should have larger details than you would select for a pure Gamine.

McJimsey’s Naturals are Candace Bergen, Mary Lindsay, Ali McGraw, and Happy Rockefeller.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

The Natural does not have the sophistication of the Dramatic. Her yang is expressed in bold simplicity, rather than the exotic or the extreme. She should look for comfort and informality. The fashions specifically mentioned include:

  • skirts with pleats or gores for movement
  • design interest should be limited to details like buttons, pockets, and seams
  • formal wear should be simple and made of beautiful fabrics like raw silk
  • large-wale corduroy for sports; pin-wale corduroy for formal wear (it was the 70s…)

    Fabrics include tweed, shantung, Irish linen, raw silks, homespun/handknitted textures, jerseys, doubleknits, and flannels. No shiny satin or crepe silk. Texture is emphasized, and good accessories include large, handcrafted wooden accessories; belts; bags; wooden, leather, or metal buttons; and novel cord fasteners (anyone know what that means?). The leather used in shoes and bags should not be shiny. Boots, oxfords, and stacked heels are what a Natural should look for. Handcrafted jewelry with uncut semiprecious stones, carved wooden beads, and coral necklaces make good jewelry for a Natural. Good patterns and details include peasant embroidery, large-scale plaids, abstract or geometric patterns, and prints that simulate textured weaves. Herringbone or silk scarves should be combined with textured knits. Necklines should be softened by collars. The shirt collar, sailor neckline, and square neckline are all good. Large bows and turtlenecks that are not too high or tight are also advised. Double-breasted coats are also good for balance. The favored neutral for a Natural is brown, and woodsy colors (forest green, dull gold, rust, dulled yellow-green), bright blues, greens, and reds. Purple and magenta seem too artificial for a Natural. She may wear a woolen cap or beret pushed back on her head, but Naturals usually prefer not to wear hats.

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