Posts Tagged ‘theatrical romantic’

The Three Levels of Dress: Theatrical Romantic Casual

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Before I begin, I think I need to clarify something that came up on my Facebook page. When I say “casual,” I don’t mean the most comfortable clothes you own, the things you wear to clean your house or run to the post office or work in the garden. These clothes fall outside of the purview of the Three Levels. I’m not going to tell you what Romantic workout wear looks like. Anything you’re supposed to sweat in, forget about Kibbe.

“Casual,” in the definition I’m using, is when you want to look nice, but you can still wear jeans. These are the clothes you’d wear to meet a friend to lunch or for a meeting at your kid’s school. Or if you work somewhere without a dress code, like I do, these are even things you may be able to wear to work. This version of casual includes things like dresses and skirts, and not every type will get jeans and a t-shirt.

With that in mind, let’s talk Theatrical Romantic Casual. One of the common concerns from people who think they might be Theatrical Romantic is that they don’t want to be so “done up” all the time. They live a more casual lifestyle and want to be comfortable. My answer for these people is that there is good news and there is bad news.

The good news is that you can be comfortable. Clothing doesn’t have to be sloppy to be comfortable. Jeans actually aren’t really all that comfortable when you think about it. The clothes you will wear in Theatrical Romantic Casual are going to be no less comfortable than the clothes your SN and FN sisters get to wear.

There is a “but,” however, and that is the bad news. You will still look more dressed up. You do not lose your glamorous side just because you’re not going to a fancy event. You will be glamorous whenever you leave your house, except for the exceptions I mentioned above. You don’t have to be glamorous if you’re doing physical labor or exercise or lounging at home. But the rest of the time, if you want to preserve what makes Theatrical Romantic special, you need to retain your innate glamour. (This will apply to Soft Dramatic as well, which I will cover at a later date.)

Retaining glamour is not a question of just adding rhinestones to things that would look better on a Natural type. The lines of the clothes themselves already need to fit Theatrical Romantic’s recommendations and lines for them to work. One of the issues that we find with yin types is that fashion has been stuck in a Natural rut for years. To combat this, like we did for Soft Gamine, we’re going to go into the past a bit for our first Theatrical Romantic Casual look.

While Theatrical Romantic, just like Soft Gamine, draws inspiration from the 1930s, it draws from the formal, Hollywood glamour side. I don’t think even a true lover of glamour like Kibbe is going to suggest that you show up for a casual lunch in a long, bias-cut satin dress.


The casual clothes of the era are clearly going to work better for SG than TR. So instead, we’re going to look back at a different era, the 1950s. Not everything from the 1950s is going to work. But the very feminine shapes that show the body will.

In the Theatrical Romantic workshop tape, David Kibbe recommends “wearing oversized tropical prints with big flowers. Feminine prints keep tops more casual.” This is a good thing to keep in mind for dresses and skirts, too.


Bettie Page Pin-Up Flamingo Cross My Heart Dress

If this dress were a solid color, it would look far more formal. With a flamingo print, it’s a fun, casual dress for daytime. You’re going to wear this for shopping or lunch. You may still be more dressed up than others, but that’s the price we pay for fashion.

Adding details around the neckline and showing a little skin can go a long way to bringing a simple knit top into TR territory.

Ivory Short Sleeve Knit Sophia Top

Unique Vintage Ivory Short Sleeve Knit Sophia Top

In the tape, Kibbe mentions Betty Grable wearing high-waisted, flared shorts in the 1940s.


Tops like the one above could look very fun and casual paired with a pair of shorts like these.


Ally Fashion High Waist Flare Short (back view)

Or stay with the tropical-for-TR-summer-casual theme and go with a pair of tropical shorts.


Planet Blue Show Me Your Mumu Shorts

My shoe pick for outfits like these are a sandal with a very low heel. Kibbe recommends strappy sandals with a tapered 2″ heel on the tape, so I’ve included a pair like that, too. Sandals are supposed to be TR’s best shoe.

Chelsea Crew Wanna Prance with Somebody Sandal in Gold

Call It Spring Staval Rose Gold Heeled Strap Sandals

That takes care of summer… but what about casual for winter? The pants described by Kibbe in the tape and in the book–soft and draped, tapered–sound like they could be hard to find in this age of stretch everything. Another option is one that has been seen on TR Queen Susan Slavin, Kibbe’s wife–a tunic and leggings, done in a glamorous way.


Venus Draped Cowl Sweater

Add a belt to cinch the waist. He recommends wide, soft, and ornate.

Fashion Focus Black Flower And Crystal Stretch Belt

Delicate boots from soft leather or suede are perfect for TR. Snake print is also a great animal print for TR, since it’s the most delicate and ornate of all of the animal prints.


Nicole Miller Atelier Nicole

Lastly, jewelry is going to be a key part of a TR’s look for any level. Sparkly and dangly earrings are an obvious choice, but another good option for casual or professional wear, suggested on the TR tape, is “huggie” hoops.


Bling Jewelry Ritzy Wide Huggies

Even for casual wear, you’ll want to pile it on. Restraint is for classics. But while we’ve all seen what ornate TR statement necklaces look like, another option Kibbe mentions on the tape is several strands of seed pearls or liquid gold or silver. We all know what ornate statement necklaces look like for TR, but for casual wear, I think we can take inspiration from this other, unsung option for TR.


Layered Faux Pearl Necklace

It’s not that sparkly… but like with the earrings, it’s something for casual wear, not when you’re trying to make a big impression or statement with your look. The 1980s liquid gold version is much shinier, of course, and if you’re willing to spend the money on real vintage jewelry, it’s an option.

liquid gold

1960s Vintage Liquid Gold Necklace from Etsy

I did not include jeans and sneakers in this set of options, and compared to other types, this still looks pretty formal. But if you are a TR, that’s never going to be your best look. A dress or a pair of fabric shorts can be just as comfortable–and less restricting–than something made out of denim. Heels will definitely not be as comfortable as sneakers, but you’re a TR. You bring glamour into the world.

Theatrical Romantic is out of my wheelhouse, which is one of the reasons this post took so long to write. I didn’t even know where to shop for TR clothes. For an FG, it’s an alternate shopping universe! So I would like to thank Amy and Angèle for helping me by checking my selections and offering suggestions and showing me the world of yin clothing.

I am taking requests for the next installment of this series, so if you have something you’d like to see, please leave a comment. See this post for what I consider each base type’s most difficult level of dress.

Do You Really Need a Style Analysis?

***Update, 5/21/15: Gwen is a tough one! After examining pictures of her body, I have decided that she is actually FN. Her shoulders are very broad, and her rib cage is wider than her hips. The celebrity I found with the most similar body shape to Gwen’s is Cameron Diaz, who is pretty much universally regarded as FN.***

Note: I have discussed Gwen Stefani with some real-life TRs, who feel that her body is far too yang. So I have settled on her being a Soft Dramatic, with a yin face and a yang body. I still definitely do not think she is FG!

Do I need a style analysis? This is a question I’ve been turning over lately in my mind. While I can’t afford Kibbe, there are two other people that I know of who offer a Kibbe-based service and have generally good reviews: Rachel of Best Dressed and Sarah of Guiding Lines both offer reasonably priced services.

I have, however, yet to get myself analyzed. Truth be told, I’m scared. I don’t want to be told what I don’t want to hear. I don’t feel like I fit the typical body type we see in FG, and I score in C/G range on the test. I find, however, that Kibbe’s recommendations work really well for me, I feel good in FG clothes, and I ruled out other possibilities like SN because I need structure. I have blathered on about how I landed on FG in depth.

So I guess what I’m wondering is, if you feel good in the type you’ve selected, do you really need to get an official analysis? Maybe someone would put me in SG because of my body shape. Maybe someone else would make me a small SD. But at the end of the day, FG is where I feel the best and where I feel myself. I think of Gwen Stefani, who you’ll sometimes find on Flamboyant Gamine Pinterest boards. Gwen, though, has always seemed like an outlier to me in FG. Her face is not FG at all. Then I remembered that she played Jean Harlow in The Aviator.

(Sources: 1, 2)

She looks fine in FG. She is STUNNING in TR, with a face that would absolutely not be out of face in glamorous 1930s Hollywood. I think she’s always known this, because even when she was wearing Dickies, she still did a very glam makeup look. Now, I do think that Gwen’s beauty is truly revealed in in her TR/Jean Harlow look. But she has made an image for herself as a cool dresser, not a glam one. So I’m divided on whether a TR Metamorphosis would be the best thing for her. But looking at her in the Jean Harlow pictures, I see her, not the clothes.

As for myself, what if I went to see Kibbe and he made me an SC, my nightmare type? (No offense to any SCs out there; it’s great on you, but not for me.) The ladylike image of SC is so far removed from everything I am. Would I stop dressing FG if an analyst told me I wasn’t? To be honest, probably not.

Have you ever been analyzed? Were you pleased by the results? Do you think Gwen should dress in bias cut silk gowns all the time?

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.