Defined Style Types

Cory posted a thought-provoking comment on my last post. Here’s the part that provides a nice segue into my post today:

The TIB person has the idea that people can be blends of up to 3 style types. So someone could be “Dramatic/Natural/Gamine”=”Casual Punk”, etc.

What do you think of this? On the one hand, I feel sort of unsure, particularly when I actually look at the sample outfits, that this is a helpful way of thinking about things. But on the other hand, it is a solution to my own “???” about a style conundrum I’m unable to otherwise solve.

Generally, I write about systems that I’ve found useful for myself or things that I’ve purchased in order to review them. I’ve never purchased any of the Truth Is Beauty guides, although I did beta-test her quiz last year and I came out as Dramatic Gamine. So I can’t really speak about exactly how the system works, what comes in the guides, etc.

But looking at the materials the creator of that system has made available free of charge, what it brings to mind for me is what I think makes Kibbe’s system such a special one. In many systems, finding your type is the end point. Once you figure out your type or are analyzed, you have your set of guidelines to follow and an image.

As I wrote about in the workbook, with Kibbe’s system, determining your type is really the beginning of the journey, not the end. No two people in one type are going to dress alike. What people in the same type share are a few specific characteristics. For FG, for example, it’s a “smallish, broadly angular physicality, along with a youthfully bold and brassy essence.” How your honor those characteristics is the way that you reveal your unique star power.



So what I think when I look at the Truth Is Beauty materials is that they are very defined types, rather than jumping-off points for self-expression. If you’re Romantic-Dramatic-Ingenue, you’re going to be a “Demure Vamp,” an “Intimidating Princess,” or a “Girlish Femme Fatale.”

My personal preference, and the one I cover in the workbook, is coming up with my own archetype. I don’t want to fit myself into a predetermined image; I want to create something that is uniquely mine. Flamboyant Gamine is the main framework, but I use it as a toolbox, not as a finished product.

If you look at the Truth Is Beauty guides and you find one that seems to fit you and express who you are, I think the guide could be worth it for you. But even with 63 types, you may not find something that expresses you–I don’t think I do, really. I would rather create my own guide using the tools I have.

11 Comments on Defined Style Types

  1. J Burke
    April 13, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I did purchase the style indicator from TIB as I am able to use it with my daughters, mother etc as well as myself. I purchased Shopping for the Real You by Andrea Pflaumer at the same time. Taking the quiz in the book first was a bit of a surprise. Then a double surprise to find it reinforced by the Online indicator. Somewhere in all of this I also came across the Ethereal Style Facebook group. I immediately knew I had finally found the piece that I’d been missing all the years I spent trying to figure out my Kibbe as well as a few lesser known stylists. Since then, I have been doing some investigating to try and figure out where the ethereal fits into Kibbe and why I didn’t see it long ago. The overall thing I’m trying to say is that all of these, FB, TIB and Ms Pflaumer’s book have led me to the same place and served to reinforce each other. I now can use tips from each that work for me and ignore the rest. But it has been so awesome to finally have found what works and even if I never find my Kibbe, I will always be thankful his book was there to start me on my journey.

    • stylesyntax
      April 14, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      I’m glad you’ve been able to find what works for you! 🙂 I haven’t read Pflaumer’s book, but I’ve been meaning to for a long time.

  2. Melody
    April 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    I totally agree with your points!
    I started out with Kitchener and TIB, according to which I’m “The Sexy Sorceress”.
    First, these titles make me cringe, they sound so cheesy and ridiculous and how is this helpful when I get dressed to go to the gym or supermarket?
    With Kibbe, I get Soft Dramatic which also sounds a bit cheesy but I can use these guidelines for dressing for any occasion, no matter how mundane.

    One thing that annoys me so much about all these obsessive style categorisers on Pinterest and Polyvore, is how judgy and prescriptive they are without having the actual experience of living with the body they describe.
    For example most of the suggestions for romantic-dramatic or SD only work in theory in their minds, but when you actually are very curvy with big boobs, you know they look awful because you’ve actually tried these tops and dresses on yourself and saw it with your own eyes.

    • stylesyntax
      April 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

      I fixed your HTML 🙂 Most of the stuff out there that is supposedly SD isn’t at all. To me, “Sexy Sorceress” sounds like Stevie Nicks, not Sophia Loren or Jacqueline de Ribes!

    • Cory
      April 22, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      “Sexy Sorceress” is awesome (in a certain kind of way). That’s definitely a thing I find pretty not-my-thing about a lot of internet style talk – I am not particularly interested in being mega-sexy. If anything I’m typically more interested in how to dress my own top half in a way that is flattering but doesn’t draw extra attention to unavoidable cleavage.

      • stylesyntax
        April 25, 2016 at 5:56 pm

        I’m not interested in being sexy, either. 🙂

  3. ruby
    April 15, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I managed to get a test copy of the quiz too, and came out, as expected, as a blend of dramatic, natural & classic. Every board I chose contained at least one of those elements. In kibbe I am DC but I think of myself as FNC- classic with a strong, flamboyant natural, yang…not even sure I’d call it an undercurrent, overlay might be a better description. I did one quiz, can’t remember what it was called, where it asked about all sorts of things like how you walked and spoke and stood, as well as what you looked like, on that I came out at about 70% natural. In practice what I have found to work is DC shapes, scale and symmetry but with an FN vibe brought in via the type of accessories, though scaled down from what you’d see for FN. I definitely agree kibbe is a starting point, I struggled with it at first because I was horrified by the stuff on the DC pinterest boards which is mostly not me AT ALL, but once I found how to make it work I’ve been able to make some good choices, ones that I definitely wouldn’t have thought of before.

    • stylesyntax
      April 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Kibbe has pointed out that some of the things on the DC pinterest boards are actually FG. I’m not sure what DC looks like now–which is why I’m holding off on it–but I’m not surprised that you hate what’s out there representing the type 🙂

      • ruby
        April 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm

        I suspect the bits I am not horrified by may be the FG bits….

  4. Dianne Pearson
    May 14, 2016 at 2:39 am

    Pinterest boards for Kibbe are really a mixed bag. So many posts these tops that are almost like the babydoll pajama tops of my generation – they have not one hint of waist definition for soft natural. I figure that they 1. didn’t read the recs or 2 .They really want this of-the-moment-style and so are twisting their thinking that it fits Kibbe!
    But why try to do this in a style board for Kibbe – just label it “My style”

    • stylesyntax
      May 14, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Probably the only Pinterest boards of any value are ones done by people who have gone to see Kibbe. I think both 1 & 2 apply to most Pinterest boards.


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