New YouTube Video: David Kibbe’s Metamorphosis Book: Foreword

When I finally decided to start making YouTube videos, I wanted to start with what I identified as the most pressing need in this space, and to me, that was making the content of Metamorphosis available to people who don’t have the book. Parts of the book are online, like the quiz, physical profiles, and checklist, but not that parts of the book that explained the purpose of the system. Without it, Kibbe becomes just another body typing system.

So I’m going to be going through book, making videos explaining the content in each missing chapter. If you’ve never had the chance to read the book, I hope these videos help give you a better perspective on what the system is meant to do for your style and your life.

Click here to view the Style Syntax YouTube channel!

Please check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂

Outfits That Feel Wrong

A few years ago, I saw the movie Bonjour Tristesse. I fell in love with Jean Seberg’s outfits in that movie. It inspired my aesthetic for some time.

I loved a lot of her looks in the movie, but this chic Givenchy dress occupied a special place in my fashion dreams:
little black dress

So back in 2018, I had a special occasion to go to, and I found a dress by Gal Meets Glam that was clearly modeled on it:

little pink dress

When I found it, I was so excited. Having a dress that was at least somewhat a facsimile of the original seemed almost too good to be true. The skirt was different, and the fabric and color were as well, but the part that I really loved–the chic, geometric bodice–was there.

When I wore it, however, I just didn’t feeling like myself. I paired it with a pearl bracelet, and while the outfit worked together, I felt separate from it. At the time, I wondered if I was just a little old for the look (I was 31 at the time).

But what I should have done is take my own advice. At the time, I had created my own archetype, Grown-up Punk, based on the style statement exercise in my old workbook. There is nothing about this look that says “Grown-up Punk,” no matter how much it appeals to me on paper. I have since further developed this exercise into Personality Squared, and now I really understand why it felt off–and it has nothing to do with my age.

My Personality Squared combination is Sophisticated-Sporty-Edgy. I could see an argument for the clean lines of the dress being Sporty, but otherwise, the fabric, print, and bow detail are all Pretty, and the design line is perhaps more Playful. Playful is not something I’m opposed to as long as the Sophisticated-Sporty-Edgy combo is still coming through, since when I was younger my combination was Playful-Sporty-Edgy, but I have to be careful with it if I want to feel like myself. In this dress, I just felt like I was trying to be someone I’m not.

What would a dress that felt more like me look like? I think the original Givenchy dress would have worked a lot better. The black would have made it more Edgy, as opposed to the very Pretty color and style of the one I have. The skirt also made more of a statement, so even though there is still a Playful element to the design line, I think that it is also a design line that speaks to my FG clothing needs, and it would look chic on me.

But there is another dress that has occupied a place in my mind for many years, and it’s this Prabal Gurung dress Diane Kruger wore:
red, black, and white

Now that I have identified myself as Sophisticated-Sporty-Edgy, I see exactly why I love this dress so much. The bold color choices work for both Sophisticated and Sporty, the clean lines are Sporty, and the overall design is Sophisticated. Edgy comes through in the black, but I could add more of an Edgy quality with accessories featuring studs, for example.

louboutins

There was a time on this blog where I was exploring my style and trying to make myself fit into the style types I had decided suited my physicality, rather than looking at what I actually liked to wear and felt like myself in. I knew why things felt off for me from a Flamboyant Gamine perspective, and why, once I went with 4/3 instead of 3/4, from a Dressing Your Truth perspective, but now I also understand from the perspective of my inner world, and what feels like “me.”

You can find out more about Personality Squared and purchase the workbook here, and I’ve also started a YouTube channel. You can also find me on Facebook and on Instagram @stylesyntax.

Style Syntax Is Finally on YouTube

I have always resisted making the jump to YouTube because I feel that I’m a person who expresses myself best in writing. But I’ve come to realize that YouTube–not Google–is now the first place many people go when they’re researching a subject, and I want to make sure that what I have to share is accessible and easy to find.

I’ve already uploaded my first YouTube video. My plan is to create video versions of some of my “greatest hits,” and then also videos for new content as well. Please check it out and like and subscribe. 🙂

I’m also going to start posting on Instagram again (@stylesyntax) and don’t forget to check out Personality Squared and the accompanying Pinterest boards.

So please check it out, and if there’s anything you’d especially like a video on, let me know in the comments, either here or on the video. 🙂

Personality Squared Pinterest Boards

I have completed all the Pinterest boards for Personality Squared. Personality Squared is something I’ve been turning around in my own head ever since the Personality Plus series went up, and it’s been gratifying to me that the responses I’ve had so far are that not only is it easy for people to grasp, but they can see how they can apply it to their own style.

If you missed my last post on the subject, Personality Squared is a style system that relies not on what you look like, but rather what you’re drawn to and what feels like “you.” It can be overlaid onto other systems that do take your physical appearance into account, helping you to retain the individuality and self-expression that we sometimes lose when we focus on our own personal Dos and Don’ts. You have up to three main types, and each of these types is applied to your style in a particular way according to the function it plays for you. You can see the types in the boards linked below, and the system itself is introduced in the workbook, the purchase of which also includes membership in a Facebook group where I can provide feedback to you.

Which is your favorite? Which do you relate to the most?

Pretty

  • DANGLE or CLIP ON no pierce Earrings, Retro Style Valentine Angel Lolita Cute Kawaii Sweet Daddys Baby Girl Fairy Kei Jewelry Rococo
  • Spring Wedding Sakura Blossom Ring  This beautiful ring can help pull your whole wedding aesthetic together. With a flower made from shell, leaves decorated with zircon gems, and a rose gold band made to look like a branch wrapping around your finger, this ring is both nostalgic and modern. #wedding #sakura #cherry #flower #floral #ring #jewelry #diyprojects

Sporty

  • FOR: Commuting, work, and travelFEEL: Innovative Sculptek fiber has 360 degree stretch that moves with youFAVE: Metallic side stripe adds a fun and flattering pop to your everyday jeanMADE WITH WASHWELL™.  This process uses at least 20% less water than traditional methodsFitted.  Ultra-high-rise waistband that holds you inInseam: Regular: 29. 5'' Petite: 27. 5'' Tall: 32. 5''
  • Small Block Purse - Bright Pink | BAGGU
  • 11 sporty items you can wear all day - Chatelaine

Sophisticated

  • Blair Eadie wearing a pleated maxi dress from Sail to Sable // Click through to see more of Blair's daily looks and more dress outfits on Atlantic-Pacific
  • anothercelebrityblog: “ Rachel Weisz – Vogue Magazine UK January 2016 ”

Elegant

  • Classic.

Edgy

  • Product Image 938622029 356  Save 50% Handbags Women Mode Fashion Style Collection 2020 Qlairr
  • Philipp Plein at Milan Fashion Week Fall 2020 - Details Runway Photos

Playful

  • Flaunting Fruit Dangly Earrings Orange
  • Fresh Designer Jewelry Luxury Exquisite Enamel Leaves Flower Fruit Fashion Statement Chokers Necklace Price: $17.84 & FREE Shipping #fashion >#jewellery >>#topbrand >>>#newarrivals >#shoes >>#style >>>#jewelrymaking >#jewelrydesigner >>#jewelrydesign >>> Follow us @proshopperz @probuyerz #proshopperz
  • Fun playful geometric colorful drop polymer clay earrings | Etsy

Free-Spirited

  • 25 Trendy Fall 2014 Work Outfits for Girls Styleoholic | Styleoholic
  • Embroidered boho blouse with fluted sleeves and black velvet flare pants
  • 11 boho dresses you can wear to work. #workwear #bohodresses #summerdresses #cuteworkdresses
  • Sézane - Lisette Skirt

Glamorous

  • Alexandra Casual Maxi Dress
  • Dita von teese This is Dita casual probably after Pilates. The underneath bra looks like part of the top. yay pilates.
  • Sexy Brown Jumpsuit - Animal Print Split Racerback Jumpsuit - $54.00 – Red Dress

Introducing Personality Squared

This has been a halfway-secret project I’ve been working on for some time. 🙂

After I published the original workbook, I quickly realized that the part of that workbook that people had the most questions about was the section where I had you come up with your own style archetype. As we work with systems that show us our best colors and styles based on our physicality (our “Syntax”), it can be difficult to maintain our individuality and self-expression in our style. My interest in not in typing people, or telling them what to wear–it’s helping them in their journey to feel like themselves while still showing the world the best selves (our “Style”).

I enjoyed sharing Personality Plus with you a few years back because it was a system based simply on what you like to wear and what expresses who you are. It has nothing to do with your physical appearance. Based on this system, I created an updated version, called Personality Squared. This system includes eight types, based on different style personalities: Pretty, Sporty, Sophisticated, Elegant, Edgy, Playful, Free-Spirited, and Glamorous. You can have up to three, used in a specific combination to guide you in your style choices.

The Style Syntax Personality Plus and Wardrobe Planning Workbook, which also features a section on using the Three Levels of Dress to plan your wardrobe, is now live. I am offering consultations in this system as well (although I just help you decide for yourself and answer questions, not type you!), as well as a private Facebook group for people who have purchased the workbook. Please check it out. 🙂

I am so excited to finally share this with you, and I can’t wait to see people using it and having it help them find themselves in their style! I am in the process of creating Pinterest boards for all seven types, but in the meantime, you can check out the Pinterest board I started for my own combination, Sophisticated-Sporty-Edgy, and Pretty, Sophisticated, Sporty, and Playful.

P.S.: If you filled out the Google Form to receive updates on the upcoming workbook, please check your email!

The Looks Men Love: The Cool Sophisticate Look

This post uses affiliate links.
Previously: The Romantic Look

This week, we’re looking at the Cool Sophisticate look. As we did last week, I have put visual examples on a Pinterest board.

Physical Profile

Slender, tall, and striking. If you are not, even if you feel like a Cool Sophisticate, consider Take-Charge, Romantic, or Sensual, because Cool Sophisticate won’t be very effective on you. (My personal opinion: Go with what you relate to the most!)

Essence

Cool Sophisticates are elegant, crisp, don’t get too close, and are equally at home on Fifth Avenue, Bond Street, and the Champs-Élysées. They don’t fall for fads. They may seem to have perfect glacial exteriors, but once you get to know them, you find humor and candor. She’s talented, a good traveler, a good cook, and polite to salespeople. They are often quiet and unreadable. They are competent. They know how to do the right thing when it comes to things like thank-you cards. They only have a couple of close friends, and may actually be shy, even though their clever conversation abilities and stunning appearance may seem intimidating. Never buy a Cool Sophisticate a blouse of polyester–just let her buy her own clothes, although a fabulous jewel would also do.

Celebrities

Cool Sophisticate Celebrities on Pinterest

  • Grace Kelly
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Cheryl Tiegs (and almost all other high-fashion models)
  • Lee Radziwill
  • Karen Akers
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Bianca Jagger
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Gloria Vanderbilt
  • Dina Merrill
  • Barbara Stanwyck

Color

Cool Sophisticate Colors on Pinterest

Yes

  • khaki
  • terra-cotta
  • ivory and black
  • pewter
  • camel
  • navy
  • burgundy
  • deep emerald
  • dark wine
  • apricot
  • geometric prints

No

  • the “fruits”: lemon yellow, cherry red, peach
  • baby pink
  • aqua
  • denim blue
  • shocking pink (except at night with something like black satin/jet)
  • tiny prints
  • tartan plaids
  • lavender

Fabrics

Cool Sophisticate Fabrics on Pinterest

The rule of thumb is real (nothing artificial) during the day, and glitzed-up real at night. Your fabrics are durable and strong, just like you, and you are excellent at mixing and layering fabrics in a way that creates economy of line.

Yes

  • natural heavy cotton
  • garbadines
  • worsted wools
  • cashmere
  • silk
  • high-quality leather and suede
  • raw silk
  • nothing shiny in the daytime
  • silks and crepes at night, but some synthetic woven in to make them shine is OK
  • velvet with a metallic thread (night)
  • cashmere accented with feathers or beads (night)

No

  • corduroy
  • denim
  • anything cheap-looking
  • high-shine surfaces
  • rayon
  • acrylic
  • polyester
  • Orlon

Style

Cool Sophisticate Style on Pinterest

Think 1930s updated with the 1980s’ bold essence. They have panache, and look expensive, even when their clothes aren’t. New but not futuristic; trendy but not cheap. They won’t wear things that wrinkle when they sit down or require them to hold in their stomach. The look is subtle and sexy at the same time. Cool Sophisticates are divided into “born into money” and “self made.” The former wears designer clothes, and takes a quieter approach. She is stockier and less glamorous, but just as untouchable. She is stockier (don’t know why), and apparently looks better in the CS afternoon wear, rather the night-time outfits. The Self-Made Cool Sophisticate has designed her style, not inherited it. She likes money, but doesn’t need it to look smashing. She is more trendy and more disco, but still with good taste, and is particularly radiant at night.

General

  • DVF wrap dresses, cotton jersey for day and silk for evening
  • monochromatic with a touch of color
  • a generous cut in clothing, not clingy
  • balance is important: instead of a taffeta shirt and skirt, pair the top with gray gabardine slacks
  • blouses are important: full-sleeved, shawl-collared, man-tailored, sleeveless T-shirts, worn in different fabrics and paired with beige suede trousers, black wool trousers, or softly gathered skirts
  • simple, traditional clothes with a twist: a trench coat in green moiré or an A-line evening gown in buckskin.
  • flashes of skin, but not too much: slits, unstructured jackets with nothing underneath
  • use trends to your advantage: let them blend into your timeless style in a delightful and chic way

Business Styles

  • a Chanel suit
  • a camel cashmere turtleneck sweater dress
  • a man-tailored pinstriped suit, perhaps in dubonnet
  • black calf-length culottes with a blazer (culottes can be worn to work if the color is sober and the cut is classic

Styles for Play

  • organic wrinkled T-shirts and chinos
  • wheat-colored tanks
  • tunic dresses, perhaps with a scarf or belt around the hips
  • oversize fisherman’s cable-knit sweaters

Evening Styles

  • tunics, which are a staple in your wardrobe, such as a woven-wool tunic over a short velvet skirt, or a crushed silk tunic over evening pants
  • look toward the Duchess of Windsor: a spunky, “upper-crust” look, with long skirts slightly flared at the ankle; full, flared tops; and twisty-tied hats
  • slim, long-lined evening suits, maybe trimmed with jewels, beads, or feathers

Accessories

Cool Sophisticate Accessories on Pinterest

  • Bags: oversize during the day, in natural fabrics, like suede, heavy cotton, or lizard. For night, try a narrow envelope, a clutch on a chain, or a “designer” bag, preferably with a logo.
  • Shoes: stocking and shoe in the same color to lengthen the leg, and don’t wear a shoe that’s lighter than your hemline, e.g., a white shoe with a navy suit. No to clunky high heels.
  • Belts: should be very wide, or thin with links and chains. Look for a jewel-encrusted buckle.
  • Jackets: instead of a traditional blazer, try an aviator jacket, an Eisenhower jacket, jackets with serious shoulder pads, and long, loose cardigan jackets.
  • Furs: Mink, sable, raccoon, fitch. Never faux!
  • Jewelry: wide gold cuffs, dozens of bangles, chains in material from lucite to pure gold (color and sterling are great). The scale is bold to even chunky. Wearable art is a favorite (sculptural jewelry). Rhinestones are okay during the day. Sometimes they’ll do something like an art deco pin or large geometric earrings with jeans.
  • Hats: cloche, turban, scarf around the head, fedora, all depending on where the CS is going.
  • Pants: almost anything goes, from walking shorts, to pants that could pass as a skirt, cropped with a cuff, calf-length–but never capris.
  • Underwear: skin tones. Black or skin tone for nightgowns, which are also revealing.

Finishing your look with accessories is key!

Breaking the Rules

Cool Sophisticate Breaking the Rules on Pinterest

Cool Sophisticates are masters at breaking fashion rules.

  • mix real jewelry with faux
  • use unlikely items, like heavy twine for a belt or an antique silver match holder as a necklace
  • break the “don’t wear white in winter” rule with white stockings with black patent leather shoes or white socks with gray flannel pants
  • wear an antique lace collar on a wool cardigan

The Cool Sophisticate plays it by ear, mixing and matching but always looking smashing.

Makeup

Cool Sophisticate Makeup on Pinterest

  • Foundation: contouring was made for you.
  • Eyes: you can wear a lot of color on your eyes, up to three variations of the same shade. Go dramatic with grays, taupes, or burgundies (not peacock blue, etc.), with a deeper shade of the same color to define the crease. Smudge them with a lift in the outer corner. More is more for you. Your look is dramatic and chic. Your brows should be perfect, and thick brows are okay, as long as they are well groomed. Don’t darken them, because you don’t want them to compete with your eyes. If you brows are very pale, you can subtly darken them.
  • Mouths: your lips should be sharply defined. Use a darker shade of the lip color to define. For a finished, subtle look, apply your lip color and gloss at the same time.
  • Blending: Cool Sophisticates know how to blend with powder.

Some Cool Sophisticates (like Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill) prefer minimal makeup. If it works for you, go for it, but still do some soft eyeshadow and mascara to play up your eyes, lip gloss, and subtly define your bone structure with contour.

Final Thoughts

Cool Sophisticates are stunners, and it’s hard not to stare!

My Take

First, I want to say that I do not think you have to be skinny or born rich to be a Cool Sophisticate! I think the fun part of this system is that it’s more about vibe, and defining by weight and inherited wealth is something that I think makes it less useful and less fun. I know some women whom I would classify in this type, though, and they are truly stunning.

Next: The Girl Next Door

Source

Roppatte, Vincent. The Looks Men Love. St. Martin’s Press, 1985.

Stylesyntax.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

The Looks Men Love: The Romantic Look

This post uses affiliate links.

Over a year ago, I started writing about a book called The Looks Men Love by Vincent Roppatte. Introducing a new (to my readers) style system is a fair amount of work, and I haven’t had time to come back to it until now. I suggest you read my prior two posts on the subject and come back to this post: about the book and how to use it.

Now that you’re familiar with the book, let’s talk about the first type in the book, Romantic. I’ve created a Pinterest board, and I’ll link the relevant sections.

Physical Profile

The Romantic is usually not angular or bony (although there are exceptions). It is more common for them to be Rubenesque, with a full bust and curvy hips. Being slightly overweight and having cleavage will help you achieve the Romantic Look. They can be any age, height, or coloring. Their voices are low and musical.

Essence

They love romance. They’re dreamers. They believe in fairy tales. They love the romance of a doomed love affair. They have an old-fashioned aura. They are softly feminine, even if they are successful businesswomen. They’re suggestive, aloof, and men leap to open doors for them. They have a lightness in how they move and dress. They are ethereal, and are perhaps a writer, photographer, artist, or dancer. They usually have a pet because they are connected to nature. Never buy a Romantic stock for Valentine’s Day.

Celebrities

Romantic Celebrities on Pinterest

  • Faye Dunaway
  • Princess Diana
  • Candice Bergen
  • Princess Caroline of Monaco
  • Meryl Streep
  • Morgan Fairchild
  • Cristina Ferrare
  • Catherine Deneuve
  • Mary Ann Mobley

Color

Romantic Colors on Pinterest

Your right colors will convey a sense of Old World, mystery, airiness, and softness. The wrong colors are down-to-earth, ultrasexy, or cute.

Yes

  • lilac
  • red
  • seashell coral
  • plummy mauve
  • amethyst lavender
  • apricot/tea-rose peach
  • cream
  • beige
  • eggshell
  • old rose
  • ecru
  • kid-glove gray
  • gentle plaids or polka dots
  • a tiny or softly flowered print

No

  • dark eggplant purple
  • brown
  • deep yellow
  • green
  • stripes

Your lingerie should be rose, pink, cream, etc.–never black. Your colors, in general, should be creamy and nostalgic.

Fabrics

Romantic Fabrics on Pinterest

The keyword here is liquid. Romantic is always fluid and in movement.

Yes

  • chiffon
  • swirls of etched lace
  • voile
  • gauze
  • the softest wool
  • velvet
  • organdy
  • peau de soie
  • draped Grecian jersey folds
  • crepe de chine
  • moiré
  • cashmere
  • wrinkly cottons and linens

No

  • animal skins
  • suede/ultrasuede
  • fur
  • leather
  • artificial fabrics
  • polyester

Style

Romantic Style on Pinterest

Historical inspiration includes 1920s flappers (soft felt cloches, frail chiffon dresses, pastels, calf-skimming hems), Victorian dresses, empire and medieval looks (folds of silk fabric coming down from the bustline). Watch Chariots of Fire and read Brideshead Revisited. Romantic can be frilly, ruffly, and fussy, or it can be straight and gently sleek as long as the fabric moves. Necklines can be high and prim or low and rounded. When they shop, they love antique stores and vintage clothing boutiques.

Styles include:

  • wraparound capes with fur hoods for the young Romantic
  • vests that emphasize the waist, paired with a flounced skirt
  • oversized velvet vests
  • strapless tops
  • slip dresses
  • poufy organdy dresses
  • a languid, bias-cut silk jersey suit
  • a soft wool scarf over a tweedy sweater
  • boots that lace
  • soft suede boots (no chunky heels)
  • Laura Ashley prints, with either high or low necklines
  • jackets with peplums

Separates are OK. Slacks should have tiny tucks at the waistband. Otherwise, you’d wear full, gathered skirts that skim the calf. Wool or jacquard knickers are also an option. You can top these items with a puffy lacy or ruffled blouse in a transparent organdy.

In General

More is more on a Romantic. Romantic here does not mean form-fitting clothes. It means shrouding yourself in mystery. You’re a floating figure from a dream. You are never stark or cute.

The Romantic at Work

Romantic Work Wear on Pinterest

The Romantic look can absolutely be adapted to a business setting. Roppatte gives two examples of successful Romantic businesswomen: Mary Cunningham and Sherry Lansing. Romantics don’t have to deny their true natures or be bound by a big-business mentality. He says that the Romantic’s work clothing should have a sense of the woman’s body, but not a road map (yikes). Some ideas include:

  • an ivory blouse with voile puffed sleeves and black wool skirt
  • a dove gray, frog-fastened double-breasted jacket over a gently flared skirt, all in wool crepe
  • a crepe de chine dress that buttons up to the neck
  • a velvet Dr. Zhivago jacket over a paisley wool skirt
  • a silk sweater with an antique lace collar under a lightweight wool cardigan blazer
  • a calf-length skirt and a tailored blouse worn with lace-up boots

Yes to: charming tunics, braid-trimmed wrap dresses, silken shirtdresses.
No to: flounces, décolleté, floor-length skirts, bare midriffs and shoulders, see-through blouses, tulip-scalloped hems.

Accessories

Romantic Accessories on Pinterest

Romantics love accessories!

  • Belts: a ribbon belt with tendrils flowing down the skirt, a delicate chain belt worn on the hips, a girdle of faux jewels, a braided cord belt. Buckles should be of silver filigree or fine-spun gold. Wide sashes are the quintessential Romantic belt.
  • Shoes: High, strappy heels. If you go lower, the heel should still be slender, and never clunky and/or squat. For flats, supple leather for day and velvet or silk for night. Grosgain bows and silver buckles are a nice addition to flats. For the evening, look for beading or appliqué. No white shoes unless it’s the middle of summer and you’re wearing a white dress, and never wear dark stockings with white shoes. Hose should be white or very pale. A sheer, very white stocking can be chic with black patent shoes any time of year. Shoes should be understated: ankle straps and delicate little sandals, not four-inch heels and clunky wedges.
  • Earrings: very important for Romantics. Wear earrings on the diagonal–this will add definition to your cheekbones. If your face is round or square, avoid horizontal lines. Find earrings that are longer than they are wide. A dropped pear-shaped stone on a flowing chain is ideal. Rectangle shapes can be worn down (presumably vertically?). If you have a small face and short hair, wear tiny button earrings, not something clunky and overpowering. If you have a triangle or heart-shaped face, wear earrings narrower on the top than the bottom, like a triangle, teardrop, pear, etc. Wider earrings, like a big square with a stone in the center or a fan-shaped earring (worn on the diagonal), look good on long faces, who should avoid drop earrings.
  • Other jewelry: a black velvet ribbon choker with an antique pin in the center; layers of pearls (try wearing them so they flow down your back in a low-cut dress); cameos; old-fashioned necklaces like carnelian, jade, and old-style-set rubies (?). Fake gems in opulent settings. Secure your scarf with an antique brooch. Wear dainty chains on your neck and wrists.
  • Scarves: great on Romantics, especially cashmere or silk. Big paisley scarves can be worn in place of a coat in early spring and fall.
  • Hats: big picture or garden hats with ribbon or felt; small cap hats with netting or flocked veiling and a huge cabbage rose–veiling is very Romantics; berets; straw boaters with a flat crown and a grosgrain-ribbon band. Feathers in hats were made for you.
  • Bags: clutches of appliquéd velvet, silk, or satin for evening; lightweight shoulder bags for day. No chain-mesh bags.
  • Hair accessories: tortoiseshell or gold combs and barrettes, or a silk flower.
  • Underwear: lace-trimmed satin or silk chemises, camisoles, petticoats, pettipants–all lacy, but make sure there are no lines under your clothes.
  • Gloves: Short or elbow-length, black or white, perhaps with pearl button at the wrist and maybe in lace or crocheted cotton.

Stray Thoughts

  • Tousled and scattered is very Romantic.
  • Teenagers are rarely Romantic. Romantics are like fine wine and need time.
  • Another option is well-fitting clothing cut on the bias and clothing that drapes, without necessarily being out of lightweight material.

Makeup

Romantic Makeup on Pinterest

  • Eyes: Lashes are important! The thicker and more luxurious, the better. Eyeshadow should be soft and subtle. If your eyes are dark, go for taupes and roses; blondes with light eyes should look for plums, violets, and gray. Smudge pencil liner.
  • Mouth: Should not be prominent. Wear sheer, light rose, peach, or raspberry. Avoid heavy gloss, lipliner, or frost.
  • Foundation: Go a drop lighter than your perfect match. Apply with a damp sponge over moisturizer. Add a base with a pearly shimmer for evening.
  • Blush: add rosy-pink blush to the cheeks, forehead, and chin.

Softness is key. At night, you can add some gold highlighter on the high points of your face and your collarbone and shoulders.

Final Thoughts

Think pink, misty, and mystery.

My Take

The description of this type makes me think of the looks on the show Designing Women to some degree, especially the early years, or Molly Ringwald, as the young version of this style.

I would be interested to see a modern spin on it, and if you feel like this type is something you relate to.

Next up: The Cool Sophisticate

Source

Roppatte, Vincent. The Looks Men Love. St. Martin’s Press, 1985.

Stylesyntax.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Height in Kibbe: Why Tall People Can’t Be in Short Image Identities

Disclaimer: This information is not something I have learned from David Kibbe, and only represents what I think. Please join Strictly Kibbe if you would like help on your journey with Kibbe.

In my last post, I talked about how you can’t really add anything to length except width or curves, and that’s why D, SD, and FN are the only possible options for women who are tall. But this doesn’t really seem to be a sufficient explanation for why literal height is always length and thus yang, whereas literal shortness isn’t always yin. While I could repeat what David says, it was hard to get people on board if they felt that they had a short line, despite being tall.

I think I have come up with a way to explain it that makes sense. Let’s talk short lines. The Romantics (Romantic and Theatrical) and the Gamines (Soft and Flamboyant) have “yin size,” or a short body line. The Romantics have one due to their round shape, their curves. Think of yin as a circle, and yang as a line, either standing straight up (sharp yang) or on its site (blunt/strong yang).

Gamines, on the other, have a broken line. I can see this easily in my body. It is composed of short lines. My body line is basically in fits and starts, and it’s something I mirror in my clothing.

Jean Seberg, 5’3″ Kibbe Gamine (hasn’t been moved to F or S yet!)

Now, when you add length to either a broken line or a rounded line, it loses that quality. With length, I would lose that “broken” quality to my line. All of the individual lines in my body would be longer. A rounded shape lengthens and the curvature is less dramatic compared to the length of the body.

But you can have someone who is shorter, and yet doesn’t have a broken line visually.

SJP in 1991, a 5’3″ FN

This seems fairly common when you’re just on the lower end of moderate (5’3″ or so), and less so when you get very short. But again, a long line on a short woman is just possible in the way a short line on a tall woman isn’t.

I hope this explains why there isn’t necessarily a lower limit for the tall Image IDs, but there is an upper one for shorter Image IDs.

Height in Kibbe: About Dramatic, Soft Dramatic, and Flamboyant Natural

Before I start, I’d just like to say that while I usually try to stick to things I can find direct citations for when it comes to Kibbe, this is something that I’ve seen come up so frequently that I’d like to address it. Please do not ask me what you’d be with your vertical and outline combination; this is based on what I’ve been able to learn from David but is not authorized by him in any way. Please join Strictly Kibbe if you would like help on your journey with Kibbe.

With that, something I have been seeing a lot lately is people saying that D, SD, and FN are broader Image IDs, and tall women are going to find that their Image IDs are less to specific to them than to me at 5’4″, for example. It’s true that my height doesn’t rule out anything for me, but it doesn’t mean that every Image ID is open to me, either. I believe that D, SD, and FN don’t cater to wider variety of women than the rest, except for the fact that they cover a wider range of literal heights.

Let’s think about what goes into the yin/yang balance of different Image IDs. Putting flesh aside, we can divide them into two fundamental elements:

Your vertical can be:

  • Short
  • Moderate
  • Long

Your outline can be:

  • Curvy
  • Straight (nothing really in your outline to accommodate)
  • Wide (has width somewhere from the ribcage through the shoulders)

While there are subtler nuances, this is basically what you’re dealing with when it comes to the physical reality of your body. When it comes to the tall Image IDs, I often hear people say that they are so much more diverse in terms of appearance because they are the only ones open to tall women (over, I would estimate, 5’8″). But I would counter with this: tell me what is missing for these women, because I really can’t see it. If you are tall, and don’t have width or curves, you’d be D. If you’re tall, and have curves and maybe width, you’d be SD. If you’re tall and accommodate just width in your outline, you’d be FN. The other variations come from having short or moderate vertical. You have literal, physical length. You’re not going to be moderate/symmetrical/balanced, because the length rules out that symmetry. You’re not going to have a combination of opposites, because your length is too significant for that balance. You’re not going to be all curves with no vertical, because you have that vertical.

I don’t believe that tall women get the short end of the stick, and I’ve never seen anyone put forth a convincing argument for this. All the Image IDs have a broader range of women than Hollywood might make it seem, because generally to find success in Hollywood, you have to adhere to a certain beauty standard. In real life, you’re able to see the true range of each Image ID. Each Image ID includes a wide range of women who share particular features in their physicality, but every individual in an Image ID is unique. If you are a tall woman, you just happen to have one major piece of the puzzle solved for you, which is your vertical. So yes, ultimately, you can narrow down your exploration to these three, but it doesn’t mean that your actual options are narrower than anyone else’s, because we are all limited to one ID based on the constraints of our physical selves.

Kibbe Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn, the Misunderstood Flamboyant Gamine

We all know that Audrey Hepburn is one of the major style icons of the 20th century, and she also happens to be a Flamboyant Gamine. Her style is often talked about as if it is exceptional for FG, but really, it’s only exceptional in that she was so exceptional–it fits perfectly within an FG context.

I think this is due to the fact that Audrey dressed so well for her Image ID that she was able to make items with a lot of design elements, or adding these herself, look classic, chic, and sophisticated. I will often see guides to “dressing like Audrey,” but they generally miss the mark. They tend to feature very plain clothes, the kind of things relegated to the “basics” category, and claim that this is how you achieve an Audrey look.

If you actually look at how she dressed, however, it’s clear that even when she wore similar items to those on the lists, she did something to them to add more interest, what we might call “breaking the line” in Gamineland. Yes, she wore a plain white shirt, but she added a knot. She always added flourishes that provided what we need for our yin.

I think this is a mistake that a lot of people who have more of a classic sensibility make when they come to FG. They figure that can follow Audrey’s example, and that she is kind of an exception, but she really isn’t. She embodied what it means to be a Flamboyant Gamine because she always knew what an outfit needed to take it from something anyone would wear to the level of design a Flamboyant Gamine requires.

So don’t think of Audrey as some kind of model for the way to do FG that “isn’t like the rest.” By studying Audrey, any FG can learn how to create that special quality unique to us.

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