By now we all know about the traditional body shapes: hourglass, pear, apple, cornetto etc. While useful to some extent, this method of working out our body shape doesn't actually help us much when it comes to working out what looks good and what doesn't look good on our bodies!
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However, let me introduce you to the Kibbe body shapes! A far more in-depth system of classifying the female form, there are 13 Kibbe body shapes to choose from and knowing which one you are can help you decide everything from wardrobe choices to hair and makeup styles that will look best on you!
So without any more delay, how do you work out your Kibbe body type?
What is the Kibbe body type system?
This system of defining your figure was created by doctor David Kibbe and was first premised in his 1987 book Metamorphosis: Discover Your Image Identity and Dazzle As Only You Can.
In his book, he describes how the female form can be subdivided into 5 base categories (which are then subdivided into 13 different body types that fit on a scale from most tall and angular, to smallest and softest).
His technique is built on the premise that everyone should embrace their natural body shape, taking into account not just your bone structure, but your face shape and characteristics as well as how your flesh sits on your body.
Working out your Kibbe body type also gives you in-depth style tips for your wardrobe, hair and makeup that is specific to your body type (although it is important to note that David Kibbe never felt that any item of clothing or accessory was only to be worn by one a specific body type).
Defining your shape
Yin and Yang
The first step in working out your Kibbe body type is understanding the principle of Yin and Yang. The concept of yin refers to soft edges, rounded shapes and hourglass figures, whereas, yang refers to angular structures, harsh lines and elongated silhouettes.
For example, if you are yin dominant, you might be petite, curvy, with soft facial features, but if you are yang dominant, you might be tall, willowy and with sharp cheekbones.
The 5 categories
The 5 categories, from most yang dominant to most yin dominant are:
- Dramatic: This type is tall, angular in face and body, and has dominant vertical lines.
- Natural: This type is lean, and muscular, with a small hip: waist ratio.
- Classic: This type is an equal balance of yin/yang. They are moderately tall, slightly curved, and blend long lines with soft edges.
- Gamine: This type is petite and boyish in the frame. They have a high contrast between the yin and yang in their features which comes across as striking.
- Romantic: This type is petite and curvy (typically hourglass-shaped). Their softness and high waist: and hip ration are their most apparent features.
The 13 body type options
Once you have figured out which category you fall under, you can start to get more specific!
For example, are you a classic that is slightly more angular than average? Then you might be a dramatic classic!
Why not take one of the many online tests available to you to help you determine your unique body shape and get advice on what styles would look best for your face and frame?
Gabrielle Aruda: 'An Introduction to the Kibbe Body Types'
The Concept Wardrobe: 'An Introduction to the Kibbe Body Types'