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Kibbe Body Types: Everything You Need to Know About It

Ever heard of the Kibbe body types? You may be familiar with the traditional body type systems like pear shapes, hourglass figures, apple shapes, inverted triangles, and rectangle shapes. However, there is an advanced body shape system that offers a personalized approach to style. It’s called the Kibbe Image Identity System.

Picture of lady in a gorgeous dress  that fits her body type

Devised by David Kibbe, a renowned image consultant, this body shape system gives a whole new meaning to your look. So before you forge ahead to take that body type test, read this article to learn all you need to know about this image identity system.

Decoding The Kibbe Body Types

Picture of lady rocking a dress that fits her  kibbe body type

The Kibbe body type system involves five base categories and then specifies 13 image-based body types. The aim of the system is to embrace your natural body shape while taking into consideration your skeletal system and your flesh which creates your full-body shape and style. It doesn’t end there though. You also have to consider your facial features, your personal essence, and personality traits that can dictate your style and visual impact. 

Each of the 13 types is labeled as a Kibbe Image Identity Type( or image ID). It covers your overall appearance from style, hair, face, shape, and makeup which is an in-depth way to examine your body type.

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Who Created the Kibbe Body Types?

Picture of a lady rocking a green dress that fit her  kibbe body types

In 1987, David Kibbe published Metamorphosis: Discover Your Image Identity and Dazzle As Only You Can, which introduced the concept of Kibbe Body types. In order to assist people in selecting clothing that harmonizes with their body and appreciates their inner and exterior beauty, David Kibbe developed the yin/yang method.  

Kibbe believes no piece of clothing or accessory was assigned to a certain body type. Instead, it has more to do with a person’s essence and their ability to integrate that piece into their style.  

Understanding the Goals of the Kibbe Body Type System 

lady rocking a slit dress that that fits her body type

The Kibbe Body System is designed to assist you in narrowing down your unique silhouette so that you can dress appropriately. It also helps you deepen your understanding of why you’re drawn to particular styles or why certain items of clothing just don’t seem to suit you.  

David Kibbe developed a simplified explanation of shape and style because he thought the traditional body typing system was faulty and caused fashion and style to become homogenized. 

Instead of concentrating on fashion trends and imitating the newest style icon’s appearance of the day, Kibbe emphasized well-balanced ensembles and personal styles developed from your individuality.  

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Kibbe Body Types: The Foundation

Chart showing the Yin and yang foundation of kibbe body types

To understand the Kibbe body types, you first need to understand the balance of yin and yang. 

It is a dualism in which there are two opposing forces, such as soft and hard or light and dark.  Your face, body, and appearance are made up of a mix of characteristics that fall into the yang (structured) or yin (soft) categories.

YIN: (soft/round): Soft edges, rounded forms, hourglass figures, flowing silhouettes, and smooth lines are all considered examples of yin. 

YANG: Sharp and vertical shapes, angular structures, sharp lines, lengthy silhouettes, geometric shapes like triangles and rectangles, and verticality are all associated with the concept of yang.

Yin Yang
Petite or shortTall, vertical 
curvy or roundangular, lean, straight
full lipsthin lips, straight lips
round faceangular face
large, doe-like eyesalmond eyes or narrow eyes
soft cheekssharp cheekbones
sloped shouldersbroad or angular shoulders
soft jawline, roundedsharp jawline, very defined
flow, soft fabricsstructured fabrics and tailored pieces
rounded nose, button nosesloped nose, prominent nose 
Yin Yang
Petite or shortTall, vertical 
curvy or roundangular, lean, straight
full lipsthin lips, straight lips
round faceangular face
large, doe-like eyesalmond eyes or narrow eyes
soft cheekssharp cheekbones
sloped shouldersbroad or angular shoulders
soft jawline, roundedsharp jawline, very defined
flow, soft fabricsstructured fabrics and tailored pieces
rounded nose, button nosesloped nose, prominent nose 

The 5 Kibbe Base Families

Picture of a lady wearing a cloth that fits her kibbe body type perfectly

Although there are ten distinct types in the Kibbe system, they all fit into one of five basic families: dramatic, natural, classic, gamine, and romantic. 

Here’s a look at them:


the dramatic body type

The dramatic physique type is tall, vertical, and angular.  It is made up of all the sharp yang features found in fleshy facial features, and body structure. 

Because this image ID is associated with “masculine” traits, many women are against it. But try not to limit yourself by thinking you are masculine.  As a matter of fact, many supermodels have dramatic body types. 


the classic body type

The classic image ID is a mix of 50% yin and 50% yang. This means each part of your body has an even balance of soft and sharp features. This results in a polished look that feels balanced


the gamine body type

The gamine body type is also a mix of yin and yang. But the main difference is that it is not just a blend of yin and yang, but rather a yin or yang. These features would look like round full eyes (yin), a sharp nose (yang), and a strong jawbone (yang), with widow brows (yin).  


the natural body type

The easiest way to characterize the natural body type is as “soft yang” or “blunt yang.”  It consists mostly of blunt edges and horizontal features, but it also retains some verticality of the dramatic (soft natural, SN) or curve (flamboyant natural, FN). 


the Romantic body type

 It’s all about lush yin for the romantic body type. It typically embraces curves, rounded edges, and a more hourglass or voluptuous-shaped frame rather than sharp features or angles. 

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The 13 Kibbe Body Types 

Chart showing the kibbe bod types
Kibbe TypesBone StructureBody FleshFacial Flesh 
Dramatic (D)Sharp YangSharp YangSharp Yang
Soft Dramatic (SD)Sharp YangLush YinLush Yin
Flamboyant Natural (FN)Sharp YangSoft YangSoft Yang
Natural (N)Soft YangSoft YangSoft Yang
Soft Natural (SN)Soft YangYinYin
Dramatic Classic (DC)Sharp yangBalancedBalanced
Classic (C )BalancedBalancedBalanced
Soft Classic (SC)BalancedYinYin
Flamboyant Gamine (FG)Sharp YangYinYin
Gamine (G)Sharp YangSharp YangLush Yin
Soft Gamine (SG)Sharp YangYinYin
Theatrical Romantic (TR)Lush yin sharp yang notesYinYin
Romantic (R )Lush YinLush YinLush Yin 

We looked at the main five kibbe body families above, here is a breakdown of the remaining eight:

Soft Dramatic

the soft dramatic

They have an interesting combo since they have features like long, narrow frames(yang) and prominent curves too( lush yin).

Flamboyant Natural

the flamboyant natural

The flamboyant natural body type is characterized by its broad upper back and shoulders, blunt edges, and vertical skeletal structure with long limbs.  They possess the characteristic Kibbe width trait and are not as narrow as the pure dramatics.

Soft Natural

the soft natural body type

These body types have prominent curves and widths. However, this comes from their skeletal structure and not their flesh. This is the key difference between soft naturals and the romantics. They may also appear curvier than some romantics because of their wider bone structures. 

Dramatic Classic

the dramatic classic body type

DC body types are characterized by their balanced bodies. Their body exudes this gorgeous evenness that balances out so well.

Soft Classic

the soft classic body type

Similar to their classic family members, soft classic kinds have balanced bodies and characteristics. Nonetheless, some of their features—especially their face—have a softness to them.  Their bodies are neither “wide” nor “narrow,” and their bones are neither seen as long nor short; instead, they have a well-balanced, elegant form. 

Flamboyant Gamine

the flamboyant gamine an example of kibbe body types

The flamboyant gamine physique combines elements of yin and yang. Their narrow frame favors yang due to the absence of attention on the waist and curves, which makes them petite (usually under 5 feet 5 inches).

Soft Gamine

the soft gamine  an example of kibbe body types

Similar to the flamboyant gamine, the soft gamine body type is small in stature (yin), has a thin frame (yang), and may have angular shoulders (yang).  

Theatrical Romantic

the theatrical romantic body type

As members of the romantic family, theatrical romantic body types are characterized by shorter bones and a body shape mostly defined by flesh.  

The Approach to Style

Picture of a lady in suit looking gorgeous

Understanding your Kibbe body type empowers you to curate a wardrobe that complements your inherent beauty. It’s not about conforming to stereotypes but embracing the essence of your unique self. Use this approach when styling:

Silhouettes and Lines

Each body type thrives in specific silhouettes and lines. For instance, dramatics rock sharp, elongated shapes, while soft Naturals flourish in loose, flowing lines.

Fabrics and Patterns 

The choice of fabrics and patterns also plays a crucial role. Naturals are at ease in textured, earthy fabrics, whereas Gamines love playful patterns and structured materials.

Accessories and Details

Accessories and details can make or break your outfit. While soft dramatics might opt for bold, statement pieces, classics lean towards subtle, elegant accessories.

Wrapping Up

Picture of a lady rocking a gorgeous white  piece for her kibbe  body types

The Kibbe body type system isn’t about adhering to strict rules; it’s a guide, a tool to embrace and enhance your natural beauty. By understanding and appreciating your body’s unique features, you embark on a journey of self-expression through style, allowing your inner essence to shine brightly in every outfit you wear.

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Blessing Otoro

Blessing Otoro is a writer passionate about crafting fashion, hair, and beauty content. With years of experience writing content across various niches, I weave together stories and articles that resonate with fashion enthusiasts looking to elevate their style.

Fashion writing is not just a profession for me; it's a way of life. I live and breathe style, and my personal choices reflect my approach to fashion expression. From curating chic, sophisticated ensembles to embracing edgy and statement looks, I strive to inspire readers to step out of their comfort zones and turn heads effortlessly.

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