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In 1987, David Kibbe, a New York based image professional published a book called, Metamorphasis, which illustrates his own body typing system. Kibbe’s book is detailed and comprehensive, breaking the body types into 5 main categories:

  -Dramatic (yin)

  -Natural

  -Classic

  -Gamine

  -Romantic (yang)

Kibbe’s typing is broken down by bone structure, basically starting with yin lines (rounded, soft, curvy, feminine), and at the opposite end is yang (sharp, angular, masculine, and prominent features). Think Marilyn Monroe as the yin, rounded type and model, Tilda Swinton, on the opposite end of the spectrum as the yang or sharp type.

All other body types fall somewhere in between the two extremes of yin and yang. Between the dramatic and romantic types there are mixtures of types; classic, which is an even balance of the two, not too rounded and not too sharp. Think grace Kelly on this one. Then there’s the gamine, which is also a mixture of round and sharp, but containing both sharp and rounded lines, not a blend of the two mixed together. Halle Berry is an example of a gamine. Lastly, there is the natural body type, which falls between the classic and dramatic types, having very few yin features. Blake lively is a good example of a natural type.

Kibbe breaks each of the 5 types further ending with 13 sub-types as follows:

  • Dramatic
  • Soft Dramatic
  • Natural
  • Flamboyant Natural
  • Soft Natural
  • Classic
  • Dramatic Classic
  • Soft Classic
  • Gamine
  • Flamboyant Gamine
  • Soft Gamine
  • Romantic
  • Theatrical Romantic

Each of the basic five types are broken down into softer or more angular versions of that type.

This may all seem confusing and overwhelming but there are tests online you can take to determine your type as well as a ton of information on the Internet. Kibbe takes into account your overall bone structure, face structure, the shape of your hands, the length of your limbs, etc. Your body type will not change with age or with weight gain and the guidelines will work for men as well as women. Kibbe’s goal is not to change or bring balance to your body type but rather to work with your natural body lines. By wearing the correct clothing, jewelry, and hair for your body type you will look your best. Imagine Grace Kelly with long, tousled hair and loosely fitting bohemian style clothing, it just doesn’t work with her classic body type.

For a comprehensive guide to the Kibbe body types, click here:

https://fashiondigestlondon.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-david-kibbes-body-types-theory-and-styling/

For further information, check out this video by Aly Art:

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