KIBBE'S DRAMATIC CLASSIC
Balanced, with a Yang influence
Triangular, with the widest line at the shoulders, narrow at the hemline. Symmetrical geometrics, which can be sharp or sculpted. Trim, tailored, taut and crisp and slightly chunky.
AVOID: Ornate, intricate, or delicate shapes. Irregular shapes. Unconstructed or extremely boxy shapes. Simple symmetrical shapes without sharp edges or an elongated line.
LINE AND SILHOUETTE
Your silhouette is always trim and tailored with sharp edges. Clean, sleek lines. Straight lines. Elongated draping. Strong, defined shoulder line with crisp edges. Strong vertical and diagonal lines.
AVOID: Clingy, ornate, intricate, or flouncy lines. Unconstructed, wide, boxy, or horizontal lines. Extremely severe lines without tapering. Plain, symmetrical lines without sharp or sculpted edges.
High-quality fabrics in moderate weights. Matte-finished fabrics form the basis of your wardrobe, although you may certainly use shiny silks and the like as blouses or accents and may go ultra-shiny (to the point of lames and metallics) for evening. Moderate piles. Pliable knits and wovens (heavy jersey, cashmere, gabardine, etc.).
AVOID: Lightweight fabrics that cling or are ultra-sheer. Heavyweight fabrics that are stiff and bulky. Rough textures that are thick.
Detial should be crisp, tailored and geometric with sharp edges. Sharp or sculpted shoulder pads are a must in everything you own!
Cleanly tailored necklines: notched collars, crisp Mandarins, simple jabots or ascots, cleanly slashed necklines, geometric V's, asymmetric angulars, turtlenecks, and narrow cowls.
Sharp details: pleats, crisp cuffs, peaked and notched or cleanly streamlined lapels, double-breasted jackets, contrasting trim, epaulets, piping, or clean braiding.
The waist may be crisply defined with a moderate to wide belt with a geometric buckle or may be dropped or eliminated altogether in a narrow chemise-effect.
Detail that includes sharp color contrast is excellent (for example: spectator pumps, contrasting buttons, lapel outlining).
Sophisticated nautical-type detail is also striking when it is crisp and tailored.
AVOID: Ornate, intricate, or fussy detail, including frills. Animated, "perky" detail. Plain and symmetrical detail without sharp edges. Wide, unconstructed, or bulky detail. Minimal detail.
Use carefully. Separates can be extremely effective for you when well-planned in matched sets. An "ensemble approach" to your head-to-toe appearance is always necessary.
JACKETS: Jackets are a mainstay of your wardrobe, and you should have them for every occasion, from daytime to glamour to casual. They should be crisp and tailored, with sharp shoulders and elongated line. If unconstructed, they should be very narrow and fall below the break of the hip. The shortest jacket that is sophisticated enough for you is cropped to rest at the top of the hipbone and has a very sleek, streamlined effect. Double-breasted jackets are also quite effective on you.
AVOID: Flouncy jackets that are nipped and tucked with gathers and trim. Peplums. Wide, boxy jackets. Ultra-cropped jackets (boleros, waistcoats, etc.)
SKIRTS: skirts should be straight and narrow. A few crisp gathers at the waist are usually needed to accommodate your hips. It is very important that your skirts are always flat from the hip to the upper thigh area. Pleats should thus be stitched down at the top, so as not to upset your sleekly vertical line. Small slits are excellent, as is any tailored detail such as pocket flaps, contrasting stitching, waistbands, etc. Hemlines can range from one inch below the knee to the top of the calf. The latter will need a slit. Longer is, of course, perfect for evening.
A bias-cut skirt is possible, as is a straight skirt that has a bias-cut piece added to the bottom, gently flaring out. These hemlines are uneven and must be longer, in the mid-calf range.
AVOID: Full, flouncy skirts. Skirts with fussy detail (draping, shirring, and gathers). A-lines. Wide, unconstructed skirts.
PANTS: Simple tailored styles with pleats and man-tailored detail are best. The pants should be clean, sleek, and elegant.
AVOID: Fussy or ornate styles. Tapered or pegged style. Wide, baggy, or unconstructed styles.
BLOUSES: Blouses should be elegant and tailored, with sharp edges and crisp detail. Stock-tie blouses are acceptable with a very tailored suit, but a more dramatic style is best when the jacket is not covering it. Fabric can be crisp and smooth (luscious cottons), elegantly shiny (charmeuse), or softly woven (challis).
AVOID: Frilly, ornate, flouncy styles with excess detail. Unconstructed styles with no detail.
SWEATERS: Sweaters should be lightweight and elegant; silky and skinny-ribbed styles are excellent choices. Sweaters should be slightly elongated, with shoulder pads. Long cardigans with pads and jacket styles are very good for the dressy-casual look. Sleek and elegant beading is also stunning.
AVOID: Fluffy knits with ornate trim. Thick, rough, or heavy knits that are bulky. Shapeless sweaters. Cropped sweaters and vests. Symmetrical styles with plain detail such as crew-necked shetlands.
Dresses should be tailored, sleek, and narrow, with sharp edges and crisp detail. Coatdresses, chemises, and slinky sheaths are all excellent. Waists may be defined with a wide, geometric belt (usually in a contrasting color to match accessories), or may be dropped low, or even eliminated. Elongated draping or sleek bias-cuts are also soft and elegant. Sharp or sculpted shoulders (with pads) are a must!
AVOID: Flouncy dresses with ornate and intricate trim. Fussy detail such as shirring, gathers, silk flowers, bows, ribbons, etc. Wide unconstructed shapes.
Your use of color should be bold and sophisticated. Neutrals and deep colors are quite effective for you as they provide a background of simplicity to showcase your elegant use of line. Pastels can be equally effective if the fabric is very special, and you utilize them in head-to-toe sweeps. Generally, thick of blending intensities of your outfits to retain your strong vertical lines. Contrasting trim is very striking on you, particularly in two-color combinations. They key is to pick up the accent color in several places, not just one. In this way you don't break up your sleek silhouette, you merely accent it.
AVOID: Multicolor splashes. A mix 'n match approach to color. All neutrals or monochromatics with on bold accents.
Prints should be geometric, slightly oversized, and bold in color contrast. Stripes, zigzags, slashes, and sleep asymmetrics also work.
AVOID: Flowery prints. Soft, flowing prints. Ornate prints. Irregular prints. Animated, "cute" prints. Small, symmetrical prints.
Should be clean, elegant, and crisply tailored, with sharp angles.
SHOES: Angular, Italian-style pumps. Tailored and narrow styles. Tailored flats. Sleek, sling-backs. "Two-toned" styles (Chanel, spectators).
AVOID: Overly delicate or strappy styles. Heavy, chunky styles. Plain pumps or simple symmetrical styles.
BAGS: Crisply tailored bags. Envelopes, clutches, box-shaped bags. Metallic evening clutches. Narrow to medium briefcases, constructed, with a frame.
AVOID: Overly delicate or ornate styles. Large, unconstructed styles.
BELTS: Moderate to wide styles with large geometric buckles. Wide self-belts. Contrasting-color belts (to match shoes and jewelry or hat).
AVOID: Waist-cinchers. Overly ornate styles. Delicate or narrow styles.
HATS: Crisply tailored styles. Sharp edges and contrasting trim. Moderate to small size. Geometric and clean shapes.
AVOID: Fussy hats with ornate trim. Oversized styles. Severe styles. Unconstructed or floppy styles.
HOSIERY: Sheer, silky stockings are best. In terms of color, blend in one tone between hemline, stocking, and shoe to keep your dominant vertical line sleep. The exception to this is when you are working with sharp color contrast, head-to-toe, and your shoe or stocking color is in contrast to each other or to your hemline. Just be sure this color is picked up in several other places to avoid chopping your look.
Textured stockings are elegant in geometrics (herringbone, etc.) when kept translucent.
AVOID: Opaque stockings. Lacy stockings. Ornate stockings.
JEWELRY: Should be sleek, elegant, and slightly chunky. Geometric shapes with sharp edges. Smooth circles that are crisp and oversized are possible. Earrings should be on the ear or spray up (not down or dangly). Necklaces should be crisply tailored and slightly chunky, and rest around the collarbone area. Moderate wrist cuffs are also possible. Remember: One elegant piece is quite effective on you!
Symmetrical shapes with clean, geometric detail Shoulder emphasis. Angular necklines. Smooth fabric. Beaded fabric. Understated trim.
Tailored dinner suits
Long gowns with sharp shoulder emphasis
Tailored cocktail dresses
Evening pants with jacket.
A smoky face with sultry eyes, strong cheekbones, and a vivid mouth completes your tailored chic look to perfection! Matte colors are best; for evening add just a hint of sheer frost. Emphasize your beautifully chiseled angels with contrast and contouring!
AVOID: Overly ornate makeup with heavy glitz (unsophisticated on you). Watercolor-soft edges (very aging on you). Pale lips (not strong enough to balance your eyes). All neutrals, with no smoky colors (too matronly). "No-makeup" look (too washed-out).
DRAMATIC CLASSIC PHYSICAL PROFILE
The following information should be taken as a broad outline of what makes a Dramatic Classic. It is the overall combination of the balance between Yin and Yang leaning (slightly angular physicality with a coolly sophisticated essence) that creates this Image Identity category. Therefore, slight deviation here or there is always possible and should not be worried over if it does not upset your Yin/Yang balance.
Moderate, up to 5 feet 7 inches.
Symmetrical, with slightly angular edges.
Straight and slightly wide.
Shoulders are tapered or slightly square, usually narrow.
Slightly squarish hands and feet.
Slightly sharp, angular or squarish facial contours (jawline, nose, cheekbones).
Fairly trim and compact when at an ideal weight.
Slightly muscular when at ideal weight.
Bustline, waist and hips are somewhat straight and in even proportion when at ideal weight.
On occasion slightly short-waisted.
Legs and arms tend to be average or slightly long.
Your body type will seem to radically change when you gain even a little weight. This is actually an illusion because your bone structure remains the same.
Usually moderate to large eyes, moderate lips.
May be thick and straight or fine and silky but rarely coarse.
Any coloring is possible(warm or cool, high-contrast or blended).
Excess weight shows up right away and collects from the waist down.
You seem to gain weight in the hips and thighs. You rarely gain weight around the bustline. The heavier you get, the more pear-shaped you become.
A Dramatic Classic will not:
Have extremely long limbs.
Have extremely exotic or overly lush facial features.
Have extremely large bones or extremely large hands and feet.
Have delicate bones or extremely small hands and feet.
Have an hourglass figure.
Have a boyishly straight figure.
Kibbe's prime Dramatic Classic celebrity- Jackie Onassis
Dramatic Classic example from Kibbe's book 'Metamorphosis'
Before & After~
Diane came to me with very little understanding of her naturally elegant beauty. Growing up with six brothers, she'd adopted a tomboy stance at an early age in order to simply survive! Diane's male oriented approach to her appearance was further encouraged by her career as an attorney specializing in the estates of wealthy clients. Her persona had the cliched "success-look" that consisted primarily of hiding any traces of her refined femininity.
Before persuading Diane to fully realize her physical potential, I had to convince her that we wouldn't sacrifice either her individuality or the special considerations of her work. By emphasizing her basic symmetry with angular edges, (balanced, with a Yang influence), I sought to help Diane create an appearance that honestly expresses her natural refinement, power, and regal bearing.
My prescription for Diane's metamorphosis: View her as if she is a Greek Goddess chiseled in Italian marble. Clean lines with sculpted edges executed in luxurious fabrics of moderate weight form the basic shapes of her wardrobe. Her jewelry is elegant, somewhat large, and very geometric, while her accessories are tailored and trim.
Her hair is cut into a smooth bob with beveled edges, then blown back off her face to allow her beautifully sculpted bone structure to express its full majesty, as well as to finalize her architecturally defined total look. Her haircolor needed more depth and intensity to reiterate her Dramatic Classic power, as well as to emphasize her natural high-contrast coloring This meant restoring her originally dark ash brown haircolor so that she is once again the vivid brunette with porcelain skin and sapphire eyes nature created!
Finally, her makeup is blended with angular contouring to again emphasize her chiseled bone structure and sharp facial features. Cosmetic colors from a clear, blue-based palette complement her cool, high contrast coloring. Deep smoky neutrals in matte products allow her face to be strong and sculpted.
Diane and I were both totally delighted to experience her metamorphosis into a completely refined and elegantly chic woman filled with all her strength and power.