Body types: Expert outlines the three somatotypes
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Do you often find yourself getting upset that ‘trendy’ clothing doesn’t suit you? That’s probably because you’re not aware of your body type. Everyone falls into one of David Kibbe’s 13 body types and your body type does not change whether you gain or lose weight, so the theory has nothing to do with your weight. The Kibbe test is all about your natural shape and dominant features and learning how to dress yourself to flatter your body and feel amazing. Express.co.uk chatted to Body and Styling Specialist, Ellie-Jean Royden (@bodyandstyle on TikTok), to find out everything you need to know about finding YOUR Kibbe Body Type.
Ellie-Jean Royden, a Body and Styling Specialist, recently went viral on TikTok after making a video about her Kibbe theory journey.
The TikToker admitted that the Kibbe theory helped her discover her body type and now she knows what clothes look good on her ‘soft classic’ figure.
The expert told Express.co.uk: “I discovered Kibbe earlier this year online and spent the entire summer devouring every online resource I could find!
“After sharing this information on TikTok and finding millions of people who were equally fascinated in the theory, I decided to launch my own business where I help people find their type.”
@bodyandstyle POV: you finally learn how to dress for your body type! Follow to learn more about Kibbe body typing #bodytypes #confidence #selflove ♬ original sound – hannahʕ⁎̯͡⁎ʔ༄
David Kibbe wrote ‘Metamorphosis’ in the 1980s, a book introducing his idea of the 10 body types or ‘Image IDs’.
Ellie-Jean explained: “With each type was a list of detailed clothing recommendations – the internet grabbed hold of this sometime in the last five years and launched the Strictly Kibbe Facebook group which is where David also currently shares his knowledge.
“The idea is that instead of fighting your body as so many stylists have recommended in the past, you echo the dominant features of your body in your clothing.
“With Kibbe, you honour your natural yin/yang (masculine/feminine, sharp/soft) balance.
“For example, people with a straight, long figure would wear straight, long lines and someone with a short, rounded figure would wear short, rounded lines.”
Whatever you do, do not go online and take an unauthorised Kibbe quiz as you will not get the right answer.
Ellie-Jean said the only way to find out your body type is to join the ‘Strictly Kibbe’ Facebook group.
In this group, you can find the creator David Kibbe’s exercises to figure out what body type you have.
The Body and Styling expert said: “Online quizzes are deeply confusing and not designed to find out your type, so join the Strictly Kibbe Facebook group, or of course come to my TikTok page @bodyandstyle!”
The 10 Kibbe body types
Ellie-Jean has broken down the 10 types (in yin to yang order) and explained a brief overview about the criteria for each type and what that means in terms of clothing.
David Kibbe specifies 13 body types (the extra three are Natural, Classic and Gamine), but Ellie-Jean has simply outlined the soft and sharp versions of these as you cannot be a pure Natural, Classic or Gamine.
She explained: “Dramatics are sharp, naturals are wide (in the shoulders), classics are balanced, gamines are small and contrasted, romantics are small and rounded.
“Each type has a sharp (theatrical, flamboyant, dramatic)/soft version.
“Then you can follow some very simplified guidelines – NOT rules – about how to dress your body.
“For example, If you are flamboyant, dramatic or theatrical then you should add some sharpness to your look, but if you’re soft you should add waist emphasis and some Romantic details to your looks.”
Stunning Dramatics are long, narrow and can be any height.
Just think of Taylor Swift, Greta Garbo or Tilda Swinton.
Soft Dramatics have long vertical lines, are narrow and can be any height, but they also have voluptuous curves, just like Sophia Loren and Sofia Vergara.
Lucky Flamboyant Naturals have noticeable width in the shoulders, a long vertical line and blunt bones.
This type is slightly sharp and athletic, and women of this type can be any height.
If you’re blessed to be included in this category, you’re just like Princess Diana, Michelle Obama and Cindy Crawford.
Soft Naturals also have the width in their shoulders and blunt bones, but curve is present (usually in the chest)
They also have a moderate to short vertical line and can be 5’6 maximum.
Look at Julie Andrews and Renee Zellweger as examples.
@bodyandstyle Supermodels, princesses, and the most common kibbe type – let’s take a look at the FN #princessdiana #bodytyping #bodytypes ♬ original sound – Body & Style by Ellie-Jean
Dramatic Classic women are balanced, have moderate-long vertical height and their bones appear slightly sharp.
You can’t be more than 5’7 to fit into this lovely category though.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Olivia Munn are prime examples of Dramatic Classics.
Soft Classics such as Grace Kelly and Meryl Streep are marvellously balanced with a moderate to short vertical line.
These women have slightly soft flesh or a curvy look but are no more than 5’6.
The Flamboyant Gamine type depends on being small and delicate with an angular bone structure.
These slightly sharp or athletic-looking women have angular bone structures and are 5’5 maximum, just like Audrey Hepburn and Tina Turner.
Soft Gamines like Eartha Kitt and Reese Witherspoon are the epitome of small and delicate.
This type has angular bone structure, voluptuous curves and slightly soft flesh, but they’re 5’5 maximum.
Theatrical Romantics are very curvy from the flesh and small and delicate.
Their figures seem boneless and they have narrow and sharp shoulders.
You have to be 5’5 maximum to fit in with this gang, like Hedy Lamarr and Mila Kunis.
Romantic figures are VERY curvy in the flesh and their figures look boneless.
These women have slightly wide and sloped shoulders and are 5’5 maximum, like the iconic Marilyn Monroe and fabulous Kate Winslet.
Simple guidelines for each type:
- long lines
- stiff fabrics
- clean lines
- contrasted detail
- bold prints and colours
- waist emphasis
- lightweight fabrics
- rounded, intricate detail e.g. lace, ribbons, ruffles, florals
- short lines
- petite details
For more style tips and help finding out your shape visit Ellie-Jean’s Youtube, or for a personal Body Typing and Style Consultation, view the details on Ellie-Jean’s website.
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