The Kibbe Romantic (one of 10 image identify types described by David Kibbe) exists as luscious, soft yin, expressed by curved lines and rounded bone structure.
Are you here because you think you might be a Romantic type in Kibbe’s system?
Romantics have an extreme curviness, showing up in curved shapes and round lines. If you’re ready to learn more about how to embrace your Romantic Dreamspinner, then keep reading for all the details.
The is a comprehensive guide to the Kibbe Romantic image ID in the 10 type (previously 13) system. Keep reading to discover the overall body types, celebrity examples, clothing lines and silhouettes, outfits to capture the Romantic look, hair and makeup, and the essence of the Kibbe Romantic woman.
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Table of Contents
The 10 Kibbe Types (formerly 13)
The Kibbe typology is based upon his book Metamorphosis (1987) which describes 13 different type of styles/types/identities. These are based primarily on body type, including bone structure, flesh composition, and facial bones and features.
The quiz found in the book is no longer considered the standard for typing, and you can read more about that in this post.
In the original book (out of print and pricey, but I own it) you’ll find there are 13 different types. In recent years the 3 pure types of natural, classic, and gamine have been discarded. In this series you’ll find style guides for the following 10 current image id’s.
- Dramatic – pure yang, vertical x2
- Soft Dramatic – yang with yin undercurrent, vertical + curve
- Flamboyant Natural – sharp and blunt yang, width + vertical
- Soft Natural – blunt yang with yin undercurrent, width + curve
- Dramatic Classic – balanced yin and yang (extra yang), balance + vertical
- Soft Classic – balanced yin and yang (extra yin), balance + curve
- Flamboyant Gamine – mixed yin and yang (extra yang), petite + vertical
- Soft Gamine – mixed yin and yang (extra yin), petite + curve
- Theatrical Romantic – yin with yang undercurrent, curve + vertical
- Romantic – pure yin, curve x2
Kibbe Romantic Body Type
Every Romantic woman will look slightly different. It is the overall dominance of soft yin and curves that makes a Kibbe Romantic.
These overall themes exist in the Romantic body, but don’t throw out the whole type because you don’t fit perfectly in every category. I am summarizing the information in the book with addendums gathered from all over.
The Romantic family is automatically petite in the Kibbe world. It is not the most noticeable thing, as in the Gamine family, but the upper height limit for the Romantic type is 5’6″.
You’ll notice, however, that there are celebrities above this type (Beyonce at 5’7″) but these celebrities are often debated (although supposedly verified by Kibbe).
I would say that 5’7″ is a hard stop at that’s the tallest romantic on the list, although at that height soft dramatic is more likely.
Body type refers to the overall impression of the body, including some flesh and some bone structure.
The body of a Romantic is soft, voluptuous, curvy, and tends toward an hourglass shape. A small waist and “bouncy” flesh on the arms and legs.
Bone structure includes the body and the face (remember from the test that it is rare for the facial bones to NOT match the body bones).
The bone are small and delicate, but may be slightly wide.
The shoulders are round and noticeably sloped. The line from neck to shoulder cap forms a definite curve when doing a line drawing.
The hands and feet are small in proportion to the rest of the body, but also may be slightly wide.
Facial BONES are delicate: small, again slight width (this may appear in the nose, cheekbones, or jawline and lead the individual to assume Natural family width, not so).
The facial features of the Romantic are soft and lush.
Eyes are very round, large and open looking.
The lips are full and sensual and the cheeks are round and apple shaped.
The Romantic has luscious hair as well, often soft and quite luxurious.
It can be either thin and wispy, or thick with waves or curls.
Romantics usually have luminescent skin, and may have an ethereal look to them. They can be warm or cool, high contrast or low.
Dramatic Weight Gain Patterns
One of the hardest parts of typing yourself occurs when you are not at an ideal weight. Understanding how adipose tissue congregates can be helpful when the bone structure is less obvious.
The Romantic type tends to gain everywhere, no area being left untouched. The face also gets very full and fleshy.
DISCLAIMER: NONE OF THESE WOMEN ARE HEAVY AND WE ARE NOT FAT SHAMING. MANY OF THE EXAMPLES SEEN ARE OF YOUNG WOMEN AT THEIR LOWEST WEIGHT. TIME CHANGES US ALL, AND I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE EXAMPLES THAT MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLE THE AVERAGE WOMAN.
REMINDER: No one element defines your image ID. It is an overall look and way of accommodating your God-given bone structure and flesh type. The Kibbe Romantic will always need to dress their curves, and will not have to accommodate additional vertical, width, or balance.
Kibbe Romanticic Celebrities
These are the celebrities found in the book and later verified by Kibbe. I am including their heights (in inches) so you can see that Romantics aren’t just short women, they can be those of medium stature as well.
- Marilyn Monroe – 66 (prime example in the book)
- Dolly Parton – 60
- Christina Ricci – 61
- Helena Bonham Carter – 62
- Elizabeth Taylor – 62
- Barbara Mandrell – 62
- Bernadette Peters – 63
- Drew Barrymore – 64
- Madonna – 65
- Delta Burke – 65
- Kate Winslet – 66
- Susan Sarandon – 66
- Beyonce – 67
Kibbe Romantic Clothes
Before going into these details it is worth noting that David Kibbe has repeatedly said that clothing doesn’t belong to a specific type, rather that it’s how you put a piece into an entire outfit that makes it appropriate.
Fabric & Detail
The Kibbe Romantic needs fabrics that are luscious and overall light. Jersey, thin knits, crepe. Fabrics can be metallic and shiny as long as they are soft. Soft luxe heavier fabrics such a suede, velvet, velour, chenille, angora and mohair are great. The Romantic can also wear sheer flowing fabrics such as chiffon, light organza, lightweight linen, and voile. For stiffer fabrics choose those with spandex or elastane to accommodate stretch around curves.
Detail is feminine, ornate, round, and intricate. The focus is on framing the face by using details such as large bows, ruffles, and lace, as long as they are womanly and not childish. Sleeves and pants should be tapered and not overly long. Sparkle is your best friend.
Color & Prints
Following the expectation that the Romantic typically has luminous coloring, the recommendations for color include pairing bright colors with pastel colors . Pastels with light neutrals are also a winning combination.
Prints should be soft and include watercolors, large florals, and feathered prints.
Separates should be part of an all-over look, so consider your tops as to how they fit into the entire outfit. Plush textures and draped fabrics should blend together. Avoid harsh contrast between top and bottom, aiming to continue the soft flowing line.
Shirts should be soft, draped, containing feminine frills. Styles that look “antique” work…think Victorian ruffles and lace made modern.
Knits work well as long as they are soft and fluffy, showcasing the curves instead of being highly structured and bulky.
Tops to avoid: anything tailored and sharp.
Bottoms should also fit into a full outfit design.
Pants for the Romantic type should show off your curves. The should be fitted at the bottom and draped at the waist.
Skirts should be curvy like the body: tulip shaped, flared hems, trumpets. The length should be no longer than mid-calf for unstructured skirts and no higher than mid-knee for tapered styles.
To continue the curvy theme, choose shorts that are fitted at the waist, with soft pleated gathers, in fabrics with some give. A fitted Bermuda style may also work.
Bottoms to avoid: straight, tailored pants, baggy styles, A-line skirts, pleated skirts.
Dresses are by nature considered feminine, and those that work best for the Romantic are soft and glowing.
Fit and flare dresses with waist emphasis. Dresses with swirling, soft, flouncy skirts.
Vintage mid-century styles with a fitted bodice and full skirt may work as long as they aren’t stiff.
Dresses to avoid: stiff and structured dresses like shirt dresses. Wide, baggy dresses. Straight styles with no waist.
Jackets should always have waist emphasis of some sort, either soft peplum, belts or the like. The lapels can be soft and oversized.
Outerwear to avoid: tailored style such as blazers, long unstructured jackets, sharp detailing anywhere.
Delicate and feminine shoes. Heels should be slender and toes shoes be tapered or open. Think lightweight shoes. Avoid clunky and wide styles.
Jewelry should be overall intricate, delicate, with rounded shapes and featuring lots of sparkle.
Purses and bags should follow the round theme and be constructed of soft, supple fabrics, including leather. They can be trimmed with ornate beads or decorations. Avoid boxy, square, stiff, and heavy looking bags.
Belts for this type are soft overall, with intricate decorative buckles.
Kibbe Romantic Outfits
The Kibbe system focuses on creating head to toe looks (HTT) that honor the lines of your silhouette. For the Romantic type, the primary determinant is dressing the curves on top and bottom while emphasizing the waist. Softness and curve are part of the outfit.
Many outfits for Kibbe types show examples that aren’t appropriate for daily life, fancy ball gowns and dressy looks. The Kibbe system discourages the use of a capsule wardrobe and simplification, instead promoting “dressing for the event”.
My goal here is to help you simplify, not overcomplicate, so I’ve tried to create outfits that both honor the Kibbe Romantic type, but also feature clothes that could be worn in multiple ways.
Kibbe Romantic Hair and Makeup
Hair styles for the Romantic woman should follow the theme of soft and lush. Rounded and full, framing the face.
Hair to avoid: geometric cuts and angular shapes, stiff styles.
The following hair colors are recommended for the Kibbe Romantic, based on color season. All highlights should be fine and subtle to create shimmer, rather than heavy and obvious.
- Rich Honey Blonde with Red Highlights
- Rich Golden Blonde with Yellow highlights
- Bright Strawberry/Light Auburn
- Bright Yellow Blonde
- Warm White
- Medium-Soft Ash Brown with Ash highlights
- Medium-Light Ash Blonde with Ash highlights
- Soft frost around the face
- Medium-Soft Chestnut with Red Highlights
- Rich Auburn/Copper with Gold Highlights
- Warm White
- Dark Ash Brown
- Medium Ash Brown
- Silver Sprays around face
Haircolors to avoid: heavy highlights.
The following are examples for each season for makeup looks. Romantics should choose iridescent shadows for accent and blush should contain sparkle. Lips should be frosted and covered with heavy gloss.
Spring Color Season
Summer Color Season
Autumn Color Season
Winter Color Season
**These looks are from the book published in 1987 when blue eyeshadow was hot hot hot. I have tried to tone them down a little bit to make them more modern.**
Kibbe Romantic Essence
Style Essences are a different category, but Kibbe simplified it to include the 5 types.
The Kibbe Romantic essence makes up your inner scheme and outer being, so let’s explore it more.
The Romantic is described as artistic, charming, and diplomatic, with a true appreciation for beauty. Creating beautiful environments and experiences is a natural expression, from her own appearance to the office and entertaining.
She is intuitive and empathetic, and often seems to naturally understand what others are feeling and get to the heart of the matter.
She is magnetic, charming, and enchanting, and gathers people to her like bees to a beautiful flower.
The Dreamspinner makes the world more beautiful, and invites others into her lovely, sensitive, creative presence.
Final Thoughts on the Kibbe Romantic
The Kibbe Romantic woman hold the power of soft femininity! She blooms with her lush presence and needs to embody that in her soft, flowing, rounded looks.
Kibbe Romantic represents dominant soft yin structure from head to toe.
Are you a Kibbe Romantic? Let me know in the comments.
Related Style Articles:
- Create a Personal Style Mood Board
- Find Your Personal Style in the Past
- Wardrobe Perfection starts with a Color Palette
The Kibbe Romantic Image ID is marked by soft yin bones and flesh, and needs to accommodate curves in her personal style.
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.