What is a Kibbe Body Type and how do I find out mine?

In a fashion rut? Try this body type test to help you out.

Model looking in mirror deciding what to wear

by Scott Wells |
Updated on

When it comes to dressing and putting outfits together it seems that dressing for your body shape has become increasingly more challenging.

Gone are the days of referring to our shapes as apples, pears and triangles, there’s a resurfaced theory which has taken over to help us work out what outfits we should be steering towards.

Let us introduce you to the Kibbe Body Types. This foundation of work was written back in 1987 by stylist David Kibbe, and can be found in his title Metamorphosis, A Personal Image And Style Book For Women. Unfortunately, the book is no longer available in print, however, we are here to break it all down for you and show you how you can find out which body type you align with.

Photo of pretty lovely girl look in mirror trying blazer skirt decide what wear on party in modern dressing room.

First, we must say that you do not have to follow these rules. We’re are believers that if what you’re wearing makes you feel confident and comfortable, then you should absolutely wear it. But if you’re looking for some help then this is a body-positive exercise that aims to give you just that as it encourages you to embrace the body you have.

What is the Kibbe Body Type System?

The Kibbe body types focus on an individual's balance of yin and yang within their appearance and personality. Yin being feminine and Yang being masculine. Yin is all about the curves, round edges and circular angels, whereas Yang looks more on sharp edges, geometric shapes and vertical lines. One of the best examples of Yin would be the fashion icon Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe poses for a wardrobe test for Niagara, 1952'. (Photo by Screen Archives/Getty Images).

By looking at the Hollywood Star’s physique you can clearly identify how she naturally has a more hourglass, curved figure. Whereas someone such as Kate Moss would be considered Yang due to her more streamlined physique and square jawline.

In addition to this, there are five main body types with 13 different sub- types which each fall in between these two focuses.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 19: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) Kate Moss attends the Dior Homme Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 19, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

What are the body types?

Before we get you on your way to seeing which body type you most align with, we thought to break down all 13 so you know a little more before jumping straight into it.

The five main types are dramatic, natural, classic, gamine and romantic. From there you will find this is where the rest fall into line. The full list is as follows:


  1. Romantic

  2. Theatrical Romantic

  3. Soft Gamine

  4. Gamine

  5. Flamboyant Gamine

  6. Soft Classic

  7. Classic

  8. Dramatic Classic

  9. Soft Natural

  10. Natural

  11. Flamboyant Natural

  12. Soft Dramatic

  13. Dramatic



Romantics are categorised by firstly being petite in height, usually petite under 5.5ft. This is the section where hourglass, curvy figures tend to align with. They tend to have more rounded, sloped shoulders, where their facial features are small and may be wider.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 27: Drew Barrymore is seen outside "CBS Studio" on March 27, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

If in doubt, a waist belt will be your best friend as it will immediately cinch you in. As well as this, shape wear is another great investment to show off your natural silhouette and shopping in the petite section will also be an excellent place to start as these are created to fit better.


This body type takes the opposites of Yin and Yang with celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Audrey Hepburn, Lily Collins and Emma Watson falling into this category.

The specifications for Gamine start with large eyes and moderate to thin lips as opposed to full. Their bone structure is sharp and narrow; however, it can be delicate without the harsh lines and soft contours to the face. Their body type is straight with long arms and legs with flatness in the bust and hips.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27: Reese Witherspoon attends the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute Celebrating Nicole Kidman at Dolby Theatre on April 27, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

If you find yourself here, when shopping look for energetic items such as asymmetric and geometric styles with sharp and soft edges. Play around with boxy style blazers and shirts whilst choosing a shorter hemline with skirts and shorts. Bold, vibrant colours are great colourways to invest in, whilst teaming it with a monochrome separate to break up and balance the look. This experimental approach will show off your best features.


Classics are those of strike the perfect blend between Yin and Yang, creating symmetrical physical attributes. Think of celebrities such as Lupita Nyong’o, Kate Middleton, Meryl Streep and Dakota Johnson.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Catherine, Princess Of Wales attends the opening of Evelina London's new children's day surgery unit on December 05, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)


Jennifer Anniston, Pamela Anderson, Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson are just some that resonate with the Natural body type. This is because of their slightly broad yet angular features and taller height compared to those categories before. They tend to have more of a masculine, straight body shape with little waist definition and slightly flat bust-line.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Jennifer Aniston attends the Emmy FYC Event for Apple TV+'s "The Morning Show" at Paramount Studios on June 02, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

When dressing for this type it is important to create more round and soft edges with your clothing. Therefore relaxed, straight fits are recommended as you want to create a slight narrow and slim shape without using too heavy fabrics, it needs to be kept loose. Slightly oversized fits work well for this as it widens your shoulders, without adding too much width. Patterns such as stripes, plaids and paisley are your go-to as they distract the viewers eyes.


The dramatic characteristics are those who appear very tall and elongated. Their shoulders are narrow with sharp edges, with long arms and legs. They have a flat bust, straight waistline and hips, whilst their skin is very taut. Overall, there is no form of roundness to any features, as they have a sharp and angular facial feature such as nose, jawline and cheekbones. In addition to this, they have a small space between their eyes with thin lips.

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - NOVEMBER 24: Tilda Swinton attends the opening ceremony and screening of “Hit Man" during the 20th Marrakech International Film Festival on November 24, 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/WireImage)

Celebrities that fit into the category are those such as Katharine Hepburn, Tilda Swinton. Keira Knightly, Taylor Swift and Kristen Wiig.

To stick with the more masculine parts of your appearance, when choosing your clothing the best style to stick with is tailoring. This includes smart straight-fit trousers, longline dresses and blazers to highlight the edges of your physique. Stay clear of brightly coloured clothing as this distracts from the long vertical line, so opt for more monochrome items when shopping. Dresses that are specifically designed for tall ladies are brilliant as they are made to fit your proportions better.

How to work out your body type

The first thing to note is that the test marks you on three different factors which include body structure, body flesh and facial features, so it is recommended that you take photos of yourself in either underwear or swimwear so you can compare the images rather than doing it in real time with your reflection in a mirror.

Following the Yin and Yang strategy, the answers are divided in A/B for more Yin, and D/E for more Yang attributes. It is best to answer C if you don’t know where you sit in correspondence to the question being asked.

Questions that will be asked are those such as: My hands and feed can be best described as:

  1. Long and narrow

  2. Large and broad

  3. Moderate, neither very large or small

  4. Small, narrow, delicate

  5. Small, slightly wide.

My jawline can be best described as:

  1. Sharp, either pointed or very square

  2. Broad, blunt, slightly wide

  3. Moderate, neither wide, sharp or small

  4. Delicate, tapered or slightly rounded

  5. Rounded or softly wide

So, without further ado, you can take the test here or a more in depth, helpful version here. Good luck.

Scott Wells is a Celebrity Stylist & Senior Style Writer. As well as styling various celebrities for red carpets and photoshoots, he is an avid Royal fashion fan and makes custom clothing designs.

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