Posted by Kayleigh on 10th Jan 2022
It seems that the concept of body types has always been a simple one. You had either a pear, apple, hourglass, inverted triangle, or athletic shape and it was always easy to know what shape you had. However, in the past few months we’ve started seeing a new explanation of body types emerging and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t interested by them!
David Kibbe created this concept in 1987 but it seems to have really taken off in the past few months and has been adopted by stylists and celebrity fashion critics alike. Rather than clothing being based off your body shape as we’re so used to, clothing and accessories are actually based off your essence. But just hear me out before you roll your eyes at this one, as it’s actually a lot more inclusive and refreshing than the usual body types, as rather than saying you should stay away from a particular style as it will add too much volume to your hips or will flatten your bust, it allows you to find ways to make these styles work for you. And rather than focusing on trends, it focuses more on finding a unique style that works for you, which can allow you to express your individually and will also be more affordable in the long run as instead of swapping out your wardrobe every season based on the latest trends this system will allow you to have the capsule wardrobe of your dreams! Even better, Kibbe was a champion off body positivity way before his time (Think of him as the Kelly Clarkson of the 90’s) and used his body shape system to encourage this.
Kibbe’s body shapes are in two categories: Yin, which is a softer, curvy body shape, or Yang which is a more angular, structured shape. Our Yin girls will often be shorter, curvy and will have a found face with soft cheeks, full lips and round eyes. They may have sloped shoulders and a soft jawline and will often be more drawn to softer flowing fabrics. Our Yang girls on the other hand will be tall and lean with a more angular face, structured cheekbones and almond eyes. They may have more broad shoulders and a more defined jawline and can rock tailored clothing like it’s nobody’s business!
These two body types are broken down further based on the characteristics that stand out when looking at your body. Let’s look at the variations of the Yin Body Shape first!
Petite Yin: Will have a delicate bone structure and small features
Lush Yin: May have fuller lips, large eyes and an hourglass shape
When it comes to the Yang body shape you will be either a:
Soft Yang : Will have a straight, muscular body wuth broad, horizontal facial features that tend to be blunt edged
Sharp Yang: May have a longer body with sharp lines and features
But, as any girl will tell you, nobody is going to fit neatly into any one category, as you will often display features from different body types throughout the body. So I’m about to make this a little bit more confusing! These shapes are broken down further looking how much of your body shape lies within the Yin shape or the Yang shape.
Dramatic body shapes will have purely yang features. These girls will be quite tall with an angular, structured shape, similar to the likes of Kate Moss and Taylor Swift.
Natural bodyshapes will be a mix between the two types, but leaning more towards a Yang shape. Their body will be straight and lean and may be more muscular. Their faces will usually be quite defined with an angular nose, and of course cheek bones to die for, similar to Angelina Jolie.
The classic body shape can be defined as a perfect 50/50 shape with Yin and Yang blended together similar to Grace Kelly
The Gamine body type will usually have a more petite body with an angular structure, but will have more yin-like fascial features such as large round eyes, similar to Reese Witherspoon.
The Romantic Body type is all Yin. These girls will be less angular and more curvy, usually with a more hourglass shape. Again, they will often be petite with soft facial features. Marilyn Monroe has often been described as the perfect Romantic body type.
Keeping up? Great! We’re about to break it down even further to make finding your body shape that little bit easier!
If you’re between a Dramatic shape and a Soft Dramatic or Flamboyant Natural shape.
Soft Dramatic girls will have a tall frame but will still have prominent curves, carrying their weight in the hips and bust area, similar to Sofia Loren
Flamboyant Natural girls will have a tall, lean figure with broad shoulders and blunt features, just like Cameron Diaz.
If you’re between Natural and Classic you will be either a soft Natural, or dramatic classic.
The soft dramatic shape will have prominent curves that come from their bone structure rather than flesh, like a romantic shape. They may still have broad shoulders and features, similar to Sandra Bullock.
Dramatic classic shapes will have a very balanced body with long limbs, but may not look tall as this is balanced out by their shoulders and hips, just like Olivia Munn.
Between the Classic and Gamine shape? This means that you will either be a soft classic or flamboyant gamine.
Soft Classic girls will have a balanced body, with softer features. Their shoulders will usually be sloped and although their facial features may not be as prominent they could be wide, similar to Kirsten Dunst
Flamboyant Gamine girls however, will be petite with a narrow frame, but won’t have as much curves. They may have straight bodies with long legs and large eyes and a defined nose, just like Audrey Hepburn.
If you’re between a Gamine or Romantic shape, you’ll either be a Soft Gamine or Theatrical Romantic.
Soft Gamine Girls will be petite with a narrow frame and angular shoulders and a delicate bone structure. They may still have curves along their bust and hips and will have doll like facial features such as large eyes and full cheeks, similar to Winona Ryder.
Theatrical Romantic girls will have shorter bones with a curvy silhouette that is based more off of flesh rather than bone structure. They will usually have small, delicate facial features but may have sharp lines along the nose or jawline, similar to Rihanna