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This article will show you a pure Dramatic Kibbe shopping guide — from casual to formal outfits, accessories, makeup, and coloring.

Not sure how a pure Dramatic looks like? This article will show you with pictures and examples. It will also show you the styling principles.

The following were taken from the book Metamorphosis by David Kibbe, the image professional who created the Kibbe system.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide

1. Dresses

A Dramatic’s dress should be elongated and sleek, the more tailored the better. Again, sharp shoulders are essential. Coatdresses, chemises, and very narrow bias-cuts work well. Waist emphasis is reserved for use with very wide, geometric belts. Dropped waists and no-waist styles are elegant when the shape is kept narrow.


  • fitted waists
  • fussy necklines
  • shapeless, unconstructed styles
  • all flouncy styles with flowing silhouettes

2. Separates

Your look does not include an obvious use of separates; keep individual pieces blending together in an artful way for elegance. You are striving for a head-to-toe ensemble effect, not the “mix ‘n match” approach!

3. Jackets and blazers

Dramatics’ jackets and blazers should always be tailored and sculpted, with very defined shoulders. Generally, they should be long (ending at the mid-thigh area), although a very sleek, Italian-style might be cropped (be sure this has an extremely sculpted, streamlined shape). Double-breasted could be another excellent choice.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.


  • nipped-in waists
  • overly shapeless and boxy jackets
  • overly flouncy jackets with peplums
  • fussy touches such as shoulder tucks, ornate buttons, and tapered sleeves

4. Skirts

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe

Dramatics’ skirts should be straight and long. Minimum length: two inches below the knee; maximum length: as long as you dare! The only flared skirt you successfully wear is one with the middle section (from waist to knee) sleek and straight, with the bottom piece flaring out gently. Likewise, all pleats should be stitched down through the hip area.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.


  • full skirts
  • gathered waists
  • draped and shirred shapes

5. Pants

As a pure Dramatic, your pants should always be straight and man-tailored. Deep pleats are a good touch, as is a long hem, gently breaking at the shoe.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.


  • drapey and clingy pants that taper at the ankle
  • oversized, baggy shapes

6. Blouses

Tailored and sleek — never flouncy or frilly or oversized and shapeless.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.

7. Sweaters

Lightweight, elegant knits. Skinny, ribbed knits. Long cardigans or pullovers with sharp shoulders.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.

8. Evening wear

Geometric shapes. Elongated vertical lines. Hard metallic fabrics. Smooth fabric. Sculpted trim. Angular necklines. Shoulder emphasis. The following evening wear designs are most flattering for a pure Dramatic.

Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
Pure Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide Head to Toe
View on Amazon.
  • Slinky sheaths
  • tailored dinner suits
  • evening pants with tailored jackets
  • long gowns with sharp shoulders, halter necklines, and jackets

9. Shoes

Your shoes should be tailored and angular. High, straight heels, crisp soles, and elegantly tapered toes.

10. Bags

Dramatics’ bags should be crisp and geometric. Angular envelopes, clutches, or structured briefcases

11. Belts

Your belts should be bold and wide. Leather will be stiff and shaped. Metal belts will be sculpted and quite large. Buckles are always geometric/ asymmetric. Hip belts for dropped waists are best.

12. Hats

A Dramatic’s hat should be crisp and man-tailored with wide brims and sharp edges.

13. Hosiery

Keep your stockings dark and sheer. Blend with both your hemline and shoe to accent your strong vertical line.

14. Jewelry

Dramatics’ jewelry should always be sleek and elegant, with an emphasis on bold, modern shapes. Thin, sharp pieces are good choices, as are avant-garde works of art. Asymmetrical shapes work well and pieces should be large, but not overly bulky.


  • delicate, antique jewelry
  • small, symmetrical pieces
  • heavy, chunky ethnic pieces
  • extra glitzy costume jewelry

15. Hair

A pure Dramatic’s hair should always be sleek and sculpted, usually swept off the face to emphasize your chiseled bone structure. The shape is always geometric.


  • Overly soft, coiffed, or wispy hair (there is nothing more aging for you than this look!).
  • Soft hair hanging in or covering your face (fluffy bangs, feathery sides, etc.)

16. Haircolor

A Dramatic’s haircolor should be vivid and distinct whatever the hue (blond, brown, red, or black) or intensity (light, medium, dark). You do not highlight well because this process mutes the intensity and results in a washed-out look.

Never try to “soften” your haircolor. This is the single most damaging thing you can do to your look, and it will be extremely aging on you. Overall color processes are best for the rich type of color you need.

17. Makeup

As a pure Dramatic, you should emphasize your angles and chiseled features. A high-contrast look is best, with smoky eyes, contoured cheeks, and deep lips played against a background of neutral skin.

Avoid an overly soft, “watercolor” effect as it will be unsophisticated as well as very aging and matronly on you.

Dramatic Kibbe Shopping Guide & Styling Techniques


Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation you find yourself — keep your shapes sharp and geometric. Triangles, rectangles, and anything sculpted, sleek, and elongated with crisp edges.


  • anything rounded, swirled, or overly draped
  • also anything delicately intricate or overly fragile
  • ornateness (Translates into “fussy” on you!)

Line and silhouette

This goes hand-in-hand with your shape. Long, vertical lines are essential. Always straight, with elongated draping that is sleek, is your version of a “soft line.”


  • soft, flowing lines (too matronly on you)
  • unconstructed silhouettes (sloppy on you)
  • broken or horizontal lines (not elegant enough for you)


The best fabrics for pure Dramatics are the ones that hold a defined shape. They are necessary. Moderate to heavyweights are the best, with a matte finish and a smooth surface. Textures should be tightly woven, and shiny fabrics should be very stiff and ultra glitzy.

Italian tweeds, thick gabardines, twills, faille, stiff brocades, and heavy satins are a few examples that will tailor best for you. Keep in mind, however, that occasionally lightweight fabrics can work, if they are extra structured in the design of the garment.


  • overly sheer, lightweight fabrics that float
  • Also, in most cases, clingy fabrics are extremely unsophisticated on you
  • In addition, extremely rough textures that are thick and heavy will overpower your sleek body


Detail should always be clean and minimal to complement your sculpted, chiseled look. Bold, sweeping geometrics, angular shapes, and sharp edges are called for.


  • Square, sharp shoulders (essential in every garment you own, without exception).
  • Clean, angular necklines (plunging V’s sharp lapels, etc.).


  • small, fussy detail
  • overly unconstructed detail (sloppy necklines, shapeless or oversized sleeves, etc.)
  • overly ornate or intricate detail (ruffles, lacy frills, feathers, frou-frou, bows, tucks, gathers)


All accessories for a pure Dramatic should be crisp, sharply tailored, and angular with geometric shapes. Keep everything sleek and contemporary in feeling.


Always think “head-to-toe” with your color schemes.

The deepest colors that complement your coloring are best. Dark neutrals are especially effective, and color combinations should be bold, but elegant. Combining bright shades with dark shades achieves this with ease.

Pastels can be stunning if you create an entire ensemble. All monochromatic schemes are excellent.

Avoid multicolor splashes and a mix ‘n match approach to color.


Pure Dramatics’ prints should be bold and geometric; stripes, zigzags, asymmetrics, and irregular shapes. Bold color combinations and high-contrast blends work best. Think “Picasso,” and strive for a contemporary feeling.


  • florals
  • soft swirls
  • watercolor prints
  • small, symmetrical prints
  • overly “cute” animated styles

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One Comment

  1. I´m really benefitted by your website!

    A question to : “avoid: small, symmetrical prints”- that prevents me from buying an absoult wonderful and stunning fabric in a dark-light color- combo (small crosses of dark brown and natural white) – though a very clear stitching of the crosses- as a dramatic I should avoid it? here is the link an I hope to not infringe copyright:

    I wanted to sew an A-line- mid-lenght skirt for summer out of this…

    And another question: As a dramatic it seems that business wear is best. But I am a homekeeper now and not working anylonger. I don´t want to wear suits all day and love wearing skirts (as I never used to before :-)) How could that work? Especially with shoes (flats)? I don´t feel well with very pointed shoes- do allmond shaped ballerinas work as well?

    What are more casual “head-to toe-skirt-outfits” (including handbags)?

    Thank you a lot for your opinion on this!

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