This article is all about Romantic Kibbe shopping guide for each piece of clothing and accessory. Please note that these are only examples. While this will give you ideas and inspirations, know that these are not rules only ways to wear your outfits. You don’t have to follow these to a T. Just because you’re a Romantic does not mean you should look like a replica of other Romantics.
Your ultimate goal as a pure Romantic is to express your own taste and marry it to the styling principles of a Romantic which is to create an outfit that underlines/ highlights your Yin roundness and softness above all else.
By mixing your own taste to it, you don’t end up looking like a replica of other Romantics (if you don’t want to). Instead, you’ll be able to put together outfits that are exclusive to you and you alone.
This article is a good place to start if you’re still new and absolutely clueless about what to wear. Once you’ve got a good grip of the principles, you can then start exploring and taking your own personal journey of self-expression through fashion.
Not sure how a pure Romantic 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.
Romantic Kibbe shopping guide
Dresses should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling our flouncy skirts.
- stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coatdress, chemise, etc.)
- shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses
- straight styles with no waist
Your use of separates should always include an artful blending of plush textures, draped fabrics, and luxurious colors so you never disrupt the soft fluidity of line. Always avoid any kind of harsh contrast between the top and bottom.
3. Jackets and blazers
Jackets and blazers should always be fitted at the waist. Soft, supple styles with peplums, nipped-in waists, and belts are excellent. Lapels should be curved, rounded, or shawl-collared. A lapel-less model would also be good.
Shoulders should be have rounded pads; gathers, tucks, or bouffant shapes work equally well. Sleeves should be tapered. The more intricate or antique-looking your buttons are the better. Any draped, gathered, or shirred touches are wonderful accents.
- unconstructed, shapeless jackets
- long, straight jackets that hide the waist
- tailored jackets (blazers, double-breasted, boxy)
- all sharp edges (sharp lapels, pleats, or angular detail)
Skirts should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic “straight skirt” is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short.
All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Length should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).
- all straight and tailored skirts
Pants should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves. Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.
- straight or tailored pants
- baggy, unconstructed styles
- sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets)
Looks for blouses with soft, draped styles, sophisticated flounces and frills or any antique styles.
Avoid: all tailored styles
Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.
- thick, nubby knits
- skinny, ribbed knits
- oversized sweaters
- crew-necked shetlands
- turtlenecks and long pullovers
8. Evening wear
Fitted shapes with ornate necklines and waist emphasis. Sheer fabrics. Draped fabrics. Plush fabrics. Sparkly fabrics. Elaborate trim.
- bustier dresses
- hourglass ball gowns
- swirling chiffon gowns
- ornate cocktail dresses
- draped cocktail dresses
Your shoes should be delicate with feminine styles. Strappy, slender-heeled with tapered or open toe. Lightweight and supple leather. Feminine flats with ornamentation.
- tailored, chunky, angular, heavy and plain styles
Small, rounded shapes. Soft, supple, leather or fabric. Ornamentation or luxurious detail (beads, gathers, trim). Delicate shoulder straps. Elegantly slim briefcases.
- stiff leather
- stiff, thick, briefcases
- heavy shoulder straps
- tailored, angular, or boxy shapes
- unconstructed and oversized bags
Should be a soft and supple leather or fabric. Buckles should be intricate. All beaded, bejeweled, or sparkly styles are all excellent. Your belts are a focal point, and should be selected as carefully as a fine piece of jewelry. They should give a “cinched-waist” effect.
- plain belts
- geometric buckles
- stiff belts (whether wide or narrow)
Soft, curvy shapes. Picture frame styles. Large, fluffy, fur hats.
Avoid: crisp or man-tailored hats
Keep your hosiery sheer. A “light leg” with the stocking and shoe in one color, several shades lighter than your hemline, is very elegant.
Your jewelry should always be delicate and lavish, with intricate and ornate touches. Rounded shapes, curves, swirls, and lots of dangles add the perfect touch to pull your look together. Sparkly materials are essential (crystal, gems, glass, polished metal, etc.), and an antique, baroque, or rococo effect is desirable.
- sharp edges
- minimal styles
- geometric shapes
- heavy, chunky pieces
- small, symmetrical pieces
- avant-garde, contemporary styles
Your hair should be soft and stylized with a wispy silhouette framing the face. It should have a set, somewhat ornate look, but should never be stiff. The cut must be layered to accentuate curl or wave, as well as to hold a set effectively. Perms are possible for you, but your hair will still need setting to avoid a messy look.
- stiff, bouffant styles
- wash ‘n wear styles
- overly layered hair (too messy)
- geometric shapes with angular edges
- sleek, smooth styles, blunt-edged, or blown-dry
Your haircolor should be rich and luxurious. Highlights are possible, especially around the face, unless you are a deep brunette (in which case they will be extremely aging). Sprays of color around the face are soft and lovely in medium to light haircolors.
Be careful with extreme haircolors (platinum blond, blue-black, and fiery red) — they are too stark for you unless that was your original color. If so, do not lighten the haircolor; doing so will immediately add ten years to your apparent age.
Your makeup should be elaborate and blended into a soft, watercolor face. Soft pretty colors (rose, peach, rust, pink) on cheeks and lips (glossy). Eye makeup should be colorful and soft, with a bit of sparkle even for daytime. Evening makeup can be extremely glitzy.
- neutral, “no color” makeup (will be extremely tired-looking on you)
- all matte-finished products with no frosts or sparkles (will be aging on you)
- high-contrast colors and angular contouring of cheeks (will be stark and harsh)
Romantic Kibbe shopping guide and styling principles
Shape is the key to your look. Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation you find yourself– work, play, or glamour– keep your shapes rounded with soft edges. Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure.
- all geometrics
- all sharp edges
- all straight lines
Line and silhouette
Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves or your body. Waist definition is essential, always, as in lots of gentle draping everywhere.
- all severe silhouettes
- all tailored silhouettes
- all vertical lines that hide the waist
- all straight lines with angular edges
- all unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines
Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultrasoft or plush textures (suedes, velvets, bouclé knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
- stiff fabrics
- rough textures
- heavyweight fabrics
- extreme matte-finished fabrics
Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate, and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of “little-girlish”. Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated).
Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o’ mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing.
Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.). The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
- all geometric necklines
- all minimal or “no detail” looks
- all tailored, angular, or severe detail
- all chunky, rough, or oversized detail
- all crisp detail– perky bows, tiny ruffles
- all sharp edges– pleats, square shoulder pads
Accessories should always be kept feminine, ornate, and softly sophisticated. The effect may be lavish but the workmanship should be intricate and delicate.
Avoid: anything heavy, chunky, sharp, or tailored
Your use of color should emphasize a watercolor palette of soft pastels and luscious brights. Any shade that is named for a food or flower (grape, melon, raspberry, rose, salmon, etc.) is a prime candidate. Rich, luxuriously blended colors are your most effective tools to express your lush femininity. Pale neutrals (bone, dove gray, white, taupe) are your best accents.
- sharp color contrast
- dark and neutral monochromatic color schemes
Prints should be rich and luscious with the emphasis on an abstract, watercolor blend (think Monet). Swirls of color, flowing together, with soft and rounded edges may be used in abundance. Keep prints luxuriously large; oversized florals or feathery shapes are especially lovely.
- small prints
- animated prints
- symmetrical prints
- contemporary styles
Why do you say ‘no tailored blouse’ when we are supposed to make sure the waist line is defined?
I´m gonna try, but I love minimalistic style. I love French style. I like it simple an basic. And my natural contrast is high, which means I cannot use pastel or watercolour whatever…
As a trans man who is apparently a pure romantic… I am dying inside.
After reading this description it looks like the Romatic-types in the Midwest USA will freeze to death in the winter. Warm boots are a must, layering ( especially if having hot flashes and a heavy coat to keep out thefridgid winds)
Can you give some ideas for those of us who don’t live in temperate weather areas?
Canadian – I like my belted princess coat and round, floppy wool hat. A round fur hat would be perfect as well. Calf length winter boots are warmest but tend to interrupt the vertical line, I don’t really like them. An ankle boot with a round/almond toe in patent/suede works if you’re not in a situation where you need traction. Maybe a circle scarf and decorated gloves?
Types of flattering swim suits would be cool but good article
I’m a bit confused about the cardigan – I have several with sparkly buttons and very clingy, why is it on the do not wear list?
I think it’s because there’s a vertical straight line down the middle cutting you in half… so that’s why cardigans are more for Classics, who do well with symmetry.
I’ve seen some runway looks though where they wear a cardigan, unbutton the top couple of buttons, push up the sleeves to show ornate bracelet(s), and put a belt on it! That way I think would be totally romantic. It’s the way you style it. Maybe some pure Romantics just can’t make it work, but try!! 🙂