If you’re a Soft Classic and you want to see photos of your fellow Soft Classics, this article is for you. Here, you’ll get a list of all Kibbe-verified Soft Classic celebrities with photos of their body frames, faces, and best and worst outfits. This will also explain why they’re classified as Soft Classics.
Note: You’ll notice that despite being classified as Soft Classics, these ladies don’t look exactly the same as one another. There are similarities but there are also variations. They are Soft Classics because they have a balanced body frame with a slight curve.
If you need a comprehensive guide on identifying and dressing Soft Classics, refer to this article. Otherwise, read on.
As you can see, Grace Kelly’s face is balanced and symmetrical with soft, rounded edges.
Note: Remember this face pattern as all Soft Classics will have this with some variations. If you want a more detailed article on Soft Classic faces, watch out for my next article focusing on faces.
This is her in her more mature years. You can see that her face remains balanced and soft-edged. This shows that one’s Kibbe type doesn’t change with age.
This is because Kibbe types are based on bone structure. The flesh only follows what the bones dictate.
This is Grace smiling. You can see that despite her smile, her face remains balanced from top to bottom. No part of the face “sticks out” or appears more dominant than the rest.
This is how dominant the balance is with Classics. The balance comes first followed by the slight softness.
Here’s Grace’s body frame. From shoulders to toes, you can see the unmistakable balance.
Here are Kirsten Dunst’s body and facial frame. Her shoulders and hips are equally proportional with a moderately defined waist. Her face is balanced but with hints of Yin (softness) undercurrents on the edges.
Note: Yin represents feminine features — soft, rounded, and voluptuous. Yang, on the other hand, represents masculine features. It’s sharp, angular, and taut. A Classic has both of these features. To learn how to differentiate Yin from Yang, head over to this article where I provide examples of both: Yin vs Yang Examples of Kibbe.
Below, we see Kirsten wearing two dresses, one that does not follow her balance (left) and one that does (right).
The dress on the left disrupts her balance because its shoulders are wide while from the waist down, it’s narrow and elongated (vertical).
On the other hand, the purple dress on the right does a great job of honoring her balance and slight curve. Her shoulders and hips are visually balanced while her waist is defined.
Also, there’s a difference in fabric. The left dress’ fabric is stiff (although not always a no-no depending on the overall end silhouette) while the right dress is flowy and soft (enough to honor Kirsten’s Yin undercurrent).
As you can see, these Soft Classics don’t have to look identical.
For example, Kirsten’s shoulders don’t look exactly the same as Marion’s. It’s because the comparison should only take place within an individual’s body parts, not with others.
Compare your shoulder’s width to your hip width. Are they proportional? Or do your hips or shoulders look wider than the other? Do you have a moderately defined waist?
As long as your overall frame is balanced with a slight curve and softness, then you’re a Soft Classic. Other ladies’ balance and slight curve might look slightly different from yours but there should definitely be some similarities.
In this example, the left outfit’s shoulder edges are way too sharp for the Yin of a Soft Classic. Not that Soft Classics cannot wear tailored outfits; they can, however, they need to be softly tailored so they don’t end up looking harsh.
Also, the blazer’s fabric is visibly stiff. The shoulders being too wide cancels out the balance that should have been honored.
The yellow dress, on the other hand, is a perfect Soft Classic dress because of the balanced shoulder-hip ratio, flowy fabric, waist emphasis, and soft touches of Yin in the form of a soft-edged collar and simple intricate patterns.
Denée Benton has unmistakable balance and softness on her face and body frame.
While the left outfit’s silhouette has a balanced shoulder-to-hip ratio and sufficiently soft-looking fabric, an essential ingredient is missing — waist emphasis.
Although a Soft Classics’ waist curve is only slight, it still needs to be honored. After all, it’s what distinguishes you from a Dramatic Classic.
The outfit on the right meets all the needs. It has just the right balance, waist emphasis, and softness in the form of a soft-edged coat.
Denée, however, could benefit from a more vibrant color than gray. Gray just doesn’t match the vibrance of her autumn skin tone. While her coat matches her skin, her dress’ grayness doesn’t. So this outfit isn’t 100% perfect because of its duller color in comparison to her skin but the silhouette is already a great start.
Here’s Laura Linney dressed in two different outfits. If you look closely, what do you think are the differences between the two in terms of patterns?
Well, the left outfit creates balanced and geometric patterns while the right outfit creates balanced and soft patterns.
This is due to the fabric’ stiffness. The left dress’ fabric is way too stiff for a Soft Classic while the right dress has just enough flowiness to honor softness.
Not that Soft Classics can never wear stiff fabric. They can, as long as the end silhouette honors both balance and slight curve. In this case, however, the stiffness was the ensemble’s undoing.
Another issue with the left dress is the color blocking, which is the mixing of two or more bold and often contradictory colors together in one ensemble.
For a Soft Classic, color blocking is less than ideal because it disrupts the balance. You want everything blended from head to toe, not contrasting.
Here, the left dress’ fabric looks softer and flowier (as opposed to stiff) which is generally ideal for a Soft Classic. However, because it’s unconstructed, it fails to honor Laura’s slight curve. The right dress solves this problem by waist emphasis.
Fashion designer Carolina Herrera is probably one of the best Soft Classics to take inspiration from. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that she has a signature hairstyle that she’s been wearing throughout the years.
Despite her hair being tied back, the soft circular edge it forms around her crown is unmistakable. This is a gorgeous yet timeless hairstyle for a Soft Classic. It honors the Yin undercurrents and highlights the balance of her face.
As with her jewelry, she wears circular, ornate earrings and necklaces as opposed to sharp and geometric ones.
A quick Google search will also show you that she’s fond of outfits that highlight her waist and create soft edges around her body frame. A great way to underline her slight curve.
Above all, her outfits do a great job at putting balance above her Yin features. Her outfits, while soft-edged, are carefully controlled so that the balance remains unmistakable from head to toe. This is what you have to remember when styling a Soft Classic. Balance first, softness second.
Compare these two outfits.
On the left, Barbara’s slight curve is emphasized through the use of a belt. This is good. However, if we now look at her balance, it’s disrupted by too many ruffles.
While this would look fantastic on extreme Yins (Romantic, Theatrical Romantic) this is just too overwhelming on Soft Classics.
The maroon dress, however, looks perfect on her. It honors both her balance and slight curve without the details being too overpowering to disrupt her balance.
With Soft Classics, moderation is key. You’ll find that you usually look your best when your outfit is simple and classic yet elegant.
Here, both outfits honor Naomi’s waist curve. Both also have ornate lace fabrics.
However, the silhouette of the blue dress is too wide and contains way more details than a Soft Classic can handle — ruffled and voluminous sleeves- leading to the fabric straying too far from her body and disrupting her balance.
The white dress, however, has just the right amount of Yin (ornate fabric) with the fabric draping closely to her body thus maintaining balance and symmetry.
On the left, Naomi is being worn by the dress, while on the right, Naomi wears the dress. Regardless of your Kibbe type, you should always strive for the latter.
Here’s Emma Thompson in two opposing outfits.
The pink suit honors her balance but there’s way too much sharpness and straightness in it. If we trace her silhouette from shoulders to toe, we’ll see the sharpness and narrowness everywhere, even in the fabric. This would look great on a pure Dramatic but too stiff and angular on a Soft Classic.
The second outfit, on the other hand, is made up of soft shapes, especially the cashmere sweater. It would have flattered Emma’s frame if it weren’t too loose and unconstructed on the belly area. The extra fabric looks too heavy and disrupts her balance.
This third outfit, however, contains just the right balance for her.
Unlike the unconstructed sweater, there’s no extra, unnecessary fabric in this outfit. Each part of the ensemble serves a purpose. Her balance and slight curve are honored, while the edges are soft enough to match her Yin-Yang balance.
Here, the first outfit is too unconstructed for Meryl. Add to that the straight lines which only intensified the Yang.
The second outfit, however, is perfect because it’s well-blended from head to toe. While the shirt and skirt are in different colors, this was remedied by the necklace which mimics the color scheme of the skirt.
Most importantly, her balance and slight curve are honored because the fabric stays close to her body without extra fabric hanging around.
You might say, “Oh, but Meryl is older in the first outfit. So naturally, she has to account for her body fats, right? She can’t possibly wear tight-fitting outfits anymore.”
Well, not true. While all of us usually gain weight from old age, we can definitely still have some level of control over what we wear. We can still control whether or not our outfits honor our natural bone shape.
Here’s a current photo of Meryl in a relatively fitted dress that does her Soft Classic frame justice.
So whatever your age is, if you’re not wearing outfits that honor the natural shape of your bones, then your entire ensemble is bound to look off or downright unflattering.
After David Kibbe decided to remove pure Classic from the 13 Kibbe types, Catherine Deneuve was reclassified from pure Classic to Soft Classic like Grace Kelly.
This is her in two outfits. The first outfit doesn’t have any waist emphasis and doesn’t honor her balance. The top half appears too bulky and disproportional for her bottom half.
One might argue that this is due to weight gain.
However, a quick comparison to the right outfit will tell us that there are simply outfits that either honor or don’t honor a Soft Classic.
The second outfit spectacularly highlights her balance and slight curve. Her hair is softly voluminous while her earrings are rounded–great ways to honor her Yin.
Therefore, despite gaining weight from old age, with the right outfit silhouette, looking great is never impossible.
Here, Catherine does a great job at blending her top and skirt. Her balance and slight curve are excellently accommodated.
Meredith Baxter Birney
Here, Meredith is wearing soft-edged curls and rounded earrings. Her face’s balance and soft edges are also quite evident.
Like Grace Kelly and Catherine Deneuve, Lee Remick was also reclassified from pure Classic to Soft Classic.
This feminine dress emphasizes her slight curve and honors her balance. Her necklace and earrings complement her Yin undercurrents.
Old Hollywood Soft Classics
And here are more Soft Classic celebrities from old Hollywood. If you need more examples, feel free to explore the ones below.
- Constance Bennett
- Donna Reed
- Joan Fontaine
- Merle Oberon
- Olivia de Havilland
- Norma Shearer
- Veronica Lake
If you need to learn the principles of dressing a Soft Classic, head over to this article: Soft Classic Style Guide from Head to Toe.