This article will show you a Soft Dramatic shopping guide — from casual to formal outfits, accessories, makeup, and coloring.
Not sure how a pure Soft Dramatic looks like? This article will show you with pictures and examples. It will also teach you the Soft Dramatic styling principles.
The following were taken from the book Metamorphosis by David Kibbe, the image professional who created the Kibbe system.
Soft Dramatic Shopping Guide
Dresses should be elongated and draped, with broad shoulders. Detail should be oversized and ornate (shirring, trim, etc.). A dropped waist is best on dresses, but an exaggerated waist is also effective when combined with very broad shoulders and a full, sweeping skirt. Narrow, clingy shapes are basic.
- sharply tailored dresses
- overly fitted and nipped styles
- shapeless, unconstructed or wide styles
- flouncy styles with delicate or fussy detail
Your separates should artfully blend lush textures, rich colors, and luxurious prints, so your elongated line will not be disrupted. You are always striving for a head-to-toe “ensemble” effect, never a mix-and match look.
3. Jackets and blazers
Broad shoulders, long lines (mid-thigh area). Lightweight, draped fabrics. Lightly structured or unconstructed. Soft, draped, detail (lapels, pockets, etc.).
- short, cropped jackets
- traditional blazer jackets
- delicate, filled or fussy jackets
- stiffly tailored jackets with sharp edges
Your skirts should be straight, long (mid calf), and draped. Short skirts (knee length may be paired with a long jacket, sweater, or top. Detail should be elongated (shirring, soft folds, and slits).
- A-lines and sharp pleats
- wide unconstructed skirts
- full skirts except on certain dresses (see dresses at number 1)
- overly fussy and fitted skirts with delicate detail (gathers, tucks, etc.; plackets, etc.).
Your pants should be straight, long, and draped. Detail should be soft and elongated (deep pleats, shirring, softly draped cuffs, pockets, etc.)
- stiffly tailored pants
- wide, unconstructed or baggy shapes
- overly delicate detail (pegged legs, fussy gathers, small trim, etc.)
6. Tops and blouses
Your blouses should be soft and draped with broad shoulders and draped necklines and sleeves. Detail should be elongated and soft. Ornate detail should be very oversized and lush (large bows or jabot, sheer lacy trim, or sparkly appliqué). Fabrics should be lightweight, very soft, or very shiny.
- plain blouses
- delicate, fussy blouses
- sharply tailored blouses
- wide, unconstructed, or shapeless blouses
Soft and clingy knits with draped necklines. Plush knits. Draped knits. Broad shoulders and an elongated waist. Oversized patterns or trim, especially ornate or sparkly.
- overly fitted styles
- skinny, ribbed knits
- wide, unconstructed styles
- overly delicate, fussy trim
- rough and heavy knits
- short styles, including crew-necked shetlands, cardigans, and cropped sweaters
8. Evening wear
These are a Soft Dramatic’s best evening outfits:
- clingy shapes
- draped gowns
- shoulder emphasis
- shirred cocktail dresses with big shoulders
- oversized ornate dinner suits with elaborate trim
- form-fitting gowns with shoulder emphasis and cleavage
- soft, draped fabric. Glitzy fabric. Ornate and oversized trim
Tailored and angular with tapered toe and heel. High, narrow heels are best. Bare styles are also excellent.
- chunky styles
- overly delicate styles with excess trim
Softly rounded shapes in oversized styles. Exquisite leather or fabric. Very slim briefcases. Ultraornate evening styles.
- plain, symmetrical bags
- small delicate styles
A Soft Dramatic’s belt should be bold and wide, of supple leather or special fabric, with large and ornate buckles.
Your hats should always be theatrical and glamorous, emphasizing rounded shapes and ornate trim. Should be large and oversized.
Keep your stockings ultrasheer. Your strong vertical line is best emphasized by blending with both your hemline and your shoe. Always blend with the shoe. Very lacy or ornate textures are wonderful for evening.
Your jewelry should always be large, bold, and ornate. Bold geometric shapes with soft edges. Oversized, ornate shapes. All sparkly, glittery, and shiny finishes are excellent. Wild costume jewelry that is faux.
- sharp geometrics
- simple, symmetrical pieces
- delicate, antique pieces
- rough, chunky pieces
- a “no-jewelry look
A Soft Dramatic’s hair should always be lavish and full-looking. Elaborate coiffures and fantasy styles work well. The shape should be bold (either geometric or asymmetric), but softened with curls, waves, or partial layering.
Your hair must always look sophisticated and well-cared for, but should also be soft and sensual, not stiff. Teasing, setting, waving and perms are all possible choices for you.
- sharp, geometric cuts
- overly delicate or wispy styles
- symmetrical, blunt-edge styles
- “wash ‘n wear” styles that are unfinished-looking
Your haircolor should be rich, bold, and vivid. If you choose an artificial color, it should be strong and dramatic — blue-black, fiery red, platinum, or bright yellow-blond. High lighting should be dramatically streaked.
If your hair grays in a theatrical fashion, you can emphasize it through directing the streaks in bold sweeps. The richer your haircolor looks, the better.
- subtle highlights
- delicate lightening of the hair
A Soft Dramatic’s makeup should be lavish and ornate, even for daytime. A very polished face is part of your everyday look. In the evening, pour on the glitz! Bold eyes, with a touch of bright color. Full, vivid lips, and strong cheeks.
- a “minimal makeup” look — very harsh and aging on you, making you appear too stark
- smoky eyes and a pale or neutral lipstick — not sophisticated enough for your Soft Dramatic facial structure
Soft Dramatic Shopping Guide & Styling Techniques
Bold geometrics with soft edges. Oversized ornate shapes.
- sharp-edged geometrics
- small, delicate shapes
- symmetrical shapes
Line and silhouette
“T” silhouette: broad shoulders with an elongated vertical that is draped. Bold, sweeping lines. Draped, flowing lines.
- stiffly tailored lines
- broken, staccato lines
- wide, shapeless silhouettes
- overly fitted, fussy silhouettes
Lightweight fabrics that drape easily and flow gracefully (silks, crepe, challis, handkerchief linen, jersey). Soft and plush textures with a deep pile. Shiny fabrics.
- heavy fabrics that create a stiff shape
- rough textures
Bold, oversized, and ornate. Broad shoulders (pads with soft edges are best). Soft, draped necklines (may be high or plunging). Lavish trim (beading, appliqué, oversized bows and jabots, deep and soft pleats or folds, etc.).
- symmetrical detail
- small, delicate detail
- sharp, severe, or crisp detail
- minimal, simple, or plain detail
Your use of color should always be bold and dramatic, never dull. You shine in original color combinations that emphasize bright/ dark mixtures. Pastels can be extremely elegant if you execute them in head-to-toe sweeps.
Monochromatic schemes will general require some vivid accenting in the accessory department. Strive for a very polished, ensemble approach to your use of palette.
Avoid: multicolor splashes and a “mix ‘n match” approach
Wear prints with bold, wild, and ornate shapes. Splashy watercolors. Oversized and abstract florals. Animal prints. Irregular shapes with soft or rounded edges.
- sharp geometrics
- delicate, fussy prints
- animated, “cute” prints
- small, symmetrical prints