Soft Gamine Shopping Guide: From Head to Toe

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

Not sure how a pure Soft Gamine 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.

Soft Gamine Shopping Guide

1. Dresses

Soft Gamines’ dresses should be very shaped at the waist with crisp necklines, cuffs, and intricate or animated detail. Flounces added to skirts are very sophisticated if used sparingly. Sharp shoulder definition is important, and gathers, shirring, etc., are excellent.

Skirts may be tapered or flared but should not be voluminous. Bouffant dresses are extremely chic and sexy on you. Asymmetrical hemlines and tea-length gowns are also extremely striking on you, as are all blouson styles with extra tapering.

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Avoid:

  • “no waist” styles
  • overly clingy styles
  • severe, tailored dresses
  • wide, unconstructed dresses
  • symmetrical styles (shirtwaists)

2. Separates

Separates are effective when used with a very head-to-toe “ensemble approach.” Mix them together artfully, always picking up their specific theme (whether it be color, print, or fabric elsewhere in your outfit.

3. Jackets and blazers

Jackets should be short and shapely with lots of detail and trim. They should always show the waist; they may be cropped above it or flare out into a crisp peplum. Keep them very fitted. Contrasting trim, tapered cuffs, and shoulder detail are all excellent.

Avoid:

  • boxy jackets
  • standard blazers
  • unconstructed jackets
  • symmetrically tailored jackets
  • long jackets that hide the waist
  • severely straight and tailored jackets

4. Skirts

Soft Gamines’ skirts should be short, trim, and shapely. They should have a defined waistband, usually with small, crisp gathers. Your version of a straight skirt should be tulip-shaped and tapered at the knee. This hemline is even and ends mid knee or very slightly below (never longer).

Long skirts are tapered at the knee (or just below), and then flare out gently into a modified trumpet shape. If this is a very slight flare, a slit is possible. This hemline is uneven and will end mid calf.

Asymmetrical hemlines are also excellent. An evening-gown length will be short, showing the ankle. Bouffant skirts are also very exciting on you. Low or dropped flounces are elegant touches on skirts.

Avoid:

  • circle skirts
  • voluminously full
  • long, straight skirts
  • sharp, pleated skirts
  • wide, unconstructed styles
  • traditionally symmetrical styles (A-lines)

5. Pants

Soft Gamines’ pants should be very shapely, showcasing the waist with crisp gathers or soft pleats and tapering at the ankle. The hemline should be short, showing the ankle. Cropped styles are excellent, as are skintight styles, such as toreadors, for fun.

Avoid:

  • man-tailored styles
  • wide, unconstructed styles
  • traditional, symmetrically tailored slacks

6. Blouses

Blouses should be soft and draped but ultrafitted at the neck and cuff, with bodice detail. You may go for very crisp touches of ruffles or lace, which will be very chic, or may opt for a streamlined look, with animated outlining.

Silky blouses are best although sheer cottons, voiles, batiste, and handkerchief linen may also be used.

Avoid:

  • severely tailored blouses
  • unconstructed blouses

7. Sweaters

Your sweaters should be very fitted at the waist and cuff areas with small and crisp collar additions. Ribbed trim and intricate detail (such as appliqué, beading, sparkles, jewels, etc.) are very sopisticated, as are extremely animated patterns when kept small and swirling or crisp and curvy.

Soft Gamine sweaters are best when they are fluffy or have a deep pile (angora, bouclé, etc.). Skinny knits must be very shaped into blouson styles that are ultrafitted at the neck. waist, cuff, and shoulder areas.

Avoid:

  • clingy knits
  • rough, bulky knits
  • long, oversized, sweaters
  • standard, symmetrical styles (i.e., cardigans)

8. Evening wear

Fitted shapes with crisply ornate trim. Smooth fabric with glitzy trim. Beading sparkles, bows, netting, and playfully sexy accessories. The following are great examples:

  • bustier dresses
  • bouffant ball gowns
  • evening knit dresses (flat knits with glitzy trim)
  • draped evening pants with glitzy tops or fitted jackets
  • fitted dinner suits with flounces (peplums, ornate jackets, etc.)
  • pouffy cocktail dresses with crisp flounces (taffeta skirts, crinoline, etc.)

9. Shoes

Your shoes should be lightweight and delicate with tapered toe and heel. Touches of intricate trim. Bare and strappy are good, as are open toes and sling-backs. Flats should be very feminine. Light and bright shades are excellent choices.

Avoid:

  • chunky styles
  • extremely angular styles
  • plain, symmetrical pumps

11. Belts

Your belts should be narrow to moderate and crisp. Contrasting colors are excellent. Buckles should be curved, swirled, or slightly intricate. Material should be very elgant leather, reptile, or exquisite fabric.

Avoid: wide, stiff belts

12. Hats

Soft Gamines’ hats should be small and crisp in rounded shapes with minimal trim (veils, feathers, etc.). Crisp caps are also good, but keep the shapes small and rounded.

Avoid:

  • oversized hats
  • main-tailored hats
  • unconstructed, floppy hats

13. Hosiery

Your hosiery should contrast with your hemline at all times, except for a very dressy evening look (when they will be very sheer and silky).

Generally, a “light leg” is the most chic look for you, and you can either blend it with the shoe, which is very elegant, or contrast it with both the hemline and the shoe, which is most charming.

An opaque stocking is best for the funky, contrast look, while a sheer stocking is better with the light leg blend. Flesh-toned stockings are best when the hemline and shoe are of matching, vibrant colors, or with bare, summertime outfits. Lacy textures and sparkly trim are fun for evening.

Avoid: one long line of dark color

14. Jewelry

Jewelry is one of your most important accessories, for it adds the sophistication and touch of wit to your look. Shapes should be rounded and crisp, whether circles, swirls, ovals, clusters, teardrops, etc.

Irregular and animated pieces are excellent as long as you keep your curves highlighted. Brightly colored pieces capture both your vivacity and your animation to perfection.

Big, bright beads are always excellent. Keep earrings crisp and on the ear (or spraying up) as opposed to dangles. Wristbands are bracelets should be bangles. Unusual pins and brooches are also wonderful touches to spice up your appearance.

Don’t be afraid to be a little outrageous with your jewelry; let your sense of humor show. It can be the area in which your saucy elegance comes across most clearly.

15. Hair

A Soft Gamine’s hair should always be soft and tousled, with soft layering on top of a boyishly cropped cut. The combination of cropped underneath/ feathered on top is ultrafeminine on you.

Asymmetrical cuts are possible if the hair is curled or waved, although this style should be finger-teased for fullness. Feathery fringe around the face is always good for you. Length must be kept short. Long hair simply won’t work for you because it drags you down and hides your animation, your electricity, and your sensuality!

Avoid:

  • long hair
  • severe cuts
  • loosely layered manes
  • blunt-edged, sleek cuts
  • overly ornate, teased, and fantasy coiffures

16. Haircolor

Soft Gamines’ haircolors should be rich and vibrant. If you decide to color your hair, go for a fairly bright shade. Softening your haircolor tends to be too tiring on you, but subtle highlights around the face or on top may accent the softly tousled look that is your trademark.

Avoid:

  • overstreaking the hair
  • overlightening the hair

17. Makeup

The best makeup for a Soft Gamine is bright and colorful. It is the icing on your cake. It provides polish and elegance and just a hint of glamour. Without it, your head-to-toe look will not work well, for it adds that extra pizzazz that completes your picture.

Choose a crisp and vivid face: bright colors accenting the eyes, ultrarosy cheeks, and very glossy lips. Include a bit of sparkle — just a hint for daytime, but for evening, go all the way with bright color and frosty glitter!

Use rounded strokes to blend your makeup so that your entire face is made up of circles and swirls to honor your Romantic undercurrent.

Avoid:

  • heavy contouring to “slim” your full cheeks (You’ll only look like you have a dirty face!)
  • smoky colors (too severe on you)
  • neutrals (too stark and cold on you)
  • “no makeup” or minimal look (very aging on you)
  • pastel colors, especially too pale lips (very matronly on you)

Soft Gamine Shopping Guide & Styling Techniques

Shape

Crisp curves with sharp edges. Rounded shapes that are smoothly formed, including bouffants. Ovals, circles, elliptical shapes, chunky swirls, teardrops, crisp clusters.

Avoid:

  • sharp geometrics
  • small symmetrical shapes
  • overly intricate, delicate shapes
  • oversized, bulky, or chunky geometrics

Line and silhouette

Animated, staccato silhouette. Broken, curved lines. Sharply tapered outlines (especially at waist, collar, cuff). Small bouffant lines with crisp edges. Small, draped lines with tapered edges.

Avoid:

  • wide, unconstructed silhouettes
  • soft and flowing silhouettes
  • all smooth lines
  • all elongated lines
  • severe, straight lines
  • geometric silhouettes
  • symmetrical silhouettes
  • all strong horizontal lines

Fabric

The best fabric for Soft Gamine is lightweight and crisp so it can hold a defined shape that is tailored into the garment as well as be supple enough to have a slight drape and movement.

Matte-finished fabric is best because it looks fresher on you, although slight sheens are fine too. Textures should be light, not heavy or bulky, and fairly crisp. Drapable woven fabrics (jersey, cashmere, challis, etc.) can be used very effectively when there is extra construction in the garment to provide a very defined outline.

Knits should be soft and fluffy (angora, mohair, bouclé, etc.), although flat, clingy knits are effective when tailored into curvy shapes with rounded outlines. Metallics are excellent for evening, but should be avoided during the day.

Avoid:

  • overly flimsy, sheer, and clingy fabrics
  • heavyweight, thick, or bulky fabrics
  • rough, thick textures
  • bulky knits

Detail

Detail should always be animated, lively, and energetic. An excess of detail, particularly in the area of trim, is one of the important ways you express vivacity in your appearance.

Shoulders should be crisp and slightly padded. The pads should always add streamlined curves. Shoulder gathers, tucks, and shirring are excellent, as is any intricate trim or appliqué in this area.

Necklines should be clean and crisp, preferably curved. They are best when they are either high or closed, although lower scoops and plunges are acceptable.

Crisp collars are excellent and should be used profusely. They should be small and very tailored or shaped, with contrasting fabric, trim, color, etc., the perfect choice. Curved or rounded shapes are best.

Small, sharp pleats, ornate trim, appliqué, top-stitching, epaulets, pocket plackets, etc., are all good touches for the bodice area.

Crisp cuffs with contrasting buttons, bands, trim, etc., are always chic. Waist should be always sharply defined with waistbands, contrasting trim, appliqué, etc. A tapered and cinched waist is a mainstay of your look.

Gathers at the waist are excellent if they are small and crisp (as opposed to deep and soft). The hemline should be tapered at the knee area. If it is long, it will be tulip-shaped. Contrasting trim at the hemline is excellent.

Contrasting and colorful trim is everywhere!

Avoid;

  • minimal detail
  • elongated detail
  • overly antique detail
  • sharply geometric detail
  • wide, unconstructed detail

Accessories

Soft Gamines’ accessories should be small and crisp with a bit of intricate trim for animation. Colorful accessories are always a good choice.

Color

Your use of color should be bright and sparkling, with a multicolor palette of vivid, rich, and intense shades played against each other on top of either a pale or deep background. Sharp color contrast is excellent on you. Color schemes can be as wild and unusual as you dare; the more shades you use, the more sophisticated the effect!

Avoid:

  • neutrals, except as accents
  • dark colors that aren’t broken by vivid accents
  • monochromatic color schemes (too dull and matronly on you)

Prints

You should use lots and lots of prints that are lively and animated. Bright colors, high color contrast, and outlined colors are all good choices. Shapes should be curved and intricate, but keep them crisp and animated instead of watercolor-blended. Size should be small to moderate.

Avoid:

  • sharp geometrics
  • symmetrical prints
  • oversized and abstract prints
  • watercolor-soft blends without a crisp outline
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