This article will show you a Soft Natural shopping guide — from casual to formal outfits, accessories, makeup, and coloring.
Not sure how a pure Soft Natural 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 Natural Shopping Guide
Dresses should be soft and flowing, but at the same time loose and unconstructed. They should either loosely define the waist in full, flared silhouettes, or be very draped and clingy in a straighter silhouette.
Detail should be low on the body (shirring, gathers, appliqué, sparkly trim, etc.) as opposed to high, or framing the face. A slightly antique approach to dress is also possible, but keep them loose and billowy instead of fussy and overly fitted.
- crisp, fitted styles
- overly fussy styles
- wide, shapeless styles
- severely tailored styles
- plain, symmetrical styles
An obvious use of separates is excellent for you. Be sure to keep an artful blend of textures, colors, and patterns.
3. Jackets and blazers
Jackets should be unconstructed, soft, and always showing the waist but not necessarily emphasizing it. This can be a jacket that is shaped through the waist, or it can be a jacket that is unconstructed and very lightweight or flimsy, so that it drapes around the body but still reveals the waist.
Shoulders can be extended and padded, without being crisp, and the length can be shortish if the jacket is shaped through the waist, or longer (top of the thigh area) if it is belted or unconstructed/ boxy.
Jackets that are not shaped or belted must be very draped and fluid, and should be left unfastened.
- cropped bolero jackets
- severely tailored jackets
- flouncy jackets that are overly fitted and trimmed
- long, heavy jackets (whether unconstructed or not)
Skirts should have a soft outline. Full or flared skirts that are flat in the hip area are excellent. Straight skirts that are lightweight, draped, or slightly tapered are also good. Straight skirts have an even hem and are worn short, no longer than the bottom of the kneecap.
Full skirts have an uneven hem and are worn long, mid calf, and below. Slits, kick pleats, button fronts, plackets, etc., are all fine, as are bits of intricate detail (shirring, draping, etc.), as long as they’re not restrictive.
- symmetrical skirts (like A-lines)
- long, straight, pencil-slim skirts
- overly fitted skirts with excess trim
Pants should be lightweight and slightly draped, with a bit of soft detail or ornate trim (gathers, shirring, soft pleats). Legs may be softly straight, draping about the ankle, or slightly tapered and pegged.
- wide, shapeless styles
- plain, symmetrical styles
- severe, man-tailored styles
- overly fitted styles with fussy trim
Blouses should be soft, draped, and slightly loose and billowy or clingy. Detail should be slightly antique and intricate, but should not be fussy and overdone. Open necks are best, particularly if draped, and camisoles are also good.
The more detail there is, the more unconstructed the blouse should be. Sheer fabrics are excellent (voiles, batiste, etc.). The shinier the fabric, the less detail there should be.
- severe blouses
- fussy necklines
- shapeless blouses
- stiffly tailored blouses
Soft knits that are luxurious to the touch. They can either be lightweight and silky or thick and deep, just as long as they don’t ever seem rough. Slightly long sweaters are nice, if they are somewhat clingy and reveal the body (particularly the waist) underneath.
Cropped or fitted sweaters should be thicker (bouclé, cable-stitched, etc.), and any detail (shirring, draping, etc.) should be low on the body and loose. Trim such as appliqué, jewels, beading, etc., should be slightly antique or softly abstract in shape. Skinny, ribbed knits can be fun, especially in dresses that you belt.
Avoid: heavy sweaters that hide the body
8. Evening wear
Simple shapes with an easy flow. Drapable fabrics. Plush fabrics. Slightly sheer fabrics. Glitzy trim. Loose waist detail. Soft necklines. The following are great:
- draped pants
- evening sarongs
- antique lace dresses
- flowing gowns with flared skirts
- evening separates (blouses, sweaters, etc.)
- pouffy cocktail dresses with fitted tops and flouncy skirts (long or short)
Shoes should be tapered in shape and slightly delicate in style with little or no trim. An open-toe, sling-back, or “bare” look is best. The shape may also be angular if the heel is very high and narrow and the toe is very tapered. Or opt for feminine flats with little trim.
Avoid: extremely angular, heavy styles
Your bags should be moderate in size. Shape may be slightly rounded with little or no trim, or softly geometric with slight gathers or intricacy to soften. Antique bags are excellent for evening (small and beaded). Moderate-sized, unconstructed “pouchy” styles are also good.
Avoid: crisply structured bags
Your belts should be wide and supple, either soft leather or suede, or exquisite fabric. Buckles should be intricate and slightly antique, with sparkles or beading for evening are especially lovely.
Avoid: stiff belts
Hats should be soft and floppy (i.e., picture frame) or rounded and clean (i.e., crisp-brimmed straw). Detail should be soft (antique ribbons, lace, or flowers). Fur hats are soft and fluffy.
- small, crisp caps
- small, symmetrical styles
- severe, main-tailored styles
Flesh-toned stockings are best for an elegant daytime work look if you wear a suit. Opaque stockings in light shades are soft, and you may definitely contrast the stocking with the hemline if you wish.
Bright and textured stockings are excellent for fun. Dark stockings are for evening only and should be very sexy and sheer, with lacy textures or exciting sparkles.
Avoid one long line of dark color (too dull and matronly on you).
Your jewelry should be delicate in workmanship but highly creative in effect. Unusual materials, particularly crystal, hand-wrought copper or silver, leather, intricately carved leather or stone, faceted glass, and any piece that looks as though it was designed by an artist is wonderful for you.
“Wearable art” suits you best, ranging from wild and funky pieces with feathers, faux jewels, and sparkles to ornate Navajo Indian turquoise to elegant mixtures of opals, diamonds, and platinum. It must be both highly original and slightly intricate at the same time.
Very simple antique pieces are also quite appropriate, especially for very dressy evenings, but always make sure there is at least a touch of sparkle and a bit of dangle.
- severe geometrics
- heavy, chunky pieces
- stark avant-garde pieces
- small, symmetrical pieces
- minimal, “no jewelry” looks
Hair should be soft and free. A loosely layered cut, giving the hair a slightly tousled and softly sensual look, is best. Perms and processing are appropriate if needed to add body and soft curl. Length should be moderate to long.
- boyishly cropped hair
- severe, geometric cuts
- blunt-edged symmetrical cuts
- overly ornate and stylized hair (except for evening styles, which should then be highly original and very witty)
Haircolor should be rich, natural, and soft looking. It should not look as if you color your hair. If you choose to do so, make sure the effect is subtle, not drastic. Subtle lowlights, cellophaning, or henna is the best type of color for you.
- boldly theatrical colors (blue, black, platinum, or straw-yellow blond, fiery red, etc.)
- overly lightened hair
Your makeup is crucial to pulling your head-to-toe appearance together. It should be a fresh face with only a hint of soft/ bright color, styled in a watercolor blend. A touch of frost to the eyes, very rosy and rounded cheeks, and soft and glossy lips finish your fresh and feminine loveliness to perfection.
In the evening, sheer sparkle may be added at will (but be careful that it remains fairly translucent.).
- heavy contouring (too star)
- neutrals (too tired and aging)
- “no makeup” look (too dull and matronly)
- dark colors — smoky eyes, deep lips (too severe)
Soft Natural Shopping Guide & Styling Techniques
Asymmetric and irregular curves (elongated ovals, wide circles, ellipticals, etc.). Relaxed geometrics with rounded edges. Easy swirls.
- sharp geometrics
- overly ornate shapes
- plain, symmetrical shapes
- wide, chunky, and boxy shapes
Line and silhouette
Unconstructed silhouette with shaping, particularly at waist. Relaxed lines with subtle drape and flow, particularly bias cuts.
- wide, shapeless silhouettes
- sharp, severe silhouettes
- symmetrical silhouettes
- fitted silhouettes
Soft textures with a plushor slightly rough finish. A tactile feeling is very stunning and evocative of your freshly feminine and artistic essence. Weights should be light to moderate so fluid movement is possible.
Anything wrinkly, nubby, slubbed, or loosely woven is excellent, particularly in a daytime, suited look. Shiny fabrics may be worn with ease in the evening, but should be left aside for day, except for slight sheen of texture (such as shantung). Deep pile (velour, suede, bouclé knits, etc.) is excellent, as is buttery-soft leather.
- stiff fabrics
- overly flimsy fabrics
- flat surfaced fabrics
Detail should be loose, relaxed, delicate, slightly intricate and very creative. Any detail that suggests either a bit of the antique or the earth is excellent.
Shoulders may be extended and padded, but should not be sharp or stiff.
Necklines should be loose and soft, not closed, restricted, or fussy (simple draped necklines; soft cowls; soft, notched collars; clean lapels; shawl collars, etc.).
Waist should be defined, although loosely. There can be slightly blousy effect at the waist, with the top draped over the waistline, or a slightly dropped waist as long as the silhouette is fluid.
Gathers and folds should be deep, full, and soft. Sleeves can be full and flowing or gently tapered at the wrist with a minimum of detail. Trim should be delicate and antique (shirring, applique, etc.).
- no detail
- sharply tailored detail
- animated “perky” detail
- overly fitted and fussy detail
Your use of color should be vibrant and rich. Brights and pastels form the basis of your wardrobe, but soft neutrals with a little vivid accenting can be very elegant and exciting in beautiful textures.
Dark colors will be too stark if you don’t break them up. Use them primarily for accents or for color combinations. Bright and soft color combinations work best, as opposed to starkly contrasting ones. For example light/ bright or bright/ dark combos are softer on you than light/ dark ones.
Wild color combinations (bright/ bright) of opposing intensities are fun, (particularly for your casual clothes.
- head-to-toe dark schemes
- dull, monochromatic schemes
Prints should be softly rounded shapes, abstract and flowing. They may be either watercolor-blended or very electric and vibrant; as long as they are slightly irregular and have soft edges. Size should be moderate to slightly large.
- small, symmetrical prints
- severe geometrics
- overly intricate prints
- animated, “cute” or “perky” prints