Kibbe Body Types, and How they Unlock the Potential in Your Appearance

Recently learned about Kibbe body types and want to know more? Keep reading for our intro to the 13 Kibbe body types, plus how to identify yours.

The 5 Kibbe Body Types- Image via ShutterStock

Kibbe body types and the corresponding Kibbe personal style system might just be the most comprehensive style guide that exists today. Knowing your Kibbe body type, and understanding how it impacts your wardrobe, makeup, and hairstyle can completely transform the way you shop, the way you get dressed, and your personal appearance altogether.

If you’re new to the Kibbe system, it can seem daunting at first. There is so much to learn, so it’s best to start by understanding the basics.

Wondering about your Kibbe Body Type? Take our Kibbe Body Type Quiz!

So what is the Kibbe system?

Developed by longtime fashion-stylist David Kibbe in the 1980s, the Kibbe Body Type system is all about identifying your body’s unique masculine and feminine traits, or yin and yang, and how they work together to create your unique look. Kibbe identified five broad body type families, each with 2-3 sub-types, for a total of 13 body types altogether.

Once you know your body type, Kibbe then offers specific style and beauty guidance for flattering your features, including silhouettes and colors to choose and what to avoid.

At it’s core, Kibbe’s method is designed to help women understand their body type and learn to highlight and appreciate their best assets, instead of focusing on the things they don’t love about their bodies.

“There’s not one thing about your natural physical appearance that isn’t absolutely perfect for the totally unique individual you are.”

– David Kibbe

Cool right?

Keep reading to find out about the five Kibbe body type families, as well as the specific 13 Kibbe body types, plus how they can be your fashion compass.

Who is David Kibbe?

Image via David Kibbe

David Kibbe is a longtime wardrobe and personal stylist. He’s best known for his innovative approach to personal style and body typing, which he documented in his 1987 book called “Metamorphosis: Discover Your Image Identity and Dazzle as Only You Can,” that is now out of print. (Though if you feel like splurging, you can find a used copy for somewhere around $400!)

Kibbe’s book, while popular in the ’80s, later fell by the wayside until the 2010s, when it experienced a resurgence on social media.

Kibbe is still an active fashion stylist, however, and offers one-on-one styling sessions to clients. He also apparently has a new book coming out sometime in the next year or two, according to a post on his Facebook page in 2022. He hasn’t shared any more details, however.

What are Kibbe Body Types?

As we noted, there are five broad body types, and 13 specific body types, each a specific combination of masculine and feminine qualities. The Kibbe body types system was developed to give women a holistic approach to understanding their physical characteristics, including facial features and bone structure, in order to create a framework for personal style.

Unlike other body type systems that segment based on fruit or geometrical shapes (think apple, pear), Kibbe is more nuanced and looks at how yin (soft, rounded features) and yang (sharp, angular features) energies manifest in your appearance. Based on this blend, Kibbe classifies individuals into one of 13 distinct types, ranging from “Romantic” (all Yin) to “Dramatic” (all Yang), with many mixed categories in between.

Understanding your Kibbe body type is like getting a personalized roadmap to fashion. Knowing your type will unlock the key to choosing colors and silhouettes that flatter your body.

The Kibbe system offers insight into:

  1. Personalized Choices: Knowing your type means you can choose clothes, hairstyles, and accessories that flatter your natural features. This cuts down on shopping mistakes and makes dressing up more intuitive.
  2. Boosted Confidence: When you wear what complements your natural essence, it boosts your confidence. You aren’t trying to fit into a trend, but rather letting the trend work for you.
  3. Saves Time: No more hours wasted trying on outfits that just don’t seem right. With the Kibbe system, you get a clearer picture of what works for you.

The Five Broad Families of Kibbe Body Types:

The Kibbe system categorizes body types into five broad families, each with a balance of yin and yang: Each of these broad categories has 1-2 sub-types, for a total of 13 body types altogether.

1. Dramatic (Yang)

Dominantly yang, or masculine, these body types are characterized by sharpness, elongation, and a bold look. Celebrities with dramatic body types include Clare Danes, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Taylor Swift.

2. Romantic (Yin)

Fully yin, the Romantic types exude softness, roundness, and lushness. Romantic celebs include Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore.

3. Classic

A balanced blend of yin and yang, the Classic types are symmetrical and moderate. Classic celebrities include Marion Cotillard and Kirsten Dunst.

4. Natural

Natural body types combine a fairly even mix of yin and yang, but with slight yang dominance. They have a relaxed, slightly blunt, and unconstructed appearance. Sandra Bullock and Cindy Crawford are natural types.

5. Gamine

A combination of opposites – a mix of both yin and yang. Gamines exhibit a juxtaposition of rounded and sharp features. Zoey Deschanel and Audrey Hepburn are gamine Kibbe types.

The 13 Distinct Kibbe Body Types

Don’t know your Kibbe body type yet? Take out Kibbe Body Type Quiz to find out which type you are!

1. Dramatic

Taylor Swift is a Dramatic Kibbe type. Image via @TaylorSwift

This type is characterized by a strong yang presence. Tall, with a straight body type and sharp facial features, Dramatics look great in bold, minimalist styles. Think Tilda Swinton.


2. Soft Dramatic

While still dominantly yang, they have a yin undercurrent, evident in their facial features and body curves. These types can carry bold styles but with added decorative details. Sophia Loren is a great example.

3. Romantic

Fully yin, they have rounded and soft bodies with full facial features. They shine in clothing that accentuates their curves, like Marilyn Monroe and Mila Kunis.

4. Soft Romantic

Image via Shutterstock

These types have a dominant yin with slight yang undercurrents. They have a mix of soft, rounded features with some angularity. Think of Drew Barrymore.

5. Classic

Timelessly elegant, the Classic body type is balanced with neither overly yin nor yang. They suit moderate and timeless styles. Grace Kelly embodies this.

6. Soft Classic

Kerry Washington, source unknown

A dominant balance with a slight yin essence. They have a blended look that leans towards softness. Think of a refined look with gentle edges, much like Annette Bening and Kerry Washington.

7. Dramatic Classic

Image via Shutterstock

The Kibbe dramatic classic type retains balance but with a subtle yang dominance. Their styles should be timeless but with some sharper details. Halle Berry is a notable example.

8. Natural

Relaxed and slightly blunt, Naturals have an even mix with a slight yang dominance. They look best in unconstructed and relaxed outfits. Jennifer Aniston is an example.

9. Soft Natural

Dominantly relaxed with a yin undercurrent, their best styles are relaxed but with some detailing. Valeria Golino fits this type.

10. Flamboyant Natural

A stronger yang essence with a bit of yin, they look great in bold unconstructed styles with some ornate details. Think Michelle Pfeiffer and Cindy Crawford.

11. Gamine

Image via Shutterstock

A mix of both yin and yang, they have a juxtaposition of features. Gamines look great in animated and lively styles. Audrey Hepburn is a classic example.

12. Soft Gamine

While they have the juxtaposed yin and yang features, the yin is more dominant here. Their styles are animated but softer. Bette Davis is an example.

13. Flamboyant Gamine

A juxtaposition with dominant yang, they shine in bold, animated styles with sharper details. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Twiggy are commons representations.

How do you know your Kibbe Body type?

The best way to understand your Kibbe body type is to take the Kibbe body type test, which is a multiple-question quiz that Kibbe developed. We’ve actually republished the quiz from the Metamorphosis book in our Kibbe Body Type Quiz, so give it a shot if you don’t know your type!

How does the Kibbe system help you get dressed?

Understanding your Kibbe body type is like getting a personalized roadmap to fashion. The Kibbe system offers:

  1. Personalized Choices: Knowing your type means you can choose clothes, hairstyles, and accessories that flatter your natural features. This cuts down on shopping mistakes and makes dressing up more intuitive.
  2. Boosted Confidence: When you wear what complements your natural essence, it boosts your confidence. You aren’t trying to fit into a trend, but rather letting the trend work for you.
  3. Saves Time: No more hours wasted trying on outfits that just don’t seem right. With the Kibbe system, you get a clearer picture of what works for you.

Where do you find Kibbe body type resources?

Because Kibbe’s book is now out of print, the Internet is the best place to find Kibbe body type resources, including suggestions for what to wear, what color to choose, what hairstyles will flatter you, and more.

There are lots of blogs and websites dedicated to the Kibbe System, as well as Reddit threads and Facebook groups that center around Kibbe’s teachings.

Here is a list of some of the best Kibbe body type resources:

If you prefer to go straight to the source, David Kibbe is also still actively offering his personal styling services.