There’s this misconception out there in the ethers that Kibbe is about imposing a style based on your curves, and that it’s limited to Caucasian women’s looks. I vehemently disagree with both these beliefs. The first is simply not based on fact, because the style Kibbe worked with was firmly established in the fashion of the 80’s, and yet here we are, almost four decades later, using his principals and applying them to our own fashion sense in a different century! Kibbe’s principals are based on lines, you don’t have to be sexy if you’re Romantic, a hippie if you’re Natural, cute and childish if you’re Gamine, or stiff if you’re Dramatic. If you want further evidence of this, I highly recommend you go to Merriam Style youtube channel, where she discusses the ways in which you can use your lines to change your look or style, and how one shouldn’t get stuck on the stereotypes. Kibbe points out what LINES suit you best, look most natural on you, don’t contrast with your nature, but what you wear is completely up to you. You can follow the rules and be sassy, dignified, sultry, cute, carefree. Or you can go out of your way to break all the rules and let your clothes do all the talking. But I think most of us want our personalities to shine through, and Kibbe helps us do that. As for the second misconception, please visit this other series of Merriam Style’s videos, where she delves deeper into African American Kibbe styles, and this one where she investigates weight and body type. If you understand the principals, there’s nothing to prevent anyone, of any body type, or facial features, to benefit from them.
That aside, let’s get into Classic types. Classic is basically the most symmetrical of all forms. They are characterized by the absence of extremities, and this is basically the ethos of the category. Balance and symmetry are the key words of this group, which ranges from Soft (ying, rounded, feminine) Classic to Dramatic Classic (yang, angular, “masculine). Most of the answers are C. For your test, visit Aly Art’s youtube channel, , where you’ll also find a ton of details and examples for each body type and what coats, jewelry, dresses, pants, sweaters, etc. suit yours. If you have mostly C, but A or B (angular, yang) are a close second, then you’re a Dramatic Classic. Although most of you is well-blended, some aspects of your bone structure are more dominant and give you a bit of an edge. If most of your answers are C, but you have a lot of D or E answers as well, then you’re a soft Classic. This means that although your body is overall very balanced (not very curvy or angular), your facial features are rounder.
This doesn’t mean you’re a perfect hourglass, and it doesn’t mean you fit everything that’s out there in your size. Although this is the model normally held up as the ideal body, keep in mind that many models in the 90’s were actually Naturals, not Classics. Classics, however will have an easier time finding clothes that fit, precisely because their curves aren’t as pronounced as Romantics, and because their overall look is understated, not in any way exaggerated. You might have one or two non Classic elements (such as a large nose, or sloping shoulders), but overall the majority of your lines are uniform and balanced. This is the overall image you give, and if you keep your clothes around the same lines, you’ll look your best. It means that anything over the top is not just going to stand out, it’s going to scream for you.
A company that makes ethical and sustainable Muslimah fashion that is suitable to Classics is Shukr. See my other posts for links for your respective region.
Avoid baggy clothes, unconstructed silhouettes, stiff or heavy fabrics, bright color blocks, as well as extremely light fabrics (lace, chiffon, very thin silk). Avoid combining a wide variety of styles, and wild combinations of textures or colors. Avoid clothes that are too delicate, too ornate, childish or cartoonish.
Always go for luxurious fabrics (medium weight silk, cashmere, mohair) light to medium weight fabrics with just the right amount of tailoring (no deep pleats, peplums, steer away from obvious details like cuffs on your pants, big pockets, sharp corners anywhere). Keep in mind that your ideal is balance and lack of contrast.
If you’re Dramatic classic you can get away with slight angularities, slightly more edgy lines (heavier fabrics and tailoring), chunkier jewelry, and other statement pieces. You can lean more toward Dramatic lines, but steer clear of Natural lines, as these are your arch nemesis.
If you’re Soft Classic appliques, lace, shiny, delicate decorations are ok, if not overdone. Avoid too much draping, rough textures, bulky fabrics, stiff designs, too rounded or too geometrical (say in the lapel for example), elements that are best suited to Romantics and Theatrical Romantics, for example aren’t for you. You can use a bit of it if you’re Classic, just don’t overdo it, it’ll scream “I don’t belong in these clothes!” Have your cuffs tapered in at the wrist and ankles. Wide isn’t ideal for you, unless it’s in a delicate thin fabric that makes up for this extra fabric.
For jewelry use classic designs, nothing too flashy, colorful or bulky. Pearls and delicate jewelry works best. Just make sure not to overdo it. Too much jewelry is too much, and will distract from the cleanliness of your natural beauty. I’m not encouraging you to show off your beauty (I’m talking specifically to hijabis here), but simply to allow your best self to shine through, rather than letting your accessories and clothes do all the talking for you.
Accessories: thin to medium thickness belts, medium sized bags, not round, not sharp, not frilly, not girly. Your operative words are symmetry and balance. You’re a classy soft lady and anything that swings too much in any direction will distract from your body’s beautiful balance! Masha Allah!
For hijab you’re really lucky, because scarves look gorgeous on you! Choose slightly slippery kinds that give you some draping, but avoid extra large ones, which risk engulfing you. Avoid super complicated bun-heavy styles, asymmetrical styles, and overly decorated pins and underscarves. They’ll distract from you.
Don’t worry about fancy hijab styles, as long as it’s not too big, bright, stiff, or flowy (lots of frills and extra decorations like lace, studs, etc.). It should look fine, simply perfect! This tutorial below is one example of a balanced, understated hijab style that would suit all Classics.
For more ideas, check my Pinterest Kibbe folder account under the Kibbe folder, you’re sure to find many more ideas and inspiration.
Hope you enjoyed this, and don’t forget to subscribe, to find out more about other Kibbe types that you can get inspiration from! Dramatic type is up next!