If you have predominantly answers B in the Kibbe test, with no clear second, you have a soft Yang balance, meaning your bone structure is mostly yang (angular, robust), but you also have a soft ying undercurrent, be it in blunt rather than sharp edges, or in rounder muscular tones rather than tout skin/flesh. You give an aura of athleticism, whether you’re tall or on the petite side, you look either long and lean, or simply fit, and you tend to gain weight in your mid-section before anywhere else (unlike the predominantly ying boned Romantics, the mosaic Gamines, or the balanced Classics who gain fleshiness around the thighs, face, chest, or upper arms), much like Dramatics. You fall between the Dramatics and the Classics in the spectrum of possibilities. Flamboyant Naturals have most answers B, but As are a close second. If, on the other hand, your second most obtained response was either D or E, then you’re a Soft Natural, meaning that although your bone structure is predominantly yang, you have a lot of softness to you, be it in terms of fleshiness, or facial features (rounded lips/eyes, softer cheekbones or jawline, etc.). If you have an even mixture of A and E extremes with many B answers you’re not Natural, you’re Gamine, and we’ll cover your category in an upcoming blog.
Cindy Crawford is a Natural, as is Liv Taylor, and Jennifer Aniston. All of these timeless beauties exemplify a strong body structure, whether soft and long like Liv, angular without being sharp like Cindy, or rounder and fit like Jennifer. Scarlett Johansen is an other example of a Soft Natural. Naturals are characterized by a more nuanced angularity which lacks the clear sharpness of Dramatics, without quite reaching the uncompromising balance of the Classics. Bones are broader, musculature is slightly pronounced, eyes and lips are often (though not always) on the wider side, rather than narrow and sharp. Although facial features are strong, they aren’t overtly soft in nature. The Soft Natural will be slightly more curvy, possibly shorter, and with rounder facial features that are reminiscent of the Romantics.
Overall Naturals give off the impression of being open-minded, free spirited, friendly, approachable, and active. Naturals are usually moderately tall, but don’t have to be. They’re fairly straight-bodied (not lushly curved), although Soft Naturals will lean more towards curviness, especially in the upper thigh and arm areas. Generally speaking, Naturals are fairly easy to identify because of the broadness of their shoulders, compared to their hips, but this isn’t always a given. Remember that the Kibbe test has 16 questions, and it’s the overall balance of these questions that is assessed in these categorizations. Naturals often have wider, squarish hands, though some might have long and slender, or even short and stubby hands. Naturals aren’t often large-chested, and tend to be long-waisted, with a small waist-to-hip ratio. Even when overweight the Natural will tend to look straight, rather than curvy, sometimes looking a bit stocky. By and large Naturals will not have a very pronounced hourglass figure, extremely sharp, symmetrical, or lush features, but they’ll often be either boyishly thin or muscular.
Below you’ll find the general guidelines for Naturals. If you’re Flamboyant Natural, lean more towards angularity, severity, geometrics, bolder, and more contrasting looks, whereas if you’re a Soft Natural, you’ll go in the opposite direction opting for rounder, more detailed, more delicate looks.
Anything that adds length is great: long vertical lines, be it in pattern (rectangular standing up), or in shape (A line skirts, maxi skirts, long, straight cardigans and shapeless tops) are ideal. Rounded-edged rectangles, soft oblongs, irregular shapes, and soft asymmetrical shapes are great. Think hippie styles of the 70’s and you get the idea. Naturally flowing materials, nothing too stiff or boxy, just naturally falling from your shoulders is fantastic on you. Flowy and slightly stiffer hijabs work great on you, as do all sorts of jilbabs and abayas. Long maxi skirts, straight legged pants, palazzo pants without creases (leave the creases for Dramatics, or an especially angular Flamboyant Natural). Long, unconstructed silhouettes look amazing on you, think loose, easy fits.
Your perfect look consists of loose fitting jeans and a sweater, a loose T and long cardigan. Scarves and a variety of fabric mixes look fabulous on you. This is where you are welcome to express your personality, as excessive detailing is too busy looking on you. Separates call out your name, and the sky is the limit for you. Unlike Dramatics and Romantics you can mix and match styles all you want, provided you respect the general vertical simple lines of your body’s skeleton.
Overly matched looks are extremely boring on you, take full advantage of the versatility of textures and patterns at your disposal and go wild with them. “Designer sportswear” was practically designed with your body-type in mind, so indulge in these types of lines.
When mixing and matching, however, beware of breaking the overall vertical impression. Breaking your vertical line is what Gamines look best in, not you. So mix to your heart’s content, but maintain the overall top to bottom flow, vertical fluidity, and sophisticated pairing of patterns, designs, cuts, and fabrics.
In jackets an unconstructed vertical jacket with patched pockets (as are back in this year) look gorgeous on you, as do long cardigans (a hijabi favorite), and long tunics. If you leave it open, you could even wear a double breasted blazer!
Simplicity is key.
Maxi skirts are your best friend, A lined, straight, gathered at the waist (though you should avoid too many stiff pleats, accordeon pleats, and overly gathered waists, as well as tight pencil skirts). Culottes, gauchos, and slightly flared hemlines are fine.
Sweatpants were designed with you in mind, so go ahead and sport them! Any type of pant looks fabulous on you, so don’t be shy, whether it be formal, or a draw-string beach look, you can’t go wrong! The only pant to avoid is perhaps the harem style, which gives a balloon effect (gathered waist, poufy middle, and tapered or closed ankle), and extremely fitted leggings, other than these, you’re good to go.
Sweaters are your best friend, as with pants, there’s almost no kind of sweater that won’t look good on you. Just avoid overly feminine and overly chunky ones.
Blouses are good as long as they’re simple, not frilly, and not overly structured or geometrical.
In terms of prints you can include geometrics, animal prints, funky styles, irregular, and of virtually any scale, provided they contribute to the overall vertical line of your body. Softly blended, slightly curved, rather than severely angular are preferable.
Naturals probably have the most versatile wardrobe on the planet, and capsule wardrobes should be a cinch, since you can virtually mix and match anything with anything you own!
Very intricate and ornate patterns, decorative pieces, minutely detailed trimmings, very sharp geometrical shapes (in pattern or cut).
Oversized, shapeless silhouettes, severely straight or overly rounded shapes in pattern or design. Cropped styles, severely constructed and angular styles (with wide lapels or peplums, many gathers, pleats, etc.).
Sheer, shiny, clingy and flimsy fabrics.
Being too matchy-matchy.
Balloon-style pants and skirts. Too many gathers or pleats at the waist.
Pencil-thin looks. Fitted anything, including leggings.
Watercolor prints, florals, polka-dots, and tiny prints are your enemy and will make you look completely out of sorts, larger than life or simply like you belong elsewhere.
Luckily your style doesn’t require over-accessorizing, so if you can find one or two go-to bags, you’re good to go. Simple, minimalistic designs, rounded edged geometrical shapes of any color would work wonders. Moderately-sized, shoulder bags and clutches work well. Supple leather is ideal, nothing too fine or too edgy.
For shoes go for simply tailored, low to moderate heels that are straight and preferably not tapered. Wedges are fine. Avoid strappy, overly decorated or complicated designs.
Belts are good as long as they’re loosely fitted (drop-waist) and simple in design, preferably medium to thick width (2-10 cm). Buckles are ok, provided they’re not bedazzled or overly intricate in design. Ribbons and saches work just as well!
If you wear hats, keep them floppy and loose and steer clear of stiff and/or ornate styles.
As for jewelry you look fabulous in nature inspired looks, think Celtic (Elvish, Lord of the Rings designs), wearable art designs, funky costume pieces, ethnic jewelry, rugged turquoise or semi-precious stones on tarnished silver or brass scream your name. Irregularly shaped brooches, earrings, long necklaces with a single pendant or a series of different-colored beads all add interest without breaking with your lines. Just as long as you stay away from super-luxurious, shiny, overly classy, Rococo or Baroque styles, and boring symmetry… you should look like a million bucks!
Hair and Make-up:
For parties you want your hair to be loose, free-spirited, feathered, airy. Layering is a must. Avoid strict ’40s styles, they’re too severe and will age you tremendously.
If you like to wear make-up, keep it as neutral as possible, even at ladies only parties. This doesn’t mean wear no make-up, but practice as much as possible the “natural” look, which can be as difficult to achieve as the most sophisticated cat-eye or smoky-eyed look. You should try to avoid glitter and sparkle, opting for matte finishes. Go for a complete look, rather than heavy make-up on the eyes and clear lips. Lip gloss is fine, but seek balance in your make-up, say with a nude eye shadow and thin eye-liner with mascara. The idea is for you to look naturally healthy, so rosy cheeks are fine, as long as they don’t contrast with the rest of your face, and are too starkly defined.
For hundreds of ideas on how to dress for your Kibbe body type, visit my Pinterest Kibbe Naturals Board, where you’ll find plenty of inspiration for looks, from top to bottom, including accessories, make-up, evening and every-day wear.
Hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you’re not a Natural, check out my other posts on Romantic and Theatrical Romantic Type (Kibbe Style): Hijab edition! and Kibbe Classic: Hijabi Version. Dramatics and Gamines will follow soon, insha Allah.