Dramatics are diametrically opposed to Romantics. If you’re a Dramatic, be it pure or soft, you are characterized by angularity, sharpness, strong features, an evident skeleton, which, unlike Naturals, isn’t necessarily draped in abundant musculature. This isn’t to say you must be thin, what stands out is the length of the bones, especially the limbs, and the sharpness of the facial features, regardless of weight. Dramatics have prominent features: high cheek bones, square jaws, a sharp nose, and an angular chin for the face, and pointy shoulders, long limbs, large or long hands, and little fleshiness (by this I mean that even if you are overweight or super buffed, the skeleton still reveals itself underneath as being strong and long). If Romantics look stereotypically female, or unapologetically sexy, Dramatics look more stereotypically robust and sharp, not muscular, necessarily, just very elongated and sharp. Think Keira Knightley, and Tilda Swinton, but don’t get stuck on their thinness, that’s actually quite irrelevant. Dramatics often seem slimmer than they are because their skeletons are large, which also means that looking smaller or more stereotypically feminine can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. If you’re sure you’re a Dramatic, check out Merriam Style’s post linked below for suggestions on how to get the look you want within your lines.
If you did your Kibbe test (which you can find on Aly Art’s channel), you should have predominantly answers A. If you have mostly A, but a significant number of E answers, you’re a Soft Dramatic. If, however, you have an even mixture of A and E answers, with a healthy dosage of Bs or Ds, then you’re a Gamine, and your body type will be on my next blog post. For now, let’s concentrate on Dramatics. Like Romantics, Dramatics only have one subdivision, because it these body types are at the extreme end of angular and can only get softer (whereas the Romantic is extremely soft and can only get more angular, becoming Theatrical Romantics). Unlike Naturals, Classics, and Gamines, which all have two subcategories each, which can lean either towards sharpness or softness. A Soft Dramatic has a lot of angularity, but it is draped in soft flesh (be it soft cheeks, luscious lips, or roundness around the chest or tummy area, like Sophia Loren, for example).
Dramatics are usually quite tall, but may be an average 5′ 5” (1.60 m) tall. Kibbe, although he does generalize heights, he doesn’t actually ask for specific measurements in his questions, because ultimately it’s not about size, it’s more about proportions and the overall delineation of your body, including the face. Although Dramatics are usually long and lanky, you might just have comparatively long limbs, which aren’t wide, proportionally speaking. Unlike the blunt, squarish angles of the Naturals, Dramatics have remarkably acute angles, sharp, pointy joints (knees, shoulders, jaws), and long, narrow hands and feet. Facial bones are sharp and prominent, though not necessarily large, in fact they may even be considered delicate, because of their narrowness, despite being quite long in relation to the rest of the body. Lips are often thin and straight, though Soft Dramatics will often have very fleshy and plump lips (like Raquel Welch and Sophia Loren). Pure Dramatics ordinarily won’t have an hourglass figure either, boasting a rather even ratio between hips and waist, and between waist and shoulders. However, Soft Dramatics often do have hourglass figures. Keep in mind that the Kibbe test comprises 16 questions, and it really doesn’t matter how your answers are distributed, it’s about majority answers, secondary and balance between your answers, not about where you find what. We’re all different in the end, and this test is really an approximation to guide you in a direction that is most likely to suit your lines. If you like to make your own clothes, check out Dr. T Designs’ post on how to sew your Kibbe type.
Dramatics, whether pure or Soft aren’t normally petite, nor are they symmetrical. Very symmetrical people are usually Classics, which I covered in a previous post. However, don’t get too hung up on this, as I mentioned above, it’s not about numbers and clothing sizes, it’s about proportions. You might be surprised to learn that Soft Dramatics, Theatrical Romantics, and Soft Gamines are actually very similar, despite being all over the spectrum. They share an uneven distribution of extreme sharpness and extreme softness, and the trick in finding which one you fit in, is in the proportions between your answers. For example, I’m a Theatrical Romantic, my mother is a Soft Dramatic, and my aunt is a Soft Gamine. I’m the tallest of them all and we often exchange clothing, some of my clothes look glorious on my aunt, and some are fabulous on my mom. Despite being the tallest of the three, I have the thinnest bones and limbs, but I always look fleshier than either one of them, because that’s where I carry my weight, in my flesh rather than my bones. Therefore, even when I actually wear a smaller clothing size than either of them I look more curvatious, and if I wear baggy clothes that overlook my TR lines, I look rather heavier and larger than them, despite the actual measurements. For more information on how to switch looks around to finetune your particular look, I highly recommend these two youtube videos by Merriam Style where she gives many examples and a pretty thorough explanation of how to work it out.
Dramatics proper are very similar to Gamines, if it weren’t for their comparative largesse, long and lanky body lines, smaller eyes, and thinner lips. Primarily, the most obvious difference between Dramatics and Gamines isn’t necessarily in stature, but rather in the proportional size of their heads vs their bodies. Check out this insightful video of Merriam‘s for a thorough breakdown of how this happens.
Soft Dramatics might be confused for Theatrical Romantics, if not for the robustness of their bones and more even proportions in the skeleton, which are only draped in soft flesh (whereas the Theatrical Romantic would have smaller, thinner, more delicate bone structure covered in what seems like abundant soft flesh).
Dramatics tend to look like they’re in complete control of any and every situation, they look imposing and sometimes even intimidating. This can be a bit frustrating, especially for women whose character doesn’t really reflect this amount of confidence or aloofness. Even if you’re not very tall, you still look taller than you are, and that’s the question you probably answered A to in your Kibbe test. Again: proportions over measurements. You shouldn’t expect yourself to betray the inner you, but knowing what image you project, and what lines most suit your body’s lines, can help you create the look you are most comfortable with, and that most reflects what you want people to see about you. If you need more clarification on this issue, head on over to Merriam Style’s YouTube channel, where she posts videos about how to exude the image you want within your lines. Overall, Dramatics look best in clothes that are loose, though tailored, thicker fabrics, though not boxy, and slightly oversized rather than fitted.
It is key for you to respect the sharpness of your bone structure, so great tailoring, stiff fabrics, geometric designs (mind you not color blocks!), elongated and crisp silhouettes suit you perfectly, monochromatic looks are your go-to look. You might want to avoid anything too draped, ornate, or delicate-looking, as it’ll look too fussy on you and contrast sharply with your skeleton, making you look severe and intimidating. If you’re trying to look softer, then simply use long vertical draping, or sharp edged gowns in either stiff fabrics or angular designs. Moderate to heavy weight fabrics look best on you, without too much texture or sheen. If you like glamour, then go for sparkle, but go all the way, say with all around sequins, or head to toe metallic. Emphasize your shoulders with crisp shoulder edges, even pads if you want, and if you’re a Soft Dramatic always think T (horizontal at the top and vertical all the way down, possibly, though not necessarily with waist emphasis). You might want to avoid sheer, delicately laced, or very fitting outfits, loose is always better on you. Avoid chunky fabrics and weaves, they require broader bones to sustain them. Respect the narrow length of your limbs, and replicate it in your garments with loose generosity.
Minimalist lines are your staples. But you can easily go for bold geometrics too! Just keep in mind that you’re looking for loose, tailored, clean, vertical lines. Unlike Gamines, horizontal lines that break up your vertical line don’t suit you, so when choosing how to combine your outfits, try to keep them monochromatic and avoid color blocks. The only forgiving horizontal line is around your shoulders, because you can take it! This is a trait you share with Theatrical Romantics. Soft Dramatics can afford a splash of color, in fact a bit of colorful drama will bring out your unique strengths, contrasting colors look glamorous, provided you don’t break your silhouette in half, so if you wear a jilbab in your favorite neutral, be sure to wear a hijab in contrasting color, preferably from the opposite side of the color wheel (just make sure it doesn’t clash with your Undertone). One Muslimah owned business who makes the perfect minimalist Dramatic line ethically and in sustainable, natural fibres on demand at an amazingly affordable price for the quality is Nadinoo, based in the UK, and she ships internationally! Because she makes each piece on demand, it does require some time to get your item, but you can specify the exact length and width that you want based on your own hijab requirements, and the timeless pieces will carry you through every stage of your life, from single freedom loving spirit, through your entire pregnancy, and into your play-loving and relaxation of motherhood and retirement. Now that’s timeless quality! If you’re thinking of a capsule wardrobe and you’re a Dramatic, start with Nadinoo, and you won’t be disappointed, bi idhnillah! My personal favorite would be this 100% organic eucalyptus pant and top, which is absolutely gorgeous!
For tops, you’ll look fabulous in clean necklines, whether V, skinny turtlenecks, boat-neck, square, dress-shirt, or Mandarin style, you can’t go wrong, as long as they have clear geometric tailoring. Soft Dramatics might want to emphasize their T line (shoulders over the rest of the body), and they definitely can get away with waist emphasis, as mentioned above. Your jackets should be tailored, avoid shapeless Natural overcoats, as you’ll drown in them. Longer is better than shorter, so jilbabs, especially the crisp linen, cotton, and wool tailored styles that have been popping out lately are sewn with your silhouette in mind. Below are some examples you can find on Shukr, that would suit you well. You can even pull off double breasted and military-style closures, and you’re probably the only body type who can, so enjoy it! Such as this made-to order triangular pleated linen blend jilbab from Shukr. Or this military inspired double-breasted gold-buttoned linen blend jilbab. If you’re into denim, then this crisp denim side-breasted Mandarin-collared jilbab is calling your name! If you love denim but are looking for something a bit more muted, this Tokyo inspired denim jilbab is for you. It features the triangularity found in the above jilbab with the understated denim look you crave. If denim isn’t you, and you’re not partial to triangular detail, but you liked the style, here’s another 100% cotton look with a Mandarin collar, side lapel, and all over vertical tailoring that you might enjoy.
Your skirts should be straight and long, so hijabi approved, no doubt! Pleats are good, as long as they stay put (perhaps stitched half way down your hips). A-line or slightly flaring at the bottom is fine, just avoid full skirts and gathered waists, as well as overly draped and shirred shapes. Soft Dramatics can use a tiny bit of draping, but always emphasize vertical over horizontal lines. Here a few examples from Shukr that might inspire you. Corduroy is the perfect fabric for you, and this skirt has all the elements you want to look for in a long crispy tailored skirt. If you’re heading towards summer, then this paneled 100% cotton maxi skirt might be ideal. For more formal occasions you might prefer something like this pleated part Lyocell maxi skirt, which although a bit lighter in fabric, does have a certain vertical heaviness to it due to the piped vertical pleats that run all the way down. For very informal denim comfort this is probably the best style for you. Nevertheless, there are many other skirts that would complement your lines that I don’t include here, such as in the pictures below. Veiled Collection (based in New York) and Jennah Boutique (based in France) both have similar styles to these in their shops. I was only able to get an image from Jennah Boutique to show here, but below you can see a model similar to the one offered on Veiled Collection, which is currently on sale.
Pants should be loose, tailored, even deep-pleated, and hemmed if you’d like. Just ensure to stay away from tight, tapered, baggy, and flowy fabrics and designs. Think 1930’s and 1940’s pant styles, as well as 1990’s sharp looks, they’re all meant for you! Here are a few examples from Shukr. Pintucked formal wide-legged pant. These breezy linen trousers for summer. Or these gorgeous flared denim-lyocell pants.
Fortunately, waist emphasis isn’t a must for you, so hijab requirements are easily met with your body type! As long as you avoid chunky, unconstructed designs, and emphasize length over width, you should look fine in any dress. Medium weight fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, wool, and corduroy look amazing on both D and SD). SDs can get away with more ornateness, more detail, provided they are substantial (as in structured, sturdy, rather than delicate) enough not to look frilly or frivolous on you. Remember you look like the boss, and whether you are or not, diverging from this reality will make you look less competent.
As far as accessories go, you want to look for geometric designs throughout: from your purses, to your shoes, belts, hats, and jewelry. Avoid rounded shapes with delicately ornate details. Clutches, envelopes, and briefcases and the like for bags. Straight heels and elegant shoes without fussy details. Bold, wide, stiff leather belts if you must use them, but avoiding them would be preferable altogether, if you must have them, opt for drop-waist and angular buckles. If you like modern, cutting-edge expressionist jewelry, a l’avant-guarde, then you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what will bring out the best in you. Flaunt large pieces, but don’t go chunky and bulky, leave that to the Naturals. You want clean lines, nothing too fussy.
If you wear hijab, triangular crisp silks are your God-sent, but you can also use sleek cotton and viscose, as long as you avoid draping it from shoulder to shoulder. If you must drape, let one end drape straight down from one shoulder. If you want your chest to be covered, a triangular hijab stile might be best suited, perhaps gathered with a nice geometric broche in the middle. Asymmetric draping would work too, if you want to style it up a bit and avoid straight down triangles. The idea is to emphasize vertical over horizontal.
For parties, and occasions in which you want to lay your head bare, opt for elaborate coiffes with bold shapes. It should look sophisticated and well done, but not stiff. Layered but not whispy. Dramatics look just right in sharp geometric cuts, but SDs need a bit more of a wave, to account for the fleshiness of their face and body and echo it.
I hope you found this illuminating, and that if you’re a D or a SD, you’ll try these suggestions. If you’re still not sure what you are, drop me a comment or an email, and I might be able to help you out. Should you need some inspiration, head on over to my Pinterest and check out my Kibbe folder, which has hundreds of pictures for each Kibbe type.
(Shukr links are affiliate links, I get a small percentage of the profits for sending you their way, but it costs you nothing. I’m currently not affiliated, nor do I get freebies from any other company I mentioned here.)