I’ve spent some time getting to know and documenting my Kibbe body type over the last few weeks. In this post, I try all the suggested clothing lines to find my type via a process of elimination. Then, in this post, I further fine-tune my type by seeing which of the style essences I identify with.
These processes combined to help me figure out that I am a Romantic Flamboyant Natural. In this post, I’ll be combining both these style identities and essences to create my best looks.
What is the Flamboyant Natural style identity?
According to Kibbe, Flamboyant Naturals are soft yang. They are frame dominant, with broad shoulders and slim, straight hips that create a clear and prominent T-silhouette. They have a long vertical line and a broadness to their structure.
Following their lines, Flamboyant Naturals are best complemented by loose/ relaxed, oversized, and unconstructed silhouettes that honor both their dominant vertical and horizontal lines. They look great in a mix of natural textures and colors.
What is the Flamboyant Natural essence?
The Flamboyant Natural essence is free-spirited, down-to-earth, and fresh. It’s effortlessly bold and open.
What is the Romantic style identity?
The Romantic style is clearly feminine and sexy. It is not untouchable and otherworldy (like Ethereals/ Angelics) or sweetly innocent (like Ingenues). Romantic lines are short, rounded, and delicate. The materials are lush and luxurious and the overall feel is luxuriously polished.
What is the Romantic essence?
The Romantic essence is soft, sensual, feminine, and alluring.
Combine them creates: Romantic Flamboyant Natural
What is the Romantic Flamboyant Natural Essence?
The Romantic Flamboyant Natural essence is feminine, mature, relaxed, and sexy. It is calm and approachable but with an undercurrent of allure.
What is the Romantic Flamboyant Natural Style Identity?
The style lines of this hybrid type, specifically when they combine on me, are long, narrow, flowy, and polished. The overall effect is effortlessly put together, with a gentle polish.
I need clothing that respects my long vertical line. This is especially true of the garments closest to my body.
My clothes need to sit close to my body to create a narrow silhouette. I am narrower than a typical Natural. [Remember that a typical Natural is broad compared to a typical Dramatic.] This is because while FN sits between Natural and Dramatic, mine sits quite close to Dramatic (which is all yang and very narrow).
However, because I am still first a Natural (and not a Dramatic), my lines need to be loose and unconstructed. There needs to feel like air can flow between me and my tightest layer of clothing, and every layer of clothing for that matter. Failing that, air needs to flow between me and most layers of my clothing.
This is not so much about how clothes sit on me as it is about the overall feel or essence of the look, and it’s more about my accessories and personal grooming. I look my best when my nails and hair are done and look effortless but polished (not undone/ unkempt as it does for pure Naturals).
Paying attention to these small details has a huge impact on my overall look because it honors my Romantic essence which, while it makes the smallest part of my composition- that part is very important.
So, while my clothes can be very relaxed and lean heavily into Flamboyant Natural, my personal grooming must always be polished and lean into Romantic to tie all my essences up nicely and ensure I look my best and my most harmonious.
Not all 4 elements are equally important.
Most important: These are important elements necessary for a good outfit. Without them, something is lost.
- Narrow- A narrow silhouette/ clothes that sit close to my body.
- Polished- personal grooming (hair, nails, etc.)
Secondary importance: These elements are important but not critical. They elevate an outfit, but their absence doesn’t break it.
- Long- A long vertical line.
- Flowy- Clothes that flow gently over my body (not skin tight).
I’m going to ignore the ‘Polished’ aspect for now as it relates more to hair, nails, etc. and I’ll look at it separately later. For now, I’ll focus on the other three factors that affect clothing lines and how they sit on me.
Now Let’s Look At Some Outfits
Here’s a perfect example: This look has 3/3 elements.
The inner silhouette is long, narrow, and flowy. The dress flows gently over her body (it’s not skin-tight), but it’s closely fitted so that it remains narrow and outlines the body. The black boots continue the color of the dress creating a long vertical line.
The long grey shawl takes ‘flowy’ aspect and thus this outfit to the next level. The way it flows in the wind as she walks creates such a lovely picture. It’s effortlessly beautiful and, on her, cool. On a different person, this shawl would look matronly and boring. They might be better suited by a cropped leather jacket or a wool blazer depending on their essences. But not Angelina, she looks amazing in this.
Try to imagine this outfit without the shawl. It would suddenly be so bland. Not terrible, just not her best. I’m the same way. This outfit is so perfect in capturing all my style must-haves that I’m going to use it as a ‘cheat checklist‘ for similar outfits.
Let’s consider what happens when narrowness is missing: This look has 2/3 elements. It’s long and flowy.
This is still a great look and Angelina can pull it off, but it’s not as great as the first look. n
Of the 3 style elements listed above, this outfit has 2. It’s long and it’s loose.
The difference here is that the white dress is not narrow. It’s not gently fitted to her frame and instead is too loose and her body is drowned in fabric. This time, instead of giving her the sense of floating, the grey shawl makes her look dragged down. The outfit looks heavy and shapeless.
Verdict: Narrowness is a critical element for my outfits. Even if every other element is present, if narrowness is missing the outfit doesn’t work. I drown and look lost without it.
Let’s consider what happens when only narrowness is present: This look has 1/3 elements:
The only element this dress has is narrowness. It’s missing 2 of the 3 style factors. It’s not long, or loose, and it doesn’t flow- it’s rather stiff against my body.
Surprisingly, for only having one critical element, I look okay. While this is far from being my best look, I would have thought this would look terrible, but this just highlights how narrowness is the most critical element for me. It can singlehandedly carry an outfit and without it, every outfit sinks.
As is, this outfit is quite underwhelming. It would be greatly enhanced by adding another element and, in this case, the only option is the ‘polished’ aspect by doing something more glamorous (but still relaxed and in line with my Natural main essence) with my hair and nails.
Let’s consider what happens when only the ‘flowy’ aspect is missing: This look has 2/3 elements. It’s long and narrow.
This outfit is tight and narrow. It’s missing 1 of the 3 factors. It’s not loose or flowy. While it’s color-blocked and truncates my vertical line, it still has length as it covers most of my body vertically. Being a Natural, I can easily wear separates without suffering a great loss to the vertical line in the same way that a pure Dramatic would.
This look is still quite flattering because it draws out my Dramatic leaning (long and lean) lines. There is actually very little that’s ‘Natural’ about this look so, while it’s not my absolute best look, I can carry a mostly Dramatic outfit.
Verdict: ‘Flowy’ is not a critical element for my outfits, I can look good without them provided the other two elements (narrowness + length) are present.
Here is an example of an outfit that pulls it all together:
I’ve always loved this outfit. Especially how it moves. Now I know why, it has all 3 elements. The inner silhouette is long, narrow, and flowy. The long, flowy jacket elevates the ‘flowy’ factor. Also, the color palette is complementary to my Autumn coloring. It ticks all the boxes.
Okay, now let’s talk about the fourth factor, ‘polished’. For me, this means personal grooming, and the most visible aspects of personal grooming are hair, makeup, and nails.
In these comparisons, I’ll be focusing on hair and makeup because I have pictures showing myself both with and without makeup and where my hair is more polished/ done and undone/ unkempt.
Looking at these images, it quickly becomes clear that I look better as we move from left to right or as I get more polished grooming. My hair gets neater, and straighter, and the overall look gets cleaner. Also, moving from left to right, I get more makeup and facial grooming.
In the first image (left) I have no makeup, in the middle image I have mascara and I shaped and lightly filled my brows. In the last image (right), I have my full everyday face of makeup including foundation and lipstick.
I would say that I look my best in the image to the right where my hair is neatest and my makeup is done, giving me a clean and polished look. I would say the first look to the left is my least flattering where my hair is loose and wild and, for lack of a better word, unkempt and I have no makeup on. I look okay to pretty good in the middle.
- My infant was chewing them and that wasn’t fun.
- I had started to feel a bit, well….ugly in them. And I had no idea why. Now I do:
As they got longer and more wild (which is how I loved them), they clashed more and more with my Romantic essence and they took something vital and beautiful from me. This was insanely frustrating because I loved my locs and for the first few years of my journey while they were relatively short, neat, and new- I felt and looked great in them. Then at around the 3-year mark, I felt the shift into not feeling or looking as great as I remembered.
What I understand now is that at that point I was moving from a Romantic-Natural blended essence which is perfect for me to a purely Natural essence which is not. The lack of polished styling required by my Romantic essence left me looking coarse and disheveled.
Since combing out my locs about a year and a half ago, I now almost exclusively wear my hair in the long braids I have pictured in the last image to the right, and I do my simple 5-minute makeup also pictured there. I naturally moved toward what looked and felt great for me, and now I understand why I love the look so much. I look like the best version of myself.
Now, someone might think that this is obviously the case because ‘everyone looks better when they are polished’ and I would like to disprove that. This is true of most people, but not those with a pure Natural essence. They look better the more natural, unkempt, and wild they look. Let’s look at an example.
Erykah Badu is a style icon and she has a strong embodiment of the Natural and Ethereal essences. This gives her a sort of magical Earth Goddess vibe that is sensual, grounded, and very earthy. Her best hair captures this, it is rich, natural, coarse, wild, and free.
This is Erykah Badu at her best. She looks like an embodiment of Mother Nature and like the coolest person I’ve ever seen. The wilder her hair gets, the better and more harmonious she looks.
Now, let’s consider what happens when she opts for more ‘polished’ hairstyles:
Solange is another style icon with a strong Natural essence (I also think she has a Gamine essence). Her composition is more delicate than that of Erykah’s, so she calls for more polish in her looks, however, she also looks her best when her hair is textured, big, and free (bottom row).
When her hair is sleek and polished (top row), she looks less like herself and she looks regular. This type of hair dulls her star power and robs her of her essence.
So, Now I have explained all 4 factors required to create my best outfits and looks. Each look should be narrow, long, and flowy, and my grooming should be polished. This best honors my Romantic Flamboyant Natural essence.
What do Romantic Flamboyant Natural outfits look like?
Rosie Huntington-Whitely: A Case Study
I think that British model, Rosie Huntington-Whitely is a great example of someone who embodies the same essences as I do and has figured out how to dress to accommodate them far better than I can at this point. I think she has a different composition than me, but I see the same Natural- Dramatic- Romantic mix in her.
So, I’m going to use her as a mini case study to examine some of her best outfits and why they work on her- and why I think something similar would work on me.
I love these looks. All three outfits honor the long vertical line of the Dramatic + Natural of the Flamboyant Natural. The first and middle looks (left, middle) are anchored by the weight and structure of the blazer (left) and blazer dress (middle).
The first and last looks (left, right) also have the flowy/ loose fit requirement that gives the Natural the space they need to move and not feel restricted. Each look has beautiful Romantic grooming and Rosie looks amazing.
Casual- Jean Outfits
The loose tops create that breezy sense of motion and relaxed comfort which makes the looks effortless and her grooming is again polished and beautiful.
On the far right, the lowcut bootleg denim and loose t-shirt gently tucked is a perfect outfit for this body and essence type. The last look is effortless perfection.
Casual- Dressy Outfits
Here, I get a sense of flow and ease. The drapey jersey top (right), the flowy skirts, and the overall loose fits of the garments capture that easy-breezy style of the Natural essence.
However, there is always something to anchor and streamline them (bringing in that Dramatic aspect), be it the black leggings (right) or the general narrowness of each of the silhouettes, or the knit sweater paired with the flowy midi skirt.
As always, there is a polish to the grooming that ties it all together and she looks beautiful in a very relaxed way.
Four elements are necessary to create ideal looks that honor all my lines and essences. These elements, in their order of importance, are: narrowness, polished, flowy, and length.
Knowing the exact elements that make up my best looks by honoring all my essences has been a game-changer. I feel like I can plan outfits so much easier and look amazing in them. I now know why the outfits I love so much work, and I can use that information to replicate equally great outfits for different occasions.
I‘m excited to shop and create ensembles armed with this new knowledge as I work to create my (mostly) forever wardrobe.
I hope this has helped you. Let me know where you are on your style journey- what are your ‘must-have’ style elements?