Buying A Coat? Make Sure You Know Your Lines First
Nothing brings an outfit together beautifully or completely ruins it like a coat. That’s because a coat is the first thing you see when someone is wearing it.
Often, if it’s cold enough, it’s the only thing we see apart from their boots. This makes getting your coat selection right incredibly important.
Knowing your lines can help you buy better the first time so you don’t accumulate clothes and accessories that you don’t use. This post is a buying guide for dressy coats for each of the five main Kibbe body types, with respect to their lines and essence, as recommended by David Kibbe himself.
Note: In this post, I am not typing the people, just the coats themselves. For example, I know Amal Clooney isn’t a Classic, she is quite clearly a Dramatic. However, she embodies the Classic essence perfectly and she primarily wears Classic lines.
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The Dramatic Kibbe body type is characterized by long, lean lines, and sharp edges. This gives an elongated, masculine, and powerful appearance. Similarly, Dramatic clothing lines are long and sharp and fabrics are stiff, creating an altogether sleek, sculpted, and elongated look. The Dramatic essence is powerful.
Left: Dramatic Coat Do’s
Here both Tilda Swinton and Zendaya look perfectly harmonious. Their coats are long and sleek, and the edges are sharp.
Zendaya’s look is further elevated by the same color boots that extend her elongation. This monochromatic scheme might be overpowering for other body types, but it looks great on a Dramatic.
Right: Dramatic Coat Don’ts
These styles aren’t harmonious with Dramatics. Zendaya‘s cropped jacket is too short and it cuts her vertical line in the front.
Tilda Swinton’s coat is too wide. Dramatics have a narrow frame and are suited by tailored lines that closely follow that frame. She is lost in this oversized, shapeless coat.
In shopping for coats, Dramatics should look for a long, narrow, fitted silhouette. Fabrics should be high-quality and medium to heavy weight. All edges should be sharp and crisp.
The Natural body type is defined by soft yang and is the overall combination of a slightly broad and angular structure, with a defined musculature. Natural clothing lines are long but wide, and with blunt edges (not sharp). The Natural silhouette is relaxed, straight, and unconstructed. The fabrics are textured and heavy. The Natural essence is free, easy-going, and fresh.
Left: Natural Coat Do’s
Gigi Hadid‘s coat is perfectly harmonious with her. It’s long, textured, slightly oversized, and the fit is very relaxed. Jennifer’s coat has a belt to cinch in the waist which is great for her as a Soft Natural who looks best with waist definition.
Right: Natural Coat Don’ts
Kendall Jenner‘s coat is too light and silky for her frame. Naturals need heavier fabrics, and they do very well with texture.
Gigi’s coat is too sharp. This is better suited to Dramatics with a sharp bone structure. Naturals have a beveled bone structure, so they are best suited to rounded edges, particularly in the shoulder.
In shopping for coats, Naturals should look for a long, slightly loose, and slightly oversized silhouette. Fabrics should be heavy (can be textured) and in natural fibers and colors. Edges and details should be large and rounded.
The Kibbe Classic body type is defined by a perfect (blended) balance between yin and yang and the overall look created is tailored, smooth, and symmetrical with even edges- not a hair out of place. Classic clothing lines are soft, straight lines or smoothly curved lines. The fabrics are high-quality, timeless, and traditional. The Classic essence is timeless, reserved, sophisticated, and polished.
Left: Classic Coat Do’s
Both Kate Middleton and Amal Clooney look amazing in these Classic coats. The beige-tan color of Kate’s coat is elegantly subdued and the detailing is simple and timeless.
Amal’s outfit is further elevated by being part of a tailored set complete with a matching skirt. This creates a sophisticated and complete look, which is great for Classics.
Right: Classic Coat Don’ts
The coats to the right are not the best for Classic types. In the first image, the leather fabric is too unstructured and this lack of tailoring makes Amal look frumpy.
The coat in the second image (right) is too colorful for a Classic. The yellow coat with the black stripe and white trim has too many vibrant colors that overwhelm the calm, Classic essence.
In shopping for coats, Classics should look for a fitted silhouette, simple detailing, and symmetry. High-quality fabrics in classic patterns or shades. The Coat and overall look should feel polished.
The Romantic Kibbe body type is defined by lush yin and characterized by roundness and curves. The overall shape of their clothing should be round and soft and should emphasize their full hourglass figure. Fabrics are luxurious and details are feminine (ruffles, lace, rouching). The Romantic essence is magnetic, sensual, and luxurious.
Left: Romantic Coat Do’s
This green coat on Cardi B is a beautiful embodiment of Romantic lines. It’s light in fabric and color, it’s cinched at the waist, and it’s trimmed in delicate, luxurious fur.
Beyonce’s coat is bulkier and loose (not figure-accentuating), but the fabric is light and silky, and the color is bright. Romantics don’t have to always cinch their waist, and this coat shows how they can pull that off.
Right: Romantic Coat Don’ts
Beyoncé‘s coat is too long, narrow, and sharp. The fabric doesn’t look too heavy (which is good), but this suit is better suited to a Dramatic.
Selena Gomez‘s coat is too long, large, heavy, and textured. It swallows her up and it looks like it’s an actual burden to keep it on. I think the lapels are too large and the tie-string too long. The fabric is also not smooth enough for her delicate structure.
I get the sense that this coat was meant for a bigger person. This would be better suited to a Flamboyant Natural like Gigi Hadid.
In shopping for coats, Romantics should look for a softly fitted silhouette that accentuates their hourglass figure. Fabric must be soft and light to medium weight. Trims and details should be small, delicate, and ornate. Edges should be rounded.
The Gamine body type is defined by an even yet seemingly random combination of yin and yang opposites. This creates an overall very youthful and energetic appearance. Gamine clothing lines are short and sharp and are always striving for a staccato effect. Silhouettes should be fitted and compact. Graphic elements and color usage that adds to their fun vibe are ideal. The Gamine essence is energetic, youthful, and mischievous.
Left: Gamine Coat Do’s
Zoe Kravitz‘s jacket is short and sharp and it looks perfect on her. The length cuts her small frame perfectly just below the knee.
Rihanna’s Coat is also sharply edged but what really makes it stand out is the color. It’s fun, bold, and vibrant which captures the Gamine essence. It is too long for Gamines but it’s fitted so it’s not overpowering.
Right: Gamine Coat Don’ts
The coats to the right are too large for Tessa Thompson and Zoe Kravitz. They are both overwhelmed and swallowed up by the fabric and it makes them look smaller than they are.
The contrasting high collar of Tessa’s jacket is great for Gamines, but the size is just too large.
In shopping for coats, Gamines should look for a cropped or short silhouette. The fabric, colors, and patterns should be fun and bold. Trims should be contrasted and details should be fun. Fabric weight should be medium and not too heavy.
This guide is to help sharpen your eye for what you need to look for when buying coats by asking some simple questions. Are you better suited to smooth or textured fabric? Knee-length coats or ankle-length? Sharp lapels or rounded? Trim or no trim? Neutral tones or colorful styles?
The answers to these questions are different for each of the Kibbe body types, and knowing them for yourself will help you buy better each time, and avoid the styles that don’t work for your lines and essence (i.e. the items you buy that sit at the back of your closet).
I hope this guide helps you to shop better. Let me know if it does.