I recently did a post on the Glamorous Flamboyant Natural, my term for women who are Flamboyant Naturals, but who fall closer to Soft Dramatic than the average Flamboyant Natural on the spectrum of body types. This often manifests as a Curvy Flamboyant Natural and that is what I’m exploring further in this post.
I’ll be focusing on three women that I feel embody this, namely Blake Lively, whose analysis you can find here, Jennifer Lawrence, and Tracee Ellis Ross. Jennifer Lawrence and Tracee Ellis Ross are both verified Flamboyant Naturals and they are visibly curvy, so they fit this analysis perfectly. Blake Lively is unverified, but I believe she is a Flamboyant Natural and with her curvy shape, I think she makes the perfect addition to this list.
I will start with a brief body and style analysis for Jennifer Lawrence and Tracee Ellis Ross. I won’t do Blake’s analysis as I already did in this post. Then, I will compare all three women in similar lines to see what we can deduce as generally true for all Curvy Flamboyant naturals and what is unique to each woman’s expression of the body type.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Let’s Look At The Lines of Tracee’s Body:
Tracee is visibly curvy with soft, delicate flesh. However, she is still frame dominant, I see her structure just as much as I see her curves. She looks tall and wide (her structure) with soft flesh on that structure. Just looking at her body, I could believe that she was Soft Dramatic, but she is a verified Flamboyant Natural who just happens to be curvy.
FN Unconstructed Lines
These outfits solidify her Flamboyant Natural status. These long, loose, unconstructed lines are a signature of the Flamboyant Natural and Tracee looks at home in them. I don’t feel the need to tighten the silhouette or cinch in the waist, the outfits all look great just hanging off her.
Another signature of the Natural body type is their ability to wear and look great in casual clothing. They were made for layered outfits, relaxed fits, and mixed fabrics. These ‘low effort’ and non-fussy outfits look amazing on Tracee and she looks effortlessly cool.
A Study on Fit
Soft Dramatic Lines – Stiff Tight Dresses
Tracee looks amazing in these outfits. These tight silhouettes that follow and accentuate the curves are typically Soft Dramatic, but they also look at home on her. This is somewhat surprising because of how heavy and stiff the fabrics in these looks are.
As a Flamboyant Natural, I would think such tight fits would be restrictive on her, However, she doesn’t look uncomfortable or restricted- she looks great. Her curves are on display in a way that’s harmonious with her and she looks amazing.
Waist emphasis looks great on Tracee. These figure belts cinch in the waist of otherwise loose fitting garments and they look good on her. She would look great without the belts since she looks great in long, loose, lines- but adding the belt takes nothing away from her, it just accentuates her curves which is always great for her.
A Suit Study
Here again, I’m reminded that Tracee is a Flamboyant Natural. Suits, especially oversized and loose fit suits are another signature of the Flamboyant Natural. The yellow suit (middle) fits this description and she looks amazing in it. The green suit (right) leans a bit more Soft Dramatic because the fit is slimer and the belt cinches at the waist to accentuate her figure. She looks equally amazing in this look.
The first look (left) is the least flattering on her because it leans Dramatic/ Flamboyant Gamine meaning it’s slim and structured. This means that it doesn’t have accommodation for her width or her curves. So, she looks restricted and uncomfortable in it. I think it also leans Flamboyant Gamine because of the high neckline, the cropped ankle, and the bold pattern. This gives it a sense of smallness and again emphasizes how the suit doesn’t make accommodation for either her width or height.
What Doesn’t Work For FN – Wide Silhouettes
These looks are very unflattering on Tracee. Specifically, the wide flare of the skirts visually widens her lower half and creates an imbalance in her silhouette. The typical Flamboyant Natural build is one of a V with wide shoulders and slim hips. The best lines for the Flamboyant Natural follow this structure.
Tracee doesn’t necessarily follow this pattern, but her best lines still fall within this recommendation. Anything that is wide at the bottom is the opposite of this and will always look off and unbalanced on this body type.
A Study on Visual Interest
This is not a Flamboyant Natural thing, it’s Tracee thing. Visual interest is really important for Tracee as I believe she has a Gamine essence in addition to her Natural essence. I thought it was important to discuss because even within the same body type, each person’s unique blend of essences will shape their particular expression of that style.
No Visual Interest
Tracee is completely lost in these looks. She looks boring and dragged down by the simple, clean palettes. She looks incomplete.
I chose these dresses specifically because they are not her best. The first (left) and third (right) outfits have the unflattering wide skirt silhouette and the skirt of the middle dress sits weirdly at her waist in a way that makes the entire look…meh.
However, each of these looks is visually interesting (the fabrics, patterns, and details) and for that reason alone, she looks infinitely better in them than she does in any of the looks above, even though the silhouettes above are arguably more flattering for her.
More Visual Interest
This is Tracee at her best. All that color, all those details, all that fun. Here, you can really see her Gamine essence at play. All these details would quickly start to look busy on a person without it, but on her it’s simply fun. In the first look she even manages to look understated.
Let’s Look At The Lines Of Jennifer’s Body:
Jennifer is evidently curvy but she is still frame dominant. I see her broad shoulders and height first, I think they clearly dominate her structure, and then I see her curvy figure and soft flesh. To me, she perfectly fits the idea of a Curvy Flamboyant Natural.
I don’t perceive her as a Soft Dramatic and if her waist wasn’t so beautifully defined, I don’t think anyone would be confused about her type. It’s important to state that a single feature doesn’t suddenly change someone’d body type, so a defined waist wouldn’t be enough to overturn an otherwise obvious Flamboyant Natural ruling.
FN Unconstructed Lines
Jennifer can pull off these long, loose, unconstructed lines. They are not her best, mostly because the designs, fabric choice, and colors are not great on her, but the point is just to see if she’s drowning in fabric or if her structure can carry this silhouette, which it can. Her shoulders are broad enough to act as the hanger for the fabric and it doesn’t overpower her. The first look (left) with a narrower silhouette and some shaping is the best on her.
As a true Natural type, Jennifer looks good in these ultra casual styles. She doesn’t look disheveled or completely undone, she looks perfectly fine and even put together.
As the casual looks get more polished, she still looks great. She really can go either way with the polished or not ensembles. On her, neither the loose fitting jeans with a rolled up hem (middle) or the distressed jeans (right) do anything to take elegance away from those outfits. She looks great in the full spectrum of casual.
A Study on Fit
Soft Dramatic Lines – Stiff Tight Dresses
These looks are not flattering on Jennifer. She looks very stiff and restricted in them. I think it’s the combination of fabric choice (heavy, stiff) and the tight fit of the dresses. In the middle look in particular, I feel like she can’t breathe or walk and I want to set her free.
Soft Natural Lines – Loosely, Softly Draped Dresses
I love these dresses on Jennifer. As soon as we relaxed the fit and softened the fabrics, Jennifer suddenly looks so beautifully harmonious. She is free to move and that sense of freedom honors her Flamboyant Natural requirements while the soft draping of the silhouette gives shape to her curves. She looks amazing.
A Study on Visual Interest
This is interesting because of how important we saw this as being for Tracee Ellis Ross above. However, Jennifer has a different blend of essences and perhaps most notably, she doesn’t have the Gamine essence, so visual interest is not important for her. In fact, on her, it’s distracting.
Drastic Visual Interest
In each of these looks, I dislike the detailing. In the first two looks in particular (left, middle), the cut at the waist acts to truncate her vertical line which is not flattering on her. The black belt and in the first look becomes what I see first and all it does is awkwardly separate her body into two parts- the dress was already tight so the waist emphasis was not necessary.
In the middle look, the black and white design also separates the dress into two parts and it doesn’t do anything for her. The design of the third look is actually flattering, but the pattern of the top part is too busy and it pulls attention from her. The necklace is also too big and distracting and the combination of the two is too busy on her.
Subtle Visual Interest
Here, Jennifer looks amazing. This is how she does visual interest. All the elements here (the studs in the first look; the net like fabric in the second look; and the color gradation in the last look) are subtle and delicate and it adds interest without taking attention away from her.
Soft Romantic Lines, Girly Dresses
This is unique to Jennifer Lawrence. She has a combination of a Natural and Ingénue essence and in these looks the Ingénue essence comes out. These girlish dresses don’t look childish on her, she looks perfectly harmonious and like a beautiful princess.
Curvy Flamboyant Naturals | A Side By Side Comparison
Loose, Unconstructed Lines
Each of these women looks great in these loose, unconstructed lines. Jennifer Lawrence and Tracee Ellis Ross both have the broad shoulders characteristic to the Flamboyant Natural type, and their shoulders act as the frame to hang these loose styles. Blake Lively’s shoulders aren’t as wide, but this one feature doesn’t overturn her type. She is still a Flamboyant Natural and these lines are just as harmonious on her.
An oversized coat is another signature of the Flamboyant Natural and again all these women look great in them. Either done up in the case of Jennifer (left) and Blake (middle) or done down in Tracee’s case (right), the long line layering effect of the coat is harmonious with each of them.
This is where we start to see essences come into place. Casual attire is a Natural type signature so the expectation is that each of these women would look great in these low-effort outfits. This is true for Jennifer (middle) and Tracee (right).
It’s not true for Blake (left), she looks rather disheveled in this outfit and in similar looks as I discuss in this post detailing her style analysis. She has a dominant Romantic essence and as such requires the appropriate grooming and glamour to look her best.
All of the ladies look great in these elevated casual outfits. The denim makes the looks casual, but the heels, accessories and generally cleaner ensemble (as compared to the outfits above) give them a touch of glamour that leans them more toward Soft Dramatic. In Blake and Jennifer’s case, this is aided by the skinny jeans that give their shape a more pronounced outline.
Elevated Casual: Slim Flowy, Silhouette
These loose styles that gently outline the figure look great on all three of these women because they honor their two dominant requirements. They are loose, so the Flamboyant Natural element is satisfied, but they follow their curves and gently showcase their figures which is necessary for their curvy shape.
Flamboyant Natural Misses:
As we would expect, all three of these women are unflattered by these wide skirt silhouettes. The flare of the skirts widens their silhouettes and makes them look much larger than they are.
Stiff Fabric, Restrictive Silhouette
Restriction and stiffness is the complete opposite of what is recommended for Natural types, as such we would expect the ladies to look trapped in such dresses. This is true for Blake and Jennifer, the stiff fabric and tight fits look restrictive on them. However, Tracee looks rather harmonious in her tightly fitting, stiff fabric dress.
Super Tight Fit
Here again, Blake and Jennifer look restricted as we would expect. Blake’s body is shaped beautifully in the blue dress, but I feel like she can’t breathe. Jennifer’s outfit looks very stiff and it makes her look stiff.
Tracee, however, looks amazing in this fitted, stiff fabric dress. Her body is shaped beautifully and she doesn’t look restricted or trapped (even though the dress looks a little bit like a cage).
As soon as we loosen the fit slightly, Blake and Jennifer look instantly more harmonious and comfortable. Tracee looks great in this fit as well, but I’m not sure that it looks better than the tightly fitted looks above.
Let’s explore this more:
In these similar cut dresses, the key difference is the fit. The dress on the left is looser, it has more space between the fabric and her body and this gives it a sense of flow. The billow sleeves also help to create that impression. The dress to the right is tighter and the long, narrow sleeves create a more restricted impression as compared to the first dress.
Interestingly, I think Tracee looks better in the second, tighter look. I think her Soft Dramatic leaning is stronger than the other two women which would explain why the stiff fabric outfits look great on her but not on the others.
In Jennifer’s case, it’s obvious that the looser fitting dress works better for her. In the look to the left, she looks trapped inside a dress and in the look to the right she looks incredible.
A similar thing happens for Blake. She looks rather restricted in the tight dress to the left and she looks more harmonious in the slightly looser dress to the right.
A Study on Waist Emphasis
Waist Emphasis: Loose Fabric, Loose Fit
All of these women look amazing in these loose flowy lines (Flamboyant Natural) with figure belts that define their waist and give them shape (Soft Dramatic). This style of outfit blends together their best recommendations so it’s no surprise they all look perfectly harmonious in it.
Waist Emphasis: Stiff Fabric, Tight Fit
In these looks, the waist definition comes without the long, flowy lines such that only the Soft Dramatic part of their best recommendations is honored. We would expect that the women would look rather restricted and inharmonious in this style of outfit and this is true for Blake and Jennifer.
I wish Blake’s dress had some movement so she didn’t look so stiff in it. The waist belt on Jennifer’s dress awkwardly cuts her body into two parts and makes a tight dress look even tighter in a way that’s not flattering.
Again, however, Tracee looks great. The tight dress and the waist belt only further define her shape in a way that’s very flattering on her.
Delicate, Romantic Dresses
Here we see those essences at play again. I believe both Blake and Jennifer have some Romantic essence in them and so these very feminine and delicate dresses look amazing on them. Tracee doesn’t have this essence, so on her, this overly delicate dress looks childish and finnicky. It’s very separate from her.
While the Kibbe Test and system is designed to help someone identify their body type, I think it’s important to understand that these body types fall on a spectrum. So, sometimes a person won’t fall neatly within one body type and instead fall between two of them. In this case, they might have characteristics from both body types and it’s important to understand which of these they need to accommodate to create their true style identity.
This post has explored this in the case of Flamboyant Naturals who fall between the Flamboyant Natural and Soft Dramatic types, aka the Curvy Flamboyant Natural.
My main objective in writing this post was to emphasize that there is no one size fits all when it comes to any body type characterization. Even in the Curvy Flamboyant Natural subcategory, the three women we discussed proved just how differently the same body type can manifest and how their best lines can differ. Please keep that in mind as you continue on your own body type journey.
Let me know if this helped you and if you have any thoughts on my analysis.