Finding your Kibbe body type can be very confusing, so it’s helpful to have a person who embodies that body type and essence well, whom you can look at as a reference.
In this post, I explore and discuss the Romantic style identity and essence, focusing on a selection of outfits by singer and worldwide sensation, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
What Is The Romantic Body Type?
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).
What Is The Romantic Body Essence?
The Romantic essence is magnetic, sensual, and luxurious. These women are naturally sexy and seductive and they embody femininity.
Beyonce’s Body Structure:
I see short limbs, rounded lines and edges, and soft flesh. Beyonce’s bone structure is delicate. She has a very defined waist, I can see a clear hourglass figure. Kibbe describes Romantics as a ‘ripe hourglass’ and this is true for her.
Even in the first image (left) where she had lost a lot of weight for a movie role and is evidently more toned, she still looks delicate, soft, and rounded.
Elongation/ Vertical Line
The vertical line is observed in the silhouette between the shoulders and knees and has to do with how fabric falls on the body. Romantics have a short vertical line.
As expected, Beyoncé has a short vertical line. Again, she looks small and delicate. In these images, I think she is best flattered by the shortest length and least flattered by the longest.
Beyoncé was born to wear shimmery gold gowns. She looks so beautiful and statuette in each of these looks. What’s more, they don’t look ‘too much’ on her. Her essence calls for glamour and luxury such that a head-to-toe gold look doesn’t look over the top, it’s just right.
A similar look on a Natural type (with a Natural essence) would look out of place and very ‘try-hard’.
Romantics call for decadent femininity. This can be expressed as luxurious fabrics and accessories.
Beyonce’s Romantic essence encompasses not just high glamour but also luxury and refinement. So she looks right at home dripping in diamonds and looks bare without them.
Let’s consider these earrings. They are HUGE but they don’t overpower her. She looks great but above that, she somehow looks normal. Dressed up, yes- but not overdressed. On Natural types like me), these would look like costume jewelry.
Considering the ornate and ‘showgirl’ nature of the dress as well as the earrings, this is truly impressive and highlights just how much glamorous styling and detail Romantics both need and can handle.
Red is the color of mature sensuality and passion, essences that ooze out of the Romantic type – think of Marilyn Monroe. So, it tracks that Romantics would be drawn to and look amazing in red. They were born to stand out, so the bold alluring nature of the color suits them perfectly.
Beyoncé looks amazing in both of these dresses and I feel like the color comes to life on her.
Note: Romantic or not, it’s important to find your correct shade of red, otherwise, the best outfit can look terrible against your skin. I believe Beyoncé is an Autumn (warm and subdued) so tomato red suits her better than true red which is better suited to a Winter (bright and cool).
Related: How To Find Your Color Season
A Study in Sensuality:
I find this very interesting as I think it demonstrates how sensuality can quickly go off the rails and look cheapened or tacky, particularly for the Romantic type which generally leans on this essence.
In the green dress to the right, Beyoncé looks beautiful. She looks sexy and luxurious, a perfect balance for her. The figure-hugging nature of the dress highlights her curves, she’s serving leg with a side sliver of cleavage.
All of these work to create a sexy look, but her hair, bag, earrings, and fur shawl balance out the sexy elements with luxurious high glamour such that the overall look is still classy- which is Beyonce at her best.
In the first dress (left), Beyonce’s overall look is cheapened. The two dresses are quite similar, so how could they come off so differently?
First, she’s overexposed in a way that removes elegance. There is too much cleavage, the shoulder cutouts are weird and unnecessary, and the cut of the dress exposes too much leg (compare the two dresses and see how such a small detail makes a big difference). Lastly, her hair looks childish and unrefined.
Compare the side ponytail in the first image to the full, centered, half-up-half-down hairstyle in the second image. The roots of the first image are too light and it looks like a harsh dye job, whereas in the second image the darker roots look more natural and the gradual coloration suits her more.
Even if this was just a headshot, she would look better and more like herself in the second image.
Note: Beyoncé has a strong Queen Archetype, so this is why maintaining class and elegance is so important for her and why it looks so wrong when she doesn’t. It literally looks beneath her.
Where Body Type Meets (or fights) Archetype
That Naked Dress
Okay, let’s fight. I don’t like this dress or this look as a whole on Beyoncé. I remember when she stepped out in this and it broke the internet so I’m sure I’m about to upset some people- but I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. But, now I understand why, and it’s much the same as the reasoning above.
This dress and styling are not elegant enough for her. In fact, it diminishes and cheapens her essence.
There is no question that she looks amazing- she is serving body goals and her makeup is beautiful. The detailing on the dress is stunning and it’s a lesson in craftsmanship. The nude matches her skin (hallelujah) and it is all glorious.
However, it lacks her essence and so something about it will always look slightly off on her (at least for me).
I think part of why this was such a moment, was because Beyonce typically rests in her Queen archetype and styling- so seeing her step out of that and give us full nude, sexy glam like all the girls were doing was fun and unexpected and she caused a stir and reminded all of us that she’s Beyonce and will forever be goals.
I get that and I can celebrate it in that light. I just think it actually highlighted just how much she doesn’t need to do that. She’s beyond that.
To further illustrate this, let’s discuss another Queen:
The modern-day Queen archetype is strongly present in the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Imagine if she stepped out in a similar dress.
It would cause a major stir and the Royal family might die of shock, but I also think it might cause us to cringe a little because, to an even much higher extent than Beyoncé, it would be beneath her.
Note: Beyoncé also has a strong Lover/ Seductress Archetype which I don’t recognize in Kate. So, Beyonce could still wear this overtly sexy dress and pull it off but Kate could not. For Beyonce, while it’s off for her Queen, it’s perfect for her Lover. It would look incredibly separate from Kate.
Is Beyoncé Not Allowed To Be Overtly Sexy?
Of course not. Don’t be silly. But, I get how from my arguments above it might seem like that’s what I’m saying, but it’s not. What I am saying is that Beyoncé has both the Queen and the Lover (sensual seductress) archetypes, so to look her best she must honor both. That is, her sexiness must maintain her regality.
The Lover/ Seductress
Beyonce also has a strong Lover archetype, which visually we can represent as the seductress/ minx persona. This is not necessarily always the case, but it works in this case so I’ll stick with it.
When Beyoncé performs, she leans heavily into her Seductress. Her onstage persona is designed to seduce and she oozes sex appeal. In this setting, this overtly sexy style of dressing is perfect because it matches the persona she’s projecting.
I know Beyoncé didn’t invent the leotard, but she might as well have. I don’t remember them before her, and when I see other artists wearing them I feel like they are copying Beyoncé even if they did it first. She brings it to life.
Let’s take a further look at this:
All of these women look beautiful, it’s not a question of whether they can pull off these items. It’s a question of animating it- bringing it to life. It’s the difference between it being a good outfit and it being a part of them if that makes sense.
In every other case, I see a beautiful woman wearing a leotard. On Beyoncé, I don’t. I just see her. There is no separation.
Romantics are the softest and most yin of the body types, so as we would expect, they are suited by all feminine elements. They look great in light, flowy fabrics, delicate patterns, draping, frilly trims, and ornate detailing.
These are the people we would describe as being ‘girly’ and looking beautiful in that kind of styling. It also becomes very obvious when they are missing this styling and grooming. You notice when their nails and hair aren’t done, and if they don’t quite look put together.
Denim is a very coarse and casual fabric and, as such, it is best suited for the Natural types. However, everyone can and does wear denim, it just becomes important how it’s styled. This is especially true for the Romantic type.
Of the three images, Beyoncé looks better as we move from left to right because her styling gets more glamorous and refined.
In the first image (left), she looks too casual. The outfit is much too relaxed, and the distressed detail makes it even more so. Her bag is a backpack that lacks the glamour she needs. Her heels would have given this outfit the lift it needs, but she’s not wearing them lol.
The middle look is better (cleaner and more sophisticated) than the first, but the t-shirt and sneakers make it a bit too casual for her. She looks cute, but not her best. Again, a pair of heels and a fancy handbag would bring this look to life. If she kept the t-shirt, she would still look casual, but in a way that didn’t take anything away from her.
The third look (right), is her best. The collared shirt in a structured but soft fabric, the jeans with no cuts or cuffing, and the heels all work to create a simple but polished look that is perfect for her. On her, this looks beautifully casual.
Romantics are defined by their ripe hourglass figure. They look their best in clothes that follow and accentuate that shape. In unconstructed styles, their body and their sensual essence gets lost.
In the first look (left), Beyoncé was pregnant and I think this is a graceful dress for any pregnant person. She looks beautiful but even still, this is not one of her best looks. In this case, I know it’s intentional-but her body is lost.
I dislike this middle look very much. The waist definition provided by the belt does very little to save the structureless dress that is just hanging off her body. The fabric is a bad choice and the neckline is not flattering. It’s not great.
The third look (right) is the best of these because the fabric is the most structured. So while it’s designed to look like it loosely drapes, it keeps its and (more importantly) her shape. Still, this is not one of Beyonce’s best looks. I think this tone of gold is too bright for her and I’m not a fan of the fabric choice.
Romantics are suited to femininity and poise. In patterns, this means delicate, understated, blended, and classically feminine. Anything too bold and wild will overpower them and pull attention from them.
The patterns above draw my attention to themselves, and away from Beyoncé. In each case, I see them first before I see her.
This is not to say that Romantics, and Beyoncé in particular, can’t pull off patterns- they just have to be soft and delicate. Let’s look at these outfits again:
Beyoncé looks great in these patterns because they are soft and delicate in their design and coloring. They don’t pull attention away from her and I perceive her and the clothes together, not separately.
These are some of the worst lines and styles for Romantics. Athleisure by definition is designed to be sporty and comfortable. The fabrics are sweat-wicking and performance-oriented, not fancy. The fits are generally loose and roomy to allow movement and facilitate comfort.
So, Naturals generally look great in Athleisure- think of Gigi Hadid- but not Romantics. They tend to look frumpy and underwhelming in these casual styles. Beyonce is no exception. At best, she looks okay.
Childish/ Gamine Lines
Gamine lines are sharp and short and their essence is fun, vibrant, and youthful. In these styles and lines, Romantics look chaotic and inelegant.
Beyoncé does not have a Gamine essence, so these outfits look too busy and even childish on her. Her clothes are distracting and each of these outfits lacks the elegance that she and Romantics need.
The Romantic body style is all about femininity and glamour. This often comes across as outfits and styling that are luxurious but in a very classic and refined way. Rich fabrics, subdued coloring, and mature styling. The luxury must maintain a sense of true elegance.
This outfit looks cheap on Beyoncé. In general, elegance doesn’t scream for attention. This outfit does and it cheapens her essence.
Stiff, Heavy Fabrics
Romantics are soft and delicate, so they are suited by fabrics that can be described the same way. Their delicate bone structure cannot handle too much visual weight. Stiff fabrics look too hard and harsh on them.
A lot is wrong in the first image (left) but, for this discussion, I’ll focus on the fabric choice and the cuts of said fabric. The leather bodice is stiff, it actually looks hard, and the cut is straight across her chest which does nothing for her. A softer fabric that draped around her bodice would be more flattering.
The ‘rocker style’ belt is confusing and, again, the leather fabric is harsh on her. Did I mention it’s random? Then there’s the skirt which looks like a ring of paisley fire, with the matching boots. Putting the loud pattern aside, the skirt fabric is again too stiff for her. In this outfit, none of her fabrics caresses her, which is what Romantics need to look their best and most harmonious.
Note: I know this was a Met Gala look, and the theme was ‘Punk: Chaos to couture’ (so I’ll let the belt slide), and the Met Gala is about breaking all the fashion ‘rules’ and having fun. So, I can appreciate this look in that sense. However, what I’m assessing here is if it was harmonious with her natural Romantic lines and it was not. This look is very separate from her.
The latex fabric of the middle dress is too…rubbery. Rubber, while stretchy and pliable, is hard and stiff. It lacks the flowy femininity that Romantics need. I actually think this is a great dress with beautiful detailing, but all I can see is the rubber.
The fabric in the third image (right) is soft, stretchy, and sheer. These are all feminine traits so we would think this fabric is a great match for Beyoncé- but it isn’t. This fabric (and so the dress) lacks a sense of quality and as a result, looks cheap. Cheap is separate from the Romantic essence, and definitely Beyonce.
A Fabric Study: Suits
Suits and menswear, in general, are made up of long, sharp lines and as such are best suited to Dramatics. However, with specific modifications, they can look great on any body type.
These are not Beyonce’s best lines. In the first look (left), the blazer is fine, but the shirtless decision was a poor one. The pants look like joggers, they are very ill-fitted, which looks like it’s on purpose but…why? The shoes are meh.
Her body is lost in this outfit but more than that I just find it incredibly confusing. I cannot think of one place where this outfit would be appropriate for someone who wasn’t Beyonce.
In the middle look, the fabric is too rigid and stiff on her. The waist is cinched, which helps, but it’s generally not a great look for her. The best part here is the casual diamond necklace.
The last look (right), is the most flattering. It’s simple and elegant. It’s fitted to her and the lapels are curved (such a great thing for Romantics). However, it’s still a far cry from being one of her best looks.
Now. Let’s look at this:
Now, this is a suit for Beyoncé.
What makes it a suit for Romantics: The fabric is soft and flowy. I get the sense that it gently caresses her body as she moves. Great construction and ornate detailing in the piping around the (smooth and gently curved) lapels and on the side of the pants. The waist belt cinches in the waist and accentuates the hourglass.
What makes this a suit for Beyoncé: Sparkles. Lol. She looks spectacular.
Coats: Fabric and Silhouette Study
Romantics look better the softer the silhouette and the lighter the fabric gets. For coats, this means the less heavy and structured, the better.
The first two images (left side) are the least flattering for Beyoncé. The fabric is too stiff in the first image. It’s a beautiful coat and it fits her well, it’s just not the best for her. The black coat is lighter in fabric, which is good, but the cut is made of long, straight lines which do not suit her curved lines.
The last two images (right side) are the most flattering. The fabrics are softer and silkier which is better for her delicate bone structure. The last look (right) is the best because it’s the softest and lightest, thus the best suited to draping. I can picture it draped around her and cinched at the waist and she would look amazing.
Fur coats were made for Romantics. They are luxurious and soft and bring to mind a certain glamorous lifestyle. Beyonce looks right at home in these furs. They don’t look ‘too much’ or like she’s trying too hard to be fancy. Styled up or down, they just look like her regular coat.
This is particularly impressive to me as a Flamboyant Natural because if I wore a fur coat, it would be the only thing you saw. On Beyonce, however, they look so casual. This is clear in the first (left) and third images. The second and last images are meant to be more dramatic, but even then, the coats still look harmonious with her.
A Neckline Study:
I don’t think super-high necklines suit Romantics. In general, I think their sensuality is a leading element for them, and a lot of sensuality is lost when this entire area is covered. For Romantics, this matters.
I think the dress in the first image (left) is too tight to the point of being restrictive, and while it accentuates Beyonce’s curves, I think it exaggerates them in an almost comic fashion.
I think the fabric is textured in a way that’s too coarse for her. The neckline is high which doesn’t necessarily take anything away in this case considering how the sensuality of this dress is brought on by the body-hugging fit, but it doesn’t add anything either.
The middle look is altogether not flattering. But, focusing on the neckline- it’s much too high and also feathery. This kind of ornate detail would generally work for Romantics, but this look leads with the alien-bird-neck vibe (more Ethereal and Dramatic) and it leaves (very) little room for sexy.
I’m not mad at the experiment, and while I dislike the dress from the neck down, I think the feather thing is interesting- just not for Beyoncé. I think an Ethereal Dramatic like Tilda Swinton would look amazing in this neckline (but a different dress of course).
I also don’t like the third look. I think the design is too simple for Beyoncé and the fabric isn’t sophisticated enough. The neckline is too high for a dress that long (in length and sleeves). She’s too covered up and it drains her essence.
Now let’s look at this:
I love the first look (left). It’s simple and elegant. She’s covered up, but it doesn’t take away from her. The dress is figure-hugging but not restrictive. That little fur shawl adds a touch of luxe that is perfect for her. The neckline, while high, exposes just enough skin for a diamond necklace. Amazing.
The middle look is okay. I’m not a huge fan of the fabric but it’s a great comparison for the red dress in the above image. Here, the more open neckline is more flattering and she looks less restricted.
I love the last dress (right) on Beyoncé. I dislike her makeup and mostly her hair (too undone, lacks polish) as I think they take away from this look. But the dress and how it fits her is beautiful.
Lace in all its delicacy was made for the Romantic type and she does it justice. Here, the high neckline doesn’t take away any sensuality from her because the fabric and design provide it. The look is balanced.
Romantics are best suited to styles that are elegant, refined, and feminine. For me, that looks like polished movement. Here are some styles that don’t achieve this and are unflattering for Romantics.
I already discussed the first look (left) above, but I think the side ponytail is too childish on Beyonce and I think the coloring isn’t the best. Her roots would look better in a darker, more natural shade and if the transition into blonde was more gradual.
The middle look has a good color for her, but the hair is too stiff. It looks hard (no movement) and matronly (dated and wiglike) on her.
The third look (right) is too unnatural and one-dimensional in coloring. It doesn’t look like her hair. She wears a lot of wigs, so I get that it’s most likely not her hair, but we shouldn’t be able to tell.
The cut of the bangs in the first look (left) is too blunt and the overall look is a bit too wispy for her face. She can handle more volume and looks better with it.
The middle look is from an amazing Halloween costume where she dressed as Toni Braxton, and from that end, she genuinely looks amazing. However, judging Beyonce in this style, it’s clear that she was made for voluminous, long hair. This blunt pixie takes away from her.
The hair in the last image (right) is too coarse for her. This is a wonderful style for a Natural type, but it looks undone on Beyonce.
Let’s look at this further:
In these four images, I think it becomes clearer how important overall smoothness is for Beyonce and Romantics’ hair. I think she looks more harmonious as we move from left to right. Beyonce looks amazing in curly hair (as we will see below) but the smoother the style of curls the better it suits her.
In the first two looks to the left, the texture of the hair looks rough against her. In the leftmost image, I also think the volume of her bangs creates vertical weight that isn’t flattering on her.
The two looks to the right look much better on her. Compared to the first two images, the curls are looser, bigger, and smoother and so they look better on her. The last image (right), has the smoothest curls and I think it suits her best (although she looks unimpressed lol).
Note: This is not a thinly veiled advocacy attempt for texturism. I genuinely love all hair textures. This is also not to say that Romantic hair has to be silky smooth, this ‘smooth/ polished’ look can be achieved with textured natural hair as well. This is just about what styling I see looking most harmonious on Beyoncé.
A even further look:
Again, in these images, I think she looks better as we move from left to right. The ends of the first image (left) are too blunt and dense. The middle image is too undone, this semi-wet-look hair looks unrefined on her.
The last image is the best. It’s polished and her hair looks soft and curved, like her. It’s perfectly harmonious.
Here are some of the most flattering hairstyles for Beyoncé:
This is Beyonce at her best. I think she looks beautiful in all these hairstyles. Generally, these styles are soft, elegant, and polished. Where curly, the curls are large and voluminous. The colors are multi-dimensional but in a very natural way.
I think she looks her least harmonious in the last image (bottom right) because, again, it’s the most coarse looking. The hair looks a bit hard, I can see the separation between her and her hair. She still looks good, but these little things stand out and take away from her.
Compare that to the curly hair right next to it (bottom center). There, her hair looks soft and delicate and she looks perfectly harmonious.
Romantics look their best when they are visibly done up. These ‘no-makeup’ looks are underwhelming on Beyonce and she looks undone.
This is great for everyday wear but in high-glam situations like the red carpet (right), she looks incomplete. I want to add something to her face to make it pop.
Anything too intense is inharmonious with Romantics. Their makeup needs to be soft and feminine.
These lipstick shades in the images are too dark and harsh on her and they are all I see in the looks.
This a study on balance. Romantic makeup needs to be balanced both in how the features (lips and eyes) are highlighted and in color intensity.
The first look (left) is balanced but the colors are too intense for her. The center image is unbalanced, the eyes are highlighted more intensely than her lips and it looks off. The last image (right) is balanced, the eyes and lips are equally intense and the colors are flattering on her.
Let’s look at what happens when only her eyes are intensely highlighted:
I think these images show how important balance is for Romantics. In these looks, especially the last two (middle, right) Beyoncé has crazy eyes lol and they are all I see.
Now, as soon as she adds an equally intense lipstick shade to balance out her intense eye makeup, she looks complete. The last image (right) is too intense but the point is that I perceive her entire face altogether. Nothing stands out.
This is Beyoncé at her best. Simple and subtle, winged eyeliner, glossy lid, ample highlighter, and glossy lips. She can handle color, but nothing too drastic or dark.
Beyoncé looks her best in dewy makeup, a little sheen looks great on her, I think the third look (right) is her least flattering because it’s the most matte. Still, not drastically so and she looks beautiful in each of these looks.
This look is clearly dated and it does look like Beyoncé is going to a fancy Prom, but it occurred to me that that’s exactly what the mandate for Romantics is. The fancy touches the rest of us would reserve for fancy events are their everyday go-to’s. So, here, Beyonce looks beautiful.
I love the deep purple color on her, the plunging neckline, and the cinched-in waist detail. All the sparkle from her bracelets, shoes, earrings, and clutch looks great. Her hair is voluminous and her make-up is simple.
This look can be updated, but I think it’s a winning formula that has remained the same for her.
I love this look. I love the see-through fabric giving me subdued sexy vibes. I love the beaded detailing on the fabric and how it moves with her. I love that embraided veil and the dark lip. I love everything. This look has a certain dark sensuality that I appreciate.
This is fun. I love the lace shirt, the details on the pockets, and, of course, the massive (diamond?) buckle at her waist. It does the job of waist definition and luxe detailing. Shades, shoes, bag- they all fit. She looks very diva-esque. In a good way.
This is a difficult look to pull off. It’s A LOT. The gold, the headpiece. The gold. For me, this is a clear representation of her Queen archetype. I don’t think she would be able to pull this off otherwise, and she does. She looks queenly and pregnant and glorious.’
Pinpointing your Kibbe body type can be challenging because grasping the nuances of each body type can be confusing. I hope this Romantic body type and style analysis was helpful.
Beyoncé is such a great style study because she naturally, whether knowingly or unknowingly, leans into her Romantic style essence. She has also been in the public eye for decades which means a great archive of style wins and losses to break down and learn from.
If you think you could be a Romantic, try some of the same outfits and see if they suit you as they do her.
Let me know if this helped you and if you agreed with my analysis.