What is Tessa Thompson’s Body Type?
I have determined her to be a Flamboyant Gamine.
This post is a detailed account of how I got to this conclusion. I’ll be focusing on the lines of her body and clothes as well as her essence.
The basis of this analysis is primarily the Kibbe system of body typing, and secondarily the Kitchener system for understanding essence. These systems are unique and independent, but I like to use them together. Please keep in mind that I’m no expert and these are just my thoughts. They could very well be wrong. Anyway, let’s begin.
Let’s take a look at the lines of Tessa’s Body:
Elongation/ Vertical Line
There are a few things working against these looks. The very long dresses drag her down, particularly the yellow dress that pools at the bottom. Also, the simplicity of these dresses looks boring on her. However, for this part of the assessment, I’m just looking at the delicate nature of the looks.
These outfits are Romantic because of the soft lace or chiffon fabric, the draping, the cinched waists, and the overall delicacy of the looks.
In these looks, Tessa looks inharmonious. She looks separate from them because the delicacy doesn’t match with her more prominent structure. To me, she looks ‘hard’ compared to all this softness. Along with a strong bone structure, she has a lot of softness on her face, so I’m not necessarily talking about that or any individual part. This ‘hardness’ is more visible when she’s viewed as a whole.
Related: Romantic Style Analysis: Beyoncé
Let’s compare these looks to the ones above. These blazer dresses are structure-centric. The heavy fabric, sharp lines, and boxy accessories all create a structured silhouette. In these, Tessa looks soft. The structure is harmonious with her bone structure and it almost falls to the background and allows us to focus on the softness of her flesh. It’s the opposite effect of the looks above.
These are far from being her best looks, I think they are too structured and rigid, but she looks better in this than she does in looks that lean more soft and delicate. Structure is thus a vital style component for her and she looks lost without it.
Let’s explore this more:
In these two silver looks, I think Tessa obviously looks better in the outfit on the right. Again, it comes down to structure and straight lines (right) as compared to a lack of structure and soft, drapey lines (left). The sharp lines and heavier fabric are more harmonious with her bone structure and she looks great.
In the knit dress to the left, she looks underwhelming and incredibly boring. The soft fabric and the way it’s draped around her makes her look too casual and homey.
In these looks again, Tessa looks better in the outfit to the right for two reasons. Firstly, the suit to the right is more structured and sharp. This is more harmonious with her bone structure. The suit to the left is made from a softer fabric and is designed to drape around her waist with the cinched, belt detail and this works against her.
Secondly, the first look (left) is monochromatic and the lack of visual interest is boring on her. That I can’t see her shoe also creates a long vertical line that drowns her visually. The second look (right) has great color blocking. The striped shirt is a wonderful, striking pattern that adds visual interest and the repeated black details (shoes, belt) create a staccato effect that looks great on her.
Here again, Tessa looks better as we move from left to right and as her outfit gets more structure. In these cases, the structure comes with fabric weight as well as design. In the first look (left), Tessa is lost in fabric and I feel like I have to fish her out.
The middle look is more structured and thus better, but the design is a bit matronly on her so it’s not her best. The last look (right), is beautiful on her. Even though it’s monochromatic, the design is very interesting and that acts as the visual interest that is so important for her.
I dislike all these looks on her, but I dislike the look in the middle the least. Again, this is because it is the most structured as compared to the other two. The fabric in the middle is heavier than the lace in the other two images and this weight allows for the structure that is more harmonious with her. The other two looks are too soft ad delicate and she looks awkward and underwhelming.
Of these two black and white outfits, I think Tessa looks better in the look to the right. The way she’s used black accessories in the second look (right) creates a staccato effect (headband, neckpiece, skirt) that is more contrasted and more visually interesting. In comparison, the look to the left is boring and too simple. It doesn’t really give me anything to look at and is thus forgettable.
I think Tessa looks really good in all the silver outfits, but she looks better as we move from left to right and the dresses get both more structured and more visually interesting. The last look (right) is the most visually interesting and Tessa looks amazing.
I’m not sure what the fabric is that this is made out of it, but it almost looks like a 3D cast of some sort, so it is VERY structured. To balance that out, the rose-like lapels in the midsection create an illusion of softness. I discuss this look in detail under ‘Best Looks’.
Tessa looks amazing in each of these staccato looks. The staccato effect is the repetition of certain parts to create a broken-up visual effect. It creates a busy pattern that can be quickly overwhelming and distracting for most body types, but it looks at home on Tessa and Gamines in general. The horizontal breaks are particularly beautiful on her.
Tessa looks great in the outfits. The more details she has, the better. On her, they aren’t busy or overwhelming, they are quite normal or, at most, fun. Pops of color and bold patterns all look great on her.
No Visual Interest
Here we get to see what happens when Tessa’s outfits lack all visual interest. She looks incredibly boring in these basic, simple styles and she doesn’t even look like herself. She looks like a pretty girl, but not Tessa Thompson. The simplicity strips her down and takes her fun, dynamic essence away from her.
These looks are more elevated than the outfits above, so she looks better in them, but they are also boring on her. In the first look (left), the color, pattern, and length are flattering, but the silhouette is too simple and basic.
In the middle image, the monochromatic look is boring and the dress is also too long. I like the high neckline and the open chest detail is beautiful, but it’s not enough to make the look interesting. A contrasting belt and a shorter length (above the ankle) would improve this look.
The third outfit would be great if the color was more interesting or if the fabric had a pattern. As is, it’s too bland and looks basic. Otherwise, the length is great, the accessories are beautiful and the fabric is heavy and beautifully structured.
Here, Tessa looks boring. These looks are too boring and normal for her and as a result, she looks underwhelming. It’s not even fully clear that it’s her. She needs visual interest. The last look (right) has elements that would work individually, I like the structured blazer, crop top, midi skirt, and clogs combination. But the black monochromatic color scheme drags her down. If she had some bright colors and fun patterns, this outfit would be great.
Structured, bold colors and patterns, cropped pieces, and mindful hemlines.
Overly delicate, soft, and feminine; unstructured; and overly long.
Tessa is lost in these silhouettes. She looks boring and awkward. Her lively essence is drained from her.
Because she has both strong Yin (soft flesh, full cheeks) and Yang (strong jawline, high cheekbones) present on her face, she can handle both softer and more sculpted/ structured hairstyles. The hairstyle choice just works to highlight the opposite element, so a softer hairstyle highlights her bone structure and a more sculpted hairstyle highlights her soft flesh.
However, she is best suited to these styles within a moderate range. When her hair is too structured./ sculpted or too soft/ ornate then it becomes unflattering on her. We’ll explore this below:
In the top row, her hair is too straight and sleek in a way that’s inharmonious with her. These styles would be better suited to a Dramatic essence type. Particularly in the middle and right images, the ultra-slicked-down ponytails strip her of all volume, and by being so extremely sculpted, it highlights the softness of her flesh to an equally extreme level. Her face looks bigger and fleshier than it is.
In the bottom row, the first image (left) is too colorful for her and it looks inelegant and even childish. This is interesting because I thought Tessa would have a strong Gamine essence, but this hairstyle makes me reconsider that. I think she does have a strong Gamine essence, but not necessarily on her face. Facially, I think her leading essence may be a combination of the Romantic and Natural essence.
The other two images (middle, right) are too ornate and delicate, they would be better suited for a purely Romantic essence type. In the right image especially, the very ornate curls harden her features.
In the top row, we can see some of Tessa’s best looks. The first look (left) is simple, subtle, and natural. The middle image features a bold lip and the right image, a bright eye. She looks beautiful in all of them because the bold elements are still moderate and the entire look is harmonious.
In the bottom row, these beauty looks lack moderation and are not as flattering on her. The first look (left) is too nude in a way that lacks definition and she looks weird and somewhat incomplete. In the middle image, her makeup is too dewy and soft and it doesn’t look great on her. The double focus on her eyes and lips is too much and would be better suited to a Romantic essence type.
The eye makeup in the last look (right) is too intense and it overpowers the rest of her face. This would be better suited to someone with a Dramatic essence.
I love the choker that creates the illusion of raising her neckline. The hair is not my favorite. I think the color is interesting and it’s a great place to introduce it to add more visual interest, but that shade does take away contrast from her face and the slicked-back wet style is not the most flattering.
Also, the sharp V of the neckline and where the two fabrics meet also add that structure with the firmness of the lines. The black and white design also cuts the long vertical and adds beautiful contrast and visual interest. Her hair and makeup are beautiful and she just looks stunning.
If I had to type Tessa Thompson, I would say she is a Flamboyant Gamine.
I’d love to know what you think. Please let me know if you came to the same conclusion or if you’d type Tessa Thompson differently.