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The Body Types Test that Kibbe presented in his book, Metamorphosis has ‘mixed’ reviews, apparently even from David himself (all rumors!). Some say that the test isn’t accurate, and there are even rumors that it was only the editors that told David that it would be a good idea to include a ‘test’ in the book. These are all things I’ve heard floating around but are by no means confirmed! In recent years, there has been talk that the test is irrelevant now, and perhaps inaccurate. So why do I still choose to use it in my consults, and if it does have use, what is its use?
The first thing we should get out of the way is that the lines are always the real test! If you for some reason test as Romantic, but you look your best in Dramatic lines, you are a Dramatic, and it doesn’t matter what the test said, or why it said it! It could be that you just answered all the questions wrong, or it could be that the test didn’t work for you. I say who cares! However you find your best lines, so long as you find them and feel amazing in them, that’s what matters the most! The test is just one tool to do that.
The reason why I love the test so much is because it boils down why certain lines look good on you. It’s not because of your ‘essence’ or your ‘facial expression’. It’s a more objective way of understanding the harmony in your own body. This is why I still use the test in my consults.
A related reason of why I still love and use the test is because it aids in explanation, and it’s extremely surprising how it works almost every single time if you understand how to use it properly. Let’s discuss how to interpret the test:
All answer A’s, bold yang, or majority answer A’s: Dramatic
All answer B’s soft yang: Natural
All answer C’s balanced: Classic
All answer D+E: Romantic
Even or close to even mixture between D+E and A+B: Gamine
Then, we have the soft types. Soft types are Soft Dramatics, Soft Classics, Soft Naturals, and Soft Gamines. They all get their yin undercurrent from their flesh disproportionality. Sure, there aren’t perfect textbook types, but generally, more yin should come from the flesh and facial features.
We also have the sharp types. We have Dramatic Classic, Flamboyant Natural, and Theatrical Romantic, who all have their own parent type’s body’s flesh and facial features (for example Dramatic Classics will have Classic flesh and facial features), but added sharpness from the bones for the yang undercurrent.
Generally, the yang undercurrent tends to come from the bones, and the yin undercurrent comes from the flesh as you may have noticed above. But with one exception—Flamboyant Gamine. Flamboyant Gamine gets the yang undercurrent from the figure.
Half this half that: Let’s say you have half answer C’s, and half answer D+E. What does this mean? The answer is, it depends on where these answer C’s are, and where the answer D+E are. If you have your answer C’s concentrated in your bones, skeleton and facial bones, and the other half of your answers are yin answers and coming from your facial features and flesh, then you are a Soft Classic. If you have the reverse—if your skeleton and facial bones are yin-dominant, and your flesh is balanced, you are still a Romantic. Because you have a Romantic skeleton.
Half this half that: How about half answer C’s and half A+B? This can be inconclusive, but follow the same logic as a Soft Classic vs Romantic would. If your yang answers are concentrated in your bones (skeleton and facial bones), then you’re most likely a Dramatic or Natural with balanced flesh, and would do well in those lines. If it’s your moderate answers that are primarily coming from your bones, then you’re most likely a Dramatic Classic.
Half this half that: Half B half A. It’s hard for me to say exactly. If they are evenly mixed without your skeleton clearly being mostly bold yang or mostly sharp yang, then I would say you’re most likely a flamboyant Natural with a strong bold yang undercurrent. But the same logic follows if your skeleton is one way or another. If you have all bold yang bones, and soft yang flesh, you’re most likely a Dramatic. And if you have soft yang bones, and bold yang flesh, then you’re most likely a Natural.
You might see a pattern here! It’s the bones that take precedent! Indeed, we split the five main categories into their bones structures, not into their flesh. So focus on how your bones look, and that will be the hardest part, and you’ll get your main parent type. Then the easier part may be seeing if you have yin facial features or not, and determining if you’re a soft type in your main category!
Balancing this with that: How about someone with mostly Classic answers, with let’s say two sharp answers in the bones, and two soft answers in the flesh. I would call them a pure Classic because the two undercurrents would cancel! Same for naturals—Flamboyant vs Soft. The undercurrents could cancel to create a pure type.
How about all the Gamines! All have a high level of mixture to their ‘categories’. The four categories are skeleton, body’s flesh, facial bones, and facial features. Sure, not every category has to be mixed, but mostly, they are mixed.
Soft gamines have more yang in their bones, and more yin in the flesh. Flamboyant gamines have short stature, yin-dominant facial features, and yang dominant figure. But they tend to be the most variable types! And pure gamines don’t have either of these trends but require an even mixture of opposites (no extra yin or yang!). If you don’t have either of these trends in terms of body type description, but still have more yang, then you’re most likely a Flamboyant Gamine! If you have more yin, but it seems to be coming from your bones and not your flesh, consider Theatrical Romantic, because Soft Gamines usually don’t have a yin dominant skeleton.
Finally, there are always exceptions! And the body types test is just a tool. Remember to always try the lines at the end of the day!
CommentsCín (3 weeks ago) (Reply)
*English is not my first language, so my comment may have grammar mistakes.
I'm confused if i'm a SC or SN (specially because i'm 5'0" lol), so i made the test. That's what i got:
The results for the bone structure part of the test were 2C (bc both my vertical line and arm+leg proportions are moderate), 1B (bc my shoulders are wide and a bit blunt) and 1E (bc my hands and feet are small and sightly wide);
The results for the flesh structure part were 4C (my overall shape, bustline and waistline are moderate. The question about the overall hip shape was kinda complicated to answer as my hips are sightly narrower than my shoulders, but i answered C because they're not noticeably small). The last question, about how the flesh in the upper arms and thighs is, was also hard to answer because my arms are pretty thin while my thighs are not that much, but i noticed that both these parts have an elongated, but not slender, flesh. (Plus: despite the fact that i still don't have an active lifestyle, most of the flesh on these parts is sightly hard, which das another reason i put B as the answer);
The part of the test that corresponds to the face is where i had the most mixed results: I got 2B (my cheekbones are the widest part of my face and, despite not being narrow, my eyes are straight and widely spaced), 2C (both my jawline and the flesh on my cheekbones are moderate. Also, my cheeks are a bit asymmetric at a level where i can choose to look softer, or not, in a photo depending of what side of my face i show more) and 2E (i have a rounded, softly "wide" nose and my lips are very full).
This resumes to 8C 4B 2E. Seriously? I don't know that's happening. I may have answered some questions wrongly... at least i figured out why people think i'm still a minor (probably my height + some aspects of my face) ^^
I really like this breakdown and also your other post on renaming the types more objectively. That was one thing that helped me understand Kibbe types better. The other was plotting the types on a 3D graph (yes, I'm really analytical) with the X-axis as the range between Dramatic and Romantic skeleton, The Y-axis as the range between Natural and Gamine skeleton, and the Z-axis as the range between soft and taut flesh. It helped me see the connections among the types rather than the differences.
Longtime lurker, first time commenting: Your work on Kibbe is BRILLIANT.
I had been trying to figure out what to wear for years and years. I love the idea of kibbe, loved the ideas of truth is beauty, but I'm with you: that 'essence' stuff really didn't work for me. I just wanted to know what lines and colors were good, not be told what costume to wear (that's what so much of the essence stuff sounds like).
Your breakdown of the kibbe quiz is brilliant. Your re-use of the language around kibbe (sharp, mixed, etc.) all brilliant.
Thanks to your awesome videos and blog, I finally figured out my type: Flamboyant Gamine. I kept getting thrown my my height (tallish), but I have a very short vertical line proportion-wise. I kept thinking I *should* be all yang, except random yin features peppered throughout my appearance. Your videos helped me see the possibilities here -- and so also the reality of my features and lines. I'm now happily thrift shopping for FlamGam, saving tons of money doing it, too.
Anyhow, I just wanted to say thank you. This completely rekindled my love of style and fashion-art. I'd lost all enthusiasm for it, because I hate being told how I "ought" to dress. Now I have lines and colors as a palette to work with, and the result is fun and exciting.
Elie (1 month ago) (Reply)
I'm still a bit confused. My Bone Structure are 3D with 1C. My Flesh on Body is mixed of D, A, B and C. But my Facial Features have 4E, 1B and 1 D. Does this mean I'm a Theatrical Romantic or maybe Flamboyant Gamine?
Thanks for your videos by the way, I really love watching you
MerriamMerriamStyle(3 months ago) (Reply)
Hi Beachbunny, I think if you don't have A or B mixed in with those D and E, then you might be a soft classic!!
BeachbunnyClub member(3 months ago) (Reply)
I had mostly D’s And C’s on the test, along with a couple E’s (no B’s),so I could be a Soft Gamine. That being said because of my advanced age I feel silly in some of the SG clothing. So I tend to lean towards wearing soft classic lines more. I will be doing the Quick Kibbe Consult soon. Perhaps that will be revealing.