Sometimes fashion is more than just picking out your favorite clothes or adapting to current trends set by social media standards. It’s about ‘The self’ and your energy heightened to its truest. There is a Yin or Yang undercurrent in all of us and fashion is a fantastic way to embody that.

Finest energy
Harry Styles- Yin Influence
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Marlene Dietrich- Yang influence

The feminine and the masculine or both?

I think it’s important to understand our feminine side along with our masculinity , parts of ourselves that are vital to ourselves. Whether its personality traits we connect to or interests we gravitate to. Some men have softness and tenderness to themselves, and when these men portray this  with soft tones, colors, delicate fabrics in their persona – it complements them on a higher level. 

A great example is ‘Lady Gaga’ who is able to draw attention to herself using both bold colors, sharp lines and edges- boyish suits and shorter hair. She is able to embrace her masculine self which is part of her inner self and express this through her personal style.

It is equally important to address that everyone’s feminine side and masculine side is different and it is important to understand ours. Your femininity can be soft and demure or bold and fierce likewise your masculinity can be rugged and outdoorsy or sophisticated and poised.  There  are layers to oneself that are exciting to uncover through fashion to understand what looks best on you. 

Angelina Jolie has a raw femininity to her that’s both wild and childlike which she brings out fantastically through her voluminous hair, femme fatale lke dresses with feminie soft silks and satins but still in bold colors like red, black or white. 

The Kibbe Body Type

Arianna Grande (Gamine)

The Kibbe Body Types are an array of 13 style types categorised into 5 style families: Dramatics, Naturals, Classics, Romantics and Gamines.

Oftentimes when we look at suitable clothing options for our body we tend to read blogs and magazines that reduce the body type into strange fruit  and shape comparisons of ‘pear shape’, ‘apple’, ‘Square’ and ‘Inverted Triangle’. Which overlooks the concept of ‘energy’ all together.

The Kibbe body types are a total image system based largely on a person’s balance of yin and yang (feminine and masculine energy). There are 13 different body types, each falling somewhere along two axes: yin/yang and contrast/blended.

Where on the spectrum a person lands depends on their physical characteristics (and personality essence) and will determine their Kibbe body type (or Kibbe image identity type). Each Kibbe body type comes with guidelines covering all elements of personal appearance, including clothing, hair and makeup. The aim is to achieve a complete, harmonious look. Both Men and Women fall into the Yin and Yang body type and are relevant to all genders.

The main benefit that Kibbe’s theory has over more traditional body type theories is that it is body-positive. It shows how drastically changing elements of your body (e.g. through plastic surgery) will not improve it but distort the native lines of your body.

Imagine a very lean, long body that has been significantly enhanced at the bust line. Or a very angular face on which the lips have been treated with filler to make them full and round. These “corrections” would look very unnatural because they are not native to the rest of the body lines – quite the opposite effect of what the procedures were supposed to achieve.

What is Yin and Yang?

The  basic idea and principle of Yin and Yang is that everything exists in inseparable and contradictory opposites, for instance, female-male, dark-light, and old-young. Yin is considered feminine energy, and yang is masculine energy.

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However, this should not be confused with femininity and masculinity per se. A dominantly ‘yang’ influenced body type does not denote that you look like a man. Understanding the terms and understanding how they apply to your physical features is critical to know how they apply to clothing, accessories, makeup and hair.

When Translated into body types, yin and yang manifest as:

Yin [Feminine Energy]: Curved lines, round edges, flowing silhouettes, hourglass figures, fitted waists, rounded shapes, swirls, curves, circles

Yang [Masculine Energy]: Strong vertical lines, sharp edges, stiff, smooth silhouettes, elongated outlines, geometric shapes, rectangles, triangles

While it is clear that  the main characteristic of yin is the softness and roundness, this can be expressed through both youthfulness and sexuality. Hence we can discern two different types of yin:

Petite yin can be defined by small features such as small hands and feet, small noses and delicate bone structure etc. Features that are lush yin are large eyes, full lips, and hourglass silhouettes etc.

Yang, on the other hand, manifests as angularity and sharpness. While yin has plenty of organic shapes and curved lines, yang is all about angles and geometric shapes. Again, there are different types of yang:

Sharp yang is seen in vertical lines, narrowness, pointed edges, long and lean bodies, and prominent jawlines. Soft yang refers to horizontal lines, broadness, blunt edges, square silhouettes, a tendency towards muscularity and wider noses.In the picture above, you can see how the principle of yin and yang takes shape in the archetypes. And this is key to determining the Kibbe archetypes. We need to understand the lines that are native to yin and yang.

The several body types are listed below according to Kibbe’s Types

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In conclusion certain clothes look better on  certain body types, that’s not to say a Romantic type can not pull off a sharp edged suit, but rather we are saying that ‘Romantics’ in their truest self would come alive in clothing and hair that is soft and ornate due to their dominant Yin influence. You can uncover more about this on ‘Aly Art’s’ youtube channel.