13 Different Body Types : What you can learn from David Kibbe

A top heavy body shape – this summed up my body in my mind, till I happened upon this theory proposed by David Kibbe. It opened a new world and a whole lot of categorizations necessary to find out a lot of things especially what clothes suit my body type.

This system of finding out a body type uses the ancient Oriental Yin and Yang concept as a basis to identify where your specific characteristics of the body fit in. Everything from bone structure, flesh on those bones, outlines of the body are considered to categorize the body into a particular type that explains everything and proposes a lot of things. 

This system of interpreting body types is based on the book “Metamorphosis, a personal image and style book for women” by David Kibbe. It tells you how to look at your body as a whole and get a kind of harmony in dressing by incorporating all the seemingly opposing characteristics present in you and striking a balance. Every bodytype is cherished and Every body is celebrated.

Here are those broad categorizations.

1. Dramatic body type

dramatic body type

This body type is based on the Yang concept (purely masculine). This describes a tall body with sharp features, angular lines, and big bones. Some features of this body type include square shoulders, prominent nose and jawline, and thin lips.

Height – Tall. Body structure – Straight body with narrow shoulders. Facial features – Long nose, narrow eyes, high cheekbones 

2. Romantic body type

romantic body types

This body type is the opposite of dramatic body type. It is based on the Ying concept (purely feminine). This describes a short body with mostly round features, soft lines, and small bones. There is nothing angular or sharp about the body lines. The hip area is broader and curvier than any other ie lower body is comparatively heavier (high waist to hip ratio).

Height – Moderate to short. Body structure – Very Curvy. Facial features – Full lips, fleshy cheeks, other rounded features.

3. Classic body type

classic body type

The classic body type is a mixture of both the ying and yang (in a 50:50 ratio). There is a balance in the features – neither too tall, nor too short; neither too masculine nor too feminine; neither too angular, nor too soft. Everything is symmetrical and balanced.

4. Natural body type

natural body types

This is also a mixture of the ying and the yang but in an unpredictable way – some features will be prominently yang and some will be prominently ying, but mostly leaning to yang (masculine). The body features a thick waist,and a wide straight body; usually upper body is larger than the lower body ie wider shoulders and narrower hips. Facial features are mostly angular and blunt.

Height – Moderate (middle sized body) Body structure – Straight and wide; top heavy. Facial features : Wide jaw, prominent features.

5. Gamine body type

gamine body type

This is also a mixture of the ying and the yang- not blended. But the main peculiarity of this body type is that the person will look like a teenager, whatever the age. The body type features a small boyish body and a small face.

Height – Tall to very short. Body structure – Mostly Petite Facial features : Doll like face, pointed chin, large eyes.

Once you have decided on your prominent body type, you may realize that your body is not adhering strictly to that particular type – but that you are a mixture of different characteristics. This goes with the premise that no one is perfect. So there are subtypes and here they are : 

Body type – Sub types

6. Soft-Dramatic body type

This is a dramatic body type with a little softness.

This body type is moderate in height to tall (never petite) with a slightly fleshy body on a large and angular bone structure. Bust, hip and upper arms maybe fleshy. The facial bones are prominent and sharp (not delicate at all) but may have fleshy cheeks. 

7. Theatrical-Romantic body type

This is a predominantly soft body type with a little sharpness.

The body is soft, small, delicate with a very thin waist. The person with this body type maybe short in stature with small hands and feet. The difference is that the facial features of this type are sharp and pronounced. The eyes are large and lips full.  

8. Soft-Natural body type

This is a natural body type with a little bit of softness.

This type has a wide slightly fleshy body, smooth curves with broad shoulders and straight waist. Height is moderate to short. Facial features are soft with soft cheeks and a small wide nose.

9. Flamboyant-Natural body type

This is a natural body type with a somewhat large and broad structure.

The stature is tall with long arms and legs. The angular body structure is combined with a somewhat thin waist. The facial features are somewhat broad, not sharp. The lips are thin and straight. 

10. Soft-Classic body type

This is a classic body type with a little extra softness.

The person with this body type will have moderate height and a straight and slightly delicate bone structure of a classic body type but a fleshy body and tapered shoulders. The face is also soft and full with full lips. The body has a good balance in the body proportions – they have a nice proportion in the waist- hip bust ratio.

11. Dramatic-Classic body type

This is a classic body with some sharpness.

The body is straight and a little muscular with moderate height. The facial features are sharp.

12. Soft-Gamine body type

This is a Gamine body type with some soft round elements.

Bone structure is small and Height is very short with short arms and legs.The face, arms and legs are fleshy. Facial features are small, delicate and round.

13 Flamboyant-Gamine body type

This is a gamine body with a little angularity and wideness.

The body is a little broad and angular with a muscular structure and a straight waist. The face is wide with slightly sharp facial features, large eyes, full lips. Shoulders are square, with large square hands.

This system is not the answer to every style question you have. It just opens you up to a lot of possibilities – which I hope you will utilize to reach the correct answers to your questions.

You can take the quiz given in this youtube channel to determine your kibbe body type accurately.

Related posts : 7 Different bodyshapes; 6 types of Hips sizes ; How to dress for your bodyshape; Inverted Triangle body shape – dressing tips ; Rectangular bodyshape – dressing tips.; Best outfits for a round body shape


Updated on September 3, 2022 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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