The details are important in order to suggest the drama and because drama isn't readily in my nature I do tend to struggle with with these, which contributes to my feeling that Soft Dramatic is almost right but not quite. Of course it's all relative and I am more dramatic than my mother, who tends to be classic, but whether or not my look is labelled dramatic, my own taste and opinions are always likely to balk at strict guidelines by any expert. It is absolutely okay to follow the guidelines exactly if they fit you and to say no to them if they don't. I'm always interested in systems and what I can learn from them but I am not a good rule follower.
Bold, wild, and ornate shapes. Splashy watercolors. Oversized and
abstract florals. Animal prints. Irregular shapes with soft or rounded
are tricky for me. I know what I like when I see it but that is rare in clothing,
and I definitely have a difficult time wearing large swathes of print.
Typically I use print in scarves. I do prefer prints where the shapes
blend into each other or overlap and I think that is what he is getting
at here. I love paisley and large florals in particular and look silly
in polkadots. I am not a fan of animal prints, and might be the only
woman on the planet who has no desire for anything leopard.
Avoid: Sharp geometrics. Small, symmetrical prints. Delicate, fussy prints. Animated, "cute" prints.
Yup, I've definitely noticed these do not suit me. One of my
blouses does have a small and somewhat symmetrical print however the
colour of the pattern nearly blends into the background colour so I
think that makes it wearable as it reads more like texture. If I am pushing the boundaries too much
with it I will just pile on the dramatic earrings.
Should be lavish and ornate, even for daytime. A very polished face is
part of your everyday look. In the evening, pour on the glitz! Bold
eyes, with a touch
of bright color. Full, vivid lips and strong cheeks.
thought this would be difficult but it's not actually. Having said that it doesn't feel like every day me. Since I found
better makeup colours for myself I can actually apply it more
dramatically without looking like a clown but I am still hesitant about drama and I am unlikely to do any bold
glitz and am not really sure how to create strong cheeks. It all
sounds like the eighties controuring with those blush duos-put the dark
one under your cheekbones and then the lighter one on the apples of your
cheeks. Makeup application can make you look on trend or dated too,
though contouring and dramatic makeup is definitely back. Kibbe would
likely want me to do my eyebrows too and I've learned to touch them up
just a little with some light brown powder. As for lush lips, well nature didn't quite give them to me and I'm not going to draw them on, but the right colour lipstick and a bit of liner can certainly improve the look of them.
A polished face is fine, though I don't want to be worrying all day about whether or not my lipstick has stayed on. The drama of at eyes and red lips is still too much for me, but I believe the idea is to be bold within the parameters of what suits your face. I think cat eyes are better on the young and probably also better for some eye shapes than others.
Hair: More lavish and full looking. Shape should be bold either
geometric or asymmetric, but softened with curls, waves, or partial
the big eighties hair was never something I could achieve and asymmetrical hairstyles drive me crazy. I would end up chopping it off myself to even it up. Side swept bangs are a good way to softly suggest asymmetry.
My hair is
abundant but fine, slippery and heavy and I dislike crunchy or stiff hair
due to product use, though I do have to use product to achieve the look
I want. Lavish and full does not necessarily mean long, so although I
am going to grow my hair a little, I am not aiming for long. I am not
the mermaid hair type. My hair is slightly wavy so I can achieve
some sort of soft tousled texture if it is layered, but it's best if the
fullness is at the top half of my face.
Jewlery: Should always be large,
bold and ornate. Bold geometric shapes with soft edges. Oversized,
ornate shapes. All sparkly, glittery, and shiny finishes
are excellent. Wild costume jewelry that is obviously faux.
Okay, some troubles here. I don't like plastic costume jewelry or faux things so much but I do like large, artsy pieces in metals, stones and beads. I can go with softly geometric and ornate. Sparkle and glittery, not so much. I do have many earrings that are smaller and might qualify as delicate but I wear them less often.
Avoid: Sharp geometrics. Simple, symmetrical pieces. Delicate, antique pieces. Rough, chunky pieces.
Shoes: Tailored and angular with tapered toe and heel. High, narrow heels are best. Bare styles also excellent
I run into troubles here. High heels are out, and I just prefer a chunkier shoe for comfort and stability. Since my style is more casual, and this is not typically about pairing shoes with a dress, I think I make it work. For comfort sake I am not inclined to very point shoes either, which I suppose is what is meant by angular. It seems to me we are going for quite a sexy shoe here. More modern interpretations I've seen on Pinterest include a very high heeled, platform pump. My theory is that if boot cut jeans are covering half my shoe, it is less important to get this right.
Avoid: Chunky styles. Overly delicate styles with excess trim.
Bags: Softly rounded shapes in over-sized styles. Exquisite leather or fabric. Very slim briefcases. Ultraornate evening styles.
Just as want comfort in shoes, I want comfort and ease in a bag and my preference is cross body. A bag whose handle is not long enough to get over my shoulder is just a big nuisance, and I have attempted to stop carrying oversized bags because then I am just lugging around too much weight. I do prefer a softer bag though and not too structured or squared.
Avoid: Plain, symmetrical bags and small, delicate styles.
He would probably classify my every day cross body bag as plain and symmetrical. Perhaps wearing it cross body and thus asymmetrically helps to counter that.
Belts: Should be bold and wide, of supple leather or special fabric, with large and ornate buckles.
I've not seen such a belt in my size, real leather and the right brown but I am definitely in need of a belt.
Hats: Should always be theatrical and glamorous, emphasizing rounded shapes and ornate trim. Should be large and oversized.
I definitely can't do this without feeling like I am in a costume. Either I wear the wrong hats or I give up on them. I do know that very small and perky caps aren't good on me so I at least avoid that. I like a newsboy cap or a fedora, both probably being a bit too masculine for Soft Dramatic. Large floppy hats, Russian style fur hats and turbans are often recommended for Soft Dramatic.
Hoisery: Keep you stockings ultra-sheer. Your strong vertical line is
best emphasized by blending with both your hemline and your shoe. Always
blend with the
shoe. Very lacy or ornate textures are wonderful for evening.
Flesh, sheer tights have been a fashion faux pas for awhile now, but they weren't in the eighties when this was written. I think they will make a comeback. It's easier to get an appropriate nude colour now, and sometimes they are a dress code requirement for certain work places, are definitely warmer than bare legs for those of us who don't live in perpetual summer, and not everyone is flattered with black or coloured legs.
If hoisery, shoes and hemline should all match or blend, that either leaves you with always wearing brown and beige skirts and shoes, or having to buy a pair of coloured shoes to match each skirt. I find this advice a bit problematic and would go with blending shoe and hoisery and worry less about the skirt.
I must admit that the challenges of hoisery are making me move away from skirts and dresses.
Color: Your use of color should
always be bold and dramatic, never dull. You shine in original color
combinations that emphasize bright/dark mixtures. Pastels
can be extremely elegant if your execute them in head-to-toe sweeps.
Monochromatic schemes will general require some vivid accenting in the
department. Strive for a very polished, ensemble approach to your use of
Avoid: Multicolor splashes and mix 'n match approach.
Does this advice seem somewhat conflicting?
Somewhere else I read that Kibbe is very much on board with the personal colour systems and he means for this advice to be used with your colour palette in mind. Either way, I do like colour mixes and every personal palette has it's own bold versions of colour. I wonder what he means by an original colour combination. Something unusual? And how do you do bold and dramatic with original colour combinations and yet not use multicolour splashes or blend your hoisery into your hemline and with shoes?
In aiming for a polished ensemble approach I think the personal colour analysis palette is helpful. All of the colours of the Soft Autumn palette work together, so I can get quite creative in what I combine and yet still look harmonious.
I am still finding, though, that I am happiest in soft and light colour combinations, though the darker colours and even the medium ones can look rather dramatic against my pale skin. That drama doesn't feel like me, though I might use it for a formal event.
Well interpreting Kibbe is a bit like interpreting the bible, but hopefully I won't end up in style hell if I get it wrong. I can't say I am completely sold on this being the right style for me, though I do believe it's the place Kibbe would say I fit. For me the big takeaway is that wearing softly draping clothing is right, and there may be something to why I am always wanting to grow out my pixie cut.