Dressing the Essence of…Khloe Kardashian
March 25, 2012 by Christine Scaman
The Flamboyant Natural (FN) Soft Summer
Design = Colour + Line.
We look best when we wear the colours that already exist within us. We look best when we wear the lines that we are too. Round bones and muscular builds look fantastic in certain lines, not the same as those for straight bones or narrow builds. It always comes back to dressing who you are rather than seeing how close you can get to media’s stereotype.
It’s good for a woman to have an understanding of the shape of her body and face. You’ll buy different earrings, I promise you. This is Mr. Kibbe’s book, the most usable book on body lines that I know.
Sticking to your colour and line guides actually opens doors. Like good manners, limiting our options when we shop appears to expand our opportunities, for looking 99 times better just in how a jacket closes, feeling stronger and more complete, and in the control we have over many other aspects of our lives.
Paisley and Taya did Flamboyant Natural Polyvores on facebook recently. I thought I’d try, should be easier than the Dramatic True Summer that still haunts me. Soft Summer colours are so plentiful, surely I could find them in any style? When will I learn to keep quiet?
I’m a Kibbe beginner so don’t assume that what you see below is correct or Kibbe-approved.
Flamboyant Natural (far more detailed descriptions in the book)
The Person: big-boned, wide, blunt features, not lush in body or facial elements. She’s Natural with a shot of Drama.
Example: I think of Andie MacDowell with her very strongly defined bone structure. Who else? Mrs. Obama is possible in that a suit can seem too stiff and constraining on her but sometimes her proportions look more Classic and contained in shape. Maybe it’s her Winter colouring and ethnicity that give her an appearance of being larger and more exotic. Could Jessica Simpson be FN?
Angelina Jolie seems too voluptuously Yin in the face and petite in the body. Julia Roberts? Not blunt enough. We need a strong Yang presence, more masculine features, as I have in my Classic way, so not the ultra-girly version of big-boned as Mariah Carey. How about Khloe Kardashian? Using this photo, let’s pretend she’s a Soft Summer. In fact, she probably is. Scroll down this page and compare her shape and colours to her sisters’. Do you find she looks fabulous in the picture near the bottom in the blue outfit? The bag, earring, and shoes all look so good.
The Effect: wild, free, uninhibited, bold, strong. Makes me think of Dynasty meets Bohemian.
Jewelry: big, bulky, and not just artistic but extremely artistic. Here lives the drama side.
Clothes: oversized rectangle, oblong, or asymmetric. To me, that = straight sides with round edges. Must remember ‘not square’ and ‘no points’ when purse shopping. No hourglass, sharp, very straight, or delicate, all of which don’t sound like a good fit for Khloe. Also lots of separates are good (thank heavens, the shopping for top-to-toe looks for my Dramatic Classic shape is seriously hard). Will keep in mind ‘wide-loose-simple neck-sleeve-waist’ when shopping.
Accessories: this woman has a wild side and so should her stuff. She’d even be a rule-breaker and step outside the prescribed molds, wear colour a bit too saturated, wear many pieces at once putting a whole new spin on ‘unmatched’. Bold, big, simple, unique, with round edges. Makes me think of a Cossack hat, which actually could look really good on Khloe. Seems a natural fit, oddly. Every pot has a lid, ay?
It can be easier to know which colours suit which people by imagining many different colours of lipstick and hair on them. It’s always in making the comparison that we see what seems so obvious afterwards. I saw all the wonderful NYPD officers in Manhattan and thought their uniform could be my perfect Dramatic Classic outfit, epaulets, gun, hat, and all. I think of our DC women, variations on Demi Moore, and we’d all look darn good in that get-up, like Khloe in a coonskin Davey Crockett/Daniel Boone hat.
I imagine extremes for all the Kibbe types and see what feels like the best fit – not that this is how I see the woman but that she could wear these outfits and look surprisingly good and right, while everyone else would look strange.
Dramatic : Vampire Queen, Catwoman.
Soft Dramatic: extreme in a luxuriant way, whether fabric, detail, shape – the clothes Valentino designs. Sensuality above all. Nevermind how big the bow is. Or where it is. Why is there always a feeling of a tragic past or overcoming some deep adversity in this group (not unlike the ‘born for a gentler era’ of the Soft Classic)? Is it their regal yet vulnerable bearing? I guess that’s the Diva part. Often exotic looking. Cher.
Flamboyant Natural: sarong worn as long dress with huge Georgia O’Keefe flowers and loads of big colourful necklaces.
Natural: 1920s tennis dresses, or any dresses while skirts were still straight, with the loose sailor style neck, box pleats, and the big ol’ wide brim hat. Most women’s sporting outfits from back then could be good. (KB, this feels like your natural home, I could even see the turban hat with large flower on side. Google ‘dress patterns 1920s’ and you’d be set).
Soft Natural: flapper styles, clothes from J.Jill. I once thought of the Olsen twins as being here, but I’m thinking they’re straight N. This woman is more feminine, less broad and blunt in her bones. Tori Amos?
Dramatic Classic: police uniforms. Talbot’s to White House Black Market. No wonder I’ve always loved men’s shirts and ties. If anyone knows where I could buy some of those NYPD pants, please LMK.
Classic: soccer Mom, khakis, twinset, pearls, classic Timex. Also 1960s TV housewife attire. Stewardess suit. Brooks Brothers to J.Crew. LL Bean. Martha Stewart wear.
Soft Classic: Talbot’s moving to Garnet Hill. Draping, knits, curves, the traditional feminine. The outfits you see when they do the 360 on What Not To Wear.
Theatrical Romantic: skating outfits.
Romantic: Scarlett O’Hara gown, parasol, lace gloves, and veranda. Not hard to picture Mariah Carey on the tree swing. A nostalgic feeling, Mr Kibbe calls it ‘from another era’.
The three Gamines : I have no handle on this look yet. I keep seeing Fortune Teller for FG but I’m still studying. Feel free to help out.
Back to FN.
The problem with these oversize loose tops is that they can look like tents unless the garment is built to define the shouler line. Holding in my mind that strong horizontal element across the shoulders to give the shape and an easy sleeve let me scan clothes really fast. Do you think length of the blouse matters? Long sounds better on the women I think of, unless you’re Farrah Fawcett tiny sporty. Long jackets are better. From the photos of Khloe, various lengths seem to work. The length of her taupish jacket seems less relevant than the strong shoulder and heavier texture.
Oversize-irregular-but-stiff felt like searching for a kimono with shoulder pads and no belt, not so much a flimsy tunic. Smocks must be out, too fussy. Peasant styles are too flowy and would seem to droop in the shoulder. Hoodies with a shoulder shape would be good, with their low heavy draping and plush texture.
Wraps seem a style that flatters many bodies, but this woman could look bandaged if not mummified if they were too skintight. She needs freedom to move.
Went out on a limb with the one shoulder blouse, I think it could be great if it sticks to other guidelines. The bone size on the woman would establish the strong horizontal across the shoulder.
- Texture makes a difference. It felt important and necessary. Rough is natural.
- Jewelry- anything that most people would feel was wearing them. Look at the ring with the blue outfit. This is the flamboyant part. You can buzz through 100 Polyvore pages or store displays in 5 minutes. Belts too, looking for the opposite of shy. Also, jewelry can add a lot of texture, as the chain mail bracelet. Can do a lot of jewelry at once.
- Found no prints that really work.
- Dresses big, bold, sweeping? No finds. Dresses in general are hard because they create a continuity that can seem monochromatic in Soft Summer colours. On this person, the piece are better broken up and layered. Even, unbroken lines aren’t really found in Nature. Rough is better than resin. The blue and grey dress (not, it’s grey, not white ) in the last Polyvore might be D, though it does feel ‘big, bold, sweeping’. The print elements and shoulders are round-edged, which, along with the pastel colours, I hoped would add enough Yin (curve) to work.
- This is one of those looks that doesn’t come together on a hanger. The right woman has to wear it. I keep thinking these images should scream “FLAMBOYANT!!!” but they don’t. Is it just the cool palette? No, I think it’s the straightness and simplicity. If he’d called it Intrepid Natural, I’d have different expectations.
- The asymmetry appears to matter a lot. Though not essential, the look works better when the left side is not the same as the right. The opposite would be true on a Classic type.
- Hard to do wild colour combinations in Soft Summer. Worked at using warm and cool versions of same hue together, going slightly outside the Season’s colours, as a slightly too warm green, and using wide variety of colours in one ensemble instead of being carefully matchy – interesting how a more natural and relaxed vibe comes across from that alone.
- Back to Intrepid Natural. A daredevil element should figure into each ensemble for this to feel right on this woman. It can’t be too safe, even if it’s just a big watch, a huge purse, some piece needs over the top in size or artistic prominence, regardless of the palette, because that’s what these people are to look at, as Carrie so smartly pointed out (Farrah’s hair and teeth).
- A crease down the front of pants is a good way of establishing vertical line. It helps make a good T effect in the ensemble grey pants/white top, lower R, 3rd collection.
- It really takes all the elements for the geometry to come together. Once I started selecting items, I had no idea where this was going. It just felt odd. Add in the jewelry, shoes, pants for tops, and I could see the end result as making sense and could then tell what needed removing. The accessories seem to be running the show but they need the right backdrop. I’m still blown away by how effective this book is but it does take patience and willingness to be wrong, like everything else. All you need to see is one photo of yourself in three different necklaces to light up your sense of why it works and get the value.
- The most important aspect of the shoes went through some shopping stages and evolved into ‘simple’. Too strappy would look as if it couldn’t hold her up. Too chunky and the picture gets bottom-heavy. Rather than just looking at Khloe, your learn more by comparing the shoes (and everything else) on the sisters. Khloe’s are good! Texture via shoes counts, as rope on a wedge heel or sole detail.
PS – Khloe, your hair is perfect. I admire your ability to dress for your body type. If you go lipstick shopping, look at Givenchy Paradise Pink. Remember to celebrate that you have more inches of completely gorgeous than most anyone else.