The Romantic True Autumn Part 2

These articles about wearing your own colouring and your own body lines borrow their colour palettes from the 12 Tones or Seasons of colour collections by Sci\ART founder Kathryn Kalisz, more accurate than any other I know, and the body line categories from David Kibbe’s fascinating and brilliant book, Metamorphosis.

In Part 1, we talked about who the Romantic woman is inside. It is that essence that we want to project as faithfully as possible because therein lies true beauty. We met Roseanna, our very beautiful model, in the previous article, with sincere thanks to Maytee Garza for the Sci\ART colour analysis.

In trying to get a sense of the body to choose clothes for, because Dolly Parton was too extreme, I thought of Linda Ronstadt as an example of this very sensuous hourglass figure. She always seemed lush on film, especially as her career and body matured. But I was in error. Look at this fantastic collage Paisley made:

When I opened this, suddenly all I could see was Yang straightness and angularity except for the huge eyes (and she’s 5’2″), like a little spider. I so didn’t get this before. This combination of extreme Yin (huge eyes, small body size) and Yang describes a Gamine. Smart women whose understanding of body type are light years beyond mine suggest that Linda is a Soft Gamine – so a Gamine first, with a trace of Romantic. Happy to hear I got the R part right.

When Kibbe said hourglass, he meant hourglass. He meant tip-to-toe luscious. Carrie suggested Christina Hendricks, no doubt a perfect choice. I can see that Roseanna is closer to Christina, with fuller lips that balance the size of her eyes better, where Linda’s mouth is smaller. She gives a more womanly impression than Linda’s ethereal, waif-like proportions.
Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks Pictures

Suddenly from these photos, who these women are inside comes clearer. Colour and Kibbe are the same. It’s all in the comparisons. What you can’t see about a garment, a swatch, a lipstick, or a body’s lines can be sweet-talked into revealing its truths by placing it besides something else, anything else. The closer in colour or line the two things are, the more their particular dialects are divulged. It works both ways. Seeing beauty as how close you can line up to the 19 year old blonde model seems to really just emphasize the differences. What’s the point in being her? That’s cookie cutter stuff. You are who the world wants to see.

Getting carried away again. Let’s look at some clothes. Costume museums would have many of these outfits, the teal suit on the stand in Poly 4 being an stiffer exaggeration. Frothy fabrics, even florals, felt out of place, better placed in Theatrical Romantic.

Here is Poly 3:


Romantic True Autumn 3


Framing the face matters greatly when a choice is being made among details, but the hourglass is essential. Simpler necklines like the grey cardi-T top need a necklace or a hat or some accent around the face.

Flowing means not stiff, tight, clingy, or straight – because one could think of curve emphasis as tight but this Yinnest of people is indirect so I avoided anything that felt remotely overtly revealing or even provocative. Perhaps the grey cardi-T needs more draping or something worn over it.

Poly 4: 


Romantic True Autumn 4


These clothes remind me of the power that comes from suggestion, like a hypnosis rather than grabbing. An old-fashioned attraction rather than the modern version of seduction, the line between come-hither sparkle and the modern version, glitter, needed to be addressed. When I looked for R clothes, I held a face and body without a single masculine element. TR is similar, only more pointed, and glitter works better there, I felt. TR feels also a little more girly, girl being more Yang than woman (who is R) in that way of tomboy and still undefined sexuality (maybe why ruffles seem better there too). Could you agree? Glitter feels Yang to me and belongs with the Flamboyants and Dramatics.

Patterns appeared to distract, distort, or just get in the way of a bone structure as delicate as Roseanna’s. The 3 colours at a time Colour Equation (this comes from the blue book, RTY Natural Colours, just in the right column on this page) depends on the woman and the print. If one of the colours is from the hair, the eyes, a neutral colour, or a colour elsewhere in the outfit, any of those would reduce the colour busy-ness and perhaps allow the majesty of this face and body to take center stage where they belong.

Waist definition means a physical tie or belt. Using a print to create an hourglass (like the long dress in Poly 5 below) or just having some ruching bunch up at the side waist seam isn’t enough unless there’s an actual waistband. An interesting thing I learned from Susan is that a horizontal colour block at the waistline can exaggerate a waist. The swirling antique skirt at lower left Poly 4 is an attempt, with a cardi to the left of it (not TA colours) to show where I was going. I wondered if the sweater floating around, with the waist definition from the tank, could look suitably allusive to the hourglass , but maybe it looks sloppy. He said short/tight/clingy so I guess that’s my answer.

The purple dress, how I love bronzed purple on Autumns, has the curved neck, the hourglass, and the flow without flop in the skirt that allows the curves of hip and bust. I had some Oscar de la Renta feelings but he can be too light and airy. This is looking more John Galliano for the simple abandon to ultimate curves.

And Poly 5:


Romantic True Autumn 5


My Kibbes are Reader Beware. These are my best guess as to what he meant, and me a person with zero fashion knowledge. Please help me with those dresses 1 to 5.

Does off the shoulder work, as 5?

Must a skirt be swirly as 4, so is the skirt of 5 too straight?

What about the V-neck on 3? are rounded necklines much better than V?

Does 2 need more draping?

Is 1 too busy? at some point, all those swirls in the skirt form a multitude of vertical lines that gives a Grecian column effect? would you agree or no?

The brown skirt below, is it too flat at the waist and too floppy in how it falls? I haven’t quite understood the line between Skater Pouf and droopy looking without some gathering at the waist.

Hiding this body under a trench felt very Mata Hari in a good way, a draping classic camel. The power of suggestion is who this woman portrays.


I told you about Angie, my beyond wonderful facialist. I feel she’s a Natural with much Romantic. Here is her face. (She is about 5’3″.)

As you see, Angie is so beautiful, it’s almost distracting. Our conversations are more productive because I’m lying down with my eyes closed. She wears multi-stranded short necklaces with huge pearls all swirled around each other and looks fabulous. Her saturated darkness brings much intensity to her very curvy body, like a union of opposites. In our existence, there really is no right and wrong, no good or bad, no beautiful or ugly. Everything flows into, through, and out of everything else. Though we hold beliefs (very limiting beliefs) about these based in many life experiences, we are equally Yin and Yang. Conceptually, Angie seems to me that individual that closes the circle between the Yang Dramatic and Yin Romantic positions at the far ends of the Kibbe scale. That her many gifts would be placed in a body that resides at one extremity of colour and the opposite pole of line feels somehow rational or obvious.

As Susan showed us (on facebook), women of dark colouring can seem more dramatic than they are. They still look better if they dress in line for their body type. The drama of their colouring is expressed simply by wearing the palette, or Season, that holds their natural colours. This would feel very complete to be and to look at.

In the last two years, as we took the Colour Ride together, we learned this: It takes scrutiny that gets uncomfortably close to home. It takes many photos, conversations, and walking on shaky ground. It means taking the lid off your pot and examining what you most want to avoid, the beliefs you have about what looks good and looks bad and the value you’ve attached to these. Your hot spots and trigger points will try to stuff the lid back on. Talk yourself out of that or you’ll still be in the role of victim, a weak position that doesn’t tell the truth about the strength you know you have, the strength it took just to ask the Who Am I? questions.

I have said and strongly believe that we are Beings of Light. I mean that as much literally as figuratively. See yourself that way. Keep moving towards the hottest, most intense part of your light, even when the waters feel roughest. Don’t let yourself turn back on what you started. Take the time to be grateful for the clarity you will find at more levels of you than you ever expected. Notice that your pain, physical and psychological, has lessened. When you love your so-called good equally with your so-called bad without conditions on that love, you find the confidence to just love you.



20 thoughts on “The Romantic True Autumn Part 2”

  1. I think you’re really getting the hang of Romantic now! Since Romantic is at the extreme end of the Yin scale – it can’t get more ‘romantic’ than Romantic with capital R in Kibbe so go for it! In the other polyvore in part 1, it felt like the ‘classic’ in you was holding back somewhat, not fully embracing how sensual these type of women can be, without them even trying.

    When you say above, “old-fashioned attraction rather than the modern version of seduction” I feel you’ve really hit the nail on the head – today many would equate ‘romantic’ dressing with ‘sexy’ dressed up for a night at the bar – but these are two very different things. Romantic in the way kibbe means it is 100 percent woman, 0 percent cheap and sleezy. She can express her fully romantic self without showing skin or wearing tight clothes. That is the beauty of it.

    OK – so since you asked, here are my thoughts on these next polyvores…..:)

    Everything on poly 3 seemed dead on – but on a second look I wondered about how a full romantic would feel wearing the cream pants on the left if she was given the choice – perhaps she would prefer a boot cut or slightly flared bottom? these pants might make her legs look like sausages? ;0 LOVE the jewelry, hats, blouses….well done….

    poly 4 – mostly fantastically great except a couple of things – the cream and gold blouse on bottom row – seems out of place with the obvious horizontal bulky line perhaps? the fit would probably be great. LOVE all the ruffles and folds. Not sure about flats for romantics – i think I read somewhere they do much better in a heel, even a tiny kitten heel than a flat. But, if they are going to do a flat, ones like the ones you’ve chosen with flowers would be best. the other ones, the red ones seem a bit gladiatorish to me, and too many straight lines. If you were to only look at the feet dressed up in those shoes…..I wouldn’t think ‘that girls a romantic’. as a side note – not sure how romantics do with shiny patent leather…..patent leather seems yangy – but the shoes you chose have the womanly heel, decorative front and a romantic ‘cut’ to them so they may pass…

    poly 5 – WOW. This one took my breath away. The bottom, middle ensemble (pinky blouse, brown skirt) is phenomenal for romantics…..with that purse and earrings…wow. I think all the dresses would work because they are providing the figure 8 – as for the individual details – The only things I could see being an issue is perhaps the off – the shouder shaping of dress 5 ends up looking rectangular – if the off the shoulder was done in a curved, softer way it could work well. dress 3 looks ‘harder’ than 1 for some reason – stiffer somehow….it might feel matronly to some romantics. i don’t know.

    It will be interesting for you to get feedback from woman who know themselves to fit into kibbes ‘romantic’ category as to how they would feel in these dresses and outfits.

    having made these comments Christine – I am fully aware of how easy it is to come along AFTER someone has already done all the work, already put the brain power and energy into something, and THEN say, ‘oh, but what about this?’ The fact that you are open to comments is wonderful and amazing. I too am only a student of kibbe. I find it a fascinating topic and one limitless possibilities once you start trying to combine kibbe and color.

  2. How clever and attuned you are Lategates! I humby hesitate to add my two cents worth again but this last post so excites me as someone who all her life would decorate anything that will stand still with great joy and pleasure. This urge includes decorating my own person, but that has been a lifelong learning experience and I’ve reached the point where I’ve never been happier in knowing how to go about that joy most effectively and efficiently! There are so many tricks to presenting my romantic esssence to the world and I love to share them with anyone who compliments me and cares to know. I wear my hair daily in a quite elaborate, soft curly updo – a 5 minute job thanks to a wavy clip on ponytail that I then pin up softly and mingle with my own hair. It is colour matched unbelievably well to my natural colour, inexpensive enough to renew every few weeks and gives the Kibbe perfectly groomed but soft and pretty hairstyle. No hairdressers for me! Another trick is to use a little black clip onto the bra straps “modesty panel” to conceal most of the cleavage that my fitted stretch tops reveal and at the same time this little piece will turn a too V neckline into something softer and more curved – you can fiddle and self adjust. I would do this with all your deep V choices Christine. I like a V neckline if not too plain and stiff but a deep curved scoop is perfection in my opinion and just offers more a hint of cleavage. I adore a swishy skirt but will wear a more fitted style with pretty detail like trumpet hem or draped sarong. Love poly 5 but dress 5 would be too stiff and high at the neckline for me and dress 3, I would rescue with another little trick I have for cooler weather, of wearing a tiered swishy black velvet skirt under a dress that is too short or not flared enough and wahlah you have it!. In winter, I would also add to this look a favourite and priceless open front black fitted clingy knit sleevless sweater worn cinched at the waist with a very wide and soft mouldy suede belt which must be in same colour to continue the line through and it just gives an unbelievable hourglass shape to quite a layered ensemble. I agree with Late, the brown skirted set is divine and the skirt is flarey without being too gathered directly at the waistline. The waist always needs to be smooth and this is where my fitted firm stretch tops worn over a full skirt will smooth and define the waist area right down. Waist cincher undergarments are another little trick to highlight the best and conceal the not so best (soft curved tummy). And Christine, these polys are like looking into my wardrobe – the coat is wonderful. I always wear a coat like this unbuttoned and movement will allow a glimpse of the shape beneath. I have given up on buying coats to wear closed as what fits the waist won’t go near the bustline and vice versa. I am 5’3″ and wear skirts to at least mid calf or a bit lower and some would say my ratio is not correct here but Kibbe seems to reassure that that is a really flattering length for R’s and I instinctively feel it. Another trick – wearing cropped cardis etc fitted but almost OPEN lengthens the line of the shorter waist and is more slimming and your tie front cardi in the brown skirt set has this look. I don’t understand the tapered leg pants idea of Kibbe for romantic (maybe it’s because I am very lush) – fitted top, drapey soft flared jersey, jersey, jersey pants for me. Lastly (I’m so sorry if I’m really just a bit of a giggle) yes, I would feel self-conscious in the grey buttoned down cardi in poly 3 – I would maybe tie it in front Rio style to soften the effect or wear another drapey layer. It is so true for me – I never ever want/aim to look “sexy” and have always tended to feel a bit old fashioned, have never been trendy but have always been labelled ladylike, elegant and feminine. I am shy and dressing as a Romantic bright winter seems to bring a lot of attention but now instead of dropping my eyes to the looking I make myself look back with a smile and if in close enough proximity ask how the person is/ make a little exchange and this has been a wonderful means of growth and giving for me – in effect I say “I like you to look, thankyou, and I love you to look deeper, a million blessings to you if you will.”

  3. Hi Heather. Its nice to meet another Bright Winter Romantic- though I’m a Theatrical Romantic. I take soem of Daviids style suggestions with a grain of salt as they were written back int he 80’s when certain styles were more accepted- pleat front tapered trousers would look very odd today in my oppinion- I do however love narrow straight leg trousers (cigarette pants) which do emphasise the curves, which I think is what David what aiming for. I’m also petite (5ft) and find that below the knee is a great length (mid calf looks slightly too long on me) but when I go short it has to be slightly shorter than average without looking trashy. I do enjoy creating sexy outfits though I think that is the theartrical element. I love Dita Von Teeses style (though with a lot less cleavage on show!)- though I think that she is actually a Soft Dramatic (Her natural shape looks more narrow hipped and wider shoulders, if you see her early pictures). I’m still struggling with my hair- I have straight and fine hair- which doesn’t hold crurl very well. I’m used to leavign it straight or ting it back- but I’m thinking i need to make more of an effort with it!

  4. Hi Trish, nice to hear from you too! You are so right about taking some of David Kibbe’s suggestions in the light of the 80s era but one day when I’m feeling brave, I might just try on a pair of those cigarette pants! I’m sure the theatrical element gives you more bravery than I have and oh, I think Dita Von Teese is beautiful and unique. She is a real inspiration and as a bright winter, I love her glamorous makeup and style – a living doll! I’ve noticed too that her shoulderline is much straighter than her hourglass figure. I think her natural shape must have been that of the classical ballet dancer. My hair is very fine and soft too but I have a lot of it. I used to struggle with holding a curl and when my style flopped half way through the day, I wouldn’t feel as good. These hair pieces have been a wonderful find for me and my look. Do you love to sometimes use a little oriental influence in a look? I love it but limit it to a touch of pattern and texture in dress but have a special room in my home (mummy’s pretty room my boys call it) where I’ve really let loose. Lovely to hear from you!

  5. A soft gamine is similar to what you said about a dark autumn. She is a romantic (though more angular and with a whole lot more sass) starting to harden up! Like autumns colors beginning to harden away from the softer and warmer colors of the autumns. I visited D. Kibbe in 1999 and he told me I am a Soft Gamine , Fiery autumn. I adore your website and the levels of information you have. I just found it a few weeks ago and feel like I’ve been given the greatest gift in the world. On a spiritual and cellular level I can dance for joy in your words. Thankyou. Everyone should glow! I can’t wait for you to dress a Soft Gamine. It is! a challange.

  6. Hi Heather

    Yes- I love chinoise! I have a few Cheongsams-my favourite on is a genuine heavy silk one tailor-made for my Mum in China in the sixties- when its flat the shape is really extreame- with an eggerated hourglass shape- but when on it fits like a glove. I was always facinated with it as a child and now its mine (though it got cut short at some time in the past :( ).

  7. Great stuff, Christine!

    Respectfully, Heather, I don’t think Dita is a Bright Winter – I don’t think she is a winter at all. She’s great looking but I think she pushes the envelope and looks less glowing and healthy than a BW, more goth-like. This topic was explored at and I agree with her, Dita doesn’t strike me as a winter. That said, she is most certainly beautiful and unique, by breaking the boundaries and being herself!

    Very interesting threads.

  8. Hello, I am a bright spring romantic and I too love oriental touches. And victoriana touches:) Is it just me or are a lot of the bright seasons either romantic or theatrical romantic? Liz Taylor was thought to be bright winter and Marilyn Monroe was thought to be bright spring. I just think it’s interesting.

  9. Christine, you write beautifully as usual. Looking at my body type, I am either DC or R, or maybe a DC with extra dose of yin.. I love these romantic dresses regardless of what kibbie I might be, so I snached that harvest floral dress from your poly 4 ;)

    And just for the record, I could never walk in those heels..but colors on them went nicely with the dress.

  10. Hi Christine,
    I’m a Soft Gamine who’s lost in Kibbe’s words. I hope you don’t mind if I send a personal message to Robin DeSalvo as I’ve seen she was typed by Kibbe itself and I wish she could add more info about the SG ID.
    I’ve been fighting with my Theme, with a bunch of women on seasonalcolor.yuku and also in the “Soft Gamine Kibbe type” group on Facebook. As I see it, SG has to concentrate on crispness but every time I try, I focus to much on the Soft side and I find the result too bland for me. It will be great to hear what she learnt as she has probably hear Kibbe’s SG tape and seen his lookbook for this ID.

  11. Hi Reva

    I agree that Dita is not a Winter. Her natural colouring is peachy-cream skin and strawberry blond hair- i’d say she was a spring, possibly a warm or light spring. I actually think she looks best in her natural colours. From what information I have gathered (as a dedicated Dita fan) most of her make-up is from the Summer side of the wheel. (I ran out and bought most things she mentioned- and wondered why i looked so tired!- I’ma Bright Winter btw). The Dark winter article is interesting, though as Goth myself back in my youth I’d have to disagree that the aim of most Goth girls is to look corpse-like and depresed. I’ve always been drawn to fairytale-like images e.g. Snow white, Red Riding Hood etc. … but I guess I’m not typical of most Goth girls.

  12. hi christine!great article!do you think that someone could find by her own what kibbe type she is just by taking the kibbe test?

  13. It really depends on the woman, voodoo. I got it on the second time through. I know women who have memorized the book and had lots of honest input and still feel uncertain. It’s like colour, you know? Some are so easy…

  14. Hi Trish,

    I get what you mean about not all Goths being corpse-like – Gothic means so many more things, and the stories of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood share a Gothic element to me (although SW is in a semi-corpse state for part of the story!). I think of Gothic as highly dramatic and romantic. maybe sometimes tragic, but with heightened feeling, not blunted by depression.

  15. I couldn’t decide whether I was a TR or an R, so inspired by these lovely collages I tried on the different looks to see which felt better. The TR look was gorgeous, but I wasn’t really comfortable with all that lace and tapering. I felt it looked just too much on me! As though I were dressing in someone else’s clothes. But the R looks were just right, and I felt wonderful wearing a ruched and fitted cardigan, long tiered skirt and scoop-neck jersey fitted tee. In the mirror I suddenly looked like myself, the real me, that had been hiding underneath all those frills and whatnots! This for me was the basic test – so now I know I’m a true R, and am following this thread with great interest – thank you.

  16. fantastic explanation about finding what brings out the “you” in you instead of always trying to morph into the “cookie cutters” of hollywood. i wish i had been able to read that back when i was a teenager! infinitely valuable advice.

    I’m so glad you started posting about David Kibbe. I had never heard of him before you did and now i am totally hooked. I feel like i can go shopping with a total cheat sheet. I did the Kibbe test and found i am a TR. I was reluctant at first because i was trying to dress for a N, (because of the soft easy cotton fabrics!) and so whenever you would post the polyvores, i was trying to pick out the outfits i tend to wear, instead of doing the test first. And now, i can put on a wide, fabric belt and say, “hmmm… well this does make it a lot better.”

    And–the best part is that i don’t have to feel bad when those high neckline, proper suits, etc don’t work for me because i can just nonchalantly say to myself, “oh those are for classics,” and not mentally beat myself up about it. i guess what makes Kibbe so fantastic is that it makes you feel special. (“oh, am i the only one that can pull that off? fabulous!”) and every girl likes to feel special.

  17. I re-read this post and the comments. As a true romantic, I agree with the flat shoes thing. Flat shoes bring Audrey Hepburn to mind, who is anything, but, Romantic; flat shoes require slim, long legs, they require slim ankles and a rather dance-like figure. We the Romantics, need a bit height for our legs, a womanly essence that can only come from high heels-type shoes. We need that extra illusion of length, because we are not tall, and we often are heavy in the hip area. It is a matter of balance actually. I usually wear long, flowing skirts, that i have found to be the best type of skirt, for my Romantic self. They are often lacy, but without some sort of height on the heel, something is missing. I can have the cutest little shoes, but I have noticed the difference; others will comment on the cute little flat shoes, but not on the whole outfit, which has been an interesting observation. I have also found that it takes some effort not to look severe, boring, or too modest; always the question should be, does this outfit say ‘Curvy woman”? Thanks for the hospitality. It is always a matter of self-discovery, after all!

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