Sew Your Kibbe: Romantic

For an introduction to the Sew Your Kibbe Series, please see this post.  The posts in this series are intended to be a well researched and thorough investigation of the Kibbe style recommendations, along with several example patterns for each “level of dress.”  The posts in this series will be picture heavy and quite lengthy.  You may want some tea.



After last week’s post about Kibbe’s Dramatic, I thought it would be good to move to the opposite side of the spectrum, the Romantic.  In a direct contrast to the Dramatic, Kibbe’s Romantic is the pure yin, all soft shapes, curves, and ornate detail.  Kibbe’s Romantic is described as a “Dreamspinner.”  You can read more about Kibbe’s Romantic here.

Body Type Characteristics

The following are Kibbe’s descriptions of a Romantic Body Type:


NOTE: The following information should be taken as a broad outline of what makes a Romantic. It is the overall combination of extreme, soft Yin (soft physicality and magnetic essence) that creates this Image Identity category. Therefore, slight deviation here or there is always possible and should not be worried over if it does not upset your Yin/Yang balance.
Height: Moderate to petite, usually 5’5″ and under.
Body type: Soft and voluptuous. Hourglass figure; curvy (bustline and hips, with a small waist (in proportion to the curves). Fleshy arms and legs.
Bone structure: Delicate and smallish. Usually to the wide side. Rounded or sloped shoulders. Small hand and feet (may be slightly wide). Facial bones are small, delicate and may be slightly wide or lush (nose, cheekbones, jawline). If your bone structure is slightly wide or lush, you may think of yourself as having a large bone structure. This is actually decdeving to you, for the shortness of your limbs and extremities (hand and feet) offsets the width. In context of your overall voluptuous figure, your bone structure is definitely delicate.
Facial features: Lush; full, and sensual (rounded). Large, luminous eyes. Full lips. Fleshy cheeks.
Hair: Soft and luxurious. May be silky and wispy, or thick and wavy/curly.
Coloring: Any coloring (warm or cool, high-contrast or blended) is possible but a Romantic usually has a delicate skin tone that is luminous or translucent.
If overweight: The body only gets more rounded; the face gets very full.
A Romantic will not:

  • Be extremely tall
  • Have a large bone structure or large hands and feet
  • Have a straight or boyish figure
  • Have angular or sharp facial features
  • Have a prominent nose or angular chin
  • Be symmetrical


The following are Kibbe’s recommendations regarding the clothing and style choices that best suit his Romantic image ID.  The following recommendations will be taken into consideration for each garment type listed below:

  • SHAPE: Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation your find yourself–work, play, or glamour–keep your shapes rounded with soft edges! Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure!
  • Avoid: All straight lines. All sharp edges. All geometrics.
  • LINE AND SILHOUETTE: Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves of your body. Waste definition is essential, always, as is lots of gentle draping everywhere.
  • Avoid: All severe silhouettes. All tailored silhouettes. All straight lines with angular edges. All vertical lines that hid the waist. All unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines.
  • FABRIC: Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultra soft of plush textures (suedes, velvets, boucle knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
  • Avoid: Stiff fabrics. Heavyweight fabrics. Rough textures. Extreme matte-finished fabrics.
  • DETAIL: Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of “little-girlish.” Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated). Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o’ mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing. Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.) The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
  • Avoid: All tailored, angular, or severe detail. All chunky, rough, or oversized detail. All geometric necklines. All sharp edges–pleats, square shoulder pads. All crisp detail–perky bows, tiny ruffles. All minimal or “no detail” looks.
  • SEPARATES: Your use of separates should always include an artful blending of plush textures, draped fabrics, and luxurious colors so you never disrupt the soft fluidity of line.
  • Always avoid any kind of harsh contrast between the top and bottom.
  • COLOR: Your use of color should emphasize a watercolor palette of soft pastels and luscious brights. Any shade that is named for a food or flower (grape, melon, raspberry, rose, salmon, etc.) is a prime candidate. Rich, luxuriously blended colors are your most effective tools to express your lush femininity. Pale neutrals (bone, dove gray, white, taupe) are your best accents.
  • Avoid: Dark, monochromatic color schemes. Neutral, monochromatic color schemes. Sharp color contrast. (Note: Always within your Color Palette. Kibbe believes in the Color System, but doesn’t get heavy into it other than for hair and makeup. He suggests checking out Color Me Beautiful books (the books at the time of his writings). )
  • PRINTS: Should be rich and luscious with the emphasis on an abstract, watercolor blend (think Monet). Swirls of color, flowing together, with soft and rounded edges may be used in abundance. Keep prints luxuriously large; oversized florals or feather shapes are especially lovely.
  • Avoid: Geometrics. Contemporary styles. Animated prints. Small prints. Symmetrical prints. Stripes. Plaids.
  • ACCESSORIES: Accessories should always be kept feminine, ornate, and softly sophisticated. The effect may be lavish, but the workmanship should be intricate and delicate.
  • Avoid: Anything heavy, chunky, sharp, or tailored.
    • Shoes: Delicate, feminine styles. Strappy, slender-heeled with tapered or open toe. Lightweight and supple leather. Feminine flats, with ornamentation.
    • Avoid: Tailored, chunky, angular, and heavy styles. Plain styles.
    • Bags: Small, rounded shapes. Soft, supple leather or fabric. Ornamentation or luxurious detail (beads, gathers, trim). Delicate shoulder straps. Elegantly slim briefcases.
    • Avoid: Tailored, angular, or boxy shapes. Stiff leather, or heavy shoulder straps. Elegantly slim briefcases.
    • Belts: Should be a soft and supple leather or fabric. Buckles should be intricate. All beaded, bejeweled, or sparkly styles are excellent. Your belts are a focal point, and should be selected as carefully as a fine piece of jewelry. They should give a “cinched-waist” effect.
    • Avoid: Stiff belts, whether wide or narrow. Geometric buckles. Plain belts.
    • Hats: Soft, curvy shapes. Picture-frame styles. Large, fluffy fur hats. (Monty note: In case you go skiing or to Russia in winter.)
    • Avoid: Crisp or man-tailored hats.
    • Hosiery: Keep your hosiery sheer. A “light leg” with the stocking and shoe in one color, several shades lighter than your hemline, is very elegant.
    • Jewelry: Should always be delicate and lavish, with intricate and ornate touches. Rounded shapes, curves, swirls, and lots of dangles add the perfect touch to pull your look together. Sparkly materials are essential (crystal, gems, glass, polished metal, etc.), and antique, baroque, or rococo effect is desirable.
    • Avoid: Heavy, chunky pieces. sharp edges. Geometric shapes. Avant-garde, contemporary styles. Small, symmetrical pieces. Minimal styles.

For the individual garment types, obviously, I will be focusing mainly on the lines of the garment, as fabric and color choices would easily be controlled by the home sewer.  It’s nice that he included a long list of acceptable fabrics though!

Jackets: Should always be fitted at the waist. Soft, supple styles with peplums, nipped-in waists, and belts are excellent. Lapels should be curved, rounded, or shall-collard. A lapel-less model would also be good. Shoulders should have rounded pads; gathers, tucks, or bouffant shapes work equally well. Sleeves should be tapered. The more intricate or antique-looking your buttons are the better. Any draped, gathered, or shirred touches are wonderful accents.

Avoid: Tailored jackets (blazers, double-breasted, boxy. Long, straight jackets that hide the waist. Unconstructed, shapeless jackets. All sharp edges (sharp lapels, pleats, or angular detail).

While I was able to find plenty of styles that seem to suit the Romantic type, it was much harder to distinguish Level of Dress for Romantics in this category.  Because Kibbe recommends avoidance of anything “tailored,” all coats and jackets to some extent seem very formal or stiff for a Romantic.  I think most of these styles could be utilized at any level, depending on fabric choice and styling.

Coats – Level 1: I had some trouble finding examples at this level, as Romantic styles exude opulence and femininity, and an every day coat is sort of the antithesis of that.  But, I think we’ve got a few good options for the Romantic girls out there:

Butterick 6143: So good for a Romantic!  The curved lapels, soft gathers, and waist emphasis are perfect.  Using a nappy fabric really brings it down to a Level 1, but a really fine, smooth wool could easily make this a Level 2 style.
BS-05-2015-101A: If you want to go super girly, this coat has ruffles galore!  The soft gathers are also featured here, and the bodice has some nice seaming for waist emphasis.
BS-02-2008-117: The collar is a bit sharp, the shoulders are very rounded, the waist is emphasized, and the overall effect is very delicate and feminine.
BS-10-2015-114B: Waist emphasis, subtle shaping, and softly draping skirt could make this acceptable from a Romantic.  Probably not as good as the other options, but possibly more practical if you need a long coat.
Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 1.11.35 PM
BS-11-2018-120: This style is well suited to a Romantic – it doesn’t have much tailored structure, it has a very soft, rounded collar, and it has very rounded shoulders.  Great Plus option.

Coats – Level 2: These are coats that would be fabulous to wear to a more formal office job or on a fancier date to the theater.

Burda 7304: Another great Romantic option.  Curved lapels, puffed shoulders, and a gathered emphasis at the waist.
McCall’s 6800: The shoulders also have a bit of a puff here, and the draped skirt is a very soft, Romantic feature.
BS-11-2014-111: This is perhaps a bit more tailored than the other options, but the extra wide, oversized collar gives the feel of a very soft, rounded shape, and you still get to keep the waist emphasis.  Could be a nice option for a Romantic who really doesn’t like a lot of frills.
McCall’s 7256:  On the other hand, this pattern gives you all the ruffles!  The Romantic style is fun because you can play with being super feminine and not feel like you have gone over the top or too far with the frills.
Burda Plus F/W 2016 #405: I wanted to include a Plus option in this level, and this was the best I could find.  The collar has enough roundness to pass, and there is enough of a waist emphasis with the seaming as well.  This would probably more strictly fit into one of the Classic categories, but I think there are enough soft elements a Romantic could pull it off.

Coats – Level 3: This section is pretty much for when you want to show up and look totally fabulous:

BS-08-2009-112: A cape is obviously the perfect choice for a Romantic – all soft edges, rounded shoulders, and the added bow adds a nice detail here.
Butterick 5824: This Gertie pattern is an absolute dream coat for a Romantic – soft, curved, and luscious looking.
Butterick 6143: I also really like this option – the lapels are super curved, and the waist emphasis is great.
Butterick 6604: This coat has a lot of similar features to the Gertie design, but perhaps doesn’t require quite as much yardage.  Not quite as soft or flowing, but, a decent option, and a recent release as well.
Burda Plus FW 2015 #430B: This Burda Plus coat is fabulous, especially the soft fold in the rounded collar.
Vogue 9280: Vintage designs of the 1940-1950s suit Romantics very well.  You’ll see a lot of vintage reprints in my selections this week.

Jackets – Level 1: As with the Level 1 Coats, finding some Level 1 jackets was a bit tricky, but definitely doable if you look for rounded shapes, soft shoulders, and minimal tailoring.  Raglan sleeves are a great option.

McCall’s 7254: Very soft, yet still fitted.  The rounded hem is a great feature.
BS-05-2008-102: More rounded edges, soft pleats, and waist emphasis.  This could be so cute for running errands, but still appropriate for a more casual work look.
BS-05-2008-123: Very rounded shoulders, curved lapels, and gathered waist.  The shiny fabric also helps contribute to the Romantic feel.
BS-11-2009-110: Again, very soft and rounded shapes, especially the collar.  This could be a great pattern for a more practical cold winter jacket.
Burda Easy F/W 2017 #1B:  The tailoring of the sleeves is perhaps a bit sharp, but the peplum and sleeve ruffles, along with the collarless neck have enough points in favor of a Romantic look.
Burda Easy F/W 2017 #1C:  I even think this version, which lacks the sleeve ruffles, could work well for a Romantic who prefers a more streamlined look.
BS-06-2006-117: Shawl-collar, curved hem, and a nipped in waist all suit the Romantic style.
BS-02-2009-102: Romantic goes on safari.  Again, the tailoring might be a bit much, but there are enough soft elements to make it really work for a casual Romantic look.
Burda Plus S/S 2016 #435:  Bomber jackets have a very unconstructed fit, but still nip in at the waist.  I think they could be a good look for a casual Romantic outfit.  
BWOF-09-2012-137:  This Burda Plus jacket has lots of great Romantic features – a gathered peplum, puffy sleeves, soft tailoring.  Very cute!

Jackets – Level 2:  This mid tier is actually pretty tricky for jackets – it was hard to split the line between a softer style as would be recommended for Romantics and a more tailored style which would be expected in a formal office environment.

McCall’s 7513:  The tailoring is perhaps a bit crisp, but I think View C could be a smart office jacket for a Romantic.
Burda Classic 2013 #0007:  Gorgeous soft tailoring on this Burda Classic piece!  A total Romantic piece.
BS-08-2005-118A: The barely notched collar really is almost a shawl-style, and the peplum adds enough waist definition to keep the Romantic feel.  
BS-10-2014-122A: You could, of course, just go all in with the ruffles.
BS-11-2014-110: The shorter version of the longer coat from above.
Simplicity 1883: The pleating detail creates a very soft feel to this jacket, and the neckline would be Kibbe approved.
BS-11-2006-103: This jacket is perfect for a Romantic – soft curves, gathers, rounded lapels, soft shoulders, waist emphasis – it’s got it all!
BS-09-217-118:  Aside from the more shapely collar, this is a more recent Burda jacket that would be great for a Romantic – the waist emphasis is key here, but the soft pleats really help give it a Romantic feel.
McCall’s 6902: All of these would be great – you have elegant ruffles, open necklines, waist emphasis, and soft tailoring.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #430A: I really love this style for a Romantic – short or long.

Jackets – Level 3: This section is really fun because the Romantics gets some really pretty jackets for special events.

Vogue 9045: This soft Bolero would be great for a Romantic – it’s all soft curves and elegant, sheer fabrics.  It would look fantastic over a lot of different formal gowns, or as pictures to create a less formal holiday party look.
Butterick 6105: The ultimate Romantic jacket?  The collar, the bow, the soft shoulders and hem curves.  Yes, I think this might be perfection.
Burda 6781:  I used this pattern for a Dramatic skirt, but I think the jacket is a bit more Romantic with the waist emphasis, and rounded open neckline.
Burda 8133: Another great Romantic jacket – soft tailoring, flouncy peplums, and elegant styling.
BS-03-2011-115: The cute lace detail on the hem really helps move this into Romantic territory.
BS-03-2018-105: The soft shoulders make this a great Romantic option for a fancier jacket.
BS-08-2018-111A: This recent BurdaStyle jacket is also great for a Romantic.  It’s styled more casually here, but I think it would look fantastic over a more formal gown for perhaps a summer wedding event.

Skirts: Should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic “straight skirt” is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short. All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Lengths should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).

Avoid: All straight and tailored skirts, A-lines, and pleats.

Skirts – Level 1:  It was a little tricky to pick out good Romantic skirts, especially because there are so many varied styles that Kibbe recommends.  Level 1 was certainly the hardest, but I think there are some good options out there.

BS-04-2008-110: This would go more in that tulip category – there is a softness, but it comes together at the knee.  The pockets are a bit too tailored, but I think that is what really makes this feel like a Level 1 skirt for a Romantic.
BS-04-2008-111:  Of course, without the pockets it would be much more versatile.
BS-01-2016-113:  This knit skirt certialy has the soft drape and asymmetric hem that Kibbe describes.
Simplicity 2186:  Another softly flowing skirt with slight asymmetry.
BS-01-2007-116:  More soft, asymmetric ruffles.
BS-04-2007-105:  You may be picking up on a theme of softly layered fabrics.  I feel like the asymmetry is really suited to a Level 1 outfit for a Romantic – it keeps the Romantic feel, but doesn’t feel overdone for a day to day look.
BS-02-2006-122:  All the ruffles!
BS-07-2006-125: This skirt has a nice flare at the hem; an almost godet look without actual godets.
Burda Plus S/S 2012 #409: Here’s a fun Burda Plus option – soft gathers and asymmetry, with lots of flow.
BS-07-2012-138:  Another great Burda Plus style.  The waist detail really emphasizes the hourglass shape of a Romantic.

Skirts – Level 2: For this level I used some more symmetric styles, with cleaner lines, but still looked for the drape and flow Kibbe wants for his Romantic.

BS-07-2010-108C: This is a fun example of his tulip shape.  There is enough drape and flow, but it still slims around the knee.
BS-12-2009-109: Another tulip shape, with soft drape, waist emphasis, and a nicely curved hem.
Butterick 5962: Circle skirts would be a good option as they offer the “full and flowing” shape Kibbe suggests.  Plus, they are pretty simple to make, and they look great with a lot of different tops.
BS-10-2010-117: A slightly different variation on a circle skirt.  With pockets!
BS-02-2011-105: Soft gathers at the waist and full shape – check!
Vogue 8749: A less poofy circle skirt variation. 
BS-07-2010-116B: I think the overall silhouette of the skirt is quite straight, but the soft ruching really helps take it into Romantic territory.  Burda’s styling is great for a Romantic.
Butterick 5859: This skirt has enough flare at the hem to work well for Kibbe’s recommendations.
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #3D: Another example with lots of drape and an asymmetric hem.  The smoothness around the hips may be a bit too geometric for a Romantic, but I think the overall effect ends up being quite soft and pretty.
Burda 6714: A really nice Burda Plus option.  Lots of flow and swing from the godets.
BS-02-2007-131A: I think this Burda Plus could be a decent option if you wanted a more fitted skirt for work.
BS-07-2013-139: A really simple Burda Plus skirt that could work well for a Romantic.  It has nice drape and flow without requiring yards and yards of material.

Skirts – Level 3: Romantic Level 3 skirts are all about frothy fun styles that would look fabulous at a fancy formal event.

Butterick 5858: The soft drape and asymmetric hem are nice Romantic touches.  The Vintage inspiration works well for Romantics too.
Burda 6647: The look on the left may be a bit stuff, but the softer view on the right is perfect for a Romantic.  Honestly, in the right fabric either skirt would be amazing.
Burda 7473: Yet another circle skirt, but paired with a tight bodice it looks like a fancy dress!  This could be a fun way to make a skirt more versatile in a Romantic wardrobe.
BS-12-2005-109A: This skirt has nice drape and a slightly vintage nod as well.  It’s a slightly different shape than the more typical circle skirt, but it has enough softness for a Romantic.
Burda 6767: The shorter version of Burda 6647.  Seriously though, this skirt would look so pretty paired with one of the more fitted bodice tops from the 7473 pattern.  The layers are so frothy and fun!

Pants: Should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves! Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.

Avoid: Straight or tailored pants. sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets). Baggy, unconstructed styles.

Pants – Level 1: I had trouble finding non-Burda patterns to fit Kibbe’s description; not because they don’t exist, but because I tend not to buy those styles.  Regardless, he is pretty explicit on the style of pant, and doesn’t give nearly as many options as for skirts.

BS-09-2018-103B: These sweatpants certainly have the shape Kibbe describes, yet their sweat-pants-ness keeps them very casual.
BS-05-2011-124: The pleat here is very soft, and the overall shape fits into Kibbe’s recommendations.  These look quite casual, but could easily be lengthened and look much more formal in a different fabrication.
BS-05-2013-117B: Another style that fits Kibbe’s shape recommendation.  The waist tie keeps the gathers there quite soft.
BS-07-2017-106A: Very similar to the above style, but with some slight variations. 
Burda 6770: This pattern has more soft gathers at the waist, but the legs definitely taper at the hem.
Burda Plus S/S 2016 #434: Here’s a good Burda Plus option for a casual Romantic trouser.  Even the print is soft and Romantic.

Pants – Level 2: The trousers in Level 2 are much the same shape as Level 1, but have more refined details like zippers, smooth waistbands, and more elegant fabric recommendations.

BS-10-2018-102A: These recent Burda trousers would work well for a Romantic.  They have a great shape, soft waist gathers, and a tapered hem. 
Burda 6665: More soft gathers with a tapered bottom.  Love how elegant View B looks on the model too.
BS-08-2013-112: I like how Burda has styled these trousers – it would be perfect for a Romantic who really wants to have an edgy rocker vibe.  The line and silhouette are perfect, but small details such as the hem zips and fabric choice give it a slightly harder edge.
Burda 6444: I think this Burda Plus jumpsuit could be very cute for a Romantic – the trousers very much fit Kibbe’s recommendations, and the softly draped top also fits in well with the idea of a Romantic.  Add a wide belt to get that cinched-in waist, and you are good to go!
BS-08-2011-137: Another great Burda Plus option; this one with some soft pleats and a waist tie detail that really adds a Romantic touch to the look.
BS-09-2018-124: A Burda Plus option for a Romantic who wants to look like a Classic.  The shape is very much in line with Kibbe’s recommendations, but the small waistband detail is enough to make it feel very sharply tailored despite the rounded shape on the trouser.
BS-08-2018-122A: I love the curved details for a Romantic on this Burda Plus design.  The repetition of soft curves is one of the Romantic’s main recommendations.

Pants – Level 3: I didn’t have much luck finding Level 3 trousers for a Romantic – honestly, it is much easier to dress up extreme curves with skirts and dresses, as I think “Level 3” pant styles are traditionally thought of as being more tailored, which is sort of the antithesis of Kibbe’s recommendations for the Romantic.  However, I did find one style I thought would work well:

BS-02-2011-136A: There are elements of sharp tailoring, but the overall shape is more fitted at the hem, with a soft pleat at the top and a defined waist.  It is perhaps not the ideal Romantic trouser, but I think it skirts the line enough, and it would not look entirely out of place at a fancy evening events.

Blouses: Soft, draped styles. Sophisticated flounces and fills. Any antique styles.

Avoid: All tailored styles.

Blouse – Level 1: Kibbe’s recommendations for blouses are quite general, so there really are quite a few patterns that would work well, at all three levels.  Fabric choice will be keep in making something feel more casual vs. more elevated.

Burda 6425: This top definitely fits into the soft draping and elegant frills.  Both views would work well for a ROmantic.
BS-04-2010-112A: Flounces on vacation.
BS-05-2010-125: Ruffles at the neck and hem, with some waist definition coming from the shirring.
BS-02-2017-106A:  Here the ruffles form the sleeve, but the overall effect remains very soft, draped, and Romantic.
BS-04-2018-119A: Romantics can play with soft draped features in different proportions.
BS-04-2018-119B: And even different fabric choices can give the same pattern a very different drape, and different feel.
McCall’s 6469: So much soft flouncyness! All of these styles would be great for a Romantic.
Simplicity 3956: This is a great tank top variation – there is softness still, but also less fabric around the neck for those hot summer days.
Burda Easy S/S 2014 #2B: This top isn’t softly draped, but I do think it has a slight vintage flare that could fall under the “antique” style.  It also has a sweetheart neckline that emphasizes curved shapes and fit into the Romantic style.
BS-03-2008-113B: This blouse could look really pretty with a skirt or pair of trousers.  It looks a bit short on the model, but all the ruffles would be quite pretty for a Romantic.
BS-11-2011-130: This Burda Plus top would be a great fall look for a Romantic – there is a ruffle and soft peplum to the top.
BS-11-2009-112A: Another great fall look, again with softly draping hem and tiny ruffle details.

Blouse – Level 2: There are so many great Romantic blouse options, especially at Level 2.

Butterick 5859: This Butterick wardrobe pattern has a vintage inspired look, but the top itself is also softly draping with and elegant style.
BS-01-2008-120: Crisp tailored blouses aren’t part of Kibbe’s recommendations, but the rounded collar and lace detail does a lot to soften up this style of shirt.
BS-08-2009-117: The ruffle on this blouse is so elegant!
BS-08-2013-104: I think this top paired with a circle skirt would be stunning for a Romantic.
BS-09-2016-103: A less covered up top with lots of ruffle and draped details.
BS-02-2018-102: This recent Burda top is also a good option, but with a slightly different silhouette.  There is a mix of draping and “antique” styles here.
BS-02-2018-120: Another top that looks vaguely vintage, but has some nice draping elements as well.
BS-09-2018-112: A nice, simple draped blouse option.
Butterick 5284: The ruffles could help take a “too tailored” button down into Romantic territory.
BS-01-2011-107: There is a definite vintage vibe here, and the blouse has softness at the shoulder seam.
BS-08-2011-107: All the fluffy ruffles!  This top would look great layered under an open necked jacket or paired with some Romantic style trousers or skirts.  It has lots of great features including the soft sleeve.
BS-07-2016-125: A nice Burda Plus top option, enough ruffle and drape, but nothing over the top.
McCall’s 7053: This vintage top would be a perfect Romantic piece.
McCall’s 7810: Another recent pattern with soft draping, waist emphasis, and and ruffle options.

Blouse – Level 3: I think most of the Level 3 styles could also be worn as Level 2 (or even 1) for a Romantic.  However, as part of the right outfit, I could easily see these looks heading to a fancier event as well!

BS-11-2008-113: I love this top!  The soft gathers are so elegant and pretty, at least in theory based on the line drawing.
BS-08-2012-114: A softly draped peplum, with a frilly collar and soft curves; totally works for a Romantic.
BS-12-2016-122: This style of top is a great way for a Romantic to incorporate a ruffle yet not be drowning in fabric. 
McCall’s 7747: McCall’s offers a similar style to the Burda pattern above.
Burda 7088: This corset style top is in a different vein, but View C would look so good on a Romantic – an emphasized waist with soft fabric overlay would be quite pretty with a lot of fancier looks.
BS-07-2018-105: I think this top would look really pretty over a slimmer skirt for an outdoor wedding.
McCall’s 6990: Very similar style, but perhaps a bit more formal looking.  I could see this paired with a long skirt to make a gown-like ensemble.

Sweaters: Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.

Avoid: Skinny, ribbed knits. Thick, nubby knits. Oversized sweaters. Turtlenecks and long pullovers. Cardigans. Crew-necked shetlands.

Sweater – Level 1: Sweaters work really well for the Romantic; it’s easy to find styles that are soft and draped that will work well with the Style ID.

Burda Easy S/S 2018 #6A: I think this pattern could suit a Romantic, especially in a soft, clingy fabric.  The lack of waist emphasis makes it feel more casual, but the overall soft Romantic vibe comes through.
BS-12-2010-109: In a softer, fluffier fabric this sweater could also work; it has the cowl neck and very draped shoulder details.  Again, the slightly oversized shape would make it very casual for a Romantic.
McCall’s 7055: This is a perfect sweater for a Romantic – soft, draped, and showing the waist.  I love how McCall’s styled it here – a Romantic could easily wear this as part of an everyday look.
BS-11-2012-115: Here is a shorter style, with less frills, that also highlights the waist with the bow detail.  This would be great for a casual Romantic look.

Sweater – Level 2: These sweaters are a bit more specific to Kibbe’s Romantic guidelines, and as such they feel more appropriate for fancier events.

BS-01-2012-106: I know Burda styled this for the lingerie shoot, but I think the ruffles on this sweater could be really impactful for a date night look.  The belt also adds a bit of waist emphasis.
McCall’s 6844: The peplum is a great detail for a Romantic – so easy to style this over different bottoms to soften a look.
McCall’s 6996: A slightly more casual sweater that could work well for a Romantic who has a more casual work environment, or perhaps is going on a more casual date night.
New Look 6330: This is another great Romantic option.  Softly draped, but with waist detailing.
BS-08-2011-135: This Burda Plus pattern probably technically qualifies more under the jacket category, but it is for knit fabrics specifically, so I included it here.

Sweater – Level 3: With the Dramatics I had problems finding Level 3 sweaters, but not so with the Romantics!  Adding a soft, draped topper can really elevate a look for them.

Vogue 9016: So perfect!  The soft sleeves, the draping, the short shape, the cute bow at the waist.  This really is an ultimate Romantic pattern.
Vogue 9016: This is another view from the same pattern – not quite as perfect, but I think there are enough Romantic elements (short, soft shoulders, etc.) that it could work well for a Romantic girl who wants a less ruffly style.
Vogue 8885: More beautiful fabrics that drape softly and create soft, round lines for the Romantic girl.
Butterick 5981: This little knit capelet/topper is so cute!  It’d definitely add that finishing touch to a Romantic evening look.

Dresses: Should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling or flouncy skirts.

Avoid: Stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coat dress, chemise, etc.). Straight styles with no waist. Shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses.

Dress – Level 1: It’s hard to find a really casual looking dress for a Romantic; anything with “ornate detail” and “swirling skirts” tends to look a bit on the fancy side.  But I think we’ve got a few decent options to look through.

Butterick 5758: Flowing skirts, and having waist emphasis – check!  
Butterick 6019: The bodice of this dress is quite feminine, with a strong waist emphasis and flouncy skirt.
BS-02-201–104: Another dress that hits a lot of Kibbe’s check points. The rounded neckline works well with the idea of curves for the Romantic as well.
BS-03-2013-113: This dress has nice feminine details, with soft gathers, poofy sleeves, and a flowing skirt.  However, the overall shape is quite casual – could be a very practical style for a Romantic.
BS-05-2018-112: This is a more recent Burda dress with a fitted bodice, but flowing skirt and sleeves to add to the Romantic look.
BS-05-2018-117: A similar style from that same issue.
Vogue 9076: This could be a fun fall look for a Romantic; it has the soft details, waist emphasis, and a slightly vintage look.
Butterick 6322: Pretty much all of Gertie’s designs would work for a Romantic to some extent.  This one has some fun details  on the bodice.
BS-05-2015-104A: A similar style from Burda.
BS-05-2010-110A: This dress has Romantic elements, but the buttons on the bodice make it feel very casual.
McCall’s 7500: This gathered bodice style could be very cute for a Romantic.  You get the waist emphasis with the soft details.
Vogue 8812: Vintage re-releases (or true vintage patterns) usually have great details for a Romantic!  This would be a perfect summer style.

Dress – Level 2: Once again, finding a date-night dress for a Romantic was pretty easy; finding a work-appropriate dress was a bit more challenging, but there are plenty of patterns out there, so we’ve got a few good options here as well.

BS-09-2016-105: This dress would be so cute for an office look!  Especially in the spring and/or fall.  There is just enough waist emphasis, with feminine details to really sell the look.
BS-11-2016-111: Depending on fabric choice, this could go either way.  As pictured, it is definitely an evening look, but I could see this being very office appropriate in something less sparkly.
BS-12-2016-118B: Another dress that could work well in many situations depending on fabric choice.  There isn’t as much waist emphasis here, but I think the softly draping style still works for a Romantic shape.
BS-08-2017-115B: This would be a really cute office look; again we have a bit of waist emphasis with soft shoulders and feminine details.
Butterick 6380: Gertie’s pattern could work well for the office or a date night or even a less formal wedding.  Super cute pattern for a Romantic.
BS-12-2006-113: While the model is certainly not a Kibbe Romantic, I think the dress could work well for this Style ID.  It has a flouncy skirt, waist emphasis, a curved neckline, and a cute bow.  It’s minimal enough for a Romantic girl who isn’t into the ruffles, but has enough of the elements to still suit the Romantic type.
BS-11-2015-101C: Soft details, flowing skirt, emphasized waist – all good here.
BS-11-2015-101B: The same pattern, but with added puffy sleeves – still a great Romantic look.
McCall’s 7047: The back of this dress is so pretty!  The peplum is a fun feature for a Romantic as well.
Butterick 5750: Another pretty style with softly draping features and waist emphasis.  
Butterick 5951: Such a cute style for a Romantic!  It has lots of nice details, but they are quite subtle.  Again, this could be very office appropriate, but I could even see this being a very understated wedding gown in the right fabrication.
BS-05-2009-122: More soft details for a Romantic – so cute!
BS-03-2013-114: I’ve made this pattern, and while I don’t think it really worked out well for me, I do think it would be a cute Romantic look.
BS-09-2012-144: This could be a nice work appropriate Burda Plus look.  The neck ruffles are a fun “ornate” detail!
BS-09-2018-123: This is a more streamlined Burda Plus dress, but it still has enough features to make it work for a Romantic Style ID.
Vogue 1044: Vintage looks always have such fun feminine details.
Vogue 9295: More soft draping with puff sleeves and a belted waist for emphasis.
Vogue 8973: So much vintage goodness for the Romantics!

Dress – Level 3:

BS-03-2006-125: This is perhaps a bit over the top, but if you can’t have fun with ruffles at a formal event, when can you?  Really though, if you are a Romantic who wants to look like a Barbie, Burda has got your back.
BS-03-2015-119: This is a much softer look, but it still has a lot of the soft, flowing features for a Romantic.  Could be good for a younger Romantic girl, as it has a very youthful look.
Vogue 1094: YES.  Stunning.  It’s all the frothy frilliness you could want, with waist emphasis and a touch of ornate detail at the top of the bodice.  I’m sure additional detail (rhinestones, flowers, etc.) could be added to the sleeves as well.
Vogue 2880: So much fun details!  Definitely gets points for being ornate, soft, and feminine!
Vogue 2962: Another gorgeous ballgown that would look amazing on a Romantic.
Butterick 4657: This Butterick design has lots of nice details, softly draping fabrics, and waist emphasis.  It would be so pretty to wear to a wedding!  I think the shorter version would look great for a Romantic. 
BS-03-2011-101A: The frothy skirt is a great feature for a Romantic.
McCall’s 5001: Cute!  The added neck piece (View E?) adds a great Romantic touch!
Simplicity: 8439: This sort of vintage inspired re-release has been all the rage lately from the various pattern companies (as you will see).  I think it works well for a Romantic because of the feminine details, waist emphasis, and gathered skirt.
Vogue 2960: Another vintage style that would work well for a Romantic.
Simplicity 1155: As I said, there are a lot patterns in this style that have come out recently.  They’d all work well for a Romantic.
Simplicity 1689: The softly draping fabrics and feminine details make this a great Romantic pattern.
Burda 6390: Here’s a good Burda Plus option – drape, waist emphasis, and a fun neckline.
Burda Plus S/S 2013 #401: Anything that is reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe will look great on a Romantic.  Love this Burda Plus look!
Butterick 5882: Like I said, A LOT of this style of pattern lately, from everyone.

Evening Wear: Fitted shapes with ornate necklines and waist emphasis. Sheer fabrics. Draped fabrics. Sparkly fabrics. Elaborate trim. Hourglass ball gowns. Swirling chiffon gowns. Ornate cocktail dresses. Bustier dresses.

Really, evening wear is just an extension of the Type 3 Dresses, but who could ever get tired of looking at flouncy, pretty sewing patterns?

Butterick 4918: Perfection?  Yes, perfection.
Butterick 4919: This would look good on a Romantic.  The lines are a bit sharper, but the overall effect is still very feminine.  I think the contrast between this style and the previous example show how there’s still plenty of room for personal preference in Kibbe’s system.  If you don’t like ruffles but you are a Romantic, you don’t have to wear them.  Sticking to the general silhouette guidelines gives you lots of room to play.
BS-03-2018-109A: A recent BurdaStyle dress – very soft and pretty.  The detailing on the neckline is a really nice detail for a Romantic.
McCall’s 5321: More frothy goodness; this style would definitely fit in Kibbe’s recommendation of the busier dress with waist emphasis.
Vogue 2890: I love how drastically different Kibbe’s Romantic can look in a gown – here we have a totally different silhouette, but the soft, sheet fabric, ornate details, and waist emphasis are all still there.
Vogue 2802: Another great example from Vogue of a dress with ornate detailing. 
Butterick 6454: And if you want to go fully over the top Barbie style Romantic, you totally can.


That was a lot!  When I had a category that worked well for a Romantic type (like dresses or blouses) I found a lot of examples in my pattern stash, more than I even showcased here.  However, I struggled a bit more to find interesting variations for things like trousers, where the options are much more narrowly defined.  I think we will see that with most style IDs – some types of clothing are more well suited than others, but if you really want to find something, sticking to the general guidelines regarding shape, line, and fabric choice can really help.  I also noticed that I had to look in my older patterns a bit more for the Dramatic lines, whereas I’m having much more luck finding newer styles that suit a Romantic.  One one hand I think this certainly says something about how the concept of “ideal” is constantly changing, which is why it is a fallacious concept to begin with, but on a much shallower note, it also somewhat justifies the idea of a pattern stash.  Despite the Dramatic styles coming from 1 to 2-decade old pattern magazines, those styles would still look really modern in the context of a Dramatic look, and I think we see the same with the prevalence of the vintage styles I pulled for the Romantic.  I mean, sure, you could get into costume territory with the styling if you wanted, but I think a modern take on hair and makeup would make these clothes quite relevant today.  Anyway, with this we’ve taken a look at patterns that fit the extreme ends of Kibbe’s spectrum, so now we need to see what happens when we start to mix yin and yang together.

Ok Kibbe fans – who out there is a Romantic?  What do you think about all the frothy fun dresses you have to choose from?  Does this very feminine style suit you?  Or do you want to rebel against all the softness and the ruffles?  Feel free to discuss in the comments, as well as add any suggestions for good indie pattern brands that might work well for our Romantic girls out there.

Coming Next Week: We’ve already seen the hard Yang Dramatics and the soft Yin Romantics, so it’s time to see what happens when we blend them together to get the center of the spectrum with Kibbe’s Classic!

52 thoughts on “Sew Your Kibbe: Romantic

  1. Wow…this is quite a bit of information, and all so useful. I do have a problem with the blouse category because all the ruffles and draping is just too much. Not my style at all. I have learned, though, about the concept of rounded shoulders and soft curves. I already knew that tapered pants worked on me, but now I know why. My challenge will be to follow the romantic “rules” without such a heavy emphasis on ruffles and heavy draping. I’ll read through this post again carefully and pick out pattern styles that are appropriate but on the side of less “fru fru”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what’s so great about sewing too – it’s easy to leave off the ruffly bits if you really don’t like them! My sister is also in the Romantic category, and I can’t imagine her drowning in ruffles either. Soft drapes and gathers maybe, but definitely not ruffles. I think the trick is to look at the recommendations and keep the general silhouette in mind, then make the style your own by deciding what elements you do or don’t particularly like and choosing to incorporate them or not.


  2. This definitely not my Kibbe, but there are so many nice patterns, I almost wish I was! (a couple of these are even in my stash). You have really come up with sets of wonderful patterns for these posts. Gotta go back and chekc out the previous one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I am having fun looking through my patterns and classifying them in a new way. It’s interesting to see how certain pattern categories work really well for one Kibbe types versus others, or how some patterns could work well for multiple types. I’m trying to find unique styles for each type, to really hone in on exactly what Kibbe suggests and show how each ID is unique, but I’m certainly finding a lot of things that fit at least partially into the Kibbe recommendations. I think a lot of these “almost” patterns could work as well, especially to create more of a personal style, but I think those sorts of things might best be explored after finishing the main posts in this series.

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  3. Wow, thank you so much for all of your hard work! I obsess over how to sew a wardrobe rather than a single item, to keep a consistent silhouette and to make my way through all of the available patterns. I am new to Kibbe and took the test. I am a classic but I like a couple of your ideas from the dramatic and romantic. Next week should be great. Awesome insight and amazingly helpful!

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  4. Thanks for including a range of sizes! So much Kibbe stuff online is for slender people only! 😉 I used to wear some stuff that veered into Romantic territory when I started sewing – lots of Colette patterns, back when they did vintage inspired. Nowadays most of this would make me feel far too froufrou!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many good Plus patterns it would be silly to not include them! Plus it sort of goes back to the idea that a lot of people sew because they don’t fit standard sizing.

      I agree with starting off sewing Romantic – if you look at my Vogue Collection it is soooooo Romantic heavy, it’s almost hilarious. Good thing I have a sister who is a Romantic… I can sew all the froufrou for her!


  5. I just can’t express how much I love these posts. It’s like all my favorite things wrapped up together. I can’t imagine the amount of work that goes into it.

    I recognize so many of my own patterns here in the Romantic category, and of course it’s because I’ve been buying based on my love of those romantic shapes, not because they would ever suit me in any way. I pull the draped dresses and voluminous skirt patterns out every so often, but then I go back to my Classic “uniform.” I did go through a vintage dress phase, but it was mostly 1940s shirtwaists, which I think were okay for the Classic.

    I’m looking forward to next week’s analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yes, these are certainly some of the most labor intensive posts I’ve ever done, but I am enjoying really exploring this topic in depth, and applying it to sewing instead of the typical celebrity examples. (I mean, the celebrity examples are super helpful, but so often they are either in bathing suits or evening gowns it is hardly helpful in a practical sense.) It has certainly been eye-opening to me how varied my tastes are, and has really got me to think about choosing patterns I know will work well, as opposed to patterns that I can “get away with,” and styles that are doomed from the start.


  6. Fantastic read! So interesting and helpful, I find this is such a great (and new?) way to look at patterns in order to make the most perfect wardrobe. Thumps up for this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another really fascinating post, thanks! I am interested that you think there are more Romantic styles lately; we’ve certainly had the big sleeve trend and the peplum trend popping up everywhere over the last few years, both of which suit the Romantic.

    And even though I’m the antithesis of this style it’s a lot of fun to pattern spot 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the same issue with Dramatic – I loooooove looking at those types of styles, but I know they really don’t work well for me. I don’t love the flounce of the Romantic, but I think I could get away with wearing is a bit more than the super straight, clean Dramatic lines. Even after doing just 2 of these posts I’m already starting to think which Kibbe type would look good in the new pattern releases…


  8. This post really highlights to me why I always do that thing when I go shopping (OK, so that’s not very often anymore) where I see a romantic-style blouse or dress with ruffles and think ‘oooohh so pretty’ and then try it on and am all ‘wtf is this?’ because it looks ridiculous on me!

    Love live the series – have never really given much thought to this sort of thing but you bring it to life in such a useful way. I find it really difficult to compare myself to pictures of celebrities who are ch seems to be the standard, but this? This I can work with, because I have a pretty good idea by now of what patterns will suit me best, and I’m so keen to see if I’m right when you get to what I suspect I fall into! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m so happy this series has gotten such a positive reception! I think sewing people are particularly perceptive towards these ideas because we already spend so much time considering clothing, fit, style, line, etc…


  9. I love this series. You are certainly putting a lot of work into the pattern recommendations which is such a help in interpreting the Kibbe system. I don’t know where I fit into the system–perhaps I’ve aged out of it as a former gamine who is just too old to be gamine–but I am thoroughly enjoying your take on it. Thank you!


    1. I don’t think you ever “age out” – people love to use Meryl Streep and Betty White as examples. I think personal tastes can change as we age (I know mine have), but the relationships of the lines of the body that Kibbe uses don’t really change *that* much. I’m not saying bodies and people don’t change (they do), but I don’t think a Kibbe type changes. Gamine is always shown as being crazy mod in wild colors, which I don’t think needs to be the case. You can be Gamine and still need muted colors, or choose conservative silhouettes (actually very easy with Gamine!). We’ve been looking at the extremes, and I’ve been picking patterns that fit those recommendations as closely as possible, but I think all of these types have room to play, adjust, and have their own style. I’m sure I’ll do more posts on this topic after I finish my main series, but I really hope nobody feels left out because I keep using patterns with younger models in the photos. I really think that’s a commentary on the choices made by the pattern industry and not Kibbe’s system.


  10. Wow these posts must take hours of work. I would not describe my style preference as romantic at all, but I love most of the coats and jackets here. Although I’m thinking maybe that’s just because I love coats and jackets!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Once again, an excellent post! It is obvious that you are taking tremendous time to provide wonderful visual examples of Kibbe’s narrative. I actually do have some of these patterns and I LOVE 1940s styles (have tons of vintage and vintage reprints from that era). I would probably never wear tapered pants with waistline gathering (although maybe they would look great on me???), but I have made the blouse from Butterick 5859 several times and I consistently get compliments when I wear that style. It makes me wonder where I fall in Kibbe’s system. These posts are definitely thought provoking! Also, what do you think about Simplicity 1467 wardrobe pattern for Romantics? The jacket seems like it fits the Romantic type with its peplum and the trousers have pleats and a “smooth” elastic waist but aren’t super tapered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too look awful in tapered pants. On Instagram someone suggested I looked like a Romantic and my first thought was, “Oh no, I could never wear those pants!”

      I think at this point because I have only posted Dramatic and Romantic, it seems like patterns may fall into one category only, but with Classic next week you will see how some patterns can work well for multiple types. I think Butterick 5859 is one of those patterns. You have enough softness and drape to work for a Romantic, but you also have clean lines with a hint of detail that would work well for a Soft Classic too. Because Romantic influences all of the “Soft” categories, I expect we will see many of the less flouncy styles from this post pop up again when we get to those categories. If you really enjoy that top, you probably fall into Soft Natural or Soft Classic category – I think it could work well for those groups too!

      I think Simplicity 1467 could work for a Romantic who enjoys less frills, as it has enough elements to read Romantic, but I really think it would be perfect for a Soft Classic. The shapes are very clean, but with a touch of Romantic detail that would work really nicely with that category.


  12. You are amazing. How many hours/days is this series taking of your time? And thank you for doing it.

    I am so looking forward to the rest of the series. I’m not sure I am dramatic, but I have never been so sure about anything as I am that I am NOT a romantic. Just thinking about wearing these styles almost makes me feel nauseous. It explains why some pattern companies just don’t do it for me. Colette for example.

    Again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome! It is taking a lot of time (I’m spending several hours a day, at least), but I’m finding it helpful myself as well. With all the new pattern releases, I find myself turning down purchases I know won’t work for me or my sister, and leaving a lot of maybes off my wishlist. It’s also giving me a clear idea of when something would be really unique for my stash too.

      I think you will really like it as we dig deeper into the series – now that all the remaining types and subtypes have some mix of yin and yang, we will start to see some overlap of styles that work, but also styles that are different or unique to the subtypes. It’s been interesting because I’ve been working on the Classic and Gamine posts how some patterns work for both types and others are so squarely in a single type it isn’t even funny.

      Your comment about Collete is why I generally didn’t want to use Indie brands – I feel like they work much harder to cultivate a Style ID themselves, whereas with Burda and the Big 4 you can really see a shift over time because they follow the trends a bit more, and have a much larger catalogue to work from. I may do a Kibbe/Indie post later, after I’ve finished the main series though, as I do think finding indie brands that you identify with could be really helpful for people who tend away from the Big 4.


  13. Thanks for the fun posts! I love looking at patterns, so know that your efforts are greatly enjoyed. I’m finding too many things I want to sew… Did you find the Burda cape with the bow neck detail on the current site? I can only find it on the Russian one, and can’t make out any purchasing information. Burda always confuses me with their numbering and I’m often unable to find styles I’ve seen before, plus I don’t get how the numbering ties in with the catalogue and the magazine.


    1. Ah! If I use “BS-” I’m indicating that it is a magazine pattern and “Burda” will indicate a catalog envelope pattern. My Burda numbering system is “BS-month-year-pattern number,” so for the cape BS-08-2009-112 means BurdaStyle August 2009 style #112. On the Burda websites they usually use a slash system for dates, so searching “08/2009” on the site should bring up any patterns they have from that issue of the magazine. I did not see that the US site had the patterns, but the German site (the main site) has the PDF available for sale:

      I also found the magazine for sale on Ebay:

      It’s Ebay, so no promise on how long it will be there.

      The Burda patterns with a four-digit number are the envelope patterns, which you can buy from their website as PDF or paper pattern, or the Simplicity website, or from Jo-Ann (at least in the US).

      Personally, I like paper patterns, so I get the current magazines on subscription, and my older issues are from dedicated Ebay stalking, and I buy the envelope patterns from Jo-Ann when there is a (rather infrequent) sale.

      Hope that helps clarify things, let me know if you are still confused about anything.


      1. Thank you!! I bought the pattern successfully from the German site, so I have a fun evening of taping ahead. I should have explained that your numbering wasn’t confusing–it is the multiple platforms Burda has for patterns and the way they sometimes overlap, but not always! I’ll make a note of the German site as the main one to reference.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, when in doubt go to the German site! The US site is sometimes helpful, but they are always the last to get the patterns and don’t carry as many from the back catalog.


    1. Thanks! I too am overwhelmed in the flounce. It is sort of funny because when my friend was getting married, my sister and I were trying on bridesmaid dresses and everyone thought it was crazy how we both looked good in such radically different styles. In hindsight, she could pull off a lot of the flouncier styles (she’s a Romantic), whereas I needed smoother lines, asymmetry, and waist emphasis (Soft Natural). The fun thing is I can still get away with sewing the “so pretty” styles, I just need to make sure they fit her and not me!


  14. You’ve created my dream wardrobe! Several Burda Style are so yummy and are not on the site or available on eBay. There was a couple early magazines in German but since I’ve never used Burda before I don’t know I’d be able to figure it out. Love all the picks though. The only ones I wouldn’t wear are bare shoulders or decoletage. I know I’m not full on romantic. When I took the test I was almost completely split between D’s & E’s with slightly more e’s. The ID page mentions that Kibbe does not have a type for D’s but that other systems will cast it as ingenue which makes sense why I could never quite type myself back in the 80s. I’m not sexy just very feminine and mistaken for younger ( which isn’t bad when you get my age). One problem though is that all the style advice for over 50 is wear Classic/ Dramatic maybe Natural. Classic and Dramatic just age and make me look tired and frumpy. I admire the lines but not on me. There’s a lot of natural now so that’s what I’ve been going with, but it adds 10 or 20 lbs because you can’t find my waist. The other thing I love but I’m wondering if it would look good is the tapered pants. In the 80s we were told at sewing conventions I attended that tapered pants with drapery pleats slimmed you. But then styles changed and only flat front straight legged was more flattering. It’s I interesting how one decades yes becomes another’s no. I think that’s why I’m mostly a skirt or leggings gal. Anyway, I’m definitely going to be continually perusing the selections on this post. It’s just so full of yummy goodness!:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think I’ll have more to say on the concept of ingenue in a different post, as it’s a complex topic, but I think D mostly relates to Theatrical Romantic in the Kibbe system. I’m glad you are having fun looking at patterns though, and I’m really happy this series is helping people narrow down choices in the massive sea of fashion styles we have today.


      1. My mother is definitely theatrical romantic. She was real stunner and more fine lines. She developed early and was never mistaken for younger. Me I was always mistaken for the babysitter when I came to the door with kids😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha, when I was younger I was mistaken for older, but when I was older, I was mistaken for younger. I’m still hovering around that “younger” age, but people at least aren’t mistaking me for a high school student anymore!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Such helpful information! I fit into the romantic style, but without all of the flounces. The fitted waist, v necklines, assymetrical skirt hemlines, and tapered pants are all spot on for my silhouette. I have bookmarked this entry and will review it again. Thanks for all the time and effort that you’ve put into this thoughtful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s quite possible you may find Theatrical Romantic to be your sweet spot when we get to that Style ID. Romantic silhouettes provide the base, but there is an extra dose of Dramatic yang, which tones down the ruffles quite a bit. I think you will really like it!


  16. Thankyou so much for the work you put into these posts.
    Funny, I am quite sure I am a theatrical romantic, but I really cannot with the flounces, ruffles and frou-frou. Love the drape and 50s vintage silhouettes though, and I have that one uber-draped coat in my stash, but never made it.
    I am surprised pallazzo-pants are not in this category, being so drapey…
    Where I currently am, I feel like I need to streamline my style to be taken seriously and veer too much into classic territory, though I really love so many of these styles. I used to want to wear nothing but poufy ballgowns when I was a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Theatrical Romantic can be considerably more streamlined than pure Romantic. I’ll be working on that post soon, so I’ve not fully considered it yet, but I think the additional yang tones down the frou-frou quite a bit. I also think people can find their own sense of style within their Kibbe category; if you are a Romantic who hates ruffles, maybe you go for the most streamlined looks you can find, but in a softer fabric to retain the Romantic feel.

      As far as palazzo pants go, I assume Kibbe left those in the Natural category because of scale – on the more petite IDs, he tends to emphasize fit at the wrists/neck/ankles, whereas it isn’t as important for Natural because the scale is larger.


      1. Yup! Natural is going up tomorrow, then I’m going to post an interlude/comment round up before moving on, but I can say that the Soft Dramatic post is in progress, and Theatrical Romantic will be after that. I may try to reduce how many patterns I’m posting, but it’s already hard because Soft Dramatic has all the pretty dresses and I want to show them all! Plus, I don’t want to shortchange people who are in the various subtypes, and I think there is enough of a significant difference between the main types and subtypes that it is all worth exploring.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. What an interesting article. Thank you for putting all of this together. I am a romantic but I tend to dress a little more in a soft classic way simply because too many ruffles and pleats and volume around my hips really are overpowering on my 5 foot 1 frame. I actually feel, even though my results were mostly d & e, that I am somewhere between romantic and soft classic. Something to consider I also have at least 20 pounds to lose which I want to do so that body skimming curvy clothes will look better. Even at a later weight I feel I have to wear fairly close to the body cuts because of my height. Full skirts are out but soft draping on a pencil type skirt works well. I tend to choose one item to have the detail and the rest I choose to match simpler lines. Anyway I am saving some of these patterns for my tailor!! It is all so helpful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your selections are great examples but for one tiny detail – anything double-breasted. I met with David in the 80s and he tore apart my double-breasted coat dress telling me “never, ever, ever” wear anything double-breasted. Thank you for the otherwise wonderful examples. I will be following your blog on this subject avidly. I have long wished others would use the seasonal color and style according to one’s body type rules and it has made choosing clothes so much easier. David, himself, was very definitely Romantic in style. I wish he would publish another book!tha k you for bringing him to the foreground.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool that you met him! In hindsight the no-double breasted thing makes a lot of sense for this type. The nice thing about sewing is that you can change patterns to make things not double breasted if the other details work well.


  19. What a great post! I am definitely a Kibbe Romantic and I have his book, but the pictures are all so dated now. I had a hard time finding modern clothes that also gave off a Vintage vibe, and you have put all this together so well. Thank you so much! Lots of inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hello,
    I come long after the post but I just discover Kibbe.
    First thank you for your work : very complete and good explained.
    I think I’m a romantic person (half c in bones, half d and e for all the other answers). But I’m 1,70m and look 1,70… And I love structured and fitted outfit, more like soft classic look. I have the impression that too delicate stuff is lost on me.
    If you can help me !!!!
    Thank you very much.


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