Sew Your Kibbe: Gamine

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.



So far we have covered Kibbe’s Dramatic, Romantic, and Classic categories.  While Dramatic and Romantic represent the extremes of the spectrum, and Classic a complete blending, Gamine is a category that consists of a mixture of opposites.  The Gamine will have a mix of distinct yin and yang features, resulting in a random combination of rounded and linear shapes.  Kibbe’s Gamine is described as “Piquant Chic.”  You can read more about Kibbe’s Gamine here.

Body Type Characteristics

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


NOTE: The following information should be taken as a broad outline of what makes a Gamine. It is the overall combination of a combination of opposites on the Yin/Yang scale (sharply delicate physicality along with a fresh and spicy 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: 5 feet 5 inches and under.
Bone Structure: Angular. Sharp. Narrow – sometimes described as delicate. Square or tapered shoulders (tend to narrowness, as opposed to broad). Delicately sharp facial contours (nose, jaw, cheekbones). Hands and feet are moderate to small, and tend to narrowness. Arms and legs tend to be long.
Body type: Straight. Lithe and lean, tends toward sinewy musculature. Tends toward flatness in bust and hips (unless overweight). May be very leggy (coltish). Possibility of being slightly short-waisted.
Facial features: Large eyes. Moderate to thin lips (narrow or straight, as opposed to full). Taut cheeks and flesh.
Hair: Any type is possible but frequently hair is fine and silky.
Coloring: Any coloring is possible (warm or cool), but Gamines are usually distinct or vivid in coloration. Moderate-to-high-contrast coloring is often the case).
If overweight: Excess weight tends to show up in the hip and waist areas:rarely does it appear above the waist. If a Gamine is extremely overweight, the body tends to square or stocky appearance, as opposed to curves.
A Gamine will not:

  • Be over 5 feet 5 inches (and is usually even more petite).
  • Have extremely large bone structure. Have prominent or exotic features (except for enormous eyes).
  • Have large hands and feet.
  • Have an hourglass figure, with a waspish waist and full bust and hips.
  • Be symmetrical in body type or facial features.


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

  • SHAPE: Small, sharp, geometrics. Precision fitted and crisply tailored. (The small size and precision fit come from the Yin; the sharp edges and crisp tailoring come from the Yang.)
  • Avoid: Oversized, large, or long geometrics. Unconstructed shapes. Soft-edged, flowing, or rounded shapes. Ornate, intricate, or delicate shapes.
  • LINE AND SILHOUETTE: Your outline should be sharp, straight, and staccato. The use of severe lines with sharp edges comes from the Yang; the broken, staccato, animated outline comes from the Yin. Utilizing many short vertical lines and many short horizontal lines is also effective. An overabundance of detail adds to the precisely fitted silhouette that is crucial to your look.
  • Avoid: Elongated lines. Wide lines. Curved lines. Flowing lines. Smooth lines. Oversized or unconstructed silhouettes. Symmetrical silhouettes. Ornate silhouettes.
  • FABRIC: Fabric must always be crisp, able to hold a defined shapes and be tailored easily. A flat surface or light texture is best. Finely woven knits, especially when ribbed and skinny, are good choices. A matte finish is best, although hard-finished sheens can be very exciting (especially metallics). Usually your fabric will be of moderate weight, though lighter weights that hug the body are excellent.
  • Avoid: Oversized, rough textures. Drapable fabrics. Sheer, flowing fabrics. Delicate fabrics.
  • DETAIL: You can never wear too much detail! An abundance of it used everywhere in your look is one of the most effective tools you have for capturing your animated effervescence! Detail should always be small, sharp, and call attention to itself (not blend into the lines of your garments). It should be very crisp, staccato, broken-up, and multicolored. Lots of crisp trim. Lots of outlining (collars, cuffs, waist-bands, lapels) with piping of contrasting colors or fabric, braiding, beads, etc. Small, crisp pleats. Sharp, angular necklines-also small (Mandarin, Nehru, band, small man-tailored styles, small V’s, wing-tipped). Small, tailored lapels or crisp lapel-less with piping. Sharp shoulder pads. Small crisp cuffs. Sharp and narrow waist definition.
  • Avoid: Minimal, clean detail. Simplicity. Oversized or unconstructed detail. Elongated detail. Ornate or frill detail.
  • SEPARATES: A use of well-coordinated separates with lots of animated and colorful detail can be very exciting to your look.
  • COLOR: Your use of color should be bold and sassy; break all the rules here! Multicolored splashes are perfect. Bright and shockingly colored accessories played against a dark or light background. High, sharp contrast and wild color combinations are all very chic on you. Break your line with color!
  • Avoid: Monochromatic color schemes (death to your personality–nothing is worse for you). Neutrals, unless they are merely accessories or they are extremely dark or light.
  • PRINTS: Prints should be sharp, colorful, and animated. Small geometrics and angular asymmetrics are excellent. Most of your prints should be very contemporary in feeling (“Picasso-ish”) although humorous styles that are outlined and caricatured can be quite stunning on you as well.
  • Avoid: Watercolor prints. Ornate prints. Intricate prints. Symmetrical prints. Oversized prints. Realistic prints.
  • ACCESSORIES All accessories should be small, crisp, geometric, and colorful. They should serve to further break the silhouette into a staccato outline and call attention to themselves as detail. Contrast is being strived for with your use of accessories, as well as bringing out your wit and a sense of fun.
    • Shoes: Should be tailored and angular, in lightweight leather. Unusual shapes in toes and heels are excellent (asymmetrics, toes and heels are excellent (asymmetrics, wedges, sharp points, etc) as are bold colors and printed fabric. Flats of all kinds should always be funky and fun (patent leather, trimmed, etc.).
    • Avoid: Plain pumps. Overly delicate or strappy shoes.
    • Bags: Small, crisp geometrics (box, clutch, etc.). Slim briefcase.
    • Avoid: Oversized, unconstructed pouches. Ornate bags. Thick, heavy briefcases.
    • Belts: Stiff leather with geometric buckles. Elasticized fabric styles. May be narrow to moderately wide. Brightly colored belts are excellent aids in breaking your line.
    • Avoid: Heavy belts. Unconstructed styles. Overly ornate styles. Monochromatic styles. Extremely oversized belts.
    • Hats: Small, crisply tailored hats. Caps (Spanish, beret, Indian, cloche).
    • Avoid: Oversized, unconstructed, and floppy styles. Ornate styles.
    • Hosiery: Break your line by contrasting your stocking/hemline/shoe shades. You can use a two-color combination where the shoe and hemline match but the stocking is lighter; or a three-color contrast. Brightly colored stockings; light, opaque stockings; and geometric textures (ribbed and herringbones) are equally good. Flesh toned stockings are fine for daytime wear. Dark stockings should be extremely sheer.
    • Avoid: One long line of solid color, especially if dark.
    • Jewelry: Should be small and sharp and in geometric, asymmetrical, or irregular shapes. Brightly colored enamel, stone, or glass are best. Very contemporary avant-garde pieces are excellent on you, as are trendy pieces that accentuate your wit.
    • Avoid: Antique, ornate, intricate pieces (rococo and baroque). Heavy, chunky pieces. Oversized pieces. Symmetrical classic pieces.

For the individual garment types, obviously, I will be focusing 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: Short, cropped, very fitted with sharp edges and extreme tailoring and construction. Short blouson jackets are excellent. Collar, cuff, lapel, and waistband detail (outlining, trim, piping, ribbing) are essential.

Avoid: Long jackets. Unconstructed jackets. Flouncy jackets.

Coats – Level 1: Coat options are a bit tough for Gamine – the idea of a cropped style isn’t super conducive with the idea of warmth in extreme weather, but I think by focusing on coats with lots of detail or extreme tailoring it can still for a Gamine.

Burda Easy F/W 2014 #1C: Obviously it is the mix of a striped print with the cream solid that really takes this style into Gamine territory.  The crisp pockets with zip detail help too.  While I wouldn’t call the tailoring “extreme,” the overall slim silhouette works with Kibbe’s description.
BS-09-2007-107: Crisp pointed collar, nipped in waist and cuff details make this work for a Gamine.  The use of a plaid like Burda has done will really take it over the top into Gamine territory though.

Coats – Level 2:  This is quite a mixed bag; there are options that would not be out of place in a corporate office, and others that that would only make sense at a fun dinner party.  Gamine recommendations are a bit all over the place (because Gamine is a combination of opposites), and these examples reflect that.

BS-08-2007-111: I’m not sure if the styling is swaying me, but I think this could work for a Gamine.  There is enough detail for a Gamine, and worn over a long-sleeved top (as pictured) really narrows the line at the neck and hems where it is more important.  The tailoring is definitely crisp, and the fabric choice is appropriate for a Gamine.
BS-09-2007-118: Tailoring, a button detail, and an easy way to create a different horizontal line make this capelette a fun Gamine option.
Burda 6845: View B is a great way to make Gamine office ready.  Of course, we can’t all pull off a leopard/camel coat, but a Gamine could.  Simplifying the rest of the style really helps to make it work appropriate.  Even making the same coat in a color block could “tone it down” for work, but keep it Gamine enough to remain in the recommendations.
BS-10-2006-111B: Gamine does not have to be wild all of the time; even choosing fun buttons on an otherwise cleanly tailored coat adds enough of a Gamine touch.
Simplicity 2057: There are a lot of seam lines here to work with, which could mean lots of fun pipping or color blocking for a Gamine.  The overall shape is quite crisp, and the length on the green version is perfect.  The collar options are also quite perky details.
Simplicity 1016: I think the cape adds “Gamine-ness” – it breaks up an otherwise quite simple coat line.  The combination of the shoulder tabs and pockets adds lots of Gamine details.
BS-10-2008-102: I think this is a good example of Kibbe’s “blouson” jacket.  The collar and cuffs are fitted, and the hem is a crisp horizontal line, even in wild purple fur.  For a Gamine it may be more practical to make this in a crisp fabric that could give an interesting effect at the cuffs.
BS-10-2008-128: Interesting detail, and lots of broken horizontal and vertical lines on this Burda Plus coat.
BS-2018-09-127: This is a recent Burda Plus short coat with a nice mix of vertical and horizontal line.  Another great example of Gamine, but understated.

Coats – Level 3: I didn’t find many examples, but I think formal coats are a bit tricky for Gamine due to the cropped nature and staccato lines Kibbe recommends.  Having a simple coat style just means having more opportunity to add embellishment though (either with trim or jewelry).

McCall’s 7879: I think View D would be great for a Gamine.  Cropped and very fitted, with just enough detail and tailoring to keep it “Gamine.”  Addition of sparkly trim, detail, or a fun broach would definitely make this Level 3 compatible.  In a fun, funky print it could also be very every-day Gamine.
Burda 7458: Very crisp outlines here (it’s really some stacked trapezoids if you squint enough), with lots of fun “perky” detail.  Any of these three variations would work, and fabrication and trim choice could really elevate this to an evening look, or keep it very wearable for the every day.

Jackets – Level 1: I think the type of detail can really help place a Gamine pattern into a Level – most of my Level 1 choices have some sort of exaggerated detail that makes the style feel more casual, whereas later patterns have more sophisticated embellishments. As with many of Kibbe’s Gamine recommendations, they tend towards opposites (“extreme tailoring” vs. “blouson” jackets for example), and this is reflected in my choices.  It makes sense though; as Gamines are a combination of opposites, so are their clothing recommendations.

BS-11-2018-105: You may have noticed that this pattern also appeared for Classic, but in the variation without the Massive patch pockets and bold outlined trim.  I think Gamine can have a lot of overlap with Classic since they both pull from the yin and yang, but Gamines need to add more detail, and shorten the hem lengths a bit.
BS-03-2010-121: This cropped jacket has collar and cuff details, is very geometric, and adds to the Gamine’s broken lines.  This could easily be a casual look, or be office appropriate.  The model has a perfect Gamine look – mix of colors and patterns with shorter hems close geometric fit.
Burda 6661: Fun use of a bold trim here, with crisp tailoring.
Burda 6800: Lots of great detail and staccato lines; the mix of print on the lapel is also a great feature for a Gamine.
Burda Easy F/W 2015 #4: The collar, cuff, and hem details on this blouson-ish jacket could work for a Gamine who needs warmth.  The relative lack of tailoring definitely keeps this style in Level 1 though.
BS-06-2007-107: Love the contrast at the edges and the funky pockets – all of these along with the relatively cropped length are “perky” details that work well in the Gamine recommendations.
BS-09-2008-104: Cropped length, tailored, lots of vertical and horizontal lines, very fitted at the cuffs, plenty of detail… Gamine perfection!
BS-09-2010-123: Lots of tailoring detail here!  The shorter length and proportionally small details takes it easily into Gamine territory.  (As does Burda’s styling).
BS-02-2014-128: I feel like color blocking could help create details that “call attention to themselves” with this jacket, but I also think it could be a good option for a Gamine who doesn’t enjoy over the top styling.  In a non-monochromatic look, this jacket could really help to create the sharp horizintal line at the hem.
BS-06-2015-101: A blouson with very fitted hem and cuffs.  I think the diagonal seams could be a great place for pipping, or the whole thing could be a color blocked for a really popping Gamine look.
BS-06-2016-121: Lots of fun perky detail in a tailored, cropped style.
BS-2018-02-106: Blouson style with details at the hem and cuffs.  The color blocked waistband is great.  I think this is good for a Gamine who likes to break the rules a bit and explore less fitted options.  Probably would be best worn with close a fitting skirt, dress, or trousers though to balance out the shape and avoid looking overwhelmed by the volume of the fabric.
McCall’s 6292: Lots of fun options here – both Views B and C are great for Gamines with the color blocking or pipping details.  The cropped length is also quite good.
Burda Vintage 2016 “Nina”: I do so miss the Burda Vintage issues!  This Nina jacket is quite a good style for a Gamine – blouson, with fitted cuffs and perky pocket details.  The wild colors are also really selling me on the Gamine style in the photo.
BS-02-2010-130: Collar and cuff details, lots of funky pockets, and a slight blouson make this a great casual Gamine option.
BS-02-2013-125: The very fitted elongated waist give this a cropped feel, even though it isn’t.  It helps create those horizontal lines Kibbe is after, so I think this could be great for a Gamine look.
BS-07-2014-101: Another cropped blouson option.
BS-07-2014-102: The same, but with color blocking and different details.  I think this really illustrates how personal preference can help a Gamine decide which recommendations to follow.  If you are a Gamine who is all about the wild colors and a “fun” look, this version is perfect.  But if you are a Gamine who wants to channel her inner Audrey Hepburn, then the first option still follows the Gamine lines, but in a more sophisticated way.  There is plenty of room for personal expression and preference inside of the Kibbe guidelines.
BS-04-2017-114A: A more recent blouson style, with fun button detail.
BS-05-2007-101: Detail that calls attention to itself?  Burda’s got you covered.  The trim could easily be switched out for a less nautical look as well.  Sewing your own clothes is so great, am I right?
BS-08-2007-115A: Perhaps Burda has bamboozled me with styling, but I think that since all aspects of this jacket are cropped it could work for a Gamine.  This may possibly fit better with a subtype, but I think the pleat details are crisp, and the overall impression is “perky.”
BS-11-2008-119: In which I show you every Burda blouson jacket since the dawn of time.  Not really, but I think the closure detail and interesting hem and cuff darts could be a fun way to create a blouson look without being trapped in bomber jacket territory.
BS-09-2009-104: Crispness and details.
Burda 7424: The shorter jacket has lots of vertical and horizontal lines.
BS-01-2017-113A: Cropped jackets with lots of detail – very Gamine!
BS-09-2008-105: Another style with cuff detail and lots of style lines.  Contrasting top-stitching could be a fun detail, as are the fun buttons Burda used in their sample.
Burda 6489: A great Plus blouson option.
BS-01-2009-133A: A Burda Plus option for a jacket with lots of crisp detail and tailoring.  Could be good for a casual Gamine look.
BS-09-2012-135: Love this Burda Plus jacket for a Gamine.  The waistband and collar have some definition, and the vertical and horizontal lines intersect to create a very staccato effect.

Jackets – Level 2:  The second level of dress is for items that could be worn to the office or or an event that requires some dressing up.  Gamines can control this to some extent with fabric choice, but more so with the way details are utilized.

Vogue 1536: Crisp and cropped.  Love the use of the broach to add detail that isn’t inherent in the design.
Vogue 1143: The double layers add a sharp tailoring that works well, and it also creates those visually staccato lines.
Burda 6842: View A is great because of the color blocking, and view B is also good because of the cropped length.  Neither would look out of place at a more formal event, but would retain the Gamine “Piquant Chic.”
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #1A: The overall silhouette is short and cropped, but the addition of the shoulder flap really takes it into Gamine territory.  The styling with the print mini skirt is perfection.
BS-08-2006-108C: This could be a Classic style without the trim, but the use of the outline detail would make it Gamine appropriate, as do the cuffed trousers (which are not recommended for Classics).
BS-08-2007-102: Lots of fun perky details and tailoring going on here.
BS-10-2008-131: Cropped jacket with cuff and collar detail.
BS-11-2008-106: Extreme tailoring with fun detail.  The pleats are nice and crisp, the buttons a fun pop.
BS-01-2014-120: This cropped blazer works well because of the proportion.
BS-09-2014-126: Another cropped style.  The color blocking is very cute, and there are lots of details at the collar, cuffs, and pockets.
BS-07-2015-07-124: Another cropped blazer that would work really well for a Gamine.
BS-12-2015-108B: Extreme tailoring, sharp, crisp edges, and lots of detail.  The mixed fabrics help balance a Gamine look without being over the top for a more subdued environment.
Burda 6953: View A would be great – cropped with perky detail.  It may lean a bit Soft Gamine, but the hems look sharp enough to work for the regular Kibbe recommendations.
BS-07-2006-102: The trim and fun embroidery detail make this very Gamine, and offset the more traditional length of the garment.
BS-01-2008-103: Excellent example of fun details that call attention to themselves.
BS-02-2011-109: For a Gamine who wants to be a Classic.  The fabric, length, and bold contrast keep it “busy” enough for a Gamine, yet the overall impression would feel “Classic” in the more general non-Kibbe sense.
BS-04-2014-101: These details definitely call attention to themselves!  Love the two-toned collar here.
BS-08-2015-106A: More examples of color blocking on jackets and details at the cuffs.
Vogue 8931: Great way to get the staccato lines in an otherwise too streamlined look.
BS-02-2010-110: This cropped jacket is so cute!  Burda has styled it to be more casual, but I think it would look great over a dress for the office.  Especially in a bright boucle with a contrasting cuff, hem, and collar…
McCall’s 7549: We saw a lot of Little French jackets in the Classic looks.  This version by McCall’s has way too much detail for a Classic, but the trim, contrast, length, and straight lines all suit the Gamine style.
BS-09-2006-123A: Extreme lapels and cuffs with lots of details.  The cropped length is great as well.
BS-04-2008-104: This is a great Gamine jacket.  Lots of color blocking, staccato lines, and sharp contrasted detail.
BS-08-2017-114A: This may fall a bit Soft Gamine, but I think there is enough detail and tailoring to work for the regular Gamine looks.
BS-02-2010-140: I had difficulty finding Gamine styles in the Plus size ranges.  This isn’t exactly a perfect option (I think it leans a bit more Dramatic Classic), but it was the only example I could find with any sort of detail work with a cropped silhouette.  For Gamines I had way more luck finding Plus examples at Level’s 1 and 3.

Jackets – Level 3: Any sort of bolero style in a fancy, crisp fabric works well for evening, and pairs great with a dress.  You can read more about evening jackets in the “Evening” section near the end of the post.

Burda 6645: Cropped, crisp, and with cuff and collar detail.  The ruffled version could read as a bit much, but I think they are “crisp” enough in a taffeta that a particularly ebullient Gamine could get away with it.
BS-12-2005-112: Crisp tailoring and cropped size make this great for Gamines.  Burda’s styling in the metallic print fabric with the added broach detail are perfect for an evening Gamine Look.
BS-09-2012-132: We saw this in the Dramatic category, but I think it works even better for Gamines!  The color blocking even makes sense here.  Lots of fun tailoring details.  It is definitely something that a Gamine could wear with a tightly fitted trouser to a fancy evening event and not look at all out of place.  Gamines really do get to have a lot of fun breaking traditional expectations.
BS-02-2012-101: Perhaps a bit plain, but I think that just offers more canvas for embellishment!  Could be a great way to use an expensive fabric with a rich print.
Burda Easy F/W 2017 #1A: Another example of a cropped jacket in an expensive fabric that will work so well for a Gamine.
BS-03-2009-124: I love this Burda Plus jacket!  It takes a gown that would otherwise be too plain and Gamine-ifies it.  Gamines can use this trick to wear pieces that may otherwise be too classic – if the combination of garments reads as Gamine, you are good to go.
BS-02-2012-136: Another cropped Burda Plus jacket.  I think this pattern could be made in other fabrications to make it less formal as well, perhaps giving Plus Gamines some more options in the Level 2 category.

Skirts: Straight, sharp, and short with a narrow and tapered hemline.. A slightly flare skirt is fine if it is kept very straight through the hips and thighs. This could either be bias-cut or stitched-down pleats. Skirts must be very fitted at the waistband. Crisp gathers will work, but not deep ones. Straight skirts should have a short hemline (mid kneecap to minis). A slightly flared hemline may be slightly longer (top of the calf). Anything extremely long is very tricky, and must have a slit and be pencil slim.

Avoid: Full skirts. Flouncy skirts. Over-sized or unconstructed skirts. A-lines and symmetrical skirts. Long hemlines (dowdy on you).

Level 1: For skirts we will see that they type of embellishment really informs the level of dress.

Burda Easy S/S 2014 #5C: Mini skirt with crisp gathers.  Not Kibbe’s preferred silhouette based on tone, but he does say it “will work.”
Burda Easy S/S 2014 #5B: I think the jumper style reads even more Gamine with the way it breaks up the line of the body.
Burda Easy S/S 2014 #5A: A ruffle-less version, which is even more in Kibbe’s description of “sharp” and “short.”
BS-05-2007-105: Lots of staccato lines, crisp ruffles, and a hem that ends just above the calf.
BS-05-2008-124: Interesting pleats and button details, stitched down and smooth through the hips.
BS-12-2009-122: Slight flare at the hem, with pocket, topstitch, and waistband detail.
BS-02-2010-121: Perhaps a bit too A-line, but I think the fringe and mini length help this stay Gamine.
BS-06-2010-134: Cute knit skirt.  The mini length and narrow shape keep it Gamine, but the fabric make it quite casual.
BS-12-2012-109: The shape may again be a bit too A-line and the contrast a bit too smooth, but I think the idea of a contrasted hem skirt would be great for a Gamine.  The smooth fabric and fitted waist are in keeping with the recommendations.
Simplicity 1370: The asymmetric hem and cropped length make this short/skort/skirt pattern a fun summer option.
BS-02-2014-108: The hem detail really kicks this up a notch in terms of Gamine styling, but even a narrowly fitted denim pencil skirt would be in line with the recommendations.
BS-04-2017-115: Another more recent jumper option for those who don’t have access to the older Burda Easy patterns.
Burda 6846: View C is a perfect Gamine skirt.  The knit fabric just needs to be weighty enough to look smooth and not clingy, and you should be good to go.
BS-05-2016-120: I know the lace insets are part of the fabric and not the pattern, but I think they really take this look from Classic to Gamine.  The sheerness of the lace especially makes the skirt look much shorter than its actual length, which is great for a Gamine, who can totally rock a mini skirt.  A Classic would need a more continuous, smooth line.
Burda 6717: Any time Burda releases a “Young” pattern, Gamines should really consider, especially if it is in the Plus size range!  View B does not really work for the Gamine (we may see it apply more to a Soft Gamine later), but View A is amazing.  The length, fit, and detail are very fitting for the Gamine.
BS-06-2012-135: This style may be a bit plain, but it looks quite short on the model, so I thought it could work as a good Gamine example.  (Not with that top though.  That top is absolutely NOT Gamine.)

Level 2:  In Level 2 we will see styles that more closely follow the primary recommendations, which are to be straight, sharp, short, narrow, and tapered.

Burda 6679: Great Burda Plus option for a Gamine.  Whereas View C (in a solid) was my recommendation for a Classic, View A is the Gamine look in the pattern.
Burda 6467: This is one of those “get away with” styles.  Kibbe does say longer lengths can work if they are very slim and have a slit, which this pattern does!  He admits it is “tricky” for a Gamine, but I assume that would be from the perspective of buying RTW that has the proportion and fit necessary for what is typically a more petite body type.
Burda Easy S/S 2015 #5D: Tightly fitted mini skirt with some great potential for color blocking.
Simplicity 1322: Views A-C could work for a Gamine.  The length at the top of the knee is about as long as most Gamine skirts are recommended to be.
BS-08-2010-134: Mini skirt with crisp ruffles.  Gamines have a lot of range in what they can “get away with” under Kibbe’s guidelines.  The recommendations are quite specific, but there is certainly more variety in length and silhouette than we saw with Classic styles.
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #3A: I touched on this skirt when discussing the jacket above, but I’ll just point out again how the cropped shape, fitted silhouette, and fun print and details all work perfectly for Gamines.
BS-12-2010-123A: Mini skirt with fitted shape.  Perhaps a bit plain, but in conjunction with other Gamine pieces I think it could work well.
BS-01-2011-111: Another mini skirt options.
Burda 6700: View A (the shorter style) has some great color blocking options, which can create that broken line.
BS-06-2010-133: Are we tired of looking at mini skirts yet?  I think the styling of this look is perfect for a Gamine – you can see the broken lines, and mix of separates that work so well for this type.
BS-08-2013-132: Perky detail that calls attention to itself?  Check!  The use of vertical and horizontal lines is great here.  I think this is also a great way to see Gamine in a color combo that isn’t the stereotypical black and neon pop.
BS-01-2017-114: Slim and fitted, with a few crisp pleating details.
BS-02-2017-117A: Another mini skirt option with fun pocket details.
BS-04-2007-106A: Crisp pleats, stitched down through the hips.  You may recognize this style from the Classic post; this view has a shorter hem length though, making it more appropriate for a Gamine.  This is also a style I felt was more casual for a Classic, but could read a bit more sophisticated on a Gamine.
BS-06-2007-128: Interesting mix of pleats in a slimly fit skirt.  Based on the model photo the length is just above the knee, which is great for a Gamine.
BS-08-2007-116A: Another style that utilizes pleats in an interesting way.  Burda’s styling is on point for a Gamine look.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #420: A great mini skirt in the Burda Plus line.
BS-11-2006-137: Another great Burda Plus option.  Slight flare, but very minimal and at the top of the calf.
BS-01-2007-126A: Love the subtle hem detail on this Burda Plus pattern – helps to create that extra horizontal line, but keep it subdued enough for an office look.  This issue of the magazine had petite plus sizing – very rare from Burda, but so helpful for someone of Gamine stature!
BS-11-2007-129: Waistband detail and a smooth fit through the hips make this style work well for a Gamine.  Fabric choice should perhaps be a bit smoother and more matte in comparison to the Burda styling.
BS-04-2017-127: The pipping detail makes this Burda Plus skirt another great Gamine option.
BS-11-2017-129: Another Burda Plus style that has a very Gamine fit.  The styling from Burda is on point for Gamine as well.
BS-08-2018-126: For the Burda Plus Gamine who wants to play with those “tricky” longer lengths that require a long slit.

Level 3: My choices for Level 3 tend to be more plain in style, but still follow the Gamine guidelines for silhouette and line.  This really allows for playing with fun fabrics and mixing separates to create an formal Gamine look.

Burda 6834: View A is perfect for a Gamine.  Cropped and fitted; Burda’s choice to add a slim belt, fun print, and contrasting top over dark tights is a great dressed up look for a Gamine.
Burda 6781: Are we sick of seeing this pattern yet?  This week it is view D – the short skirt – that works for our Kibbe ID.  Though, to be fair, in a contrasting fabric it would also pair well with view A to create a formal Gamine style.
Burda Easy F/W 2017: I think this could be a good evening skirt; in a metallic fabric it would read very evening.
Butterick 5995: The skirt maxes out the typical Gamine hem length, but I think that could be great for a Gamine who wants a more conservative style for a formal occasion.
BS-12-2005-131B: Similar to the previous example, but this one comes from the Burda Plus range.
BS-05-2012-136: It’s a bit hard to see the hem length, but I think this Burda Plus skirt would also provide a good formal option for a Gamine.

Pants: Should always be very sharply tailored with outlined or animated detail at the edges (waistbands, pleats, crisp cuffs). Short lengths, anywhere from cropped at the calf to the top of the ankle. Skin tight stretchy pants are excellent.

Avoid: Plain-front, symmetrical shapes. Unconstructed or baggy styles. Draped styles with tapered legs.

Level 1: In which we look at all of the capri styles since the dawn of time.  Ok, not really, but I really focused on Kibbe’s recommendation of short lengths, tight fit, and animated detail.

Burda 6377: View B is cropped to just above the ankle, and has fun detail running down the sides of the legs.  Could be a good Gamine look for fall.
BS-04-2009-111: Cuff detail and waist detail, cropped, and closely fitted.
BS-07-2008-106B: Similar to the above, but not as high waisted.
Simplicity 8222: This close fitting jean pattern ends just above ankle length; could be a great style for a Gamine who wants to sew jeans!
BS-06-2005-136: Love the perky hem detail in this Burda Plus pattern.  Very much in the idea of staccato lines and horizontals.  Wish we saw more creative details like this today!
BS-06-2005-137A: Another cropped trouser with fun hem detail.  Even simple pipping details are enough to add more of a Gamine flare.
BS-06-2005-139A: All the good Burda Plus capri styles came out in 2005 apparently.
BS-04-2016-117B: Cuff and pocket details.  The Burda styling says “Gamine summer look” to me because of the sharp line between the garments and fun colors.
Vogue 9284: These trousers actually have lots of fun detail, though it is a bit tricky to see on the model photos.  The slim fit and hem just above the ankles work for Gamines regardless of the additional seam details.
BS-04-2013-132: This Burda Plus option is great for a Gamine – perfect length, with cuffs and pocket details.  It looks great in a fun print too!

Level 2:  While cropped, Level 2 styles don’t read as much “beachy capri” and more “cropped suit trouser.”  This level also seems to add additional perky detail to Gamine-ify the styles.

Burda Easy F/W 2017: #6C.  I remember thinking these trousers were a bit nuts when they came out, but I can totally see them working in a Gamine wardrobe. Very tightly fit, cropped, with perky detail at the cuffs all add up to a Gamine style.
BS-06-2006-127: This whole look is quite Gamine; the trousers in particular are cropped, fitted, and have fun details at the cuffs and waistband.
BS-02-2008-110A: Another fitted, cropped style.  This pattern has more detail at the waistband.
BS-08-2008-116: Color blocking the waistband would really help break up the shapes for a Gamine, but even without that, the slim fit and tailored cuffs work well for Gamine style.
BS-11-2009-111A: Pleating detail at the waist, zip detail at the hem, and a very obviously cropped line.
BS-11-205-106: These flare a bit at the hem (not strictly recommended), but the waistband detail, front pleats, cropped length, and slim fit through the hips all point towards Gamine.
BS-03-2018-111B: Love the waistband detail for a Gamine; the length and fit are perfect as well.
BS-09-2018-106B: Another recent style that fits well in the Gamine recommendations.
Vogue 1517: Very fitted stretchy trousers in a cropped silhouette.
BS-02-2018-124: Love this Burda Plus style of trouser for a Gamine!  The detail could be replaced with a bold trim or contrast fabric for a very bold Gamine look!
Vogue 1411: Perfect length and fit for a Gamine.
Burda 6816: This is another great Burda Plus option; both trouser lengths would work well for a Gamine, as would the front and back pleat detail.
BS-12-2016-126: Cropped trouser with pleating detail.  This is a recent Burda Plus design that would be great as part of a Gamine look.
BS-10-2007-126B: Another fab Burda Plus style with crisp tailoring, close fit, and cuff detail.
Burda 6985: Another close fit cropped trouser with tailoring detail.  View A/C in the orange/red is a perfect Gamine Girl Boss look.
Vogue 9176: Similar elements, but in a slightly less fitted style.

Level 3: Not a lot of Level 3 styles; honestly, most of the Level 2 styles could work at a more elevated level in the right fabric choice and paired with the right jacket.

BS-10-2017-113: Ok, so the silhouette is actually a bit soft for a Gamine, but I wanted to highlight the excellent use of trim at the cropped length cuff as an example of how embellishment could really elevate any of the Level 2 styles that are a bit more fitted.
Butterick 5995: What I’m really saying is, if you are a Gamine, buy this pattern!  Nearly every element will work for you!
Simplicity 1115: I’m thinking View C (far right) could work for a Gamine.  They would just have to pair it with a knock out jacket and a thick belt to break up the solid line of the jumpsuit, but it could look chic enough for an evening event.

Blouses: Very tailored with sharp edges and crisp detail (collars, cuffs, pleats, etc.). Smooth, stiff fabrics (crisp cottons, oriental silks, etc.).

Avoid: Frilly blouses. Flimsy blouses. Unconstructed blouses.

Level 1: To make Gamine more casual, the types of details and can really help a garment give a certain impression.

BS-04-2006-110: Cuffs, crisp collar detail, and smooth fabrics make it Gamine, but the fun fringe details makes it read much more casual.
BS-09-2012-106B: For a knit top I think we can argue that this has a relatively sharp, crisp appearance.  The Burda styling here is perfect for a Gamine: a look of separates, cropped trousers, and sharp edges.
BS-08-2015-120B: This is a great way for a Gamine to as a sharp detail to a basic t-shirt top.  While the drape could read as Soft Gamine, I think the use of a “smooth, stiff fabric” would very much contribute to the Gamine look.
Butterick 5525: I recommended the yellow version for the Dramatic, but I’m going to recommend the leopard print style for the Gamine.  It is cropped, utilizes a mix of fabrics, and has sharp edges that create the staccato lines of a Gamine.  The fact that it is a knit will automatically make it feel more casual.
Butterick 6418: Another t-shirt that could work for a Gamine. I would only recommend View A (because of length and the sharp horizontal contrast), but I think everyone needs a good t-shirt option for really casual days.
BS-03-2006-112: This style is a bit more crisp and tailored, but could still work for a casual look.  It could be quite versatile though, as I think it would also be very work appropriate under a Gamine jacket.
BS-09-2016-124: Gamine casual for the fall/winter months.  The color blocking creates the sharp lines and detail that would otherwise be missing from this pattern.
McCall’s 7538: Another knit top that makes use of contrasting fabrics to create sharp edges and interesting breaks of line.
Vogue 9227: I think View B is perfect for a Gamine – sharp edges and detail.  View A could work as well, but for Gamine I would avoid View C – the curved hem blunts the sharpness needed in the line.

Level 2:  The Level 2 Gamine styles are an interesting mix of fun going out looks and more office appropriate styles.  Because the Gamine look consists so much of separates, I would argue that it may be more important for a Gamine to focus on appropriate jackets, skirts, and trousers because they will dominate the look, whereas a blouse is really more of a layered coordinating piece, so I really tried to focus on stand-out tops here, rather than pulling out every tailored button down from the stash.  We’ve already seen many tailored blouses in the Dramatic and Classic categories, and Gamines can probably borrow quite easily from some of those patterns for Level 2 tops.  As long as the tailoring is quite close and crisp and the pattern is made in a smooth fabric it should work.  Gamines can also likely take a Classic styles that could be a bit too simple on them and utilize a bold print to satisfy that need for detail and interest.

Burda 6694: The contrast detail at the collar and the cuff detail would work well for a Gamine.
Burda 7192: View A especially provides lots of perky detail and sharp tailoring.


BS-09-2008-107: Not a lot of detail, but it is crisp and sharp in line.  The use of sequins makes this read a bit more Flamboyant Gamine, but I think in a crisp silk this could work well for Kibbe’s Gamine.
BS-09-2008-115: I think the example fabric is perhaps a bit soft for a Gamine, but in something slightly crisper I think this could be a good pattern.  The collar, cuff, and pleats are all great details.
BS-11-2012-120: Nice use of pleats to create a crisp detail and sharp edge.
BS-08-2013-114: While I think eyelet is perhaps not on Kibbe’s recommended fabric list for a Gamine, this pattern could be a great way to mix other smooth cotton fabrics.  The color blocking creates a very tailored look with a sharp outline.
McCall’s 7126: Despite the fact that there is some drape to the peplum, I would argue that it is a stiff/crisp drape, at least in this fabric.  The neckline has a nice detail as well.  I feel like this is something a Gamine could wear if they are really drawn to Romantic styles, but can’t really pull off the frills.
Butterick 5284: View C has the crisp detail with the pleats/pintucks.  The slight poof at the sleeve is reigned in by the tight cuff, so this could a good pattern for a Gamine who likes the current sleeve trend, but feels overwhelmed by that much fabric.  The softness of the sleeve means we will probably see this pattern again when we get to Soft Gamine as well…
BS-06-2006-122: The outline trim creates that perky Gamine detail.
BS-04-2007-110: The cuff and collar add detail, the vertical darts keep it quite tailored as well.  In a different fabric it could feel more “office appropriate,” but I think it could also work well as a casual look for a Gamine.
BS-08-2007-108A: Another basic blouse that gets Gamine-ified with the use of crisp detail.
BS-12-2008-126: This blouse was also part of the Dramatic post, but I love the details so much for Gamine I thought I would post it here as well.  I think this is one way in which sewing gives us so many more options; in a store it would be unlikely to find the same style to fit both a Dramatic (typically taller) and Gamine (typically shorter).  However, sewing it yourself, you can adjust the pattern to get a great fit for you, which widens the options so much more than RTW!
BS-02-2016-118: This top has very sharp edges and plays with the use of horizontal and vertical lines as a result.  I imagine this could be paired with some sleek trousers and heels for a killer date night look.
BS-02-2016-122A: This pattern was just too funky to not include with the Gamine post!  So much detail and contrast of vertical and horizontal line going on here.  Despite the lack of typical tailored details, it still has lots of visual interest and reads as very sharp.
BS-03-2013-141: This Burda Plus example looks a bit oversized in the garment photo, but I think it reads very crisp and sharp on the model.  The pipping detail is perfection, as is the styling with the close fit cropped pants.
BS-12-2014-142: Another Burda Plus style that makes use of color blocking to create detail and interest.  This definitely leans Flamboyant Gamine, but there is a sharpness that works for the regular Gamines as well.
BS-01-2018-127: I think the length of this top is too long for a Gamine, but I think the cuff and collar details are fantastic.  It might require some pattern hacking to Gamine-ify it, but it is a recent pattern and I thought the details made it worth mentioning.

Level 3: Not a lot of options for Level 3 tops, but I think most Level 3 Gamine looks will utilize jackets to create the formal look, so many of the Level 2 styles (or even snagging a supporting piece from our Classic friends) might not be such a bad idea should the Gamine choose to wear separates.

BS-12-2014-111: I think the sharp contrast of rich fabrics could read evening for a Gamine.
Burda 7986: Kibbe does recommend evening suits for Gamines, and while I think the trousers and jackets are slightly too Dramatic, I think this top would be perfect for a Gamine evening look!

Sweaters: Skinny knits, ribbed knits. “Poor-boy” styles. Thick knits that are extremely fitted at the waist. Collar, cuff and waistband ribbing and cropping. Short, cropped cardigans. You may wish to add sharp shoulder pads to your sweaters.

Avoid: Oversized sweaters, heavy textures. Fluffy knits.

Level 1: Sweaters were a bit tricks for the Gamine, especially since the trend has been very oversized and slouchy lately.  I rounded up what I could, but I’m sad to say these recommendations are a bit sparse.

Burda Easy F/W 2014 #2A: I would definitely say this is cropped, yes.  It creates an instant break of line to give a very Gamine quality to an otherwise Classic leaning dress.  Bonus: it’s be a quick sew too!
BS-10-2004-124: The contrast ribbing, sharp shoulders, and slim fit make this a very Gamine silhouette.
BS-09-2014-139: This Burda Plus sweater has a nice cropped length, though perhaps not as close a fit as Kibbe would like?  It looks pretty fitted on the model though, so I think it’s worth exploring.  The cuffs help it read Gamine, as does the fun print!

Level 2:  I found a few sweaters that could work at Level 2, but, honestly, it is going to be so much easier for a Gamine to find a jacket because of the need for the crisp, clean tailoring.

McCall’s 6708: For Classics last week I recommended adding a touch of length, but for Gamines the cropped style is perfect, as are the contrasting hem, collar, and cuffs.
My Image S/S 2011 M1111: Another cropped style that could help create a layered Gamine look in summer.
Vogue 9026: This Vogue pattern would be good for a Gamine in the winter; the waistband and cuffs keep the fit, but there is a certain “cozy” factor here as well.

Level 3: I wasn’t able to find any Level 3 Sweaters.  As with Dramatics, I think the need for extreme tailoring restricts evening choices to jackets, though Gamines can play much more with boleros and other styles that were not part of the Dramatic recommendations.

Dresses: Very tailored, slim dresses with sharp edges and lots of small crisp detail. Drop[ed waists and chemise-style are good if they are kept very skinny. Short cropped jackets, vests, and boleros work well with dresses for you. Asymmetrical hemlines are fun, especially for the evening, and anything reminiscent of the 1920s is an absolute knockout on you! Narrow, clingy knit dresses are excellent.

Avoid: Flouncy styles. Ornate styles (with shirring or draping.) Plain styles with no detail. Unconstructed or wide silhouette.

Level 1: Reading Kibbe’s recommendations, I find the Gamine dress styles to be a bit all over the map!  Somehow when I picture “tailored and slim” the “1920s” doesn’t immediately pop into my mind, so there are lots of options here.

Simplicity 8123: I think this Mimi G. pattern definitely meets the very tailored, slim, sharp edges, and small detail requirements.  I think View A is a bit more in keeping with the Gamine lines, but I love the styling on view B with the contrasting belt.
BS-04-2013-109B: This dress has enough detail at the collar I thought it was worth including; the style itself is relatively slim, and definitely full of sharp edges.
BS-07-2016-130: This Burda Plus style is another great slim fit with crisp detail.  I think it reads as casual, but changes in fabric could easily make it quite a versatile pattern.
McCall’s 7466: All of these are great.  Even though the hem flares slightly, the overall effect is quite sharp.  Color blocking and the addition of pocket details help the Gamine look, as does the use of a bold, sharp print.
BS-02-2013-136: This was reminiscent of the 1920s for me, so I included it.  I may be a bit too unstructured and possibly fit better with one of the subtypes, but it does have a crisp gather and bold trim details.
BS-09-2012-105: Why is this style a dress and the previous jumpers were skirts?  Presumably because I felt the others had much less coverage, but really it’s sort of on a whim.  Regardless, Burda’s styling is Gamine perfection.  The dress creates a great mix of vertical and horizontal lines, is the perfect length, and allows for easy combination of separates as well.
BS-07-2012-112: Another 1920s inspired style.  The style is a very skinny dropped waist, so I think it works.  On Burda’s glamazon model it looks a bit costume-y, but I could see how on a Gamine it would read quite differently.
BS-07-2012-105: Another 1920s inspired dress.  The color blocking definitely creates the sharp edges Kibbe recommends!
BS-07-2012-101: This might be my favorite of the 1920s styles I’ve pulled for the Gamines – it has the sharp tailoring, slim fit, small detail, dropped waist, and it utilizes color blocking to boot!
BS-07-2009-107: This is a more subdued look, but I think the sharp edges and crisp details read very Gamine.
McCall’s 7244: The cropped sleeves and dropped waist make this knit dress a good Gamine option.  Love it in this bold print as well.
BS-06-2013-141: Here’s a 1920s inspired style from the Burda Plus line.  More crisp lines and dropped waist details.
Burda Easy S/S 2012 #6: Very sharp edges on this dress.  It may not be quite slim enough in the fit to be strictly in the guidelines, but that’s why I’ve included it in Level 1.
Burda 6381: The shorter version would be a great fall look for a Gamine.  Burda’s styling is on point, and use of glitzy trim on the collar, cuffs, and pockets is perfect.
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #4H: You are going to see the many iterations of this style a lot, because I think it is great for Gamines.  The cropped length and sharp lines work well with the general Gamine guides.

Level 2:  Many of the Level 1 styles could arguably work in Level 2 as well, so I tried to focus on more traditionally tailored looks for this round.

BS-10-2011-120: Love the use of detail on this dress.  The silhouette is rather crisp, and the impression of the edges is a bit sharp.  The contrast with the rounded detail is actually the embodiment of a Gamine, so the contrast of line is actually quite exciting here.
BS-12-2008-121: This would be a great Gamine work dress.  The length is great (short enough to be Gamine, long enough to be “office appropriate”).  The collar and cuffs have crisp detail, and Burda’s styling is excellent; this is the perfect dress to wear with a belt.
BS-09-2012-107: Slim, a sharp hem, cropped, and fun use of a bold print.
BS-10-2016-108: So much fun waist detail on this dress!  Again we get some crisp detail with the pleating, but it really is the waist detail that breaks up the dress and makes it suitable for a Gamine.
BS-09-2017-111: A slightly fancier 1920s-ish looking dress.  Lots of detail if you look at the line drawing.
McCall’s 7241: A crisp style with a dropped waist.  As styled it could be a good work look, but I think in a crisp silk it could also work as a Gamine evening look too.
Butterick 6088: Color blocking is great for a Gamine, as is this above the knee hemline.
Butterick 6410: More crisp detail and sharp edges.  Gamines would do better with the shorter hem length (View C), but could utilize any of the neckline details.
Burda 6832: View A (on the left) has some great details, and a close, slim fit.  I think the skirt from View A could work with the bodice of View B to create a different look.
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #4G: I told you it would be back.  I love the addition of the diagonal zip to this version – it adds enough detail to keep it Gamine, even in a solid fabric.
BS-08-2015-122B: A similar style from the regular Burda magazine.  The top certainly creates a very sharp edge.
McCall’s 7430: The use of color blocking helps create very sharp shapes in this knit dress pattern, and I think we could say it is quite clingy.
Vogue 9079: I think the overall shape is quite tailored and slim, but the contrast and neck detail are fantastic for a Gamine.  It is also a great length, and another example of a style that juxtaposes straight and curved lines, which mimic a Gamine’s own random mix of yin and yang lines.
Vogue 9024: Asymmetric-ish hem, sharp, slim, tailored.
Vogue 8947: View A could work for a Gamine; the neckline is very sharp.  The skirt on View B would be too long, and View C too flouncy, but a Gamine could use the bodice details from any of the views.
Vogue 1468: Slim fit, with a mix of sharp lines.  The waistband creates a horizontal that breaks up the line nicely for a Gamine.
Burda 6675: I think this dress reads Classic in the styling shown here, but I think the addition of embellishment or use color blocking could make it much more Gamine.
BS-02-2011-141: This Burda Plus design is similar to a style we saw earlier, but in the larger size range.  The collar detail offers the chance to play with some fun trim as well.  The shape is quite sharp, and relatively slim fit, so it keeps with Kibbe’s recommendations.
BS-08-2012-143: The pleating detail adds a Gamine flavor to this otherwise simple dress.  On the model the pleats look a bit soft, but in a crisp fabric this would look quite tailored and very Gamine.
BS-09-2014-138: The perfect Burda Plus Gamine dress!  Collar detail, cropped sleeves, color blocking, and lots of sharp lines.  Fantastic.
BS-02-2012-110A: Another sharp looking Burda dress.  The use of two sides of the same fabric really play on both the horizontal and vertical lines; this is a fantastic Gamine dress option.
BS-09-2012-121: I wanted to show the bolero more than the dress, since Kibbe recommends them, but this dress could also work since it has that very close fit.
BS-02-2016-122B: The dress style of the top from above.  It’s still too funky to be anything other than Gamine.
BS-10-2016-117: Burda has convinced me that a jumper can be something other than a Level 1 with this styling.  The top creates a very sharp edge on the top half of the body.
BS-09-2018-107B: Perhaps a bit plane, but the length is good, there is some collar detail and enough tailoring to work.  It also provides a nice canvas for a fun fabric.
McCall’s 7089: This play with horizontal and vertical line is very Gamine.  The dress is also quite fitted, very slim, and a good length.
Vogue 1555: This looks not quite as sharply tailored, but the color block detail keeps the overall feel very crisp due to the detail.  The hem length is perfect for a Gamine.

Level 3: There are some fun looks for Gamines at Level 3, though I veered more towards Kibbe’s skinny chemise-styles here than I did with levels 1 or 2.

BS-12-2005-114: Slim fit, chemise-ish style, and possibly 1920s inspired.
BS-03-2006-127: Similar to the above style, but in a much crisper fabric.  This version play up the sharp edge and tailoring much more.
BS-12-2006-108: Sharp edges, crisp detail, perky styling… it’s Gamine!
BS-11-2011-125: The pleating detail could read as Gamine, and the shapes are quite sharp and broken up.
BS-12-2011-126: I get the 1920s feels here.  I think the fit is skinny enough to allow for the dropped waist/chemise style, and the color blocking and hem detail also add sharpness and crispness to the design.
BS-01-2012-103: A chemise style with sharp lines.
EBS-12-2012-127: The cropped fit and sharp shoulders keep this Gamine.
Vogue 1485: Too flouncy to really work, but I think the bodice of this dropped waist dress fits with the recommendations.  With a modified skirt it would be a great style.
McCall’s 7654: Slim fit, sharp line, crisp detail.
Butterick 5559: The length is great for a Gamine, and the pintuck details are small and crisp.
McCall’s 7621: Clingy knit dress – check!
BS-06-2008-128: This Burda Plus dress is quite tailored and slim fitting, with a nice belt detail to break up the vertical line.
BS-07-2011-139: This Burda Plus dress would look fantastic with a bolero for a fancy Gamine look.
BS-08-2012-144: Another Burda Plus example with lots of detail and slim fit.  The detail is perhaps a bit loose and slightly large, but the overall impression it gives is Gamine.
BS-10-2014-118: Another chemise style.  Here the use of layers contributes to the Gamine’s goal of having broken lines.

Evening Wear: Sleek slinky shapes with geometric outlines and crisp trim. Smooth fabric. Tailored edges. Beading. Hard metallics. Angular necklines with lots of crisp and colorful trimmings (collars, cuffs, jackets, etc.) Asymmetrical hemlines.
Slinky sheaths (very bare). Short-jacketed gowns with beading and crisp shoulders. Close-fitting, dropped-waisted dresses. Tailored dinner suits (with cropped jackets and crisp trim). Tailored evening pants outfits.

Evening is typically an extension of the Level 3 Dresses, but Gamines also have options with dinner suits.  I included options that would meet that recommendation in the Level 3 jackets and Level 3 trousers/skirts, so I’m basically focusing on formal event gowns here.

Butterick 6558: The pink version has a tailored, slim fit.  It is also a great canvas to add embellishment and Gamine accessories to as well.
Burda Classic 2013 #5: Sleek slinky shape with beading and hard metallics and an angular neckline.
Burda 6707: Could there be a more perfect Gamine gown?  I think not.  Dropped waist, color blocking options, crisp shapes… It’s a bit stereotypical as presented, but it works!  I think it would be great in a solid with perhaps a beaded fabric overlay on the top for a less wild look.
Burda 6830: Slim shape, collar detail, crisp trim, geometric outlines.  The slit in the longer skirt is also part of the Gamine guidelines.
Vogue 7365: Slinky shapes with geometric outlines.
Simplicity 8330: More geometric outlines, beaded fabrics, and smooth, crisp styles.  Even the simpler styles would be a great backdrop for accessorizing.
BS-12-2008-102A: A crisp bolero as part of an evening look.
Burda 6547: The Burda Plus gown is quite close fit, and creates very geometric shapes on the body.  Beaded and smooth fabrics sell it.  The curved contrasts and slightly flowy hem may take it a bit Soft Gamine, but I think the shorter version at least would be a good Gamine evening look.

And with that we have our fourth Style ID done!  According to Style Syntax, Gamines most easily fit into Level 1 clothes because their look is “fun,” yet I felt I had a much better selection of Level 2 options.  I also found that because the Gamine recommendations are so varied, especially in the dress category, that certain styles definitely came across as more or less fancy, and that fabric choice wouldn’t change that feeling as much as it would for a Classic for example.  I also think it is interesting to note the ways in which Gamines share traits with Dramatics and/or Romantics.  Because they are a mix of opposites, so are their clothes. They get a sharpness from the Dramatic, and a delicate petiteness from the Romantic.  Like Classics, there is a fair bit of tailoring and structure involved, though with Gamines we see much more detail and a broken visual line.  In contrast, Classics get the continuous vertical like from their Dramatic component, and a less severe shape from the Romantic.  Because the tailoring aspect is quite important for Dramatic, Classic, and Gamine, it actually means there could be a fair bit of overlap of pattern options in some categories, like blouses.  I think the distinctions are more clear in the other categories, especially with regards to hem length, which is quite distinct between the three categories.

One thing I often see with “Gamine style” on the internet is the very stereotypical presentation of it being boldly quirky or very twee.  While I think these are styles that suit Gamine quite well (and are somewhat overused in film media to highlight the true uniqueness of the manic pixie dream girl), I don’t think it is the only look a Gamine can pull off.  From these examples, I think it should be pretty clear that Gamines have a lot of room to play. While Kibbe is definitely against any sort of flowing ruffle that may have been seen with the Romantics, I think a Gamine who is drawn to those styles can play around with the 1920s style dresses to create a softer look.  Similarly, the sharp tailoring recommendations make the prospect of creating a “Classic impression” quite achievable while staying well within the actual Gamine guidelines.

I also want to mention the relative difficulty I had in finding Plus patterns to fit in with some of these categories.  Trousers and skirts were quite simple to find great examples, but dresses and jackets were much more difficult.  As with Classic, I found I skipped over a lot of patterns I found to be “too Soft Gamine” or “too Flamboyant Gamine.”  I think it will be quite interesting to see how the recommendations change when we get to the Gamine subtypes especially; with a slight change to the yin/yang balance Gamine looks can be pretty radically different.  I also thought it was interesting how randomly Gamine styles would crop up – it’s always some 60s throwback segment of a random Burda that has great patterns, but it isn’t like Dramatic or Romantic that seem to be popular in cycles, or like Classic that has a steady stream of options throughout the years.  (Tangentially, if you are a Gamine, the 2014 Fall/Winter Burda Easy magazine really should be in your collection, because I pulled so many great looks from there.)

As a side note, I feel like this is the category that most often gets misclassified, as the combinations of the yin and yang elements can be very random in a person, but I think being able to wear a cropped style is a big hint that Gamine could work for you.  For myself, I know that Gamine is my worst Kibbe style – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to wear any of these recommendations in the past, yet there wasn’t a single instance where I didn’t end up feeling entirely self-conscious by the time I’d left the house.  Even as a child I felt naked in a mini skirt, and I’ve never been able to convincingly wear a capri pant.  This doesn’t mean I don’t like Gamine style (I had so much fun putting together this post and playing with these styles!), it just means I’m self aware enough to know that as a style ID, Gamine really wouldn’t work for me.

But I would like to hear from any Gamines in the audience.  How do you feel about these styles?  Do you often go for cropped lengths and play with the combinations of contrasting lines and sharp tailoring?  Or do you think you will find more things to love when we get to the subtypes?  Do we have anyone who isn’t a Gamine but really wants to be?  What draws you to the style?  What about anyone who is like me, and absolutely knows that Gamine is not their ID, but can still appreciate it in an intellectual way?  I’ve been loving everyone’s comments, and I feel like there is a lot to discuss with the Gamine style this week.

Coming Next Week: At this point we’ve seen the pure yang Dramatics, pure yin Romantics, blended yin/yang Classics, and mixed yin/yang Gamines. Next week we will see what happens when, rather than mixing or blending, the addition of yin blunts the sharp yang edges of the Dramatic with the final main type, Kibbe’s Natural!

44 thoughts on “Sew Your Kibbe: Gamine

  1. What great styles, lucky gamines! They get the coolest of the 1960s looks – super short shift dresses and the Audrey Hepburn beatnik style of the late 1050s / early 60s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Audrey was a Flamboyant Gamine, so she is a great style icon for the Gamine types. 60s style in general does work really well for Gamines; the crisp shapes and cropped silhouettes are perfect for them.


  2. I am 5’3” and usually dress size 38 (tho gone up to 42 since meno). I always thought of gamine as flimsy, floaty, Lolita-like, but your selections include many patterns that I own, so … I may rethink. Thanks for the time you put into all this

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to admit that I love all the detail in the Gamine styles, especially in the cropped jackets and the tuxedo-style pintucked shirts, but I don’t naturally gravitate to wearing these styles myself. And I too have a love/hate relationship with capri pants… pictures of both Audrey (FG) and Marilyn (R) wearing them make them seem so glamorous in a casual sort of way. I would love to be able to find a pattern that I could wear convincingly, but alas, they all seem to hit at the wrong point of my muscular calves and make me feel stubby rather than chic. So far, I feel closest to the recommendations in the Classic post, but the severe lack of detail is not me, either. And I love a good puffed sleeve, so I know that I’m drawn to some Romantic elements. Looking forward to the recommendations for Naturals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like you will definitely fit into one of the soft subtypes (Soft Classic maybe?), but it should be much easier to narrow down after we get Natural up and can compare the 5 main types.


  4. Not a gamine either, not in the least, but I’m shocked at how many of these patterns I own…! 😂 Guess I’ve been trying to dress the wrong way all along. The jacket up top ( a leather one from 02/2010 #130) is a jacket I looooove and WISH I could wear.

    Gotta say, I’ve been referring back to the Dramatic post you did, trying to find patterns in that vein. Great job on these posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m glad people are using these posts as a reference tool – I plan to do the same once I finish them all.

      As a side note: please don’t give up on patterns that bring you joy! Just because they are in the Gamine post doesn’t mean they won’t work for other styles. The jacket you love has a very sharp collar, so I feel like as part of a monochromatic look a Dramatic could wear it pretty easily. It’s not the “perfect” Dramatic lines, but it’s also not frilly at all. As a casual jacket it could work. I don’t want people to feel like they dress “wrong” by going against the recommendations; I still very much believe people should do what they want. I know I’ve got a few “Gamine” styles I still want to make, regardless of their Gamineness, because I love them. But I do think these guidelines are helpful at narrowing my focus between similar styles. For me this is about understanding what silhouettes I should focus on to make a core wardrobe, not that I could never sew another pattern from a different category. I feel like with a solid base of styles, it will allow experimental silhouettes/styles/etc. to be made without so much pressure for success. It might change the ratios of what I sew (my personal goal in this exercise), but it doesn’t mean I’m totally taking other projects off the list.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They really are helpful… there are patterns in some collections you’ve show that I have tried to make and I don’t wear them finally not just because I’m still learning the skill of sewing, but because the style wasn’t what I thought. I now have at least a better idea. I’m very tall, and some clothes just don’t suit me. (but I will make that jacket… 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve also had a fair number of style fails… It’s hard because I feel like I can’t really identify them as fails until long after the pattern review post has gone up, so they often don’t get a second mention on the blog. I love what Gillian did in her “Sewing Kibbe Gamine” post (, where she basically did side-by-side comparisons of many of her makes to see what worked and what didn’t. I think it’s a great idea, and I sort of want to do a similar post for my own sewn items after I finish more of the series.

        Also, yay jacket! I think looking at Kibbe’s general recommendations can be really helpful for styling pieces that don’t fit completely within the other guidelines. If the overall impression is one of “Dramatic” then the look will work. Merriam Style’s YouTube channel had an interesting video about how to borrow elements from other IDs to adjust the feel of your look. I may delve a little into that before I start the subtype posts. But the long and short of it is that if the jacket is *slightly* softer than the full Dramatic recommendations, it will kind of just make you look like a bad ass. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really interesting. Although I’m pretty sure I’m a dramatic classic, I do own patterns and wear clothes similar to several of these styles, and I don’t think they look at all bad on me. Some look pretty damn good! I wonder if it’s because although I am 5’7, the extra couple of inches is between my waist and crotch rather than me having a very long legs all a long torso. Perhaps my body is not that different to the game in body…

    It strikes me that virtually every passing by Tilly and the buttons would suit this style.

    I am going to have to ponder how I can take elements I love from this style and fit them in with dramatic classic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there is a lot of overlap between the styles that could work for Gamine and Dramatic Classic, because of the need for added crispness or sharpness. Picking out details from the Gamine looks can definitely be applied to Dramatic Classic style, you probably just can’t use all of them at the same time the way a Gamine could. For Dramatic Classic it’s going to be more about choosing which detail you want to create a bit more simplicity.

      I also think one thing we need to remember is that Kibbe was writing about choosing clothes from RTW – a shorter Gamine and a taller Dramatic Classic aren’t going to be able to easily wear the same pieces because in RTW the scale of size and fit is going to be so far off. But in sewing patterns we can adjust fit and length to make them perfect for ourselves, so it is quite conceivable that multiple Style IDs could use the same pattern quite easily, and still be within their own recommendations.

      Also, also, I want to point out that I’m not posting every possible pattern ever that works with a Style ID, or saying it *won’t* work for another ID. I’m trying to find examples that best illustrate the descriptions Kibbe is trying to convey with his words, so we can have a sort of visual vocabulary to work with. I expect as we move to the subtypes we will start to see some overlap of patterns, as well as some new styes that make each ID unique.

      Anyway, suffice to say, I think taking elements from Gamine and using them in Dramatic Classic won’t be too hard – you will just have to make sure you don’t put too many elements in one look to retain the Classic-ness of an outfit.


    2. I agree that Tilly and the Buttons is a very gamine designer. I find I just skip over her offerings now, because I’m pretty much guaranteed to not find anything that works for me.

      (I’m a soft natural, if that helps/makes a difference). 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow. Another type that I am NOT. With no offense intended to anyone who likes these clothes, I hate them all. Even more than the Romantic styles.

    Thank you again for all the work you are putting into this series. I am enjoying it tremendously.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand! I never really “got” why people liked 60s style on a personal level before this – it’s a perfect decade for Gamines, but it looks so awkward on me that I never responded to it myself. My love of 30s/50s/70s makes soooooo much more sense in the context of being Soft Natural. I think this series is really forcing me to find things I like for each of the IDs, but also very much clarify what will and won’t work for me on a personal level. I have to admit there is at least one dress here I’m still planing on making (because I love it!), but most of these patterns live in the folders of computer files I never visit for inspiration.


      1. Your comments about the various decades is another interesting bit to consider. I have often wondered how to classify each of the various decades and the overall silhouettes that were in style at the time within the Kibbe system. It would definitely be useful information for those of us that have a fondness for a slightly vintage look to know which decades to search out in vintage patterns. Probably my most favorite decade is the 40s. I have seen it discussed as being good for those with an hourglass shape, but what I find about it that works so well for me is the broad shoulder cut. Where I find many woven blouse pull at the shoulders, 40s cuts often have ease in that area naturally built in.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 40s is interesting because I feel like it works well for so many types. The broad shoulders are a feature for Naturals, but the detail often comes off as Gamine. I’ve seen patterns that could work well for Dramatic and Classics from that era as well. Romantics not so much because the war rations would really limit anything super frothy, but even a few soft details in a design could tip it that way to make it suitable for them.

        I’ll consider talking more about this in an upcoming post – very interesting topic!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This one is fascinating! Even though I absolutely adore the Gamine type of beauty, I can’t for the life of me picture how they would follow Kibbe’s rules to get dressed. Having these examples definitely helps illustrate it — and how opposite it can be from the Classic. And I see several of my patterns here that I had already allocated to the “out” pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think having visuals really helps to clarify what he is talking about. Being able to compare and contrast also really helps clarify what makes a style one ID vs another, and should help identify what specific elements would make a pattern “work” or “not work” depending on the look you are trying to achieve.


  8. Definitely not my style, but I really enjoyed reading your analysis. I suspect smaller pattern houses tend to put out styles appropriate to a certain Kibbe ID because it fits their aesthetic. I agree with Anna Jo that Tilly and the Buttons skews Gamine. I’m now trying to categorise a few others! Named strike me as fairly Classic. Not sure about Colette; the original styles are quite Romantic but I’m not super familiar with more recent ones. I could go down this rabbit hole for hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, I like this game!

      I’d call Paco Peralta (both for Vogue and his independent patterns) Classic. The Tilton sisters seem Natural to me, and so does Sandra Betzina.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m totally planning on doing an Indie/Kibbe post after I finish the main series. I agree that the smaller brands tend to skew towards an aesthetic – it’s why I’ve been pulling from the Big 4 and Burda catalogs, since their “style” pulls more from current runway trends and follows major fashion arcs a bit more than a personal aesthetic. Though I think all brands have a bit of that aesthetic skew. (I’ll talk about that next week with Burda and their love affair with Naturals…)

      Tangentially, Colette is interesting because I feel like they have enough of a catalog to have expended out of a single ID category. Right now I feel like a lot of their stuff fits in Natural (because that’s what the trends are), but originally I would have said Classic and Gamine. What I will say is that as we wrap up the main types, a common theme is simplicity (except for Gamines, but even the main type has a clean crispness to the look), and I feel like a lot of the indie brands are really going for a minimalist look right now, so would fit in well with a lot of these main type recommendations. It will definitely be an interesting topic to explore more deeply in future!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I always love the creative seaming and lines in this type of clothing but wearing it I always feel like a round peg in a square whole. I also love 20s dresses but can’t wear them without looking like a 2×4. I have a couple of friends I take a ballet class with that would look ‘adorbs’ in these styles. One a gymnast and the other a ballroom teacher. I feel like the hippos next to the ostriches (Fantasia)when we’re in a mirror. The peplum tops and boleros are something I’d wear though and I like shrunken and cropped and peplum jackets (at least the softer shapes). This has helped to see that I’m definitely not Gamine even though I’m short. Looking forward to the subtypes!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I now realise why the makes that really worked did so and why some fails failed. There is so much in gamine that is me. I will be really interested to see sub types to understand how they relate. Thank you so much for doing this series – from 8000 miles away.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is such a fun series! I’ve long admired the mod 60s type styles, but never felt comfortable in them. I’m right with you on miniskirts making me feel naked! Some of those jackets are super fun, but I’m skeptical of my ability to pull off cropped anything. So when I pull inspiration from the 60s, I tend to go more flowy hippie. I strongly suspect that I’m a soft natural, so I’ll be very interested to read the next post!


  12. Very interesting and well, eye-opening! After answering the kibble questionnaire I was sure I was a soft classic… Then this post! I made many of these patterns, some even twice… But I can’t wear any ’20s style or low waisted garment (made a jacket, big mistake). So I went back to the questionnaire and with some help of an honest friend found out that I may be a soft gamine type… Just for fun here is my muslins for Burda short jacket and skirt you mentioned, hehe! Again your posts on this sujet are so fantastic and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it is pretty common to mid-self-diagnose your own Kibbe on the first go. I thought I was a Soft Classic too; I think the “soft” overlay can make it really hard to distinguish the body structure/bone shape underneath.

      Thanks for sharing your WIP!


  13. Thank you for another wonderful Kibbe examination! I absolutely love this series. I am not sure where I really fall in the Kibbe system as I am drawn to elements of the Classic style and elements of the Gamine style. I’m definitely not dramatic (too short at 5’1″), but I’m not a romantic either (ruffles make me retch). The clean lines of the classic are great for me but I’m better with above the knee skirt lengths; however, monochromatic doesn’t work for me at all and suits are way too matchy for me. I love the color blocking and separates of gamine style but can’t wear 20’s styles or capris. Is there a classic/gamine blend? As far as taking the Kibbe test goes, I end up with more D answers than anything else but the rest are C’s and E’s mostly. This series is such a fun way to examine patterns.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You might enjoy Theatrical Romantic, Dramatic Classic, or Flamboyant Gamine when we get to those styles! The D/C/E would hint at Theatrical Romantic but I think it can be hard to self-diagnose with the quiz sometimes.


  14. I’m definitely gamine or flamboyant gamine, I wear cropped jackets and capri pants better than any other styles, and contrasting separates look better than long flowy robes or classic monochrome skirt suits. I’m 5’6″ though and borrow from dramatics occasionally (second best style, just needs more detail to make it work). I know I’m not misidentified, as 2 stylists so far have agreed with me and every other category looks very obviously terrible on me.
    People regularly think I’m way younger and shorter than I actually am. My head is quite large for my size and makes me look doll-like, I know that because people actually tell me (while calling me ‘cute’) and also because I have to buy mens’ hats.
    Yet, random ppl on the internet announce to me that I can’t possibly be gamine because I’m 1″ taller than a 1980s book says I should be. Lol. I wouldn’t take this too literally, as long as you’re not on either extreme end of the spectrum I think medium height can be pretty much any type.
    Anyway, thanks a lot for the pattern collection (anxiously awaiting the subtypes!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you so much for this!! I’m bookmarking this for future reference! Was rather long to read even in 1 sitting, which says a lot with the amount of internet reading I do 🙂 I’m consuming all your relevant Kibbe posts – wardrobe planning, Gamine, Flamboyant Gamine and Soft Gamine(?). (I’m unsure which Gamine type I fall into – I have long arms and legs, but fleshy arms, which makes me think I’m a SG)

    Not sure I agree with some of the skirt patterns with the flounce, they feel too busy and against the “slim skirt” principle, though they do divide up the body and introduce horizontal lines. Perhaps it’s mainly that it is not exactly my style (though I’ve never tried it on come to think of it…) I admire how much analysis you have put into this – it’s inspired me to take a closer look at applying the principles to sewing patterns, since I’ve had a tendency to jump at whatever looks shiny and nice on the model without analyzing whether it would suit my body.

    I do agree that the clothes that suit my body type have NOT been in style for some time now (will look for Burda 2014 at the library) but that is the great thing about sewing is to not be tied to RTW 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi! I’ve Just discovered this blog and I’m really fascinated! Please could you guys help me to figure out what type am I? Someone has told me that I’m a gamine type, but still I’m so confused. I’m pretty small- 5’3’’, my bones are slightly delicate, tapered shoulders, the figure I’d compare to the rectangle. I’ve got a proportioned bust waist and hips ( 89-61-88 cm) and I’m pretty short-waisted. Legs seems to be moderately short in proportion to my height. Hands and feet- moderate. Face- slightly small, delicate jawline, symmetrical spaced eses- not too big, not small, soft cheeks, moderate, straight lips. Absolutely no exotic features in face. I feel kind of boyish in small, sharp and crisply tailored clothes. I found it makes my figure too straight and hides my figure. Some people even told me I’ve got no bust, even if I know that’s not true. I have also a delicate hourglass figure- not that full one with a prominent bust and hips, but still noticeable. One more thing- I don’t feel good with so many details- that makes me almost invisible- first you can see that details then me. I’ve checked that during measuring wedding dresses. Too many details, ornamentation and too much shine makes me invisible- I could see only a beautiful dress, not a dress making me look beautiful. Please, let me know what you think. Maybe I am a gamine and it’s just hard to accept rules for that type or maybe I’m not a gamine and that’s why it’s so difficult for me.


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