Sew Your Kibbe: Natural

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.



We have finally reached Kibbe’s Natural, the last of the five main types.  We have already covered the pure yang Dramatic, the pure yin Romantic, the blended Classic, and the mixed Gamine.  On the yin/yang spectrum, the Natural group is a bit closer to yang, but it is influenced by the yin’s softening of the bone structure.  This results in blunting the sharp angles of the Dramatic and creating a sense of width, rather than just a sharp vertical or a very rounded line, which allows for very different use of shape and line than we saw with Classic or Gamine.  Kibbe’s Natural is described as a “Girl Next Door Chic.”  You can read more about Kibbe’s Natural here.

Body Type Characteristics

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


NOTE: The following information should be taken as a broad outline of what makes a Natural. It is the overall combination of the soft Yang (slightly broad and angular physicality, and fresh and open spirit) 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 slightly tall, up to 5 feet 8 inches
Bone Structure: Slightly straight. Slightly angular with blunt edges (as opposed to sharp). Slightly squarish. Broad shoulders. Blunt angular facial contours (nose, jawline, cheekbones). Hands and feet are moderate to slightly large and squarish.
Body type: Straight and muscular. Lean and slightly lithe. Flat hips and slightly flat bust line. Slightly long arms and legs. Possibly long-waisted.
Facial Features: Slightly broads, blunt, or irregular. Moderate to small eyes. Taut cheeks. Slightly wide features (open). Straight, slightly thin lips.
Hair: Any texture is possible, but hair is frequently moderate to thick. It also tends to have a slightly matte finish as opposed to silky sheen.
Coloring: Any coloring is possible (warm or cool), although Naturals frequently have low-contrast or blended coloring with skin that tends to suntan easily.
If overweight: The body tends to remain straight (as opposed to becoming curvy). Excess weight tends to make you a little square in shape as it broadens the midsection. Extreme excess weight gives a very stocky appearance.
A Natural will not:

  • Have an hourglass figure
  • Be extremely petite or extremely tall
  • Have overly exotic or prominent features
  • Be symmetrical with evenly spaced features
  • Have extremely sharp features
  • Have a boyishly thin figure with a lack of musculature in the arms and legs


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

  • SHAPE Geometric shapes with soft or rounded edges are the key. Rounded-edged rectangles. Soft oblongs, rounded-edged squares, irregular shapes, and soft asymmetrics.
  • Avoid: Sharp geometrics. Circles and swirls. Ornate shapes.
  • LINE AND SILHOUETTE A relaxed, straight line is the outline of your look. Your silhouette is softly tailored, always unconstructed. Your outline should be fairly narrow and slim, in a loose and easy way.
  • Avoid: Sharply angular lines. Severely straight lines. Extremely tailored or constructed silhouettes. Oversized, shapeless silhouettes. Ornate, intricate lines. Flowing, swirling lines.
  • FABRIC All soft textures are excellent for you, as is any fabric with a rough or nubby surface. Any wrinkly fabric works well for you, as do all woven fabrics. Knits are excellent in nearly any weight and thickness, from very finely woven to very heavy and rough. Moderate weights are best, although textures can easily be lighter (raw silks, linens, etc.). Plush velours, suede, and soft leather are perfect, and drapable fabrics are best kept to heavier weight jerseys. A matte finish is far superior to sheen for daytime (even your best silks are crisp orientals, etc.). In the evening, you can go very glitzy with hard-finished sheens (especially metallics, lame, thick brocades, etc.).
  • Avoid: Sheer fabrics. Clingy fabrics (except for knits). Flimsy fabrics.
  • DETAILS Detail should be kept minimal. Plain and simple is best for you. Any unconstructed or loosely tailored detail works well. Simple necklines (soft horizontals, boat-necks, clean slashes, deep V’s, loose cowls, notched collars) are best, and you should concentrate on open necklines for your air of casual chic. Soft-edged shoulder pads are very good, and lapels should be tailored, notched, or clean (lapel-less). Cuffs should be very plain. Pleats should be soft and deep, and gathers should be minimal. Dropped waist detail (loose sashes, over-bloused tops, ties, etc.) is excellent, as are slightly dropped shoulders. You can use small touches of hand embroidery or rough lace and eyelet for very simple trim.
  • Avoid: Extremely tailored detail. Extremely sharp or angular detail. Extremely oversized detail. Ornate or intricate detail. Any frilly detail. Any closed or restrictive detail.
    SEPARATES Separates are extremely exciting on you, and should make up the bulk of your wardrobe. Even in very conservative suited looks, you’ll do better with an artful mixing of patterns, textures, and colors than you will with an overly matched look, which tends to be extraordinarily dull on you! The type of articles that are usually described as “Designer Sportswear” (but aren’t actually sporty at all) are an excellent hunting ground for you! Your look is definitely mix ‘n match in the most sophisticated sense of the word, and you should expend most of your creative energy in this area!
  • COLORS Color is an area in which you should have lots of fun! Strive for zip, verve, and lots of pizzazz with bolds, brights, pastels, vivids, and wild color combinations-anything imaginative. Neutrals work well when they are used in beautifully textured fabric (raw silks, linens, luscious weaves, etc.), but you will feel a little dull without a few bright accents, either in accessories or jewelry. Break all the rules when it comes to color! Mix ‘n match with ease.
  • Avoid: Monochromatic color schemes-they are very dull and boring on you, unless the fabric is exquisitely textured beyond belief!
  • PRINTS Your use of prints can include casual styles that are soft-edged geometrics (plaids, stripes, paisleys, etc.) and funky prints in irregular shapes (abstract asymmetrics, leaves, animal prints, etc.). They should be of moderate scale to slightly large and will generally have a softly blended edge. Colors can be very wild and unusual if you wish, or more muted and earthy-looking.
  • Avoid: Small prints. Symmetrical prints. Extremely angular geometrics. Watercolor florals. Ornate and intricate prints. Extremely oversized prints.
  • ACCESSORIES Accessories should be kept minimal; plain and simple is your best look here. Unconstructed styles with soft or rounded edged geometric shapes are most effective. You can use bold colors to add spark if you wish, although neutrals are also fine.
    • SHOES Simple tailored styles. Low to moderate heel. High heels should be very angular and straight, not tapered. Stacked heel, wedged, and all flats. Evening sandals should be very bare, not strappy. Tapered toe, open (plain), or closed.
    • Avoid: Overly delicate or strappy styles. Ornamentation and trim.
    • BAGS Moderate-sized, unconstructed pouches. Shoulder bags. Simple geometrics in supple leather (envelopes, clutches, etc.). Box-shaped bags for evening.
    • Avoid: Overly delicate or ornate styles.
    • BELTS Leather belts should be simple and softly geometric. Textured or carved surfaces are excellent. Fabric sashes, ties, and dropped waist detail are also good.
    • Avoid: Severe, wild belts. Ornate, cinched-waist styles.
    • HATS Unconstructed styles. Large, loose, and floppy. Shaggy-haired fur.
    • Avoid: Extremely tailored, crisp styles. Ornate and delicate styles.
    • HOSIERY A flesh-toned stocking is best for business. Funky stockings that are brightly colored or printed can be fun for you, and geometric textures can sometimes be effective.
    • Avoid: One long line of dark color. Dark stockings for daytime. Lacy or ornate stockings.
    • JEWELRY Jewelry should be kept on the chunky side, with soft or rounded-edged geometrics the shapes you use. Your jewelry can either be pieces of “wearable art” (handcrafted and museum quality) made by an artist or taken from another culture, or it can be bright and funky costume pieces that add pizzazz! Earthy materials are very elegant and sophisticated on you (copper, silver, amber, turquoise, etc.). Hard-finished enamels and glass are fun, especially when used in bold colors for vivid accents (big bright beads, chunky earrings, irregularly shaped pins, etc.). It is possible to get away with very minimal chains, tiny diamond studs, etc., but chances are you won’t be satisfied with this once you experiment with a zippier look!
    • Avoid: Ornate and intricate styles. Antique, rococo, and baroque. Dangly and delicate styles. Severe or sharply angular styles. Small jewelry. Symmetrical and classic styles.

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: Unconstructed. Relaxed shapes. Elongated (ending from the upper thigh on down). Relaxed and easy fit. Soft-edged shoulder pads. Textured surfaces. Patch pockets. Tailored, notched lapels, or lapel-less. Long cardigan styles with shoulder pads. Unconstructed double-breasted (left open). Long blouson with dropped waists.

Avoid: Severely tailored styles. Constructed styles. Flouncy styles (peplums and nipped-in waists). Cropped styles.

Coats – Level 1: The “unconstructed” look seems to move in and out of fashion popularity on a regular cycle, but sewing patterns seem to love it always.  Loose garments are always going to be easier to fit, so there are a LOT of natural styles available in the sewing pattern market.

B6140: Relaxed fit and ending lower than the upper thigh.
Butterick 6384: Elongated, relaxed, unconstructed, and shown in textured surfaces.
Burda Easy S/S 2012 1H: Elongated, relaxed, easy fit, patch pockets.
BS-12-2016-115: Very elongated, with relaxed fit and soft tailoring.
BS-09-2003-121: Another elongated style with an easy fit, and patch pockets.  This style also includes notched lapels.
BS-12-2010-101: Long cardigan style with a relaxed fit.
BS-10-2011-108: Another long style with relaxed fit.  
BS-08-2012-106: Elongated cardigan style.
BS-08-2015-103: Very relaxed fit.  The wider shape and hood make this feel more casual.
BS-10-2015-103: Very unconstructed, and worn open as per Kibbe’s guidelines.  May feel a bit too oversized, but as part of a winter ensemble I think it could work.
BS-11-2016-124: Elongated with notched collar and relaxed shapes.
New Look 6416: Relaxed cardigan style coat.
Burda 6360: Simple relaxed style with unconstructed shape.
BS-11-2004-106: Great option for a Natural – could easily go for a casual or slightly elevated look.  Very relaxed fit, with patch pockets.
BS-09-2013-139: Cardigan style Burda Plus coat.
BS-11-2015-123: Another Burda Plus style; unconstructed with notched collar.

Coats – Level 2: The main difference between the Level 1 and Level 2 options I used are the types of details and the narrowness of the relaxed and elongated fit.  As with Classics, Natural looks will read quite differently depending on fabric choice, so it is quite possible that many of these styles would work for multiple levels of dress.

Simplicity 8797: Unconstructed, elongated, and fairly narrow.  This is a perfect Natural coat pattern.
BS-08-2010-131: Extremely unconstructed, and gives quite a bit of flare and movement to an outfit.  Nobody drafts rectangles quite like Burda!
Butterick 6244: Cardigan style coat.  Unconstructed and elongated, but still looks formal enough for work.
Burda 6462: Very relaxed fit, patch pocket option (on View A), strong shoulder line, notched collar detail.
Burda 6704: View B is a great length, landing just below the hip line.
Burda Easy F/W 2015 #4A: An example of a long blouson with a dropped waist.
BS-09-2007-103: Very unconstructed with a relaxed fit, but still retailing elements of simple tailoring.
BS-12-2008-111: Narrow, unconstructed, relaxed.
BS-09-2009-122: An elongated cardigan style.  The collar may be a bit oversized, but the overall minimal detailing should work for a Natural.
BS-10-2009-120: Another relaxed style with notched collars.
BS-01-2015-103: Soft, textured, patch pockets, collars, relaxed fit.
BS-11-2015-116: Relaxed, with minimal tailoring and a notched collar.  This may fall a bit more Flamboyant Natural due to the oversized nature of the collar.
BS-08-2016-116: Another great cardigan style coat.
BS-09-2016-119: Lots of texture, relaxed shape, and patch pockets.
BS-11-2016-123:Very unconstructed shape, with minor tailoring on the collar.
BS-12-2017-109: Relaxed fit through the upper body.  The tapered hem is perhaps a bit more Flamboyant Natural, but the overall style has many of the elements suggested for a Natural.
BS-03-2009-115: Unconstructed, collar and patch pocket details, narrow fit.
BS-11-2009-115: Extremely unconstructed with a very relaxed fit.
BS-10-2007-111: Double breasted coat worn open.
BS-09-2010-113B: Trench coats could be a good style as long as they are fairly unconstructed like this option.
BS-01-2015-102: Are we tired of these unconstructed bathrobe styles with patch pockets yet? 
Burda 6394: This new Burda Plus pattern is great for a Natural – it is fairly unconstructed, but has a close enough fit to also feel quite formal.
BS-10-2007-125: An older Burda Plus pattern with patch pockets and collar detail.
BS-10-2009-133: Very relaxed fit, with notched lapels and soft shoulder curve.
BS-09-2010-132: A Burda Plus trench coat option.
BS-08-2015-132: A great Burda Plus cardigan style.
BS-11-2015-124: Notched collar, pocket detail, and very relaxed fit.
BS-05-2017-123: Burda Plus has so many great unconstructed trench coat options!
McCall’s 7485: This pattern is another great unconstructed style that also comes in plus size ranges.
Simplicity 8472: Simplicity has a great unconstructed trench pattern as well.

Coats – Level 3: The unconstructed look needs a bit of glamorous drama to be elevated to Level 3.

BS-11-2015-117A: Capes are the ultimate in unconstructed, but also provide enough pizzazz to an outfit to really elevate it up a notch.
BS-12-2011-116: Faux fur is unconstructed of necessity, but also adds an old Hollywood glam touch to an outfit.
BS-11-2015-102D:  There are some unconstructed coat patterns that would be great for use with fancy shiny fabrics too.
Simplicity 8509: And vintage swing coats are the ultimate in unconstructed fabulosity. 
BS-11-2009-136: Patch pockets on a Level 3 coat?  Yes.  Burda does it by distracting you with feathers. 
BS-01-2015-131: A touch of detail can also add some glamour to an otherwise basic coat with relaxed fit.
BS-11-2016-128A: And, when in doubt, just make it in a wild print and let the fabric do the talking.

Jackets – Level 1: The jackets for a Natural look quite similar to the coats – just slightly shorter and with less weighty fabrics.

BS-2003-03-109A: Simple details, patch pockets, upper thigh length, very relaxed shape.  Fantastic casual jacket for a Natural.  (I’ve made this, so I can attest to it’s awesomeness!)
Simplicity 8554: Very relaxed shape and unconstructed silhouette, with simple details, soft shoulders, and patch pocket options.  Love this for a Natural look!
BS-10-2015-123: Long blouson with a dropped waist.
Simplicity 8222: Another dropped waist blouson/cardigan style jacket.
BS-08-2005-107: Very simple and relaxed fit.
BS-06-2008-110: Another unconstructed, relaxed style.
BS-11-2010-133A; Fantastic cardigan style option. 
BS-09-2014-119:  Pretty much any loose fitting parka is going to fit well in these recommendations.
BS-02-2016-117: And extra length is great for a Natural.
Butterick 6533: Here’s a relaxed fit jacket from Butterick that comes in a wider size range.
Burda Plus S/S 2013 #414: This Burda Plus style also has quite a relaxed fit.  Possibly too many details, but I think the overall look is very “girl next door chic.”
Burda Plus S/S 2013 #436: Burda Plus parka option.
Burda Plus S/S 2016 #415: More Burda Plus parka-ish goodness.
BS-03-2006-128: More relaxed fit and patch pocket details.  The removable hood is a cool detail for a casual jacket.
BS-03-2012-129: Very unconstructed.
BS-06-2017-121: A Burda Plus dropped waist blouson option.
BS-10-2017-125: I’m not showing you *every* parka Burda has made, but I’m getting pretty close.
BS-09-2013-131: I’d argue that this is simple, unconstructed, and containing patch pockets, so I think it fits the guidelines.

Jackets – Level 2: With the Level 2 jackets we start to see a bit more tailoring, though the details tend to be quite simple still.

BS-11-2015-102C: As styled I think this may fall a bit more Soft Natural, but the overall feel is quite unconstructed and easy fitting.
BS-08-2016-115: A great cardigan style.  Perfect length (to the upper thigh) with a relaxed shape, but just enough tailoring to be a bit more formal and office appropriate.
BS-12-2005-124: An elongated blazer with very unconstructed silhouette and notched collar.
BS-09-2011-126: The drape detail makes this blazer feel quite relaxed, and the collarless style also feels very unconstructed.  The length is also somewhat elongated – about as short as Kibbe would recommend for a Natural.
BS-04-2013-101: This longer blazer is great – it is relaxed in fit and hits about mid-thigh.
Kwik Sew 4162: A non-Burda cardigan style.
McCall’s 7693: This is a great way to get an “unconstructed” rocker vibe.
Simplicity 1167: Another great elongated blazer with a relaxed fit.
BS-08-2008-119: Easy fit, unconstructed, long cardigan style.
BS-11-2011-115: Very elongated blazer/cardigan mash up?  It has a notched collar and patch pockets, but overall simple easy feel.
Vogue 9338: A Natural would wan to stick with the longer styles, but this jacket does have a nice relaxed unconstructed feel.
Vogue 9176: Another elongated unconstructed blazer style jacket.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #411: An elongated Burda Plus blazer option.  The collar may be a bit too sharply tailored, but the overall fit feels fairly relaxed.
BS-12-2006-134: Notched collar, relaxed fit.
BS-08-2012-142B: A cardigan style Burda Plus option.
BS-08-2012-142A: The same base pattern; it shows how overall styling and combination of separates will create the overall look for a Natural.
BS-08-2013-135: Very relaxed fit, unconstructed, with minimal detailing.
BS-06-2015-128: Unconstructed, relaxed, elongated.  The detail adds a nice bit of contrast, which works well in a Natural outfit.
BS-02-2016-128B: Unconstructed, elongated, and with patch pockets and notched collar.  
BS-02-2016-128A: Slightly shorter view of the same coat.
BS-08-2018-127: A nice elongated collarless blazer with a relaxed fit.

Jackets – Level 3: Once again, the combination of fabric and details really helps to elevate something to being a Level 3.

Vogue 1493: Unconstructed, with relaxed shapes and soft shoulders.
Burda 6774: Elongated blazer with a relaxed fit.  Using fancy fabrics with a bit of texture helps to elevate the look.
BS-06-2012-107: Another great elongated blazer with relaxed fit, patch pockets, and notched collar.  Here it looks quite casual, but with different styling it could be a very sophisticated look for a Natural.
BS-11-2013-118B: With this image you can see how fabric choice can really make a difference between a Level 2 and Level 3 look.
BS-11-2009-141: This cardigan style in a shiny gold pairs well with a simple dress with open neckline to create a fantastic Natural look.
BS-04-2012-133: Again the styling here makes this outfit feel very “Level 2” but I think in a fancy fabric this could be a sleek evening look.
BS-06-2015-127: An elongated lace jacket could be a fancy addition to an evening outfit.
BS-10-2015-126: Another great blazer option from the Burda Plus line.  This is *slightly* more fitted but would read very polished and chic on Kibbe’s Natural.
BS-10-2017-122: Again the styling makes this relaxed blazer look like it could be a Level 1 or 2, but I think with a sequin top, tailored trousers, and heels it could be a great statement piece.

Skirts: Simple straight skirts, Softly tailored styles. Culottes, gauchos. Simple tailored detail (plackets, pockets, trouser pleats, slits, low kick pleats, inverted pleats, button-front). Moderate length (one inch below knee). Very short skirts for fun/funky looks. Very slightly flared hemlines (kept flat through the hip area-these will have a longer hemline, mid-calf).

Avoid: Full, gathered skirts. Flouncy skirts. Accordion pleats. Severely straight skirts. Long, pencil-slim skirts.

Level 1: It’s a bit difficult to find the right line between “simple and straight” and “too full,” but I did my best using Kibbe’s recommendations.  I’m not sure if an A-line would be too much (he doesn’t explicitly warn against them), but finding something “straight” that was neither too full nor too pencil slim was a bit of a challenging judgement call.

BS-10-2016-109B: Culottes and gauchos are on Kibbe’s list of approved skirts (though I’d call them pants?), but this awesome Burda option has both sides of the argument covered.
McCall’s 7131: Another culotte option with simple tailored detail.
Burda Easy S/S 2014 #2C: Simple tailoring, and a hem length just below the knee.
BS-10-2012-104: Another simple style with a longer hem length.
BS-06-2013-131: This shorter knit skirt could easily be for a casual “fun/funky” look.
Burda Easy S/S 2015 #5D: Another mini that would work for a fun/funky style.
BS-09-2011-110B: Simple detail and shorter length for a funky fall look.  
BS-09-2006-109: An option with a very slightly flared hemline.
BS-10-2015-107: Straight, with simple tailoring details.
Burda 6846: The shorter skirt would work for the fun/funky styles, but the long version would be too pencil slim and on Kibbe’s avoid list for a natural. He would approve of the B/C styling for a casual Natural look though.
BS-02-2007-105A: Simple straight skirt with minimal detail.
BS-05-2012-125: Another simple style with slight elongation and hem just below the knee.
BS-11-2009-120: Inverted pleat detail, moderate length, and simple straight silhouette.
BS-08-2011-118A: Another simple skirt with minimal pleat detail.  The longer version (line drawing) would be that below the knee length, but the shorter version could be part of that fun/funky style.
Burda 6717: View A would be a good Burda Plus option.  It could easily be elongated to get that perfect length, or cropped even shorter to get more funky.
BS-01-2006-134: Another slightly elongated style with minimally flared hem.
BS-02-2008-130: This is a perfect Natural style: elongated, simple, with minimal pleat details.
BS-06-2012-143: Another great simple, straight style.

Level 2: The Level 2 options could easily also fit into Level 1 depending on fabric choice and styling.  Since the Natural look is primarily constructed by mixing separates, the overall look will depend a lot on how pieces work in conjunction and not just individually, but the details in the Level 2 looks will be a bit more tailored.

BS-04-2006-113A: Simple, straight, with minimal detail.
BS-09-2006-135: Another simple, straight style with minimal flare at the calf.
BS-11-2017-106A: Simple and straight, but with some interesting detail.  The hem length is perfect, as is Burda’s styling.
Vogue 8835: This pattern is very similar to the Burda option from earlier, but the styling makes a big difference in perception.  The simple straight style with elongated hem length and simple overlap detail is a great option.
BS-10-2011-119B: This skirt could easily be Level 1, but the styling here makes it feel very work appropriate as well.  The pockets are a great simple tailored detail, as is the length and silhouette.
BS-02-2012-109B: Simple shape with soft pleating details.
BS-10-2001-136: Very simple skirt with slightly elongated silhouette.
BS-02-2006-128: Simple pleating detail and length just below the knee.  (I’ve also made this pattern!)
BS-03-2010-106B: Simple, straight, with pocket details.
BS-01-2011-113: Another great elongated simple straight skirt.
BS-06-2013-121: Simple, straight, with pocket details and simple tailoring.
BS-11-2014-112: A fairly straight style with an inverted plea detail.
BS-12-2014-116: Simple, straight, slightly below the knee.
BS-11-2015-125: Simple, straight, elongated, with minimal detail.
BS-09-2017-114: A similar style, but in the regular Burda sizing.
BS-09-2018-110B: This recent pencil skirt is elongated and has a few simple tailoring details to add interest.
Vogue 9272: Simple, straight, minimal pleating detail.  May be slightly short, but easy enough to add length.
Vogue 1466: Another very slightly flared hemline and elongated, narrow silhouette.
BS-10-2009-127: Elongated, simple detail, inverted pleat.
BS-12-2012-107: A short funky style.  Fabric choice definitely helps elevate it from a fun casual look to a funky date night style.
Burda 6506: View A is a great length with a straight silhouette and simple detail.
Simplicity 8175: View B looks like a great option, but View A could also work, since it isn’t completely pencil slim.
BS-08-2017-102: Another straight style with simple detail.
Burda 6700: View B would be another great option for a Natural work ensemble.
BS-08-2011-118B: The longer version of the skirt shown above.  The length adds a bit of formality to this style.
BS-04-2007-136: Elongated, with simple tailoring details, and a very slight flare at the mid-calf.
BS-10-2008-126: Another great simple straight style.
BS-09-2016-134A: A more recent Burda Plus straight skirt option.
BS-10-2018-123: This recent skirt option is great – pocket details, below the knee length, simple straight silhouette, with a few tailoring details.
BS-12-2007-118B: Another simple style with soft pleating detail.

Level 3: The Level 3 skirts could be paired with a really elegant top or jacket to get a fancy evening look.

BS-09-2005-126: Very simple; perfect for using a richly textured fabric.
BS-11-2008-104A: I think this is a fantastic option for a fancy Natural skirt – it has the slight flare, but is still fairly simple and elongated.
BS-02-2009-128: This simple straight style allows for use of beautifully textured fabrics like this thick lace.
BS-12-2017-121: Another fancy example with some soft pleating details.
Vogue 1590: For Dramatics I thought this could be great casual skirt, but I think it could also be a fancy option for Naturals.  It has the simple line and perfect length.
BS-12-2014-103: A lovely brocade example with an inverted pleat.
BS-03-2018-122: Here’s a nice example from the Burda Plus options – simple, straight, but very fancy due to the fabrication.
BS-10-2008-127: Another simple example where fabric choice makes all the difference.  The styling also shows how the Natural’s use of separates really allows for a lot of versatility in a single wardrobe item.


Pants: Nearly all styles are excellent, from very casual to very dressy. Simple tailored styles with minimal detail. Elasticized or drawstring. Unconstructed styles. Sweats. Jeans. Short, cropped, or long. Cuffed or cuff-less. Shiny, silky, or satiny evening styles, including pajama styles.

Avoid: Draped, tapered leg styles with gathered waists.

Level 1: When Kibbe said “nearly all styles are excellent” I decided to narrow my options a bit by focusing on those pieces he listed directly, and on the overall unconstructed silhouette he emphasizes elsewhere in his recommendations.

BS-03-2015-126A: Because I still think culottes are pants, not skirts, I added some here too.
BS-10-2015-105B: Simple tailored style with minimal detail.
BS-03-2016-114A: Cropped style with minimal tailoring.
BS-05-2017-102A: Another simple cropped style.
Simplicity 8698: Athleisure is going to look great on a Natural; sweats are part of Kibbe’s recommendations.
BS-06-2012-109: Unconstructed, with simple tailoring.
Burda 7050: Jeans with basic details.  Bothe the regular and cropped styles will work according to Kibbe.
BS-04-2009-118: Another jeans style with minimal detail.
BS-02-2014-143: Burda Plus jeans option.
BS-08-2014-111: Simple tailored shorts.
Jalie 2908: We can’t have a jeans recommendation without including the Jalie pattern!
Simplicity 1367: Simple, unconstructed sweats.
Burda 6812: Simple tailoring; all three of these styles would be great on a Natural. 
Vogue 8774: Yet more jeans options.
Simplicity 8516: I have a lot of jeans patterns you guys!
Burda 6797: Very unconstructed sweats options.
Burda 6897: Shorts are on the list!
BS-05-2010-133: More casually tailored shorts.

Level 2: Again, because “nearly all styles” look good, there are a ton of patterns that will work at all levels.  This level has a bit more of the classically tailored styles.

Burda 6377: More athleisure.  Sort of brings the “sweats” style detail to a fancier trouser.
Burda 7208: Unconstructed trouser with an elastic waistband.
Burda 7366: More unconstructed trousers with simple details.
BS-02-2006-117: Straight style with minimal detail.
Butterick 5258: Very basic style with minimal tailoring and an unconstructed leg.
Burda 7122: Burda has a lot of these basic tailored trouser options.
Burda 7192: More simple tailoring.
BS-01-2006-107: And even more simple tailoring.
BS-10-2007-107A: An option with cuffs.
BS-08-2008-105: And minimal pleating detail at the top.
BS-12-2009-115: Although there is a lot of interesting seaming, the overall impression is quite unconstructed.
BS-10-2010-104: More basic tailoring.  (I also made this style and I love it!)
BS-06-2011-114B: Silky PJ style with elastic waist and cuffs.  On any other ID it would look sloppy, but on a Natural it comes off as elegant.
BS-05-2014-121: Very unconstructed trouser style.
BS-04-2015-113B: More cropped culottes with simple tailoring.
BS-01-2016-135B: A Burda Plus option with minimal detailing that could read quite elegant and almost jeans-like in detail.
Vogue 1059: More unconstructed trouser styles.
Vogue 8751: Very simple tailoring.
Vogue 8836: Relaxed fit, with cuff and pleating details.
Burda 6470: Burda has a lot of unconstructed trouser styles.
BS-08-2015-125B: Here the unconstructed fit conveys relaxed elegance, very much the “Girl Next Door Chic.”
BS-01-2017-110A: Burda’s been trying to sell us on PJ chic for a while now, and Kibbe totally recommends the style for his Natural style ID.
BS-01-2017-110B: Unconstructed, simple tailoring.
BS-03-2017-115A: The trousers are unconstructed, but they look so elegant!
BS-11-2009-131: Burda has styled these trousers as PJs, but if you replace the top with a fancy blazer it could be a “silky evening style.”
BS-05-2016-119: Another silky style.
Burda 6492: Simple unconstructed Burda Plus option with minimal detail.
BS-03-2006-131A: Simple tailoring, quite neat and clean.
BS-06-2006-132: Unconstructed silky style.
BS-11-2007-130: Simple tailoring with cuff details.
BS-03-2011-141: More simple tailoring.
BS-08-2013-136: This look is very Natural!  The whole outfit is unconstructed, but not boxy.  The trouser fit the silky pajama style.
BS-11-2015-130: A cropped culotte style with minimal tailoring.
Simplicity 8303: A simple elastic waistband style.
BS-08-2012-138: Shorts with minimal tailoring.
Butterick 5818: Another great option for minimal tailoring details and unconstructed fit (middle).
BS-09-2013-102B: Burda has a lot of these minimally tailored styles.
BS-04-2013-103: And one more for good measure.

Level 3: As with most of the recommendations for Natural, styling and fabric choice will be key, but there are some great examples of evening trousers here.

BS-12-2005-103: Shiny evening style.
BS-08-2012-124B: Another Silky evening style; imagine it with heels and a different top.
Vogue 1480: More shiny evening goodness.  Note how most of these styles are very simple, unconstructed, and lacking harsh tailoring details.
BS-12-2011-133: A great simple Burda Plus option.
BS-12-2013-103A: Here’s a great example in a fancy jacquard. 
BS-01-2017-124B: Again, styled as PJs, but imagine this with heels, a fancy top, and a great wrap – very evening chic.

Blouses: Simple tailored styles with open necklines. Unconstructed styles. Smooth surfaced, or light weaves and textures.

Avoid: Severely tailored blouses. Frilly blouses.

Level 1: For Level 1 I focused on finding open necked t-shirts and basic tops, which could pair well with the trouser and skirt styles from above.

BS-04-2008-121: Open neckline, unconstructed, smooth.
BS-07-2011-121: Smooth, unconstructed, with a very open neckline.
BS-06-2012-114A: Another simple open neckline style.
BS-09-2015-122A: The zip on the collar could allow for adjustments to create a more open feel.  The overall top is very smooth and unconstructed.
BS-02-2016-105B: Basic v-neck, open and smooth.
BS-10-2018-120: Unconstructed style with a higher neckline.  However, the width of the opening still makes it feel very open.
BS-08-2009-129: Any button up styles would have to be worn partially unbuttoned, as shown in the photo.
BS-07-2010-128: Layering of simple blouses could be a good casual look for a Natural.
BS-06-2011-104: Simple, unconstructed, with an open neckline.
BS-09-2013-121: The overall fit of the blouse is quite unconstructed.  Again, it would be best to avoid wearing it fully buttoned. 
BS-10-2016-120B: Another example of how the unconstructed styles can be used to layer quite effectively.
New Look 6374: I love the sleeveless style here; it is great for summer.
BS-11-2006-111: Open neckline with a smooth fit.  While I’m focusing on Kibbe’s unconstructed feature, very basic smooth knits with open necklines are all good options.
BS-04-2014-105: Here the drape could be a bit much detail, but I think it works to give an “unconstructed” appearance; this could be a fun addition for a Natural.  
BS-08-2014-121: Again, here the detail serves to add to the “unconstructed” feel.  The open neckline is also a good feature.
Butterick 6418: Smooth and simple, with a widely open neckline.  I think views B and C would be best for a Natural.
BS-03-2010-126: Here the unconstructed shape give the top a very casual feel.
BS-11-2012-129: Another example of a very simple style with an open neckline.
BS-01-2013-123A: Cowl necks give a very unconstructed feel to a top.
BS-02-2016-103: Another example of a loose fit with a wide neck.
BS-01-2018-105B: Very casual feeling tee; the hem shape helps with the unconstructed feel.
Kwik Sew 3463: Smooth, simple, and elongated.
Burda Plus S/S #433: A simple, smooth top in Burda Plus sizing.
Burda Plus F/W #420: A nice unconstructed tank top option.
Burda Plus F/W 2016 #407: An open V-neck and unconstructed drape.
BS-08-2005-135A: The collar and cuffs help formalize this, but the shape is still quite simple.  Could be really cute with a pair of jeans.
BS-02-2008-128: Simple, smooth, with an open neckline.
BS-03-2011-138: The interesting neck treatment again adds to the feeling of being unconstructed.
BS-05-2015-131A: Simple, elongated, and an open neckline with an unconstructed silhouette.
BS-09-2015-134: A great fall option.
Burda 6774: This whole pattern is great for a Natural.
BS-05-2015-127: Very unconstructed look to this top.

Level 2: The Level 2 tops are a bit more tailored, with a slightly slimmer, but still unconstructed fit.

Butterick 5555: This top may better suit a Soft Natural, but the overall feel is simple, and with an open neckline.
Burda 6456: I think View B without the ruffle would be a good layering piece for a Natural.
BS-02-2006-120: Open neckline with minimal, smooth shaping and details.
BS-09-2010-109C: Simple cuffs and an open neckline.  This would look great paired with the trouser or skirt options from above.
BS-12-2015-121A: This oversized top should look sloppy, but she actually looks quite elegant and chic.  The relaxed fit adds an air of sophistication.
Vogue 9036: Really basic top with an open V-neck; great as a layering piece in a Natural wardrobe.
Burda 6909: Simple, relaxed fit, with open necklines.  Great options for a Level 2 wardrobe piece.
Burda Easy F/W 2015 #1C: This top adds some extra detail, but the overall feel is still simple and unconstructed.
BS-04-2009-105: The fit is relaxed, but close enough to not feel too casual.
BS-11-2009-118: Worn open, the neckline detail could add an unconstructed feel to this blouse.
BS-02-2010-113: Simple tailored style; as shown the neckline could be quite open.
BS-08-2010-130: Another simple style, with a relatively open collar (it doesn’t button all the way up).  Overall fit is rather unconstructed.
BS-10-2010-102: The use of fabric really helps this blouse feel very relaxed, despite the tailoring details.
BS-11-2018-116B: A recent blouse with unconstructed fit.
Simplicity 1167: This top is quite simple and smooth; another good layering piece.
Butterick 5526: So many good options for a natural in this pattern!  Avoid the ruffles and the blouse comes across as being very unconstructed and simple.
Burda 6368: View A (no ruffles) is a great option – it has an open V-neck and relaxed fit.
Burda 6632: Another blouse with a relaxed fit, simple details, and open neckline.
BS-12-2015-118B: I love this for a date night or holiday party – it definitely has that “didn’t try too hard but still look fabulous” vibe.  Simple, smooth, unconstructed, and open neckline.
Vogue 1387: Here the soft gathers create an “unconstructed” feel on an otherwise nicely fitted blouse.  The open neckline is also great for a Natural.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #416: Simple details and unconstructed fit make this top great for a Burda Plus option.
Burda Plus F/W #409: Fabric choice can make simple knit tops more suitable for Level 2.
BS-06-2009-136: A great Burda Plus option with an open neckline and relaxed fit.  The sleeves may be a bit poofy, but I think that’s an adjustable feature if you like the main fit of this top.
BS-07-2012-137: Open neckline with smooth line.  On the model the fit looks a bit more relaxed than the line drawing, so I included it here.
BS-08-2013-137B: Another unconstructed top with simple tailoring details.
BS-04-2016-128A: Smooth, open neck.
BS-05-2017-122B: Simple, smooth, and unconstructed.  It would pair nicely with jeans for a casual look, or with a slim skirt for something a bit fancier.
BS-02-2018-128: Love the collar on this button down; the tailoring detail is fun, but still fairly minimal.
BS-05-2012-115: Unconstructed and open neckline.  Love the overall look with the soft trouser for a Natural. 
BS-01-2013-125: This top could be quite casual in a plain fabric, or perfect for a fancy party in a metallic knit or crazy textured velvet.

Level 3: Many of the Level 2 looks could easily move to Level 3, so I only have one option here.

Burda Plus F/W 2013 #429: I love the use of lace in this simple top; it creates a gorgeous texture but also keeps the relaxed fit necessary for a Natural.

Sweaters: Nearly any sweater style works well for you. Thick knits, ribbed, nubbies, cable stitching, shaggy mohairs. Any and all lengths. Soft shoulder pads are also a good touch. Solids and wild prints.

Avoid: Overly delicate and overly fluffy knits with trim.

Level 1: Yet again we have a category where nearly anything goes, so I focused on finding styles that worked with Kibbe’s general recommendations, as well as searching for patterns that work with the specific recommendations listed above.

Burda 6667: Unconstructed, and slightly elongated.  (Also, yet another style I’ve made!  How I ever thought I was a Classic I’ll never know…)
Burda Easy S/S 2015 #1C: Elongated, relaxed fit, with patch pockets.
BS-12-2009-119: This style is great for a thick sweater knit, and the soft shoulder line is ideal.
BS-07-2013-109A: Another elongated option, with patch pockets, and a relaxed fit.
BS-10-2016-126: Thick ribbed knit in a very unconstructed style.
Burda 6356: Thick knit with a soft shoulder and unconstructed feel.  The dropped blouson waist is also in line with Kibbe’s jacket recommendations.
BS-12-2016-121: Loose, unconstructed, in a thick knit style.
New Look 6417: Another great option that goes with the general unconstructed vibe of Kibbe’s Natural.
BS-01-2013-136: Shaggy mohair style, elongated, open neckline, unconstructed, with patch pockets.
BS-08-2013-139: Thick cable knit style.
Burda Plus F/W 2013 #410: I’m putting this under the “anything goes” category – the thick shaggy style feels very Kibbe Natural to me.
Burda Plus S/S 2016 #418: Simple and unconstructed.
BS-11-2012-134: Thick cable knit and very unconstructed.
BS-05-2016-124: How Naturals can do sweater knits in summer.

Level 2: For Level 2 I found options that are a bit more formal and could pair a bit easier with the Level 2 top and skirt options from above.

Butterick 6495: This cardigan is elongated and simple; it would be great as part of a Natural work wardrobe.
Butterick 6527: Unconstructed and relaxed fit, but still formal enough to wear to an office.
BS-01-2011-126A: A thick knit that could be used as an outerwear piece.  It’s styled casually, but I think it could go over a work outfit just as easily.
BS-12-2010-107: Elongated blouson shape; if it worked for the jackets it should also work here.
BS-01-2014-123: Open neckline, unconstructed, thick and shaggy.
BS-10-2014-113: This style could really work at any Level, depending on fabric choice and styling.  I could see it being really beautiful with a long gown, or super cute over a pair of jeans.
BS-10-2016-114A: A Natural can pair a simple sweater with a nice bottom and still look office chic.
BS-11-2016-126B: This unconstructed hoodie definitely works in a Natural’s wardrobe.
BS-11-2018-111: Simple, nubbly, and unconstructed.
BS-06-2011-126: More options for the Burda Plus girl – simple and unconstructed styles abound!
BS-01-2013-127: This is another really versatile pattern that could go “outerwear” very easily, and fit in at any level depending on fabric choice.
BS-08-2014-136A: A great Burda Plus sweater option.
BS-09-2014-137: A thick knit that could also fit in the coat category.
BS-07-2016-121: More unconstructed styles with simple details.
BS-07-2016-122B: A great elongated cardigan option.
Burda 6476: Thick knits look great with Natural styles.
BS-12-2012-137: An interesting dropped waist option.  The open neckline really sells it as being in the Natural category.
BS-09-2014-114B: Another good, simple, sweater option.
BS-09-2014-121: Thick cabled knit.
BS-10-2015-109B: More thick, nubbly, knit goodness.

Level 3: Naturals are one of the few Style IDs that can easily wear sweaters at Level 3.  Fabulous fabrics will help quite a bit to glam up the look!

BS-12-2010-109: You can’t tell me a sequin sweater is anything but a Level 3.
Simplicity 8707: I think this lace option would be very pretty for a fancy event.  Clearly, it can be styled with jeans, but it could also be quite elevated with a formal gown.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #429: Again, the style is quite simple, but the fabric makes it all evening glam.
BS-12-2011-131: Sparkles, sparkles everywhere!
BS-01-2013-128: As you can see, many of the previous options could also be evening appropriate in the right fabrics.  (Side note: I really want a sequin cardigan now!)

Dresses: Dresses should be simple and unconstructed, with a narrow shape and a relaxed outline. Softly tailored styles work well, as do dropped and loose-waisted styles. A softly tailored coat dress with an open neckline or a narrow chemise in a beautifully textured raw silk or linen would be another choice. Nearly all knits are perfect, as are wrap styles, safari styles, T-shirt styles, and blouson or two-piece styles.

Avoid: Severely tailored styles. Flouncy styles. Ornate styles. Extremely wide, shapeless styles.

Level 1: Kibbe still gives us a lot to work with in the dress category, though there are more restrictions here than we got with trousers or sweaters.  Again, with so many styles that could work, I tried to really focus on his specific recommendations.

Burda 6440: Safari style, check!
BS-05-2006-106: Wrap/dropped waist with a relaxed outline.
BS-05-2010-108: T-shirt style in a soft knit.
BS-04-2011-115A: Blouson style.
BS-06-2012-113: Simple and unconstructed, with an open neckline.
Simplicity 8125: Fairly simple and unconstructed; could be a great option for fall.
BS-10-2011-122: Wrap dresses get a yes from Kibbe.
Butterick 6552: Narrow shape with a relaxed outline.
McCall’s 7593: Basically all knit styles are go, but the wrap top adds to the yes features here.
New Look 6298: Relaxed, loose waist style with an open neckline.  (Also on my I’ve made it list.)
BS-05-2006-104A: Simple, unconstructed, and narrow.
BS-06-2011-139: Wrap style in a knit.
BS-03-2015-108A: Unconstructed T-shirt style.
McCall’s 6752: Blouson style, which can be great as a two-piece look. (As I’ve made here.)
BS-04-2011-116: Another blouson style, with a narrow shape and unconstructed feel.
Butterick 6480: Unconstructed, relaxed fit.
BS-10-2014-130: This T-shirt style could double as a tunic top in winter!
BS-02-2016-106A: Very casual, relaxed, loose waist style.
BS-06-2017-125: Another Burda Plus style with open neckline and relaxed fit.
BS-03-2017-123A: Two piece look.
BS-05-2015-131B: Simple tailored style with loose fit.
Burda Plus F/W #418: Relaxed, unconstructed feel with simple detail.
Burda Plus F/W 2015 #409: Basic T-shirt style.

Level 2: For the work/date level, I focused more on softly tailored styles and options that showcase finer fabrics to help with visualization.

BS-03-2008-102A: Narrow chemise that could work well in a raw silk or linen.
BS-07-2011-122B: Blouson style with an open neckline.
BS-08-2012-123: Two piece style; note how the fabric really helps elevate it to a Level 2 or 3.
BS-04-2015-122: Softly tailored coat dress/wrap style with an open neckline.
McCall env template rev2
McCall’s 7534: Another wrap with an open neckline.  The overall fit is also quite narrow, which is perfect for a Natural.
Butterick 5523: Softly tailored, but still fairly loose in the waist.
Butterick 2606: Simple and unconstructed.
Butterick 6128: Wrap knit style, with a narrow silhouette.
Burda 6453: I love this blouson style for a Natural – fierce!
BS-10-2008-115: A knit style that gives a relaxed fit impression.
BS-11-2012-116: A softly tailored wrap with a narrow shape.
BS-05-2017-115A: Simple and unconstructed.
Vogue 9150: Simple and relaxed outline.
New Look 6301: More narrow knit wrap styles.
BS-11-2008-118: An elevated T-shirt dress option (though this could go quite casual as well).
McCall’s 7591: Very relaxed wrap style dress.  Depending on fabric this could be beachy casual or evening elegance. 
BS-06-2008-131: Knit wrap for the Burda Plus sizes.
BS-05-2015-128B: Simple, and fairly narrow for a maxi dress.
BS-01-2016-133: Unconstructed T-shirt style.
BS-07-2016-127: Coat/wrap style for the Burda Plus crowd.
BS-03-2017-123B: We saw this pattern earlier; notice how fabric choice really changes it from a Level 1 to Level 2.
BS-02-2018-127: Softly tailored with an open neckline and narrow shape.
BS-04-2016-115: Simple T-shirt dress with unconstructed style.
Burda 6773: Another simple style that is very relaxed in the fit.
BS-08-2014-131: Two piece dropped waist that reads as elongated and relaxed.

Level 3: The Level 3 styles are a bit harder to find – I was often excluding gowns that were too wide or too detailed.  I also dipped a bit into Kibbe’s Evening recommendations to make my selections here.

BS-04-2012-103C: Simple, narrow, with an open neckline.  With the right styling it would be one of those stunning, yet simple looks.
Burda 6362: In a sparkly knit this blouson style would be quite elegant.
BS-01-2012-114: Relaxed outline, simple shape, with bare shoulders and a hem to just below the knee.
BS-06-2017-110: Relaxed and unconstructed.
BS-09-2018-101: T-shirt dress goes glam.
Burda 6447: A great Burda Plus wrap dress option.  Depending on fabric, this pattern would work at all levels.
BS-10-2015-131B: Simple, narrow, and unconstructed.  Very elegant for a Natural.
BS-10-2015-131A: The same dress, but at cocktail length.
Burda 6779: View A lets exquisite fabric be used to create a fancy dress with a relaxed fit.

Evening Wear: Simple shapes with easy fits. Minimal detail. Bare necklines and shoulders. Smooth to slightly plush fabrics. Glitzy fabrics. Metallics. Bare sheaths. Strapless gowns with stoles and flings. Jersey cocktail dresses. Evening sweater-dresses with glitz. Evening sarongs. Evening separates (blouses, skirts, pants). Evening pants.

It was a bit tricky to find evening looks to fit all of the criteria, but I think there are a few decent options.

Butterick 5987: As drawn it may be a bit voluminous, but I imagine in real fabric it may create a more narrow silhouette.  I would call it simple and easy, with an open neckline/bare shoulders.
Burda Classic 2013 #0013A: Simple shape, bare shoulders, bare sheath gown.
Burda 7698: Simple shape, easy fit.
BS-12-2005-105: Open neckline/shoulders with a stole.  Easy fit and simple shape to the gown.
BS-12-2006-110A: Very simple silhouette.  Minimal detail and bare shoulders.
BS-03-2012-105: More simple shapes and bare shoulders.
Burda Plus F/W 2016 #419: Stoles and flings are good add ons.
BS-12-2011-117: Another stole option.
BS-12-2011-128: A fun unconstructed stole.
Simplicity 8291: Simple shapes, open necklines.
Burda 6939: View A would be a great simple strapless gown.
Burda 6994: Simple, with an open neckline and easy fit.  (Yes another pattern on my made it list.)
Vogue 1474: Simple shape, open neckline, smooth fabric, easy fit.
New Look 6551: Another smooth, simple gown.
BS-07-2015-129B: A fun glitzy gown for the Burda Plus crowd.

Wow!  There were a lot of options for the Kibbe Natural, especially from Burda.  Burda (as we have seen) drafts lots of patterns for every type, but they really like the styles that suit a Natural Style ID.  Personally I think it is partly because unconstructed styles are a bit easier to draft, construct, and fit, but also because it seems to be part of the Burda aesthetic.  I even had to narrow down my options a bit to contain this post to manageable lengths, and I still think I found way more options than I did for some of the other IDs.  According to Style Syntax, Naturals most easily dress in Level 1 because of the unconstructed fit of the clothes, but I think many of these patterns could work at any level depending on fabric choice and styling.

As a note on Naturals: Kibbe mentioned for several categories that “anything goes,” and even for the skirts he allowed super short styles when the overall look is generally considered to be slightly elongated, which we did not see in any of his other style IDs.  While I tried to stick to the explicit recommendations, that “anything goes” approach really meant that I could have included a lot of looks we’d seen for the other four IDs (but didn’t to preserve my own sanity).  I think this is interesting to note because a majority of the 90s era super models are confirmed Kibbe Naturals of some subtype.  The modeling industry is dominated by this Style ID (along with Dramatics) because they can look good in so many clothes, and because the taller Style IDs have a long vertical line that is more similar to the exaggerated croquis that most designers use.  That doesn’t really impact us much as home sewers, but I thought it was interesting and worthy of note.

Anyway, at this point we have seen all 5 base types of Kibbe’s system, so we should have a fairly good understanding of what makes each base type different.  When we compare Naturals to the other Style IDs, the uniqueness certainly comes in their need for unconstructed styles.  However, their elongated line is somewhat shared with the Dramatics (though no where as severe in the tailoring), the soft smoothness of the fabrics comes from the Romantic side of the spectrum, their need for simplicity is much in common with Classics, just as their success with separates is shared with Gamines.  I think understanding overlap can be good to help understand the continuum that is Kibbe’s spectrum, and why his system is self-contained and complete – drawing out the ven diagram of what “works” for each type really does cover all possible combinations, as we will see when we delve into subtypes.

Speaking of subtypes, we are finally there!  I’m excited to look at how extra doses of yin and yang influence the styles that can work for Kibbe’s subtype IDs.  Before we get there though, I wanted to highlight some of the interesting discussions in the comments on these posts, and I am planning on doing an “interlude” post before we move on.  With luck that will come up later this week.

Coming Next Week: We’ve covered all of the base types and are ready to move on the subtypes.  To keep things fair, I’m going to circle back around and repeat in the order we used to look at the base types, so we’ll be starting off our exploration of subtypes with Kibbe’s Soft Dramatic!

37 thoughts on “Sew Your Kibbe: Natural

  1. Fantastic review! So fascinating. I am not a true type or even a true subtype, but a mix of 3: 50% Classic with equal influences of both Dramatic and Natural. I find that I can wear something from each category, slightly modified. When I worked as a bank auditor, I dressed more to the Dramatic side of Classic, and felt perfectly comfortable. Now that I work at home, I dress mostly Classic with a nod to Natural in things like textures and separates.

    Oh and an interesting point: I do not find my type especially appealing. I just accept that I look best in Classic styles. If I could choose one I would be a Romantic Natural, if there is such a thing. I am an old hippie at heart, and to me the most beautiful clothes are long flowing dresses and bell bottoms and embroidered coats with floppy hats. I mention this because some of your commenters have said that they have an instant affinity with their Kibbe type (or instant dislike of other types) and that was not the case for me.

    Thank you again for this great series, I’m really enjoying it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kibbe doesn’t do thing like “Romantic Natural” but I know that the Truth is Beauty blog does. She basically views everyone as a combination of types, whereas Kibbe views the types as distinct positions on the yin/yang scale.

      I don’t think resistance to your type is uncommon – I will be briefly addressing this in my upcoming interlude post. I also think it’s possible to add your own layer of personal preference on top of Kibbe’s advice. Although “Romantic Hippie” and Dramatic Classic don’t really go together intuitively, with some creativity I think you could find a way to make it work if that’s what you really love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I like that blog, that may be where I got that idea. I don’t even know if there is a type that can wear a draped maxi dress or a crocheted top with distressed jeans and look equally good in both (other than a model).

        So yes I have come up with a few ways to cheat – mostly by using non-Classic fabrics in Classic shapes, but occasionally in other ways too. That is one of best parts about being able to make our own versions of things. I just try to only break one Classic “rule” at a time, otherwise it looks like I borrowed clothes from several different people.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I picture a Dramatic Classic who’s a hippie at heart rocking a ‘displaced Russian noblewoman fleeing the Revolution’ kind of vibe. Lavish embroidery, silks, velvets and furs. Frockcoats and riding boots. Gorgeous jewelry, even with a casual outfit.

      …but I’m a Natural who’d love to be Dramatic without looking like I’m playing dress up…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay so many fabulous options. This is definitely my type. Thank you so many many wonderful ideas. It seems like those years of stashing burdas was a good idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Huh. I’d thought for sure that I was a natural subtype, but now I’m second guessing. Mostly because I’m not much of a rectangle– I was actually fairly hourglass before the kids came along, and lean more toward a pear now. And I’ve never felt that dropped waist styles suit me that well. That being said, a lot of the color/ print recommendations sound a lot like what I gravitate toward anyway, I like that there’s lots of jeans and separates, and I did spot a couple of the New Look patterns that I added to my collection this year. So I guess I’ll have to wait and see what effect the subtypes have!

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    1. You may find the Soft Natural subtype to be quite suitable – I also wrote off Natural at first because the idea of unconstructed styles, dropped waists, and rectangular length were such the opposite of everything I thought looked good on me. With Soft Natural, because of the extra curves, waist definition is Kibbe’s number one most critical aspect to an outfit, and the key distinction of this subtype from the main type. It’s not quite so cinched-in-hourglass as a Romantic or Theatrical Romantic, but the extra yin softness does create the need for more shaping and definition than with the plain Natural. I feel like I’ve had the same thoughts about the shape of my own body (not the before/after kids part, but the hourglass/pear shape part), and I’m pretty sure I’m in the Soft Natural camp. I won’t be getting to the Natural subtypes for a while (I’m going to cycle back through in the same order as the main types), but I will say that the subtypes do add some really helpful modifications that make things really work in a way that doesn’t quite fit in the main types.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This is an interesting insight! I have a sneaking suspicion, from the body type descriptors, that I’m more of a natural, but have always found that I look and feel terrible in rectangle, unstructured, or drop waist styles. The clothes I do feel most comfortable and myself in fall more into the soft classic category (at least I think so – will see if I’m correct soon!), but maybe I will also pay attention to the soft natural category! Definitely need some waist in my clothes choices.

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      2. I think the main difference between Soft Natural and Soft Classic is the underlying bone structure. If you are more solid and blunt then it would be Soft Natural, but if you are more moderately delicate it would be Soft Classic. I thought I was a Soft Classic at first, but I’m now pretty sure I’m Soft Natural because I need slightly more freedom in my clothes. I think these two types can be hard to differentiate because of the softness, but the styles are definitely distinct. Hopefully one of them resonates with you when we get there!


  4. So glad for this post to get a nice visual feel for what Natural means. I think I have been misunderstanding Kibbe’s term of “narrow” as fitted. The patterns here are an interesting mix. Some of them I am very drawn to (and have) and others are things that I likely wouldn’t wear at first glance. I found the skirt shapes and lengths to be interesting. The ones with the slightly flared hems below the knee were some of my favorites as I have always preferred a skirt with some movement in lieu of straight styles, and these feel very 30s, as did some of the evening gown styles. I will say that there is a definite feel of comfort to the Natural styles and since that tends to be one of my primary considerations, I think I should spend some more time picking through the patterns you have highlighted here for options. I never have spent much time looking at Burda patterns for some reason, but probably should give them more attention.

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    1. I find Kibbe’s terminology to be oddly precise, but in such a way that it can sometimes come off as confusing. I think because he is constantly using “unconstructed” to describe a Natural, I needed to find clothes that had minimal design elements and movement to them. I imagine “narrow” to be visually narrow, but not “tailored,” which I would take to meaning closely fitted and structured. As I mentioned in the conclusion, Kibbe gives Naturals a much wider tolerance than most other types, which is why they are the stereotypical image of a 90s era super model – they look good in a lot of clothes! I think this is why I was able to pull such wildly different styles for them within the context of the recommendations. Comfort and ease are definitely two words I would associate with this type; very different from the other Kibbe style IDs so far.

      Also, yes, check out Burda! I love their patterns so much, the drafting is beautiful and I always get a great fit. The envelope patterns have decent instructions too, and include seam allowances, if you are used to using Big4 patterns. The magazine patterns take a little getting used to, but are totally worth it if you like a design.

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  5. Wow, naturals get all the fun! Although I’m pretty sure I fit the dramatic classic category best, I’ve spent most of my life wearing natural clothes and they look pretty good too. Maybe not stunning like the cd clothes do, but better for a casual look. There is clearly quite a bit of overlap between these categories, and I’m planning to mix and match as I see fit.

    I think for me the main advantage of knowing my type will be too hopefully reduce the chance of utterly failed sewing projects. It’s so horrible when you’ve spent all that time on something and it just looks meh (Or worse) on you.

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  6. Another tour de force of inspiration! Seems like I’d fit into this category somewhat as well. All these pattern images (and they codes – thank you for that) make it easier to get the idea of the category. That light jacket up top – BS-2003-03-109A – I’ve adored since you posted your make of it, and I now own the issue (plus a number of others from ebay from that decade, I think I have a problem and may need an intervention…lol) The hard part now is to find the right fabric for it.

    In case anyone would like to know (I feel like I’m giving away my favorite fishing spot…) there is a seller on Etsy who has a lot of Burda back issues. I’ve purchased 3 from her now, and have my eye on about 6 others… I’m so ashamed.

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    1. I’m going to talk about this more in an upcoming post, but some style IDs can steal more easily from others; Dramatic and Natural are two of those types, because of the long vertical line. I will go in more depth later this week! 🙂

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    1. I think Natural style can be a bit all over the place because there are multiple categories where Kibbe basically says “it all looks good!” Essentially, if a Natural wears a sweater and pants they are going to look on point. 😂

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  7. Just had another thought (since apparently I’m going to avoid work and just obsess about this all week). I typed myself based on how I looked in my 30s, rather than how I look today as I approach 60. If I tried to do it today, with my body and face becoming blunt rectangles due to both gravity and hormones, I would guess I was a pure Natural. That would be okay, but it wouldn’t be my best style based on underlying bone structure and features.

    What do you think about age as a factor in the Kibbe types?

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    1. I don’t think your type changes as you age, but I do think it is easier to type in the late 20s-50s. As sewists, I think we are more aware than most how much a body changes over time, but I don’t think a Kibbe type does. In my next post I will cover this a bit more, but I think of the whole thing as a spectrum. So it’s possible with age you may shift slightly on that position within your type and be able to pull more from a neighboring type. If you were Soft Natural, you’d still be Soft Natural, but you might pull more from the looks that more closely overlap with pure Natural instead of the more waist emphasizing looks that make the Soft Natural subtype distinct.


  8. Once again, Thank you for all the work you are putting into this series. I had never heard of David Kibbe before your first post. It is fascinating.

    Its seems I am a Natural, but with the occasional shift to Classic and Dramatic. The way I live now, I dress almost entirely Natural, but when I worked in the corporate world I dressed as a Classic, and waaay back in the day when I would go clubbing, I dressed Dramatic. Once again, I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

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  9. This is so helpful to SEE what works for the types in today’s fashion aesthetic rather than stuck in the 80s. . i do have some of these patterns. They look so comfy! I definitely do not have these long lines but have wished for them. I tend to dress in my every day for comfort rather than fashion as I am always in pain from an autoimmune disease plus years of running after kids. Other patterns here would swallow me alive. Looking forward to your upcoming subtypes. I too would be interested in how to incorporate types with age. Nearly all the over 50 sites and bloggers tend toward natural, classic, dramatic and be sure to incorporate leopard! With advice to stay away from all the feminine things I love as that makes you look dated…:/ At the same time I don’t wish to be my 20 something daughters either. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I have tried to incorporate styles that would suit all ages to the best of my ability, though since I am a bit younger my aesthetic is leaning that way at the moment. I also feel the pattern companies style things a bit younger as well. I think Romantic and Gamine can still dress the to Kibbe recommendations as they age though. It may feel more “Classic,” but it will just be relative to their starting point. For example, an older Natural may choose to completely ignore the short skirt options suggested by Kibbe, or the silhouette may get slightly wider or more unconstructed with age. In the same way a mother of the bride dress for a romantic likely won’t be a sweeping ball gown, but it would still have soft, delicate details and likely be made from delicate chiffon or other floaty fabric. I will consider adding this to my growing list of Kibbe blog topics to explore after I get through all the subtypes though.


  10. Continuing to love and appreciate this series. Am a little baffled as to where I fall on the Kibbe spectrum. I’m tallish (5′ 7″ or 170cm), have an hourglass figure, thick hair, largish feet and clearly defined facial features. None of the sub-types seem to cover this combination. Guessing this will become clearer with the combination types. I will re-read all the posts so far, it’s entirely possible I’ve missed something.

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    1. I’m also 5’7” so I get why that’s a tricky height to deal with in Kibbe. I’ve heard people says it’s not height, but appearance of height that’s more important; for me people always guess I’m about 5’7” in real life (though apparently I look shorter in photos… but my photographer also shoots at an angle, so….🤷🏻‍♀️), so that would leave me on the Dramatic/Natural/Classic side of the scale because I look my real height. Hourglass figure seems to indicate a Soft subtype (I also have this), so I would guess Soft Dramatic or Soft Natural. The defined facial features would further suggest Soft Dramatic to me; the larger feet would also fit in with a Dramatic type, and thicker hair is also on the yang side of the spectrum. It’s hard to say entirely; I’m not an expert on typing, but based on the description that’s my best guess. I like Merriam Style’s YouTube videos where she types celebrity examples because she breaks down the features into skeletal and flesh, as well as body and face to show how she arrives at a conclusion. Anyway, Soft Dramatic and Dramatic Classic (two strong contenders) should be up soon, so hopefully that will help! Soft Natural will be near the end of the series.

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  11. This is fascinating, thank you – and I’ve added so many Burda patterns to my ‘to-sew’ list. I’m also curious about some of the translations – why is it that some of the Burda patterns are described as ‘dress with a smell’?! This had me giggling away while I was reading.

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  12. I am relieved to find that the clothes that I like the most are the best fit for my structure. I have a question about sewing an oversized shirt for the Kibbe soft natural essence. I have a very flat bottom, and I find sometimes that the back of the shirt scoops in under my bum. I am wondering what adjustments to make to that the shirt falls straight down the back instead? I really would like a flannelette shirt because they are so cozy, but it is difficult to get “drapery” flannelette. Also, I love the “plaid” in flannelette, but wondering if small or large patter is best, or if it is better to do a single colour? I really appreciate your tips and wisdom, this is such a great website-thank you!


    1. So, I think the plaid sizing is probably up to personal preference; I think the bigger scale can work on a Natural (they are yang dominant after all), but within Kibbe’s recommendations I think the goal would be to avoid having something too bold and dramatic or too cute feeling. Because plaid is already tending towards yang through the straight lines, this will probably be conveyed more through the colors and scale in the plaid than anything else (for example, I can imagine a tiny pink and white check will read very different than a large scale yellow and black pattern). Also, I think that it is important to remember that Kibbe is focused on the whole outfit and not as much on individual pieces (even though he provides recommendations for them), so I would think that using flannelette would work just fine. In terms of the fitting issues, you may need to consider raising or lowering the hem so that it hangs at a different point on the body, or possibly adjusting the hip width on the pattern? Alternatively, if the issue is the flannelette sticking to other fabrics, maybe try doing a faced hem in a cotton or something that won’t stick to other fabrics as easily to avoid the clingage?


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