A few weeks back I wrote a post about modifications to the Kibbe system, but today I thought we could look at alternatives to the Kibbe Image IDs.
There are several other style systems out there, not the least of which include Dressing Your Truth, Truth is Beauty, David Zyla, and Fantastical Beauty. All of these have some aspects that relate to the ideas of Kibbe’s work, though many also have a completely different starting basis. Interestingly, it seems that many people find one system works for them better than another, which Style Syntax wrote about recently. While I can’t say I recommend attempting to “mix” these systems (they are all created to be complete and independent of each other), I do think it is interesting to note what similarities they may or may not share.
Dressing Your Truth
Dressing Your Truth seems to be the most popular system at the moment; it focuses more on your clothes displaying your energy rather than discerning body lines and shapes. To be blunt, I’ve never had much luck completely understanding it myself. I’m aware there are a lot of tutorials and videos available, and while I think I’m some sort of a 2/4 or 4/2 mix, I always tend to lose interest before completely doing a deep dive and end up returning to the Kibbe recommendations for myself. Perhaps it is just because Kibbe’s more general recommendations allow me to imagine a more personalized wardrobe, or maybe I just prefer his positive and encouraging tone to Carol Tuttle’s which I tend to find a bit off-putting for some reason, but either way I feel more comfortable in Kibbe’s system and a bit stifled by DYT. Probably just a personal preference, as I’ve had several blog commenters indicating how DYT really helped them, but I just can’t get too excited by this system, so I’m unlikely to do too much of a deep dive of it here on the blog.
Zyla’s system is probably the hardest to understand or DIY. Essentially he looks at your coloring and body and comes up with a Style ID for you. Much like Kibbe, he is a trained professional stylist, and his system makes sense to him. While people tend to try and guess their type based on the information on the internet, there doesn’t seem to be a great way to understand this without paying for a consultation. He does have a few books on color, styles, and shopping though. Regardless, his system does seem to produce interesting results, and his credentials are definitely up to snuff, so he’s worth checking out.
Truth is Beauty
Truth is Beauty is a system that Kibbe fans tend to bash on a bit. Because she uses the same terminology as Kibbe (Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine, and Romantic), there is a clear lineage there. However, she also adds an “Ethereal” ID, and says that a person can be a combination of up to 3 of these types, with different percentage values. This system comes directly from the clothes, but is focused on how they interact with the face. I think this helps take the essences discussed earlier (ethereal and ingenue) into account in a stronger way than some of the other systems, but also very much breaks from Kibbe’s original idea that you find your starring role and run with it. Additionally, whereas Kibbe’s subtypes really all feel distinct or unique, here the mixed types are able to use direct elements from each of the base types. While I do read and enjoy the content of her blog, and even got a few of her guides early on in my research, I have to say I’ve fallen away from using this style system and have been much more focused on Kibbe’s recommendations. I was much more interested in this system when I thought I was a Soft Classic, but really couldn’t find a comfortable fit in the Soft Classic recommendations. Now that I’ve been using the Soft Natural suggestions from Kibbe I find I don’t need to look elsewhere to make things “fit” me anymore.
Finally, Fantastical Beauty is a system developed by Kati L. Moore. She uses an interesting combination of a grid of body shapes (straighter, medium, or curvy) and facial features (angular, medium, and soft). You can have any combination of the body or face, leading to 9 main fantasy types. Each of these has several subtypes, and, added to that, there are animal familiars that can further modify the style. While it is possible that many of these types can have an overlap with Kibbe’s types (and the basis of straight vs. curved lines is similar), there isn’t a direct correlation. I find this system interesting, but a bit complex once all of the subtypes and familiars are added in. Perhaps it’s similar to the way that Olga’s Ethereals are applied on top of the Kibbe IDs; modifications to the base style to really individualize it. It’s also a bit tricky to DIY, as the majority of information is available in several for-purchase guidebooks. Which is great if you already know your type, but a bit cost-prohibitive if you are trying to explore/understand the whole system. Often the subtypes are listed, but it isn’t really clear how or why someone might be a subtype, or how they might know what their familiar might be. Her blog offers some clues, but this Pinterest Page seems quite helpful in discerning the types and subtypes. I’m definitely curious to see how this system develops over time, and I love the fantasy theme, but as yet it’s a bit hard to explain it in its entirety.
And that’s it! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these systems, or if you know of any other alternative style systems, and if you found them helpful, either in addition to, or in place of the Kibbe system. Feel free to leave any of your other thoughts in the comments!