Are You a Kibbe Soft Classic?
I’ve been on a bit of a Kibbe Body ID research kick. Knowing what Kibbe category I fall into has been immensely helpful! But it took me about 2 months to confirm that I was a Soft Classic myself. For whatever reason, there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of info out there on the Soft Classic body type!
So this week, I’m sharing all of the Soft Classic body research that I’ve done. If you are struggling to type yourself, I hope that this article is helpful.
Starting with David Kibbe-verified celebrities can help you spot physical attribute patterns. I’ve tried to include photos that show Soft Classic celebrities bodies as they naturally are. (AKA: no corsets, no major plastic surgery.)
Next, I’m going to run through the common physical traits of a Soft Classic to help you further narrow things down. And lastly, a list of bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers to follow who I believe are Soft Classic or serve Soft Classic outfit inspiration.
Old Hollywood Examples of Soft Classics
Grace Kelly – This old Hollywood star later became the Princess of Monaco when she married into a Royal Family. You can see that Grace displays a balanced blend of angularity (Yang) with supple fleshiness (Yin), especially in her legs. Even though she appears to have a low body fat percentage her shoulder caps are rounded, not hard-edged and angular. Her overall appearance is balanced, and no one feature sticks out more than the others, which is true of most Classics.
I also want to draw attention to Grace’s waist. Keep in mind that old Hollywood stars typically wore corsets for public appearances and filming, as was the look in those days. So I tried to find photos of Grace where she doesn’t seem to be wearing a corset. A Soft Classic won’t have a super cinched, wasp-like waist like Romantics do. The waist will gradually, not dramatically, slope inward. In the below photos, you get an idea of Grace’s natural waist.
Note: David Kibbe had previously categorized Grace Kelly as a ‘Pure Classic’. But he has since removed the ‘Pure Classic’ catagory.
Olivia de Havilland – another old Hollywood star. Olivia is the perfect example of a Soft Classic. You can see the balanced blend of yin/yang or softness/angularity clearly in her arms and shoulders. That delicate yet fleshy upper arm combined with a rounded shoulder cap is a common trait of Soft Classics. The same soft, fleshiness is echoed in her upper legs, lower stomach, and hips while her other features are delicate and slightly sharp.
Olivia has an “average” looking face, which is typical of Soft Classics: very symmetrical and pretty with balanced proportions of her facial features. Note her full cheeks, rounded eyes, and delicate chin. Her overall essence is demure and graceful.
Modern Soft Classic Celebrities
Lupita Nyong’o – a modern film star who embodies the grace, grounded stature, and gentle allure of Soft Classics. Lupita is not only beautiful, she also has a signature twist on feminine dressing that I think all Soft Classics should take note of. If you are a Classic but shy away from bold color or sculptural shapes, take note of what she wears and the accessories she incorporates.
Note Lupita’s soft hourglass shape, large eyes, delicate chin, and overall refined essence.
Dakota Johnson – Perhaps a more modern version of Olivia de Havilland.
I wanted to include some photos of Dakota because when I was struggling to Kibbe-type myself, someone suggested I take a look at her. The swimsuit photos of her were especially helpful since you can clearly see that her body is a blended combination of angularity and fleshy curves. Even though Dakota is quite trim, she still has softness to her upper arms, lower stomach, and thighs. Her waist is tiny, though it tapers in gradually.
In the last photo, notice that the dark lipstick on Dakota doesn’t flatter her face in the same way that the red lipstick on the left does. David Kibbe recommends that Soft Classics stick to “watercolor-like” makeup: soft, blended, and not in high contrast with the skin. Dramatic Classics, on the other hand, can rock high contrast lipstick and bold eye looks quite well.
More Celebrity Soft Classics:
- Grace Kelly *
- Constance Bennett *
- Donna Reed *
- Naomi Watts *
- Veronica Lake *
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Maryl Streep
- Olivia de Havilland
- Carolina Herrera
* David Kibbe verified.
- Saoirse Ronan
- Jessica Chastain
- Marion Cotillard
- Emma Thompson
- Dakota Johnson
- Emily Blunt
- Dita Von Teese **
** Dita has modified her body, including waist training. Her natural figure is more likely a Soft Natural. However, her modified body could be used as a Soft Classic reference.
The Soft Classic’s Appearance:
I like to think of Soft Classics as gentle hourglasses. They have more curves than a Gamine, but more angularity than a Romantic. Another way to think of a Soft Classic is a streamlined hourglass. Some may struggle to differentiate between Romantics and Classics, but a tendency towards a trim, slightly muscular middle torso that gradually builds out to womanly curves points to the Classic body types. Evenly proportioned shoulders and hips with an average-to-full bust and fleshy bottom, complete their silhouettes.
The appearance of a Soft Classic is moderate curves that gradually blend into slight angularity. They will have an overall harmonious appearance to their face and body, with no feature appearing obviously disproportionate.
Common Traits of a Soft Classic:
- A naturally defined waist.
This is not a cinched-in wasp-waist, like Sofia Lauren. It’s a more subtle, gentle hourglass silhouette. The waist will slope gradually in and may have an elongated or slightly muscular appearance. You may also find it’s easy to keep a trim waist or build upper abs. It is possible to be short-waisted and be a Soft Classic too.
- Slightly fleshy, ‘feminine’ upper arms.
You may find this is the most stubborn area to lose fat from, no matter how much you work out! Even the thinnest of soft classics will still have a little volume on their upper arms.
- Rounded shoulder caps.
Shoulders are not sharp no matter how much muscle is gained or weight is lost. Your shoulder cap is the padded area on the outside edge of your shoulder, where a jacket’s shoulder pad would typically sit.
- Shoulders and hips are about the same width; unless overweight.
A soft classic won’t have prominently wide shoulders. But they may have more width in the lower half of the body, especially if holding extra padding.
- You may categorize yourself as a Pear or an Hourglass.
You may have even been torn whether you were in fact a pear or an hourglass. In reality, a Soft Classic was a much better description of your physique.
- Fleshy upper thighs and a full bottom.
The volume here balances out our fleshy arms and potentially full bust. Thus leading to, you guessed it, a gentle hourglass shape!
- About average height.
Soft Classics are neither super petite nor amazonian tall.
- Conventionally pretty face.
This is more an observation than a widely circulated fact. But having a “conventionally pretty” face may come down to the blended and symmetrically balanced appearance that Soft Classics are characterized by. Our eyes interpret physical symmetry as attractive. Thus, Soft Classics tend to have an “Editorial” friendly face, rather than a “Runway” face. (Or, if those fashion references didn’t make sense, an “average/common-looking” face rather than a “pronounced/unique-looking” face.)
Of course, all Kibbe types are beautiful! This is only a note about facial symmetry and is not meant to insinuate that other face types can’t be attractive. In fact, most models and famous actresses don’t have perfectly symmetrical faces. (And neither do I!)
- Delicate wrists with average to small hands.
Soft Classics won’t have large or long hands, though they may be slightly broad through the palms. Wrists are typically tapered in and will be noticeably smaller than the rest of the forearm.
- Natural Elegance.
Despite their common stature, Soft Classics are quietly captivating. They are described as “the refined lady.” Even SC’s who embrace a more edgy or androgynous look will undoubtedly have a feminine and refined vibe to their appearance.
The above generalizations and observations are only to help narrow down your own categorization. It’s possible to be missing one or two of the above traits and still be a Soft Classic–so long as your overall presentation is balanced and delicately curvey, with a cohesive blend of fleshiness and angularity, and a noticeably graceful essence.
Bloggers and Social Media Examples of Soft Classics
Note that none of the following bloggers or social media influencers are verified Kibbe Soft Classics. But looking at their physique, I believe they may be.
Browsing their photos and videos, you will begin to notice that some outfits feel natural on these ladies, while others draw too much attention away. Seeing what works and what doesn’t work is a great learning tool!
Shirin Altsohn – A vintage fashion lover who serves loads of pretty, classic, and timeless looks. I believe Shirin is also a Soft Classic herself because she has all the traits of one: elegant essence, symmetrically pretty face, gentle hourglass figure, fullness in the upper arms and bottom, and she’s 5’7″, though most guess that she’s shorter. Though her fashion aesthetic is aimed at “vintage” looks, these outfits provide countless templates for shapes, silhouettes, fabrics, designs, and accessories that are highly flattering to a Soft Classic.
Audrey Coyne – she flaunts many ‘traditional’ and work-appropriate Soft Classic looks. I like Audrey’s outfit styling and she’s a great reference of outfits that really suite the Soft Hourglass body type.
Natalie Milakara – if you’re here, you should know that I am a Soft Classic! Plus I make tons of content relating to dressing for your body type, building long-lasting wardrobes, and shopping sustainably.
Dearly Bethany – a minimalist and capsule wardrobe enthusiast. Her YouTube channel is a great learning tool for dressing better and shopping smarter. However, Bethany rarely wears true Soft Classic styles. Instead, she embraces lines and silhouettes better suited to a Soft Dramatic. Just keep that in mind as you are browsing.
Clarke Peoples – I first stumbled upon Clarke’s TikTok video showing outfits she styled for her corporate job. I instantly fell in love with her sophisticated looks. This video specifically is spot-on if you’re looking for modern, elegant, and universally flattering Soft Classic styling.
Mary Orton – I was on the fence about whether to include Mary since I really don’t think she is a Soft Classic. (I’m leaning towards Dramatic Classic… structural, minimalist pieces really work on her.) But (!) she serves heaps of gorgeous Soft Classic outfit inspiration! Browse her Office Style or 30 Dresses archives on Memorandum for all kinds of looks to flatter your soft hourglass figure. Also, Mary is just a funny, vivacious, and charismatic personality to follow. So check her out regardless!
General style tip: If the outfit is so distracting that you can’t see the person behind the clothes, then it’s most likely not the most flattering look. The best outfits look like a natural extension of the person and won’t compete with their face.
Outfit Inspiration for Soft Classics
Dressing a Soft Classic can be difficult when you’re not sure where to start! The above bloggers are a great source of inspiration but … a) they don’t always dress in outfits best suited to Soft Classics and b) their style may not resonate with you.
As an alternative source of Soft Classic outfit inspiration, I’ve started a Pinterest board. Please check out my Soft Classic Outfit Inspiration board and be sure to follow me on Pinterest for even more pins like this!