The Two-Thirds Rule: The Ideal Outfit Formula for Petites and Kibbe Classics

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The Two-Thirds Rule: The Ideal Outfit Formula for Petites and Kibbe Classics


Capsule Wardrobe, Wardrobe /

This post may contain links to shops that I regularly support and am affiliated with. Read my About Page or my Disclaimer for more information.

Use the Two-Thirds Rule to Visually Create Length and a Graceful Appearance

The Two-Thirds dressing rule is one of the best (IMO) styling tips for Petites! It’s also a great rule to follow for Gamine, Classic, and Romantic Kibbe body types who would like to appear more streamlined. Dressing any of these body types may seem daunting at first, but there are some general styling rules that work across the board. The style tip I’m sharing today would be applicable to just about every Kibbe Body ID. Naturals and Dramatics can also benefit from this outfit formula! They will just appear more striking than they already naturally do since those body IDs have an overall vertically elongated appearance.

Don’t know about the Kibbe Body ID system? I’d recommend reading my Capsule Wardrobe Based on Your Kibbe Body Type Guide to get started.

An Easier Way to Create Flattering Outfits for Kibbe Classics, Gamines, and Romantics

David Kibbe outlines quite a few styling tips for each of the body ID categories. Personally, I find some of his guidelines a little ambiguous or outdated since it was written in the 1980s. I believe that the Two-Thirds outfit rule can help simplify things. Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed!

As someone whose “fashion safety zone” is a monochrome outfit, I would consider the Two-Third outfit rule just a slightly more intermediate styling tip that is just as easy to replicate. Most likely, you can start creating outfits today using items you already own.

At the heart of this simple outfit formula is the goal of creating a dominant vertical line using colour. If you are a Soft Classic, Soft Natural, Soft Gamine, or Romantic Kibbe body type, you should also aim to accentuate your waist a little. You want to maintain your soft hourglass shape. Dramatic-leaning body types (ie: Soft Dramatics, Dramatics, Flamboyant Naturals, Flamboyant Classics, or Flamboyant Gamines) can pull off this look with little or no waist emphasis. But for the Romantic-leaning body types this ends up looking frumpy, sloppy, or poorly oversized.

At the heart of this simple outfit formula is the goal of creating a dominant vertical line using colour.

The Two-Third Outfit Formula

So how do you create a dominant vertical line using colour? It’s easy! Start with one garment that will vertically occupy about 2/3rds of your body (ie: dress, midi or maxi skirt, trousers, or jeans). Then, combine this with a piece that will vertically occupy about 1/3rd of your body (ie: knee-high boots, a cropped sweater, a tucked-in blouse, etc.) Use skin-coloured heels* if the remaining 1/3rd part of your outfit involves your bare ankles. (Keep scrolling for a more in-depth overview on this concept of using your exposed skin.)

Don’t have a single item that occupies about 2/3rds of your vertical height? No problem! Use two garments in the same or similar colour to achieve the same effect. For example, a black top and a black pencil skirt. Again, curvy body types should make sure their outfit is fitted at the waist. Tip: Baggy garments can always be belted to cinch in the waist.

*This is your skin tone, not necessarily beige.

Tips for success:

Try a midi dress

The easiest way to pull this look off is with a midi-length dress. Look for a dress that vertically occupies 2/3rds of your body starting from your collarbone down. Here are a few examples from when I was pregnant. Yes, the 2/3rds rule can work even if you’re pregnant!

Use your skin

Don’t forget that exposed skin can work as part of the vertical line! If your bare legs and/or ankles are showing, opt for footwear that isn’t far off from your skin tone. Better yet, a pair of pointed or almond-toe shoes that match your skin tone. Skirts, shorts, or trousers in a shade similar to your complexion pair perfectly with an exposed midriff or bare legs. This trick is super helpful in the warmer months.

Pair items of the same or similar colour

Here are three more examples of the two-third outfit formula. Notice that there are two pieces in very similar colours working together to create a dominant colour that vertically occupies approximately 2/3rds of the body. In the first outfit, I’ve paired a light stone-coloured blouse with a pleated champagne skirt. Burnt orange and deep amber with a small print visually tie together into a taller vertical column in the second outfit. And in the third outfit, I paired navy tennis shoes with high-waisted dark denim (the contrasting socks do break up the vertical line though!)

More Examples of Soft Classic Outfits

Take a look at these outfit example photos for even more inspiration on the Two-Thirds dressing rule. And for even more Kibbe Soft Classic outfit Inspiration, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and check out my board Kibbe Body ID – Soft Classic Outfits.

Note that the bloggers, models, and celebrities in these aren’t necessarily a Kibbe Soft Classic body type. Please reference their outfits only. These photos belong to their respectful owners. If any of these photos belong to you, please contact me so that I can credit you.

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