Male Kibbe Types

I know at least one person wants to see these, so here we go. 😉

The same principle applies to men as women, in terms of what Kibbe means by “yang” (angularity) and “yin” (softness) to the bones and flesh. I am using classic and modern celebrities, because he did not have enough examples of either one to create an “only” Classic Actors version (boo!).

Because the male bone structure is different from the female, a lot of the male examples and types have more “width” than the females. You may see this in the photos, especially if you Google search the actors for more examples (which I recommend doing, if you want to learn identifiers).

Dramatic (Extreme Yang)

These men have very long vertical lines; they look tall, they are tall, or they look much taller than they actually are. Their bones are long and narrow, with a lot of angular edges to them. Their shoulders are “sharp” (think of a square piece of paper’s edge). They have very angular, long features and musculature on their arms and legs. You’ll see on the above examples (Errol Flynn, Charlton Heston, and Benedict Cumberbatch, although Kibbe also uses Daniel Craig) how their features are all similarly “thin” – their eyes are narrow, their noses are long, their lips are thin and wide, and the flesh on their face stays taut even with weight gain. If you Google photos of them shirtless, you will see their shoulders are often sloped and angular, and the muscularity on their chest is longer and less “athletic” than the Natural.

Clothing-wise, male Dramatics need to keep their lines unbroken. They look good in head to toe colors, since they have long vertical lines. They need long, wide coats and straight pant legs. They can wear oversized things without it dwarfing them — doing so actually makes them seem less angular and tall.

(In my opinion, Benedict Cumberbatch looks far sexier in Star Trek: Into Darkness, when he embraces his long lines and wears all black, long coats, and dramatically slicked back hair, than in Sherlock, but I know the Sherlock fangirls will fight me on this. :P)

Soft Dramatic

Take the above angular frame, slender bones, and long vertical line, add some Romantic softness to it, and this is the result. Strong, manly-looking men with long features, angular noses, etc, but that have some softness to their flesh, sometimes to their lips and cheeks (like Clark Gable). Mathew McConaughey and Christian Bale have more “bulk” and softness than the straight up Dramatics, while still having dramatic features. (Kibbe did not categorize my personal favorite, Basil Rathbone, but I think he’d be here. He seems to have some slight softness to his face and body despite his long and sharp vertical lines.)

Soft Dramatic should also keep to more dramatic lines in clothing, longer lines, but with more softness around the collars and cuffs. They may want to introduce some angular patterns and shapes to their garments, but should avoid anything too “yin” (ties for formal wear, not bow ties).

Kibbe had no examples for pure Naturals; he sorts them into more “yin” (Soft) and “yang” (Dramatic) categories.

Soft Natural [Mixed Yin/Yang]

Natural men are most defined by their broad shoulders (cut the edge of the paper at a blunt angle and that’s a “blunt” shoulder) and “upper body wideness.” They usually have broad chests in comparison to their smaller hips and backsides. They are the more easily “athletic” type and may look more muscular even when they are overweight. They have a mix of yin and yang features in their faces and bodies (larger noses, smaller eyes, bigger eyes, wider lips, more luscious lips—it varies from man to man). Natural men are most defined by their broad shoulders (cut the edge of the paper at a blunt angle and that’s a “blunt” shoulder) and “upper body wideness.” They usually have broad chests in comparison to their smaller hips and backsides. They are the more easily “athletic” type and may look more muscular even when they are overweight. They have a mix of yin and yang features in their faces and bodies (larger noses, smaller eyes, bigger eyes, wider lips, more luscious lips—it varies from man to man). You can see from the photos of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and John Wayne their features are not super similar, but they all have the same muscular torso and wide shoulders. Kibble calls them masculine but also cute due to the softness.

Soft Natural men should wear softer clothing and fabrics, loosely tuck in their shirts, have open V-neck collars and a more casual style (blue jeans!).

Flamboyant Natural

These men are masculine, but share the Dramatic height and longer bones. They have broad, blunt shoulders and broader chests than the Dramatics. Clint Eastwood, Dick Van Dyke, and Hugh Jackman all have a long vertical line—they are (and you expect them to be) tall. They have broadness in some parts of their bodies, and wider bones (wider hands and feet, sharp jaw-lines, larger noses). When they pack on muscle, their body becomes a T-shape (especially noticeable in Jackman, whose muscle gain for X-Men makes him look massive in his upper body).

These men can add more dramatic lines to their silhouette and tapering, but should remember to keep it somewhat casual in fabric and blends.

Classic (Blended Yin and Yang)

Pure classic men are symmetrical and have no extremes anywhere on their bodies. They do not appear tall or short, their heads do not seem big or small, their arms are not long or short, lean or wide, their bones are not too angular, too blunt, or too narrow, their chests are not small or wide or blunt but just in the middle, and usually, nothing on their face stands out as catching the eye more than anything else (their eyes, their lips, their noses, are all harmonious). They are “balanced.” It would be hard to draw a caricature of them. Robert Young, Anthony Perkins, and Henry Fonda are good examples of classics.

The same holds true of Classic men and women: avoid too much detail on your clothing. Patterns, stripes, dots, etc., all take away from you rather than enhance your attractiveness. You need clean lines, some crisp tailoring (cuffs, necklines, collars) and symmetrical clothing. Keep it simple.

Dramatic Classic

Take the balanced facial features of the Classic man and add angularity to their facial features and flesh, and you have a Dramatic Classic. They have longer noses and sharper features, they may be taller than pure Classics, with a longer vertical line. Cary Grant and Jon Hamm are good examples. Dramatic Classic (and pure Classic, and Soft Classic) men often turn up in movies set in the 1950s, because the clothing lines (tailored, even when casual) suited them the best. Classic men of any variety can pull from that decade to know what might suit their clothing style the best. DC men can handle some more “sharpness” in their clothing, but should remember to still keep it balanced and with less detail.

Soft Classic

Take the perfect balance in bone structure and build, add general softness to their flesh and features, and you have a Soft Classic. They can be slightly shorter men than pure Classics or Dramatic Classics, but you will often guess their height accurately. They need softer fabrics, hairstyles, and body silhouettes to go with their softness. They have more yin in their features – bigger eyes, softer noses (less angular or blunt), fuller lips, gentle brows. Classic hairstyles with slight wave suits them, as it does Gregory Peck and John Slattery.

Romantic (All Yin)

These men are “lush.” They often appear small, and have gentle curves in their shoulders and arms, smaller hands and feet, shorter legs and upper arms, and a torso that is not muscled, but appears to be “soft” and wide even when they are at their thinnest. Their faces are fleshy and have romantic features such as large eyes, rounded noses, full lips, etc. Elvis is the epitome of a Romantic man – very “beautiful” to look at, but Colin Firth and Leonardo DiCaprio also have Romantic lines. Notice the soft curves to their faces, and torsos. They have gentle angles to their bodies and faces.

Romantic men can wear more detail near the face, and they do not look strange in ornamental pieces of jewelry (ornate watches, for example, or diamond or gemstone-linked bracelets or pendants). They should avoid all heavy, stiff fabrics and go for softer necklines, less tailoring, and if they wear patterns, swirls and rounded shapes.

Theatrical Romantic

Take the smaller vertical line and softer skeleton of the Romantic, add some sharpness and you have… well, a mix of beauty and drama, as you can see in Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. They have smaller and softer torsos, their heads appear larger on their rounded shoulders, and they have softly angular faces, alluring eyes, and small noses. There’s still an undercurrent of slight angularity. They can wear sharper lines to go with their dramatic influence, but should remember to keep fabrics soft, loose, and less casual.

Gamin (Mixed Yin and Yang)

Gamin men have a short vertical line. They have sloped, often more angular (like Dramatic) shoulders, but their head seems large in comparison to their slight stature. They have an eternal air of “boyishness” to their faces; even when they get old, they still look “mischievous” or impish. They have a blend of yin and yang on different parts of their bodies – maybe a Dramatic nose, a Romantic mouth, etc. As you can see, Roddie McDowall and Red Buttons both look youthful, but have very different noses and chins! They often have a compact chest, with a short waistline.

Gamin men need tailoring at the cuffs; they look good in high and tighter necklines, they can carry off stripes and patterns, and can do color blocking by mixing and matching different fabrics without it overwhelming them.

Flamboyant Gamin

These men have the same small, compact build, a larger head on sharper shoulders, and mix of long and shorter features, but have more sharpness in their bone structure and tautness to their facial features. They can pull of far more dramatic contrasting color combinations than the other Gamins (they can blend patterns – wear stripes and dots at the same time, throw in oversized jackets in bright colors on to of it, etc). Neil Patrick Harris and Frank Sinatra are good examples.

Soft Gamins

Kibbe only has one example for this category, Fred Astair, but I think Daniel Radcliffe also fits the bill. These men have a short vertical line, and the same boyishness to their features as the other Gamins, but some softness to their facial features and flesh. They often have big eyes, rounded noses, and plump lips. It is obvious to everyone that they are small and compact, but they can artfully carry of a blend of patterns, fabrics, color blocking, and accessories without being overpowered. They should remember to avoid wearing one color without any contrast; go for contrasting cuffs and higher, rounded, boyish necklines.

Figuring out a man’s Kibbe type

Just as with women, if you are confused about type… remember, the lines do not lie. Men look their best in their lines, and in clothes that reflect their vertical line. Look through photos of them wearing different lines or have them try things on. The goal is to see what seems the most them. Anything not of their lines will look separate from them, wrong in some way.

Romantic Johnny Depp looks the least comfortable / least like himself when wearing severely tailored suits; he looks the most like himself in soft scarves and open necklines with a slight curl in his hair and some jewelry.

Soft Natural Kyle Chandler (above) looks the most himself in that more casual look (turned up sleeves, unbuttoned collar) than in a suit and tie (although all men look great in a Classic suit and tie). He looks the most like himself in blue jeans and casual shirts.

Look for these lines:

Dramatic is all loose lines, loose fit, oversized, usually one color.

Natural is looser fit, lighter fabrics, casual styles and clothes (jeans).

Classic is tailoring and simplicity (try on a symmetrical suit). On anyone but a Classic, a simple suit will look a little dull. A Classic looks AMAZING.

Romantic is softer fabrics, open necklines, loose swirls near the face (a scarf, natural loose waves, etc).

Gamin is color-blocking and fitted, so find a shirt with a high neckline and/or color-defined cuffs, stripes, or other small details and contrast it with pants of a different color.

Good luck finding your type!

17 thoughts on “Male Kibbe Types

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  1. I realize that I’m one of the very few people in the universe that never found Benedict Cumberbatch attractive in the least. People rave about his ridiculous handsomeness and I’m left scratching my head. But I have to say that in Star Trek he DOES look REALLY HOT. A commenter above said that his look on Sherlock didn’t do him any favors and I agree completely.

    Which type do you think Chris Pratt might be? I personally think he fits Soft Natural, but I’m not sure.

    1. I found him very attractive in “Amazing Grace,” the first thing I ever saw him in, and then again in “Star Trek,” but never so in Sherlock. The romantic curls around his face just make it that much more “brutal.”

      Chris Pratt… is probably a SN, yes. I’d say he has the N shoulders / broad / muscular upper body, but his face and flesh is very soft.

      1. And I think that’s why they styled his hair the way they did for Sherlock. To emphasize both his blunt, somewhat brutal personality.

        Personally, I only find him really attractive with longer hair. When it’s sleeked back, he looks like an insect to me. With longer hair frames his face and makes him look almost more than human, in a way — which is why the longer hair works for me for Sherlock and for his turn as Hamlet onstage.

        1. Maybe so.

          To me, he attracts me the most as Khan, and the second most as Dr. Strange. I find him too brutal-faced otherwise. (Some call him a Dramatic with an Ethereal flavor, which I 100% agree with. He has an “alien” look to him, which is why you think he looks like an insect, lol.)

        1. I think curls and softness only suit a yin-leaning face — they look fabulous on Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom, but don’t suit him at all. It just makes all his facial features that much sharper in contrast. When you slick back his hair, it has the opposite effect. It’s weird but kinda cool.

  2. Aw man, this is great. Five stars!

    I’ve literally just given my brother some advice on his hair, which in my opinion looks better a little tousled and not obscuring his face (it’s very thick). He has a lot of yin AND yang in his features – biiig eyes and eyelashes, but also has angular bone structure and is tall, slim and padding out a little in his shoulders (he’s never been fat). Do you think he might be a Flamboyant Natural?

    1. He does sound FN, if his width is in his shoulders. I think FN’s gain weight in their midsection but their face remains pretty tight. If he has kind of a T shape (wide shoulders, long leaner body) then yeah, he’s def FN.

  3. I feel that my husband is harder to type than me, but he might be a soft natural??.. he gains weight most easily around his stomach or in his face, but his legs are always muscular/slim.. his face is a bit wide in proportion with his body, and he’s average in height, but not tall. He has somewhat broad shoulders, and a soft but slightly angled face. Does that sound about right for a soft natural? xD

    1. That does sound SN to me. If he looks good in fairly casual things, that’s a confirmation. 🙂

      My dad is SN. A very muscular torso and broad shoulders, but a softer, cuter face.

    2. Also, in theory, do you think male-female pairs that balance out each others yin/yang look good? Jon Hamm and January Jones are both Classics and look THE SHIZ together, so do you think that, say, a Flamboyant and Soft Natural pair would look best?

      1. I don’t know. I mean, TITANIC was one of the biggest movies ever made and featured two Romantics in the lead. I think some contrast, though, is also nice — like TR Scarlett O’Hara and SD Rhett Butler. 😉

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