To a Mouse

In my previous post, I was extremely convinced of my Kibbe “Romantic” self. I had a few thoughts about my face shape not quite matching the Romantic face shape exactly, but I could clearly tell I wasn’t in the “Theatrical Romantic” category. However, I was rereading some posts from Dr. T Designs, and one of the things she mentions as confirmation of your completely fitting into your Kibbe category is to take a headshot of yourself and paste it into a collage of celebrities “confirmed” to be in your Kibbe category.

So I did.

I have no idea who created the original – found it on pinterest and it just linked to the same.

Immediately I had two thoughts – proportionally my eyes and lips aren’t big enough, and my nose is wrong. Another blog (I forget which) had mentioned that confirmation in your correct Kibbe category would mean that you would felt “at one” with the category moniker that David Kibbe created for each one. I have not read the actual book (though I am attempting to Inter-Library Loan it, we shall see), but I found this list online where someone had typed it out. The Romantic category is called the “dreamspinner.” Well, if you know my personality at all, I am fairly introverted, not necessarily quiet, but finding yet another blog where parts of the book about the outgoing personality of the Romantic was depicted, it became very clear that maybe I am not wholly in the Romantic category.

I had also started looking at types of clothing that were Romantic, and while some of them I was drawn to, some of it was just too much. I decided to keep looking at other categories, and I decided to retake the test with the help of a friend. I quickly realized my own perspective of my body is hugely skewed by negative feelings based on my pre-teen and teen years. It pushed me choose answers about myself that aren’t correct. Test #2 put me into the “Soft Classic” category, which is still Romantic leaning, but closer toward the “yang” angular side of the categories on the scale. I looked up the category moniker, and it is “graceful lady.” While I haven’t felt much like that since having a child and my main job being that of mom/wife, I definitely felt an immediate kinship toward the personality and style as described by Kibbe. I then did the collage test, and wow, I think I am finally headed in the correct direction.

I have no idea who created the original – found it on pinterest and it just linked to the same.

Just look at my face shape next to actress Laura Linney’s. Our jawlines, the nose shape, cheekbones, eye shape, proportional eye and lip size – they are spot on. I never felt I had a “look-alike” with any celebrity, but I am amazed at how close this is. As confident as I was after the “Romantic” category, there was still lingering doubt that I really am that style. Enough doubt that I kept reading and looking for answers, though all the while knowing that nothing is 100% perfect.

The clothing suggestions for Soft Classic are similar in a lot of ways to the Romantic, though the idea is you are “Classic” first, with a hint of Romantic, so you should never wear entirely Romantic style in an outfit. This actually fits to my dream style (you know, that style you imagine is perfect for you if you were perfect). I just needed a wake-up-call that I AM PERFECT NOW.

So now, I am in the process of going through my patterns AGAIN (so glad I didn’t sell off the “no” ones already), with a Soft Classic eye. There are some I know for sure are still out. Both Romantic and Soft Classic styles have waist emphasis, so boxy-shaped tops and dresses are out. I actually have a LARGE collection of boxy-shaped patterns, because they are (and have been) so trendy, and I really wanted to make that work for me. I tried making one top (Seamwork Akita), adjusted the crap out of it to get it to fit my bust (because it is one pattern piece for everything), hated it, and never wore it again. I also never made any of these others, but I still held on to them.

There are also some I pulled that have waist definition, but then don’t follow the rules of a soft, draped or curved neckline.

One difference between the Romantic and Soft Classic, though, is that a Romantic neckline can (and even should) be ornate in the trim and detailing, while the Soft Classic neckline should be clean, with only the most subdued of trim or intricate details. After reading this, it reminded me of this top I purchased at Anthropologie a few weeks ago, though BEFORE this Kibbe tornado hit.

I reluctantly picked it to try on because it looked cute on the hanger, but in the mix of heavy, boxy sweaters I was also trying, it was the one item I actually purchased and felt most like myself in. It is the correct type of fabric for SC – soft and draping, lightly sheer. It has a symmetrical feel with the bottoms down the front, another yes for SC (though not something a Romantic would want to focus on). It is also not as boxy-looking on me with my curves as it is on this model. Finally, it has tiny trim details around the neckline and sleeves.

I was hugely surprised how good it looked on me, but now having done this additional Kibbe research, I feel strong in my choice. I also realize that I am going to have to pep-talk myself before shopping/pattern picking, remind myself of what to look for and what not to look for. I had previously purchased a ton of boxy-style tops that I either wore and felt terrible in, or just didn’t wear, all of which I got rid of in the great KonMari purge of 2019. In fact, when I went through my current patterns, I found a few shirt-dress styles that don’t follow the Romantic rules (not flowing enough), but are perfect for Soft Classic. I really felt I should put them in the dump pile, but I didn’t, and now I think it is because I already had an inkling that Romantic wasn’t really “me.”

I am also going to follow Dr. T Designs idea and make a list of sewing patterns that follow the Soft Classic rules, though with a focus on ones I truly find appealing. I liked a lot of what she posted, though I realized many of the older BurdaStyle patterns are inaccessible to me through their website because they don’t go back that far. As long as I am going to search out and make my own list, I might as well make a list of things I might actually sew for myself!

Then, I will narrow down the list (hopefully with patterns and fabric I already own) to participate in the #makenine challenge. I have a number of Cashmerette patterns that I have bought over YEARS, complete with fabric, that follow the Soft Classic rules, and it would be great to finally get them made up.

“Come, I will show you now my newest hat,
And you may watch me purse my mouth and prink!”

Edna St. Vincent Millay,
“Oh, Oh, you will be sorry for that word,” The Harp-Weaver and other Poems

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