The 7 Style Essences

The 7 Style Essences Explained

At their very core, style essences or style identities are types of beauty or the natural lines and shapes of your face and body but repeated in clothing.

These are the designs that look harmonious on you because they complement your physical features and your type of beauty.


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In this article, we will explore the spectrum of style essences in more detail. If you want to understand how style essences work, please refer to this article.

I. The Spectrum of Style Essences

A style essence can be defined as a fashion style or a type of beauty. And outside the Kibbe archetype system, we count seven pure style essences, which sit on the yin/yang spectrum, ranging from dramatic on the yang end to angelic on the yin end.

Each essence has a particular type of yin or yang - depicted through a particular shape - which expresses a certain type of beauty. Three essences are yang types of beauty, three are yin types of beauty, and one is a balance between yin and yang.

Style Essences Spectrum

Yang types of beauty

The further to the left of the spectrum we go, the more angular and sharper the essences get (as they become more influenced by the square or rectangle shape). These are yang types of beauty, which are bolder and more striking. The three yang essences are dramatic, gamine and natural.

Remember also what we said about the manifestation of yang. Yang shapes are large, straight and have sharper edges. Yang clothing tends to be stiff and heavy to achieve the required straightness. And yang colours are darker and brighter, as these essences are striking.

Yin types of beauty

The more to the right we go, the rounder and softer the style essences get (as they approach the circle). These are yin types of beauty, which are gentler and more delicate. The three yin essences are romantic, ingenue and angelic.

Yin shapes are small and round. Yin clothing is flowing, draped and lightweight to achieve movement. And yin colours are lighter and softer, as these essences are gentler.

Balanced type of beauty

The middle of the spectrum represents a balance between yin and yang. In the classic essence, yin and yang are blended evenly. Consequently, shapes are neither very sharp nor very rounded, which results in the most understated type of beauty.

This is the only type of beauty that shines through the absence of sentiment. It’s neither striking nor gentle; classic clothing is simple and timeless.

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II. The 7 Style Essences Explained

Let’s take a look at the seven essences now.

Each essence creates a certain image, which is designed to enhance a particular type of beauty:


The dramatic style essence is the most yang essence, its particular kind of yang being theatrical yang.

Since this essence is the closest to the square shape, dramatic clothing features long, straight and stiff silhouettes, sharp angles and edges and large, rectangle shapes.

The dramatic style essence creates a striking, powerful image.

Learn more about the dramatic style essence.


The gamine style essence is another yang essence, but its type of yang is playfully dramatic yang.

Similar to dramatic clothing, gamine clothing features sharp angles and edges and square shapes. But its silhouette is a compact, staccato one. To achieve an eclectic look, bright colours and patterns are mixed and matched freely.

The gamine style essence creates a bold, playful image.

Learn more about the gamine style essence.


The natural style essence is the last yang essence, its type of yang being casual yang.

The natural silhouette is long like the dramatic, but it’s relaxed and slightly oversized rather than stiff. Layering of garments is typical, and shapes are large but raw and irregular.

The natural style essence creates a casual, relaxed image.

Learn more about the natural style essence.


The classic style essence is a balanced essence. It's the only essence that is an even blend between yin and yang.

As blend between square and circle, the classic silhouette is slightly fitted and is neither too long nor too short. The result is an understated look, and timeless designs are characteristic of classic clothing.

The classic style essence creates a formal, elegant image.

Learn more about the classic style essence.


The romantic style essence is a yin essence. Its particular type of yin is sensual deep yin.

Like the circle shape, the romantic silhouette is curvy and round - like an hourglass. Soft, flowing garments create movement in the silhouette. Romantic colours dip into the red and pink palette.

The romantic style essence creates a sensual, mature image.

Learn more about the romantic style essence.


The ingenue style essence is another yin essence, but its type of yin is decorative small-scale yin.

Similar to romantic clothing, ingenue clothing features flowing, rounded shapes. And while the ingenue silhouette still resembles an hourglass, it’s compact. Small decorations and details, such as delicate trimmings, appear in abundance.

The ingenue style essence creates a cute, innocent image.

Learn more about the ingenue style essence.


The angelic style essence is the most yin essence (though it flows back into yang). Its type of yin is ethereal yin.

Angelic clothing has the least concrete shape of all the essences. Its silhouettes are long and flowing with draping and webbing. Fine textures, as well as transparent and iridescent colours, contribute to the ethereal feel.

The angelic style essence creates an otherworldly, mystical image.

Learn more about the angelic style essence.

Simply put, style essences are types of beauty or the lines and shapes of your body and face repeated in clothing. In total, there are 7 style essences (based on John Kitchener's system).

Each style essence is defined by whether it is yin (soft, round) or yang (sharp, angular), and which kind of yin and yang it is.

In this section, you can learn more about each style essence and access the comprehensive guide to each one.

Yang Essences

Style essences that lean towards the Yang end of the spectrum have more masculine characteristics, such as sharpness, angles, squareness, and boldness.

[Note that in this context masculine does not mean manly or aggressive, it reads as strength, dignity, and poise.]


Theatrical Bold Yang

The Dramatic style essence is the theatrical bold yang essence.

This style essence communicates danger, intensity, and strength.

Individuals of this style essence tend to be tall and have angular features and bone structure, and a straight body frame. They tend to be drawn to extreme fashion and costume.

Dramatic clothing styles are long and narrow, possibly oversized, and include creative patterns and textures, large-scale prints and bold colours.


Relaxed, Casual Yang

The Natural style essence is the sportive, relaxed, or casual yang essence.

This style essence communicates an easy-going nature and adventure.

Individuals of this style essence tend to be strong-looking with sturdy shoulders and broad faces, sometimes with uneven features. They prefer their clothing to be functional, emphasising comfort.

Natural clothing styles include relaxed fits, lots of layering, earthy colours, ethnical looks and tribal patterns, and natural materials.


Playfully Dramatic Yang

The Gamine style essence is the playfully dramatic yang essence.

This style essence communicates a youthful rebelliousness.

Individuals of this style essence tend to be short with compact body types, typically have boyish looks, and tend to be energetic and impish. They like to poke fun at fashion.

Gamine clothing styles are compact, irreverently colourful with patterned mixes, and include men’s fashion items and whimsical accessories.

Balanced Essences

The balanced style essence is an even blend of yin and yang. It blends masculine and feminine characteristics in such a way that the result is a neutral essence.


Formal, Traditional Balancing Yin & Yang

The Classic style essence is the formal, traditional essence balancing yin and yang.

This style essence communicates formality and timeless elegance.

Individuals of this style essence tend to have very symmetrical features, evenly blending masculinity and femininity. Their fashion style is elegant, formal, and timeless.

Classics clothing breathes timelessness and formal elegance, neutral colours and simple designs.

Yin Essences

Style essences that lean towards the Yin end of the spectrum have more feminine characteristics, such as roundness, softness, and fineness.

[Note that in this context feminine does not mean naive or meek. Instead, it reads as gentleness, mildness, delicacy.]


Decorative Small-Scale Yin

The Ingenue style essence is the decorative small-scale yin essence.

This style essence communicates childlike innocence.

Individuals of this style essence have a youthful, innocent appearance. They tend to be shorter, with delicate often rounded features and bone structure. They like to play with fashion.

Ingenue clothing styles include decorative florals, vintage clothing and things in miniature. Frills, bows, and lace are a must.


Sensual Deep Yin

The Romantic style essence is the sensual deep yin essence.

This style essence communicates sensuality.

Individuals of this style essence tend to have a curvy and voluptuous body type with alluring eyes. Their mature femininity is expressed in indulgent fashion and expensive accessories.

Romantic clothing styles include lots of wrapping and ruching, luxurious, tactile textures, tight-fitted garments and sensuous accessories.


Ethereal Yin

The Angelic style essence is the most yin and ethereal essence.

This style essence communicates otherworldliness and mysticism.

Individuals of this style essence tend to seem like they belong to another age. They are often tall, thin, oval-faced and waif-like, suggesting mythical creatures.

Angelic clothing styles are fine-textured, draped, wing-like designs. Angelic accessories are ultra fine-weight and may suggest the cosmos.


The Wardrobe Guide

How do you build a flattering and functional wardrobe?

Buying a bunch of clothes because they look nice in the shop is not a good strategy for building a wardrobe. It implies that the look of your clothes is more important than your look. But clothes should have no other purpose than to bring out your natural beauty and to highlight it.

The wardrobe guide will help you discover those garments that truly suit you.

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