The Gamine Style (Kibbe Body Type)

David Kibbe’s list of thirteen body types entered the world of fashion back in the 1980s as a guide to embracing and accentuating the details of one’s natural body type. It took inspiration from physical feature to create harmonious looks and create more accessible, more natural shopping experiences.

Kibbe’s body type theory differed from most others at the time of its introduction in that it focused on making the most of the body you have rather than trying to balance it out or achieve symmetry. It became popular because it allowed women to tap into their natural features and build upon body acceptance and appreciation.

Of the thirteen types, the gamine style is the one we want to highlight today. Whether you’ve heard that you have a gamine body type or style and don’t know much about it or want to nail down the look, we have all the feature details for you here.

We’re covering the meaning of the gamine style alongside some recognizable examples of the appearance. Finally, we’ll share some must-have style features for this look.

Gamine What’s It Mean?

Gamine means youthful or childlike, and it focuses on cute, boyish features. This type is exclusive from age, as you can be gamine at any time in life! Some may call the gamine body type and style boyish, while others see more everlasting youthfulness as the primary characteristic.

The boyishness doesn’t mean people with this type aren’t attractive or can’t be elegant, ladylike, striking, or even sexy. They can be all of these things but at the heart of the look is a “yang” or masculine quality compared to some of their “yin” counterparts like the romantic body type.

Gamines can be incredibly beautiful, but it’s in a young, child-like, bright-eyed way. People with these features can seem hopeful, future-looking, a bit rugged, or cute. The gamine face typically has wide eyes, a small nose, and a rounded shape face. As a result, the gamine style can be used for any shape.

Examples of Gamine Style and Appearance

If you’re still having trouble grasping the Kibbe gamine body type, maybe some pop culture examples will help paint a clearer outline. Some best-known gamine fashion and style icons include Twiggy, Katy Perry, Michelle Williams, and Audrey Hepburn. In their way, each of these people encapsulates what it means to have a gamine face and body type, and in some cases, sheen style.
Want more to imagine? Picture Halle Berry with her hair cut short, Gwen Stefani circa her No Doubt days, Cara Delevigne, or even Mindy Kaling and her sweet, fleshy cheeks, and rounded facial features or shape.
As far as the gamine look goes style-wise, some of the best looks are minimal, clean-cut, innocent, and tomboy-esque. Emma Watson does a great job of pulling off this style on the red carpet, as does Carey Mulligan, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jackie Kennedy. Some may also use any of these words to describe Gamine clothing fashion:
  • punky
  • fun
  • neat
  • cute
  • funky
  • clean
  • rebellious
  • whimsical
  • non-conforming
  • creative

The most common hairstyle is the pixie, in which details are by long hair pulled back neatly in a ponytail or a ballerina-like crown. A headband or head scarf is used to hold the hair back when it is worn down. The gamine gal also enjoys romantic type hair accessories such as flower barettes and bows.

Now let’s piece how you can best dress in the gamine style yourself.

How to Dress in the Gamine Style

Kibbe characterizes the gamine natural body type and style as combining both yin and yang elements or feminine and masculine. While they veer toward the yin end of the spectrum, they still have a solid balance of both. The two aren’t blended, however, like they are for the classic type. Instead, they may have both features, only separated.

When dressing for this unique balance of yin and yang, there are a few concepts of fabric to keep in mind.

As a general rule, the Kibbe gamine style icon will stick to sleeker and slinkier fabric for dresses and skirts. These keep the body looking slender. A great example of the gamine style for skirts or dresses is the 1920s flapper fashion think drop-waist dresses and straight lines.

For trousers, shorts, tailored trousers, cigarette pants, and anything with a bit of structure can be highly complementary. To get some inspiration, check out Audrey Hepburn’s movie Sabrina, where she wears a great mix of casual and more formal pant styles.

There’s a lot of room for fun when it comes to dressing gamine in your shoes. Think of innovative styles like the Oxford shoe, ballet flats, round-toe sandals, and kitten heels. Additionally, any type of boys’ shoes can look great on the gamine body type.

As for jewelry, less is more. It doesn’t mean you should never wear jewelry, but stick with smaller items with straight lines, geometric shapes, and bright colors.

Gamine Style Essentials

Now let’s get into the Gamine style essentials to create a head-turning Gamine look. Your wardrobe could include gamine fashion staples like:

  • Classic “boy” items like button-up shirts, high-top sneakers, flat caps, suspenders, or blazers
  • Minimal, small accessories like earring studs, tiny hoops, a small and simple purse, a cross-body bag, and rounded or cat-eye sunglasses
  • Pants such as cigarette pants, capris, Bermuda shorts, tailored dress pants, and ankle jeans with crisp edges
  • Breton tops or tops with square or high necklines, peter pan collars, turtlenecks, and crewnecks
  • Flat shoes like ballet flats, oxfords, or slides, as well as kitten heels and tennis shoes
  • A trench coat or pea coat with structure, a long sweater, and neck scarves
  • As for makeup, stick with neutral makeup with blush and lower-lash mascara to make the eyes appear more prominent.

As you shop for gamine-style features, keep the principles of balance, structure, boyishness, and youthfulness at your heart figure.

Final Thoughts

The Kibbe gamine body type can be adorable, cute, or sexy figure it all depends on how you style it! With boyish features and a rounded, soft face, it’s easy to pull off a variety of looks. You can rock a T-shirt and high tops, a blazer with heels, or tennis shoes and a sundress. Keep the accessories minimal, the lines clean, and a good balance between masculine and feminine energy, and you’re on your way to becoming the next Gamine style icon.

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