Are you wondering what Classic Style Essence is?
This article has all the answers!
Do you have an intense desire to dress more timelessly, elegantly, and gracefully rather than dramatically or sensually?
Do you relate with women of historic royalty more than current-day women?
Does Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn inspire you the most in terms of styling and fashion?
Welcome to the classic style essence by John Kitchener!
This style essence portrays balance, poise, and class.
Mind you, it’s not boring or dull as is mostly perceived— dressing timelessly is all about sophistication, modesty, and charm.
Individuals with this style essence execute royalty— one look at their superiority is enough to notice how elegant, proper, and collected they always appear.
It’s not only an extrinsic trait, their essence is well-intricated intrinsically— how they sit gracefully, smile gently, stand tall and royally, and speak confidently.
When they walk, every step is well-projected and calculated. They never appear to be in a hurry, this is also possible because they are never late in the first place.
Royal is one term for individuals with classic style essence, but I find “Queen, princess, or her majesty” to be equally powerful and appropriate for such individuals.
Does this description resonate with you?
Chances are you have John Kitchener’s classic style essence! If you are not sure, check out these 7 style essences to figure out your vibe.
Let’s unfold all the physical and intrinsic details of this style essence and then arrange a wardrobe specially designed for your graceful existence.
Where does Classic Style Essence stand in Kitchener Style essence?
Kitchener style essence is based and distributed largely on the yin and yang balance— a concept first conceptualized by Belle Northrop and later categorized by Mc Jimsey.
Mcjimsey was the first woman to come up with the terminology “Classic” in style essence— it was defined as the proper balance between the yin and yang spectrum.
Those unaware, Yin and Yang are two opposite yet interconnected forces even in this context.
Yes, it was taken from Chinese Philosophy and has helped evolve our understanding of the fashion world and how it relates to our essence and body types.
Kitchener believes every woman is a blend of yin and yang characteristics. Some will have dominant Yang influences, others will have dominant Yin influences.
Depending on this varied percentage of Yin and Yang, Kitchener came up with his seven style essences.
In his seven style essences, the classic style essence stands in the middle with an equal (balanced) percentage of yin and yang, i.e., it has both influences present in 50-50%.
In the Kitchener system, yin translates to feminine energy— everything from sensuality to gentleness, grace, softness, romanticism, etc.
Physically, it’s defined by roundness, curviness, and softness.
Yang is yin’s opposite yet interconnected counterpart; it translates to masculine energy and is often generated in the mind— fierce, calm like the ocean, calculative, strong-minded, etc.
Physically, it’s a combination of straight lines, a non-curvy figure, tall height, sharpness, edgy personality!
Classic style essence is a blend of gentleness and fierceness— they know where to propel kindness and when to draw the sword.
It’s just an analogy, please don’t draw swords on open streets! They are soft but also straight.
They appear humble and powerful at the same time— such is the personality of the classic style essence.
Your wardrobe should portray a similar vibe, it should make you come across as someone gentle but never not strong!
How to do that?
We’ll be discussing this soon enough!
Let’s first understand the many physical characteristics of your classic style essence and why it’s crucial to accommodate these lines with respect to your body!
Physical characteristics of classic style essence
Do keep in mind, the Kitchener system is not as strict as the Kibbe body type system. You may not relate to all of these physical traits and that’s alright!
John Kitchener profoundly believes that your essence/vibe/core values/personality are also as equally important as your body silhouette.
Otherwise, you’d simply feel lost or not yourself despite adorning your silhouette perfectly.
It’s also the reason why his system is called “style essence” and not “style body archetypes”.” So, it’s alright if you don’t match all these physical traits.
However, whatever accommodations are visible on your body should be translated to your clothing.
Let’s start with height since it’s the first visible trait in our bodies.
Classic types have a balanced/average height— they are neither too visibly tall nor short/petite.
Their height comes in the middle of these extremes and blends in with the rest of your body instead of standing out alone.
Their height ranges somewhere between 5’5 to 5’7.
Just like their overall body, their torso, limbs including fingers/toes, and face aren’t too elongated or petite either, they are all in harmony with each other.
This allows them to have a balanced figure throughout. It’s an important aspect of your physique because your styling and body silhouette will largely depend on this balance.
Unlike dramatics, classic body type isn’t too narrow like the yang essence nor too broad like the romantics.
It’s classified with a balanced body frame that lies somewhere in the middle.
Their limbs are not too broad or too narrow either; the same goes for their face and shoulders.
Their shoulders are visibly upright and straight in posture, but they don’t stand out or accommodate upper width like the natural.
Their shoulders align perfectly well with the rest of the silhouette, especially your bust line and hips.
Flesh deposition— Balanced
An overly voluptuous figure isn’t a case with classic essence and neither is too lean/taut figure like the dramatic essence.
Instead, classic essence has a balanced amount of flesh present on their curves and limbs.
This balanced flesh deposition gives them a gentle double curve.
They do have flesh on their body but it’s subtle and blends with the overall figure without sticking out too much.
It allows classic individuals to have a lot of symmetry in their frame. Maintaining symmetry is another crucial aspect of styling your classic wardrobe.
They have visibly soft busts and hip curves; well accustomed to flesh, but it doesn’t weigh on the sensual side like the over-voluptuous romantic figure.
This doesn’t mean you’re not sensual or your body isn’t sexually attracted.
Remember, sensuality is often subjective. Some find overly voluptuous figures extremely sensual. While others may find a subtly fleshy body to be sensually desirable.
It’s alright if your body doesn’t relate to this specification.
My classic essence beauties, you can absolutely slay classic outfits despite having a different body type than expected.
So, don’t worry if your body doesn’t agree with your essence and personality.
I’ll discuss how to dress your classic essence without a non-classic body type ahead in the article.
Waist definition and double curve
Of course, classic essence has waist definition, they have a balanced amount of flesh on their hips, bust, and other crucial areas except for their waist.
Classic beauties also accommodate a visible double curve because their frame is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Their balanced body flesh and bone structure allows them to accommodate double curves easily.
This double curve doesn’t stick out like the romantics but is undeniably present.
Silhouette and bone structure
Your bone structure is crucial to determine your silhouette. We already know your frame is neither too broad nor too narrow, but let’s talk about your edges.
Yin essences have soft edges and a sloppy bone structure. On the other hand, Yang essence has sharp and straight edges throughout its figure.
However, with classic essence, your edges are neither too soft nor too straight, they appear to be in the middle as is the case with the rest of your physical traits.
They never appear sloppy or slouched. Instead, their body reverberates an upright aura and linear/proper stance.
While the flesh deposition gives you a soft edge; your straight and upright shoulders add lines to the figure. Your shoulders aren’t sloppy like romantic or sharp like dramatics.
They stand firm and well-defined.
Instead of having an 8-like, s-curve, or z-silhouette, classics can be assumed to have a wave-like silhouette.
These straight and soft lines blend together to morph into a balanced silhouette that is neither extremely soft nor too sharp.
This is also the reason why classic beauties always tend to appear taller and more elegant in the crowd.
Face shape and features
Just like your body frame, classic’s face shape is neither too broad nor too narrow.
It’s balanced and may resemble a heart shape or slightly oval shape with a prominent chin.
The jawlines are well-defined but not too sharp.
Engulfed in subtle flesh/softness but it doesn’t overshadow your jawline emphasis. Similarly, the cheekbones are high and perky but endowed with flesh.
- Classic eyes: Neither too big nor creased/angular.
- Classic nose: Symmetrical, straight, and in harmony with your eyes.
- Classic lips: Neither too thin nor too thick. You might have thin upper lips.
Their features harmonize and align with each other in perfect synchrony—nothing sticks out of proportion.
If we recall, classic essence is essentially a case of neither and nor. In other terms, average or in the middle of two extremes.
This doesn’t mean they don’t stand out in a room full of people. Instead, their features blend together so beautifully that they leave the crowd stunned!
Now that we are done highlighting the physical characteristics of classic essence, let’s dive into the wide range of wardrobe choices for you.
Style guide for individuals with classic style essence
You must have heard of this term quite often when studying classic essence/body type.
In this context, it unapologetically translates to being unbothered by the current fashion trends.
As far as we know, fashion trends have dominated history quite strongly— everyone collaboratively followed a single hairstyle/haircut/clothes/outfits of that era.
This herd mentality left no room for improvisation or uniqueness to individuals— they all looked the same, talked the same, and walked the same as herds with no style sense of their own.
It’s because individuals believe there’s only one definition of beauty!
I cannot stress enough how wrong the statement and mentality is! In reality, your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful!
However, in 2023, I see quite an impactful drift in the fashion world. Individuals, especially in the fashion industry, are trying to adapt to fashion that’s unique to them and embodies their personality instead of blindly focusing on one single trend.
Although many individuals are still unaware of the many style systems available, they are definitely inviting and accepting different styles instead of following one fashion trend blindly.
How does it help? More options for your taste and essence without having to search for hours on a dead end.
Balanced. Symmetry. Humble. Let’s keep these terms in mind when selecting outfits for your classic style essence
In classic essence’s case, “less is more!” More can negate your image.
Let’s start with accommodating your body frame and essence with the right silhouette and then delve deeper into specific outfit suggestions.
Symmetrical and balanced outfits
Symmetry and balance are crucial in your outfit whether it’s your neckline, sleeves, or skirts. Asymmetry will add edgy drama instead of class.
Similarly, unbalanced or irregular stitching is a big NO! Too.
How to attain symmetry and balance in your outfits?
Your right and left should mirror each other. Similarly, your height should be split in a 1:1.6 ratio when choosing top and bottom length proportions.
For height: A waist-length top with a high-waist ¾ length bottom (preferably) is the perfect choice to attain the said body ratio. The left side of your outfit should coincide with the right side.
You can also choose a waist-length top (any top including shirt/bodysuit/formal vest/blazer) and ankle-length or high-waisted straight pants.
Remember your outfit shouldn’t be too tight or overly loose. They shouldn’t suffocate you!
This goes all the way from your bottom to top. Even your bottom’s attached waist belt shouldn’t be too tight on you!
Accommodating silhouette with soft but structured lines
You don’t want stiff or sharp lines in your silhouette but your outfit choices should have structure along with well-defined (blurry) creases.
This is possible when you choose the right fabric.
The right fabric for you would be cotton (pure) linen, poplin, crepe, corduroy, sometimes silk, cambric, muslin, gabardine, oxford, etc.
Most of these fabrics will render soft edges without missing out on the structure.
These fabrics may differ when it comes to evening dresses and skirts. In such cases, satin works the best, followed by georgette/chiffon and rayon.
You don’t want clothes that suffocate your frame but you also don’t want too loose of an outfit. They will hide and take your soft element away.
Instead, go for clothes that are slightly easy on your body but still outline your original silhouette.
Waist emphasis is a must because your body accommodates double curves.
Formal and modest outfit choices
You are defined by class, so formal clothes would bring out your true essence.
Anything including formal buttons down, pencil skirts (waist length), tucked-in bodysuits, ankle or formal length pants, and blazers are more than welcome.
That’s just the start! Formal outfits aren’t the only choices you have— outfits that have a gentle and humble appearance look great on you, too!
This can include anything from off-shoulder tops to 3/4th length bouncy skirts, sweater vests, bodysuits, cardigans, high neck, and t-shirts with 1/4th sleeve length and folded hem.
We’ll discuss this ahead in the article.
Let’s go with the tops, shall we? We already know button-down shirts are a go-to classic choice.
Here’s a more extensive style guide for you. Trust me, a formal shirt and pants aren’t your only two options.
- Close round-neck bodysuit
- High neck bodysuit
- Well-fitted t-shirt with folded sleeve hem on the casual side
- Highneck and open shirt co-ord
- Shirt and sweater Vest co-ord
- A loose-fit shirt that’s buttoned to the collar
- Long blazer top with waist belts
- Turtleneck with a loose-fit blazer and equally loose skirt.
- Sweater vest
Classic necklines and sleeves
Details matter! Your neckline and sleeves are as crucial as the rest of the outfit! Here are some classic neckline and sleeve suggestions:
- Strapless neck because you have a prominent collarbone and a well-defined shoulder line.
- Turtle and highnecks. Your essence is born to slay fall outfits, literally all the choices available in the market.
- Loose-fit button-down with balanced collars (not too big, not too small)
- Round enclosed neck
- Boat neck with full sleeves
- Off-shoulder for events.
- Queen Anne: The name justifies it all!
- V neck but it shouldn’t be plunging.
- A scarf tie (attached to the neckline)
- Full-length sleeves with a little bell shape at the bottom.
- Short sleeves, especially when choosing a casual t-shirt. Folding the hem really adds to your overall aura! It may sound like an insignificant detail, but is so crucial!
- Folded sleeves to the elbow.
- Balloon sleeves are really becoming the new trend for up-class classic outfits.
The ¾ length skirt is what I live for. There’s something so gorgeous, effortless, up class about these skirts.
Everything works with this length, whether a waist-length top, a loose untucked shirt, a t-shirt, a sweater, etc!
You can go with the pleated ¾ pleated skirt or a loose straight skirt! Ensure your skirt has an attached belt for waist definition.
Although pencil and A-line are both welcome, I personally believe the loose straight skirts have a powerful aura around them.
After ¾ skirts, we have high or mid-waisted straight pants or tailored (short) for casual events.
Patterns, prints, and designs
When it comes to patterns and prints, I believe less is more! You don’t want too many disoriented details in your outfit. It will draw uncalled attention.
Your essence is in simplicity and minimalism. So, don’t opt for too many or too bold patterns. This doesn’t mean you cannot choose patterns at all!
Here are all the patterns you can have in your outfits:
- Checkered pattern, especially in your blazers and pants. The checkered pattern must be in solid colors.
- Symmetrical or parallel stripes are gorgeous choices.
- When going with a soft vibe, a little lace work at the hem of the dress/skirt/sleeves or ribbon work at the shoulders is great, too!
- Small floral print (distributed evenly throughout the dress).
Casual outfits for classic style essence
- Tailored shorts with big pockets.
- Casual t-shirts.
- Straight trousers.
- Collared t-shirts with body-shaping shorts. Princess Diana’s wardrobe is filled with this one co-ord and she is RIGHT in the decision. They look absolutely stunning on classic individuals.
- Adding colors for a casual event will add a unique charm to your presence!
Hairstyle and makeup
You want to keep your makeup subtle on the lips. Ironically, red lipstick is quite a solid statement for the classic essence. It suits them a little too much!
However, adding a thick layer of eyeliner is a phenomenal choice. Overall, stay close to nude or natural makeup instead of bright colors.
Here are a few hairstyle suggestions:
- A short length would always work for you!
- Side-parted gelled waves
- A low bun with center-partitioned hair.
- Shoulder hair length
- Finger waves for parties.
- A low side-partitioned ponytail with gelled hair.
The “less is more!” goes with classic accessories, too! You don’t want excessive jewelry to emphasize your classic essence. Dainty jewelry with small and precious details is enough!
- One or two thin rings.
- Small earrings, usually diamond or pearl studded.
- A dainty chain with a small pendant.
- Chunky Chelsea boots.
- Sunglasses are another huge statement for classic style essence.
A Beret hat is a statement for classic individuals. It holds class, modesty, and royalty. So adding a beret hat to your outfit would never go wrong!
Why styling your essence is as crucial as styling your body?
Let’s have a look at Princess Diana. Her body, tall height, broad frame, and angular structure are all strikingly opposite to the classic style essence.
Her body type resembles that of a Flamboyant Natural, especially her broad frame and angular shoulder width.
Yet, she carried herself with utmost grace and royalty— The way she spoke and held power in her words was mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, at least to say!
She was articulate, poise, and proper! She walked with confidence and gentleness at the same time!
This is well reflected in her eyes; her eyes always held a story within— They reflected fierceness, fury, and kindness at the same time.
I personally believe Princess Diana looked her best in classic outfits more than her own body type elements!
Let’s take a look at Princess Diana’s FN outfits.
The outfit choices look weird and out of character. Of course, she had an easy-going and free-spirited personality, but I believe her classic essence outweighed that personality.
I think her best decision was to combine her FN and classic style essence together to create a style unique blend for herself.
Look at these outfits below, some of them are pure classic in nature, while others have a casual (natural touch) to them— they looked absolutely stunning on Princess Diana!
They added class and character to her personality! Plus, the natural touch in her outfits also enhanced her natural body type.
I have never seen a better style blend of two different essences! It’s amazing how Princess Diana carries it so well!
Classic style essence celebrities
After Princess Diana, my personal favorite celebrities with Kitchener’s classic style essence would be Grace Kelly, Emily Blunt, Song Hye-Kyo, and Audrey Hepburn!
She would be your biggest classic wardrobe icon— the woman is CLASSY, ROYAL, and SOPHISTICATED.
It’s all well-reflected in her outfit choices.
Everything she wore was well thought out— nothing appeared out of character or disorderly! I believe her stylists really did a great job at bringing her essence out to the brim.
She is perfect if you ever want an evening classic dress suggestion! Then again, her wardrobe is a perfect example for any event!
Emily Blunt dresses her essence so beautifully, that it’s physically difficult to accept it to be true!
She would wear a blazer on the red carpet and still slay the night!
Emily Blunt is a classic beauty inside and out.
If Grace Kelly has a timeless vibe, Emily adds a modern touch to her outfits and she does it perfectly!
No doubt why she was cast in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada! She is a fashion icon.
Song Hye-Kyo is a famous South Korean actress. Her acting is top-notch, but her wardrobe is what brings me to happy tears.
The woman has the best style sense when it comes to styling her classic essence. She looks gentle, humble, powerful, and classy at the same time!
Using her wardrobe to style your classic style essence would be the best thing you’d do for yourselves— it is simply that fabulous!
I have always admired Audrey’s timeless wardrobe choices. You’d never go wrong with your style choices if you follow Audrey and her bold, trend-defying outfit statements.