7 Kitchener Essences | Style Guide | Filosofashion
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16 Dec

7 Kitchener Essences: Style & Personalities

Are you wondering what the 7 Kitchener Essences are?

This article has all the answers.

We all want to personalize and style ourselves like the famous celebrities we see on magazine covers. This is where Kitchener Essences will come in handy.

Today’s fashion has become overly focused towards the ‘trends.’

However, have you ever come across the realization that this ‘certain type of style’ simply doesn’t fit your overall personality, vibe, body type, and features, no matter how hard you try? 

Well, because there’s a reason behind it. Following the trends often forces us to wear an outfit that doesn’t suit our body style or vibe at all.

That’s where style essences come into play! 

They allow you to find your own style that simultaneously reflects your inner beauty and physical appearance.

Today’s society has come down to a single definition of beauty— a super voluptuous figure, sharp features, big lips, etc.

However, this verdict remains far from reality. 

In reality, the hourglass figure isn’t the only ideal body type found in the world.

There are women of all sorts— lean, flat, tall, angular, short, petite, straight, vertical, curvaceous, and so on.

It doesn’t make them any less of a woman or any less beautiful. 

So, if you are also equally tired of dressing yourself as Kylie Jenner (Yin) when you have a Kendal Jenner (Yang) body type and vibe— this article is for you.

John Kitchener’s theory will allow you to understand your vibe/essence— which then will help you choose the perfect style for yourself that compliments your body beautifully. 

What are Style Essences and where did they come from? 

It wasn’t Kitchener who first delved into the complex details of your personality and its influence on your clothing. 

In fact, it was Belle Northrop who first conceptualized ‘the significance of one’s authentic personality’ when determining their ideal style essence. 

Northrop said, and we quote, “All aspects of personality and every detail of appearance, woven into an integrated whole, must be taken into account.” 

That is, there’s more to a person than meets the eye.

So your style essence must focus on all attributes of your existence, including the ones that aren’t easily seen but only felt. 

Most of Belle Northrop’s work was visionary.

Still, she came up with two powerful terminologies that shaped and balanced today’s style essences:

  • Yin (Warm, inviting, and friendly) 
  • Yang (Sharp, fierce, and unapproachable). 

The spectrum of style essences— Yin and Yang by Northrop

Although the terminology was taken from the Chinese concept, that describes opposite but interconnected forces.

“Yin is the receptive and yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle (winter and summer),… sexual coupling (female and male)” (Wikipedia).

A lot of experts argue that Yin and Yang didn’t particularly mean ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ in this context.

However, when we get down to deciphering the differences between male and female, yin and yang and the 7 essences, we will notice that the terminology was used to define women’s striking differences and uniqueness in their aura, personality, and physique.

In this context, we are going to different physical attributes as male-derived and female-derived.

What we don’t mean by that is that yin or yang doesn’t mean beautiful or less attractive. That’s just a type of personality.

We cannot argue with the established fact of Yin Yang’s theory that it is based on male and female appropriations.

John Kitchener singled out separate styles – “ingenue“, youthful and “ethereal”, angelic.

That in itself is an interesting finding. Youthful existed even before Kitchener (see Harriet McJimsey), and indeed, it is more accurate to divide the Romantic type into sensual and naive.

Ethereal is a Kitchener invention and a good find for “Dramatic” bone structure types to express romance.

According to John, all people are mixtures of style and essence. Here, we can conclude that an Essence is an undertone to your body shape ID (for example, by Kibbe ID).

So, that would be a great mix for those who are struggling to find themselves in Kibbe’s body type system.

Larson’s system presents similar concepts of having multiple IDs and essence.

I have discussed this previously here (basically for those who can be two or more types simultaneously).

You could be a Gamine body type by Kibbe and still have an Ethereal essence by Kitchener.

That would be determined mostly in your character that transcends onto your face first and gestures.

This is why a lot of people think that essences are only for face typing (which is not exactly the case).

Here, your character is your main essence.

One day, you feel angelic and soft, which translates into your clothing choices, and for the next day, you might be feeling sharp and dramatic.

And that’s going to reflect directly on your clothing.

This is why a lot of people think they have multidimensional essences, which also might be true if that represents who you really are.

Many scientists confirm the influence of human thinking, hence the character on their health and choice of style and wardrobe as such.

And the modern scientist Bruce Lipton even claims that the power of thought can really influence the genetics of the body!

It is not surprising that many people are concerned about the question: “How to change appearance with the power of thought?”

You may have heard the proverb, “You are what you think you are”.

There is no doubt that it reflects the real state of things in the world.

Even official and scientific psychology welcomes positive suggestions for people suffering from self-doubt, complexes, fears and phobias.

After all, for example, the most popular direction of modern psychology – cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) teaches that the cause of the very choice lies precisely in the thinking.

Before layering up yourself with any kind of essences, etc., you need to figure out whether your view of yourself is not completely different from the way and style that you choose, which would also be called as cognitive dissonance.

In general, it is quite clear that our thoughts create not just our mood but affect our whole life, including how we dress and present ourselves in public!

Take a closer look at Kim Kardashian in the dress of Merilyn Monroe.

Do you know why it doesn’t sit well on her?

It’s not only because blond hair doesn’t suit her nor does this extreme tan spoil the outfit. It’s something that Kim will never be able to pull off is the Ingenue essence that Monroe had about her.

It’s the fragile femininity and pure childlike gaze in the eyes that give away a feeling of something very precious.

Kim, on the other hand, makes this dress look cheap because she has a completely different vibe about her. She is not “fragile” – she is an aggressive femme fatale.

7 kitchener essences
7 kitchener essences

The same goes for Naomi Watts in the role of Diana.

Even though Diana was Flamboyant Natual Body Type by Kibbe and Naomi is Soft Classic – that’s not the point because both of them could make those outfits work for them.

But the very fact that Naomi was playing Diana – was a complete miss because the vibe is not there.

You can see it with your naked eye – this look just doesn’t sit well on Watts.

7 kitchener essences
7 kitchener essences

And, of course, Michelle Williams in the OZ as a princess.

By Kibbe she is Gamine body type, and she does have the Gamine essence.

This princess-like softness and Ingenue essence don’t go well with her. She doesn’t have this softness about her – she doesn’t feel it inside.

7 kitchener essences

The surrounding people, by the way, always treat us the way we treat ourselves (and now we are talking not only about the internal state, but also about the appearance).

The fierce end of the spectrum was Yang, and its opposite was Yin.

McJimsey, Kibbe, and Kitchener further defined their style essence with reference to the Yin and Yang balance. 

According to David Kibbe, ‘Yang’ best suits someone who’s tall, sharp, angular, straight, lean, etc.

‘Yin’ is best suited for shorter, petite, round, curvaceous women. 

  • (Kibbe’s Yang: Dramatic and Natural)
  • (Kibbe’s Yin: Gamine and Romantic)
  • (Kibbe’s Yin and Yang balance: Classic)

However, Kitchener debunked this analysis and stated that someone’s vibe could also alter their style essence on the Yin-Yang spectrum irrespective of their physical attributes. 

According to Kitchener, Yang best suits women who are fierce, bold, extroverted, unapproachable, and dominating.

Yin best suits women who are warm, soft, gentle, sensual, sexy, approachable, etc.

As a matter of fact, you can be a combination of both as per Kitchener’s style essences. 

However, before determining your style essence, let’s first understand all seven style essences.

The McJimsey’s style archetype

It was McJimsey who first articulated Belle Northrop’s concepts into a defined system.

Initially, McJimsey came up with six main style archetypes: Dramatic, Athletic, Classic, Romantic, Gamine, and Ingenue. 

  • Dramatic and Athletic fell under the yang style essence. 
  • Gamine and Ingenue fell under the yin side of the spectrum. 
  • Classic and Romantic were the balance between yin and yang style essence. 

Kibbe Style Vs. Kitchener Essences

Later in the 1980s, David Kibbe and John Kitchener came up with their own solutions to McJimsey’s first style system. 

What is the Kibbe style system?

  • Kibble terminated Ingenue for its insignificance in the adult world, given that the adult body is far from innocent or girlish/boyish. 
  • He devised his own ‘Kibbe essence system’ that included 5 main style families that were further classified into 13 IDs.

Dramatic, Natural, Classic, Gamine, Romantic

The 5 Kibbe Essence
  • He also went ahead and tweaked the position of Mcjimsey yin and yang balance as per his ideologies. 
  • Kibbe’s system was a ‘body positivity movement’ in its own way. It did allow individuals to accept their own body style rather than chase ridiculous beauty measures.
  • However, it wasn’t diverse enough for many individuals who begged to differ. 

Some of Kibbe’s body type examples are as follows: 

Kitchener’s system

On the other hand, Kitchener developed a more diverse and flexible style system that allowed more individuals to seek comfort in the broader spectrum. Something Kibbe couldn’t offer. 

While Kibbe’s system was majorly based on the physical attributes of an individual, Kitchener focused more on the vibe and the overall charm they executed. 

For instance, according to Kibbe types, Milla Jovovich is a definitive example of the dramatic essence, given her height and angular structure. 

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

However, by Kitchener, we believe that Milla Jovovich had a Dramatic and Natural essence as well as appearance and an interesting, sophisticated aura around her that gave her a double essence

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

The same goes for Marilyn Monroe and Beyonce.

According to Kibbe, they are both Verified Romantics. However, Kitchener suggests otherwise. 

Despite Marilyn’s sensual and curvaceous body, she carried immense innocence in her eyes.

So, Kitchener found it fit that Marilyn had an Ingenue essence.

Although a verified Romantic, Beyonce always executes a fierce and bold appearance, allowing her to fall under the Dramatic essence. 

Kibbe also believed that an individual could only have a single ID or style essence, which made many individuals feel lost in their own essence.

It was Kitchener who proposed the idea of having a blend of different essences. 

Here Kitchener believes each person has a unique mixture of original styles – persons in their own proportion.

Although how he wants to express this as a percentage is also difficult – we still change over time (and mood, with external circumstances, is not stable as well). 

The Seven Style Essences By John Kitchener 

Unlike Kibbe, John Kitchener didn’t find the need to terminate ‘Ingenue’ from the seven style essences.

In fact, he found ‘Ingenue’ quite the right candidate for his chart. 

Ingenue covers an innocent style, appearance, and aura, which might not be visible in the body but is definitely a beautiful personality trait. 

He added a seventh style essence to the Mcjimsey system after discovering Romeo Gigli and Darryl Hannah’s ethereal essence clothing lines.

He named this seventh style essence ‘Angelic’ or ‘Ethereal.’ 

The seven style essences by Kitchener included the following style archetypes.


  1. Dramatic 
  2. Gamine
  3. Natural 
  4. Classic
  5. Romantic 
  6. Ingenue 
  7. Angelic 


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The 7 Style Essences – Kitchener

Let’s discuss Kitchener’s seven style essences and find the style that best suits you. 

1. Dramatic Style essence (also called Theatrical or Mostly Yang)

Dramatic style essence represents the fierce and bold aura— like a Cheetah in the wilderness or the woman who knows her paramount in the hierarchy.

As Kitchener quotes, the world’s a stage for individuals with a Dramatic style essence.

They execute power, intensity, confidence, poise, and an attitude that makes people bow in respect.

Such individuals pull off extreme theatricality and unique outfits with lasting aftereffects. 

They are known for their adventurous spirit that doesn’t scare away from trying bold and unconventional styles.

While others may look comical in expressive or theatrical look, individuals with dramatic style essence make the crowd turn in awe and astonishment. 

Physical Characteristics

(Please note: Your style essence is a combination of your body language, physical attributes, facial features, and your overall vibe. So, having a Dramatic style essence is alright, even if you don’t match some of these physical characteristics.) 

A person with a Dramatic style essence often has a straight, narrow, angular, and tall body. ‘Narrow’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean extra-thin or lean, but yes, that works, too. 

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

They have sharp features, such as:

  • Angular Jawline
  • Pointed nose
  • High and edgy cheekbones
  • There is no hint of roundness on the face. 
  • Hooded (Narrow) eyes

These features (especially those eyes) and physique make them look intense, sincere, dangerous, and poise. 

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

There’s a reason why such individuals are categorized as the ‘most yang’ and ‘wild dramatics.’ 

Dramatic is the extreme “Yang” in Kitchener’s sense, and the most eye-catching style is persona.

Kitchener, like many, believes that the outside and the inside are strongly connected, so he describes the Dramatic style person as a person with rather rich hair and eye color, sharp and angular bone structure, and a tendency to show everything.

Dramatics have an expressive nature and often a rebellious spirit. However, this may be a mask which hides an internal vulnerability.

These people are drawn to eye-catching clothing.

To put it figuratively, “dramatic” in most classifications of style-persons is a kind of fiery nature. Sharp, noticeable, amplitude, penetrating.

Kitchener calls Dramatic “nature unleashed”. Approximate meaning can stylistically range from “true freedom” to “wildness unleashed”.

Healthy aggression, healthy craving for seduction, competitive spirit – apparently, this is all to his interpretation of “drama”.

Styles for Dramatic Essence

Can you pull off extreme fashion that doesn’t entirely sit with the concept of normal, regular, or basic with power— something that isn’t conventional, proper, or symmetrical?

Well, you represent the Dramatic style essence unabashedly. 

  • Polar-opposite combinations
  • Oversized garments
  • Asymmetrical outfits
  • Animal prints
  • Men’s wear 
  • Bold, unconventional prints
  • Bold colors such as blinding gold, neon, silver, etc
  • Unconventional fabrics include sequin, shimmer, colored leather, latex, velvet, etc. 

Celebrities that are a classic example of dramatic style essence

  • Cher
  • Zoe Saldana
  • Tilda Swinton (Dramatic and ethereal style essence)
  • Gal Gadot 
  • Ciara 
  • Lady Gaga
  • Katrina Kaif
  • Deepika Padukone
  • Mila Jovovich

(Please note: Celebrities or any other individual, as a matter of fact, can have a composite of style essences. These celebrities might also have other prominent/dominating style essences.) 

2. Gamine Style Essence 

“Paint me rebel.” 

Individuals with Gamine essence have a mischievous appeal to their aura. Their souls portray rebelliousness and playful theatricality.

Unlike Kibbe, who considered the Gamine style essence to be influential on the Yin side, Kitchener considered Gamine to have a ‘yang’ energy in their essence. 

Although whimsical, individuals with Gamine style essence still carry boldness and a powerful aura— that’s probably why they are called ‘playful dramatic yang.’ 

Unlike Dramatics, who are known for their maturity and seriousness, gamines are playfully theatrical with a boyish charm.

They are creative, energetic, high-spirited, and unapologetic. 

Physical characteristics of Gamine style essence

Kibbe and Kitchener have a similar description of individuals with Gamine-style essence. 

They both believe Gamine style essence best suits short, petite and compact individuals.

Their petite body types further accentuate their overall rogue boyish charm. Although, it’s not always necessary. 

“I solemnly pledge that I’m up to no good!”

Their Gamine faces resemble a mischievous child who’s up to no good and has playful destruction in his mind. 

Oh, that child doesn’t give away innocence or cuteness; they give away mischief.

Their doe (round) puppy eyes will make you believe they are innocent, but they aren’t. 

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

Gamine fashion 

Their selections are often compact but unconventional and bold nonetheless. 

  • Mix and match: They can easily pull off weird combinations of fabric, prints, and patterns. 
  • Vintage, retro, and sometimes, emo. 
  • They explore rebellious (compact) prints and patterns that others might hesitate to try. 
  • Compact shapes and outfits highlight their overall young, playful aura. 
  • Straight and narrow tailoring, instead of round and soft, because they pull off boyish tailoring like a pro!
  • Intricate details: Their outfit, accessories, and overall getup are well thought out with elaborate details. 

Gamine celebrities: 

  • Cara Delevingne
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Emma Stone
  • Emma Watson
  • Zoe Kravitz 
  • Miley Cirus (Romantic Gamine)

3. Natural Style Essence or the casual Yang

Individuals with natural style essence are severely misunderstood for having a ‘lack of interest in fashion’ or a ‘lazy attitude towards styling themselves up.’ 

However, this essence represents serenity, Mother Earth, natural elements, and soulful clothing. 

Of course, individuals with natural essence have a laid-back, comfortable, sportive, and active style of sense. Still, it doesn’t negate the existence of fashion in their life. 

Instead, they adopt a comfortable and active style that is not lousy or sloppy.

They always appear well-dressed and yet comfortable in their skin and body. 

Natural style essence represents freedom, adventure, authenticity, and a close relationship with the outdoor lifestyle.

Such individuals often have lively, active souls ready to take on adventure with freedom at their feet. 

The natural style – the person is seen like this: she/he gives the impression of being strong and free and has a simple, easy-going character.

Her height is medium to tall, and she often has broad shoulders. There may be some asymmetry in her facial features; her eyebrows may be straight.

Her eyes are lively and bright; her hair is coarse. She likes to be outdoors, and she may be interested in sports.

The representative of the Natural Style person prefers clothes that are practical and comfortable, and she likes to use free-cut and natural fabrics.

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

Physical characteristics 

  • Abstractly, individuals with a natural body type are taller, with broad shoulders and a sturdy body type. They are not generally petite or small, but it can be a possibility. 
  • They have serene and asymmetrical features like a beautiful landscape. 
  • They have flowy, long hair. 

Styles that best suit Natural style essence

  • Natural outfits are comfortable and have amorphous layers. 
  • Bohemian ensemble
  • Tribal patterns and accessories. 
  • Traditional prints. 
  • Denim
  • Sportswear
  • Oversized outfits
  • Earthy colors and elements 

Celebrities that are a classic example of Natural style essence: 

  • Gigi Hadid
  • Lisa Bonet
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Natural/Gamine)

4. Classic style essence

Individuals with classic essence are the balanced representation of Yin and Yang.

There’s elegance in their charm but also power in their grasp. 

They have a timeless grace in their attire, formality in their stature, and elegance in their aura.

Classic style essence blends conservatism, formality, and poise in their overall appearance.

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

Physical characteristics

Since they are the powerful blend of Yin and Yang, their physique is neither petite/small nor too sturdy/tall. 

They have average height with symmetrical faces.

Often, they have a spotless (polished) reflection— everything on them looks well-put-together and clean,  and nothing appears to be out of place.

This gains them the title of being flawlessly elegant. 

  • Neither too round/soft nor too straight/narrow. 
  • Symmetrical face. 
  • Formal hair that never goes out of place. 

Styles that best suit classic style essence

Individuals with classic style essence don’t chase the ‘trends.’ They forever remain true to their timeless style. 

  • Neutral colors.
  • Formal attire. 
  • Vintage (Hats, scarfs, coats, skirts) 
  • Balanced cloth fits (not excessively flattering, not oversized)
  • Subtle, simple, and elegant accessories, such as pearls. 
  • Minimal and precise details. 
  • Premium fabric. 

Celebrities with classic style essence 

  • Michelle Obama
  • Lucy Lui
  • Maryl Streep

5. Romantic style essence— the deep sensual yin

“Color my blood red.” 

Womanly, glamorous, sensuous, exotic, and luxurious are some of the many adjectives used for the romantic essence.

Their overall aura drips with romance, indulging maturity, and sensuality. 

A darker manifestation of yin, a feminine body with forms, usually of medium height, often dark-haired, hair is voluminous, eyes appear dark and rich, eyes are fiery or mysterious, skin is smooth and radiant.

Romantic style – the person prefers pleasant to the touch, elegant fabrics; draped, flowing silhouettes, and embellishment.

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

There is a craving for dark, seeming evening dresses, large floral prints, and rounded accessories.

Kitchener believes that representatives of the romantic style have an innate charm; they often have fans (not an indicator of some style – persons; in my opinion, everyone has their own charms).

And they like to receive expensive jewelry as a gift (This is also not style – to people, of course, it is superficial from the mass culture of Kitchener).

The Romantics love jewelry. The price has nothing to do with it).

Romantics love makeup and various “feminine things” to show their extreme femininity.

Romantics enjoy candlelight dinners, champagne, and desserts.

Romantic style – persona is often self-indulgent (Kitchener describes “sensual” – as a type that concentrates on refined pleasures).

They love to travel to delightful romantic destinations like Venice or stroll along the beach at sunset with their partner.

Physical characteristics

  • Emphasis on the word ’round, soft, and curvaceous.’
  • Individuals with a romantic style essence don’t particularly need to have an hourglass body type with a big upper body and a big lower body. Instead, it represents the curves, fleshiness and roundness of a woman.
  • Round features with big doe or alluring eyes and inviting full lips. 
  • They are neither short/petite nor tall/sturdy. They have an average height with exotic features. 

Romantic body-type clothing. 

  • A flattering style that hugs their curves like second skin. 
  • Tight fits that focus on their roundness. 
  • Red, maroon, and pink are prominent colors for the romantics. 
  • Drapes and wraps are standard, not overly necessary, though. 
  • Luxurious fabrics such as silk and velvet. 
  • Extravagant jewelry. 
  • Romantic body-type clothes have flattering necklines that are often deep and sensual.
  • Soft, flowing tailoring. 
  • Lace, the color black, and floral prints. 

Celebrities with romantic style essence.

  • Sofia Vergara
  • Marilyn Manore (Her body flaunts romantic style essence, and her soul captures Ingenue essence.)
  • Brigitte Bardot
  • Julia Roberts

6. Ingenue style essence, also popularly termed as Youthful.

Ingenue style essence reflects small-scale Yin and accentuates gentle, youthful, and innocent femininity. Their characteristic charm is delicate/feminine beauty. 

Physical characteristics

Although Ingenue style essence shares many physical similarities with Gamine style essence, their overall aura, vibe, and essence are quite the contrary. 

  • Ingenue body type is smaller in frame with feminine roundness. They are generally considered petite but not always necessary. 
  • An Ingenue face has round features with doe wide-eyes and cupid lips. 
  • The face is often childlike— round or heart-shaped.
Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

Styles that best suit Ingenue style essence 

  • Compact, floral prints. 
  • Ruffles, frills, puffed sleeves. 
  • Compact design and length. 
  • Delicate lace work. 
  • Pretty tailoring
  • Pastel colors. 
  • Vintage designs. 
  • The color pink is prominent. 

Celebrities with Ingenue style essence. 

  • Sharon Rooney
  • Emma stone
  • Elizabeth Gillies
  • Aja Naomi King
  • Natalie Dormer
  • Kim Yoo Jung

7. Angelic style essence 

“The ethereal beauty that’s unworldly.”

Kitchener believes that angelic style essence is the most Yin amongst all the style essences— they reflect fierce softness, mystical aura, and a heavenly charm. 

Kitchener Essences
Kitchener Essences

Physical characteristics

  • Angelic-style essence generally has a tall, mermaid-like body. 
  • Their ethereal faces and features resemble a fairy or a goddess. 
  • They have an oval-shaped face with mysterious eyes that allows you to dive deeper into their mystery. 

Styles that best suit Angelic style essence: 

  • Flowing dresses that make them look like they are floating. 
  • Intricate details of glitter and gold. 
  • Wrapped and draped dresses
  • Soft and glittering material. 
  • Ethereal colors. 
  • Neutral colors with ornate details. 
  • Royal jewelry. 
  • Fur, feathers, and wings. 
  • Diamond.
  • Abstract patterns that are often considered ‘artistic.’

Celebrities with Ethereal style essence. 

  • Jun Ji-Hyun
  • Lisa Bonet
  • Jourdan Dunn
  • Sofia Boutella
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Deepika Padukone

And that’s your guide to the 7 Kitchener style essences. I hope you found this article useful in finding a style that suits your body type and lifestyle.

You can read more on seasonal color palettes or Kibbe body types in my other articles. Or alternatively, find your capsule wardrobe body type.

Iryna Fedorchak

[email protected]

Throwing my fashion & color philosophy like confetti ;)

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