Sew Your Kibbe: Dramatic Classic
For an introduction to the Sew Your Kibbe Series, please see this post. The posts in this series are intended to be a well researched and thorough investigation of the Kibbe style recommendations, along with several example patterns for each “level of dress.” The posts in this series will be picture heavy and quite lengthy. As always, you may want some tea.
At this point we’ve covered the five main types (Dramatic, Romantic, Classic, Gamine, and Natural), and first two subtypes (Soft Dramatic and Theatrical Romantic) in Kibbe’s system. All of our remaining main types have two subtypes each – one that has more yin overtones and another that has more yang overtones. When we looked at the Classic ID, we had a type that was a total blend of yin and yang. This week we will look at Kibbe’s Dramatic Classic – a blended type that has slightly more yang to add a bit of extra drama to the features. Kibbe’s Dramatic Classic is described as a “Tailored Chic.” You can read more about Kibbe’s Dramatic Classic here.
Body Type Characteristics
The following are Kibbe’s descriptions of a Dramatic Classic Body Type:
DRAMATIC CLASSIC PHYSICAL PROFILE
NOTE: The following information should be taken as a broad outline of what makes a Dramatic Classic. It is the overall combination of the balance between Yin and Yang leaning (slightly angular physicality with a coolly sophisticated essence) that creates this Image Identity category. Therefore, slight deviation here or there is always possible and should not be worried over if it does not upset your Yin/Yang balance.
Height: Moderate, up to 5 feet 7 inches.
Bone Structure: Symmetrical, with slightly angular edges. Straight and slightly wide. Shoulders are tapered or slightly square, usually narrow. Slightly squarish hands and feet. Slightly sharp, angular or squarish facial contours (jawline, nose, cheekbones).
Body Type: Fairly trim and compact when at an ideal weight. Slightly muscular when at ideal weight. Bustline, waist and hips are somewhat straight and in even proportion when at ideal weight. On occasion slightly short-waisted. Legs and arms tend to be average or slightly long. Your body type will seem to radically change when you gain even a little weight. This is actually an illusion because your bone structure remains the same.
Facial Features: Usually moderate to large eyes, moderate lips.
Hair: May be thick and straight or fine and silky but rarely coarse. Possibly wavy/curly.
Coloring: Any coloring is possible(warm or cool, high-contrast or blended).
If overweight: Excess weight shows up right away and collects from the waist down. You seem to gain weight in the hips and thighs. You rarely gain weight around the bustline. The heavier you get, the more pear-shaped you become.
A Dramatic Classic will not:
- Have extremely long limbs.
- Have extremely exotic or overly lush facial features.
- Have extremely large bones or extremely large hands and feet.
- Have delicate bones or extremely small hands and feet.
- Have an hourglass figure.
- Have a boyishly straight figure.
The following are Kibbe’s recommendations regarding the clothing and style choices that best suit his Dramatic Classic image ID. The following recommendations will be taken into consideration for each garment type listed below:
- SHAPE: Triangular, with the widest line at the shoulders, narrow at the hemline. Symmetrical geometrics, which can be sharp or sculpted. Trim, tailored, taut and crisp and slightly chunky.
- AVOID: Ornate, intricate, or delicate shapes. Irregular shapes. Unconstructed or extremely boxy shapes. Simple symmetrical shapes without sharp edges or an elongated line.
- LINE AND SILHOUETTE: Your silhouette is always trim and tailored with sharp edges. Clean, sleek lines. Straight lines. Elongated draping. Strong, defined shoulder line with crisp edges. Strong vertical and diagonal lines.
- AVOID: Clingy, ornate, intricate, or flouncy lines. Unconstructed, wide, boxy, or horizontal lines. Extremely severe lines without tapering. Plain, symmetrical lines without sharp or sculpted edges.
- FABRIC: High-quality fabrics in moderate weights. Matte-finished fabrics form the basis of your wardrobe, although you may certainly use shiny silks and the like as blouses or accents and may go ultra-shiny (to the point of lames and metallics) for evening. Moderate piles. Pliable knits and wovens (heavy jersey, cashmere, gabardine, etc.).
- AVOID: Lightweight fabrics that cling or are ultra-sheer. Heavyweight fabrics that are stiff and bulky. Rough textures that are thick.
- DETAIL: Detail should be crisp, tailored and geometric with sharp edges. Sharp or sculpted shoulder pads are a must in everything you own!
Cleanly tailored necklines: notched collars, crisp Mandarins, simple jabots or ascots, cleanly slashed necklines, geometric V’s, asymmetric angulars, turtlenecks, and narrow cowls.
Sharp details: pleats, crisp cuffs, peaked and notched or cleanly streamlined lapels, double-breasted jackets, contrasting trim, epaulets, piping, or clean braiding.
The waist may be crisply defined with a moderate to wide belt with a geometric buckle or may be dropped or eliminated altogether in a narrow chemise-effect.
Detail that includes sharp color contrast is excellent (for example: spectator pumps, contrasting buttons, lapel outlining).
Sophisticated nautical-type detail is also striking when it is crisp and tailored.
- AVOID: Ornate, intricate, or fussy detail, including frills. Animated, “perky” detail. Plain and symmetrical detail without sharp edges. Wide, unconstructed, or bulky detail. Minimal detail.
- SEPARATES: Use carefully. Separates can be extremely effective for you when well-planned in matched sets. An “ensemble approach” to your head-to-toe appearance is always necessary.
- COLOR: our use of color should be bold and sophisticated. Neutrals and deep colors are quite effective for you as they provide a background of simplicity to showcase your elegant use of line. Pastels can be equally effective if the fabric is very special, and you utilize them in head-to-toe sweeps. Generally, thick of blending intensities of your outfits to retain your strong vertical lines. Contrasting trim is very striking on you, particularly in two-color combinations. They key is to pick up the accent color in several places, not just one. In this way you don’t break up your sleek silhouette, you merely accent it.
- AVOID: Multicolor splashes. A mix ‘n match approach to color. All neutrals or monochromatics with bold accents.
- PRINTS: Prints should be geometric, slightly oversized, and bold in color contrast. Stripes, zigzags, slashes, and sleek asymmetrics also work.
- AVOID: Flowery prints. Soft, flowing prints. Ornate prints. Irregular prints. Animated, “cute” prints. Small, symmetrical prints.
- ACCESSORIES: Should be clean, elegant, and crisply tailored, with sharp angles.
- SHOES: Angular, Italian-style pumps. Tailored and narrow styles. Tailored flats. Sleek, sling-backs. “Two-toned” styles (Chanel, spectators).
- AVOID: Overly delicate or strappy styles. Heavy, chunky styles. Plain pumps or simple symmetrical styles.
- BAGS: Crisply tailored bags. Envelopes, clutches, box-shaped bags. Metallic evening clutches. Narrow to medium briefcases, constructed, with a frame.
- AVOID: Overly delicate or ornate styles. Large, unconstructed styles.
- BELTS: Moderate to wide styles with large geometric buckles. Wide self-belts. Contrasting-color belts (to match shoes and jewelry or hat).
- AVOID: Waist-cinchers. Overly ornate styles. Delicate or narrow styles.
- HATS: Crisply tailored styles. Sharp edges and contrasting trim. Moderate to small size. Geometric and clean shapes.
- AVOID: Fussy hats with ornate trim. Oversized styles. Severe styles. Unconstructed or floppy styles.
- HOSIERY: Sheer, silky stockings are best. In terms of color, blend in one tone between hemline, stocking, and shoe to keep your dominant vertical line sleep. The exception to this is when you are working with sharp color contrast, head-to-toe, and your shoe or stocking color is in contrast to each other or to your hemline. Just be sure this color is picked up in several other places to avoid chopping your look.
Textured stockings are elegant in geometrics (herringbone, etc.) when kept translucent.
- AVOID: Opaque stockings. Lacy stockings. Ornate stockings.
- JEWELRY: Should be sleek, elegant, and slightly chunky. Geometric shapes with sharp edges. Smooth circles that are crisp and oversized are possible. Earrings should be on the ear or spray up (not down or dangly). Necklaces should be crisply tailored and slightly chunky, and rest around the collarbone area. Moderate wrist cuffs are also possible. Remember: One elegant piece is quite effective on you!
For the individual garment types, obviously, I will be focusing on the lines of the garment, as fabric and color choices would easily be controlled by the home sewer. It’s nice that he included a long list of acceptable fabrics though!
Jackets: Jackets are a mainstay of your wardrobe, and you should have them for every occasion, from daytime to glamour to casual. They should be crisp and tailored, with sharp shoulders and elongated line. If unconstructed, they should be very narrow and fall below the break of the hip. The shortest jacket that is sophisticated enough for you is cropped to rest at the top of the hipbone and has a very sleek, streamlined effect. Double-breasted jackets are also quite effective on you.
AVOID: Flouncy jackets that are nipped and tucked with gathers and trim. Peplums. Wide, boxy jackets. Ultra-cropped jackets (boleros, waistcoats, etc.)
Coats – Level 1: Since the Dramatic Classic look is so tailored, even their casual looks will be a bit more constructed than most of the other style IDs. As we saw with the straight Classic type, many of these styles would work at any level, and will heavily depend on fabric choice. Though Kibbe does say you should have a jacket for every occasion, so that does mean you get to indulge a bit in this clothing category!
Butterick 5823: Crisply tailored collar, elongated line, and narrow. This is relatively unconstructed, but still fits the guidelines. It has some great double breasted button options too!
Burda 6461: View A is a great coat for a Dramatic Classic; it is very crisply tailored and has very sharp shoulders. It would look great with a pair of jeans, but could easily work over a suit as well.
Burda 7329: More sharp shoulders, narrow, elongated line, and clean tailoring.
BS-11-2007-115: The zippers add a nice bit of flavor to this coat without taking away from the clean lines. A Dramatic Classic can easily handle this sort of detail, especially since it is small and adds to the sharpness and vertical line.
Vogue 8626: The version with the collar could be a great winter coat option for a Dramatic Classic. The elongated vertical line and tailoring are there, but the slightly relaxed feel makes this a pretty good casual option.
BS-08-2009-102: This is as short as a Dramatic Classic should go with their coats and jackets; this one has some nice details that add shoulder emphasis and extra yang sharpness.
BS-11-2008-123: Double breasted option. I like the sharpness of the flap for a Dramatic Classic; it adds a crispness that this coat wouldn’t otherwise have.
BS-02-2011-125: Narrow shape and lots of additions to emphasize the vertical line. It has just enough detail to really work for a Dramatic Classic.
Coats – Level 2: The Level 2 options are typically more tailored and less detailed than those in Level 1. Many of the looks are quite similar between the two levels; on a Classic type even small changes in detail will have big changes in the overall effect.
Burda 6845: Both of these lengths would be great, though the long line of monochromatic color as seen in view A would work better for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-02-2005-112: Narrow, sleek, and streamlined.
BS-02-2010-126: Unconstructed, but still very narrow and sleek looking.
BS-08-2012-101A: Another example of a narrow unconstructed style.
Kwik Sew 4225: Sharp shoulders, crisp tailoring, and a long line.
BS-08-2010-111: Lots of yummy tailored details here, but with enough restraint to still work for a Classic subtype.
Vogue 9212: Dramatic Classics can get away with diagonal angular lines in a way that pure Classics can’t. The overall look here is still tailored and streamlined, but also visually interesting.
Vogue 1467: Double breasted look that ends just at the top of the hip.
Vogue 8884: A great trench coat option; very crisp and tailored.
BS-09-2003-107: The collar detail makes this coat feel very Dramatic Classic. The narrow fit and sleek line are great as well.
BS-09-2003-118: Peacoat styles have the great double breasted tailoring necessary for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-11-2003-120: A more modern feel for a Dramatic Classic. The crisp tailoring, sharp shoulders, and elongated line are prominent.
BS-09-2012-103: A crisply tailored version of a trench coat.
BS-11-2017-124: This Burda Plus coat has lots of great tailoring details.
BS-09-2007-127A: Crisply sharp and sleek.
Coats – Level 3: I couldn’t find many Level 3 coat options, but I think many of the Level 1 or Level 2 options could be made for a formal even with different fabric choices.
BS-02-2013-116: Crisp and sleek, but with a very fancy fabric. It would be “too much” for a Classic subtype in an everyday scenario, but it would provide enough glamour to a Dramatic Classic for a formal evening event.
Jackets – Level 1: As with the longer coats, the casual Dramatic Classic looks have more details that really make the looks read as casual.
Burda 7424: The shorter jacket would be really sharp on a Dramatic Classic. The longer version could work well at Level 1 or Level 2.
Burda 6661: View A has the crisp tailoring that a Dramatic Classic needs, even in their casual jackets.
Burda 6847: Either of these would work for a Dramatic Classic, but I think view B is particularly good because of the extra sharpness of the collar.
BS-11-2007-113B: Crisp, elongated lines on this blazer make it work, though it may be a tad short for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-10-2010-108A: Double breasted style with some intense tailoring, especially on the lapels.
New Look 6481: Sleek, elongated blazer with minimal detail.
BS-10-2012-106: Lots of fantastic details on this jacket. Everything feels clean, crisp, and tailored though, keeping it very Dramatic Classic.
BS-09-2009-103: The curved seams keep this from being placed in Level 2, but the general feel is still sleek and tailored.
BS-08-2011-102: Another great military coat option. Lots of emphasis on the vertical line.
BS-11-2006-101: Lots of sharpness to the lines in this jacket, and the closures add just enough detail for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-12-2006-123: The overall feel is elongated and sleek, especially when compared to lots of other puffer/winter style short jackets.
BS-10-2014-107: This could be a really sleek moto jacket for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-03-2012-115: Another great moto-jacket option; it has a nice sleek look, but still a casual air about it.
BS-10-2010-138: A great Burda Plus option; a Dramatic Classic can really handle the fun shoulder details.
Jackets – Level 2: The level 2 jackets have some more formal tailoring details and would look great as part of a business suit or for a fancier night out.
Burda 7129: Sharp shoulders and elongated lines, but with a few design features that add the sharpness needed for a Dramatic Classic.
Butterick 4688: In Kibbe’s general recommendations Mandarin collars get a big thumbs up, and the longer lengths of these jackets are spot on with his recommendations.
Butterick 6104: An elongated jacket with classically sharp lapels.
Burda 6376: Very sharp shoulders and a crisp look. The collar on View A may be a bit rounded, but it is elongated and crisp, so it should work well for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-10-2003-120: Love adding the geometric lines to the collar as emphasis on this blazer.
Burda 6581: Another elongated style with sharp lapel details. View A would be too short, but the other views would be perfect.
BS-09-2009-107: Love the collar on this blazer – very crisp and cleanly tailored.
BS-08-2014-126: This is the “basic” blazer for a Dramatic Classic. It doesn’t necessarily add a ton of dramatic touches, but it is clean and crisp.
Vogue 9039: The angled seam lines and length fit this style into the Dramatic Classic possibilities.
BS-08-2006-102: Another elongated style with crisp/clean lines. The monochromatic color scheme and trousers are also perfect for a Dramatic Classic look.
Burda 6616: The elongated version is perfect for a Dramatic Classic. Love how the zipper features add to the vertical line.
Simplicity 1756: This coat is elongated, crisp, and double breasted. The cut-outs would be a bit much on a pure Classic, but a Dramatic Classic could handle the extra bit of detail.
BS-01-2016-130: A fabulous, crisply tailored Burda Plus option.
BS-10-2010-139: Again, we see a touch of detail can go a long way for a Dramatic Classic; the overall look is elongated and clean, but the shoulder emphasis adds a bit of fun.
BS-09-2007-127: The shorter version of the Burda Plus coat from before could work well as part of an office look, or even a more casual look as showcased here.
Jackets – Level 3: These are some really lovely jacket options; the details are impactful, but not too over the top, and the result is a really fantastic formal look.
Burda Plus S/S 2013 #405: I’ve always loved this jacket! The contrast adds a sharpness that really works for a Dramatic Classic, but the overall look is quite elegant and sophisticated.
BS-03-2016-133: Another great formal Burda Plus option; the neckline is very clean and crisp, with some sharp angles, but not too much detail for a Classic.
BS-04-2010-126B: As depicted this jacket is more of a Level 2, but I thin it could look very sharp as part of an evening suit. It has minimal detailing and extremely sharp shoulders – it would be a really fierce look for a Dramatic Classic!
Burda Classic 2013 #0002B: Elongated lines and lots of angles work well for a Dramatic Classic. This whole outfit, as depicted, would be pretty fantastic for them.
BS-02-2015-112B: Another elongated style. The small, geometric print is also in keeping with their recommendations.
Skirts: Skirts should be straight and narrow. A few crisp gathers at the waist are usually needed to accommodate your hips. It is very important that your skirts are always flat from the hip to the upper thigh area. Pleats should thus be stitched down at the top, so as not to upset your sleekly vertical line. Small slits are excellent, as is any tailored detail such as pocket flaps, contrasting stitching, waistbands, etc. Hemlines can range from one inch below the knee to the top of the calf. The latter will need a slit. Longer is, of course, perfect for evening.
A bias-cut skirt is possible, as is a straight skirt that has a bias-cut piece added to the bottom, gently flaring out. These hemlines are uneven and must be longer, in the mid-calf range.
AVOID: Full, flouncy skirts. Skirts with fussy detail (draping, shirring, and gathers). A-lines. Wide, unconstructed skirts.
Level 1: For Level 1 skirts, the overall effect is that of being casual because of the combination of details and fabric choice.
BS-05-2009-104: Crisp gathers at the waist, straight, narrow, a small slit, just below the knee, and a few tailoring details.
Simplicity 1367: Simple and elongated. This is a great option to utilize print fabric for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-03-2006-115C: Sleek and narrow, with a small slit at the knee. The monochromatic color scheme is very Dramatic Classic.
BS-02-2008-111A: Again, sleek and narrow, but with a few angular details to add interest.
BS-03-2010-106B: Narrow, with a few tailored details. A Dramatic Classic may need to extend the hem length a bit.
BS-04-2012-135: This Burda Plus skirt is great – it has the shape and line, plus some fantastic angular details that can really add to the Dramatic Classic look.
BS-12-2014-116: Elongated line with a slit up the front.
BS-09-2009-133: A straight skirt with bias-cut pieces attached at the bottom with gentle flare. I think it would work well in a casual ensemble; possibly for a fancier look as well in a different fabrication.
BS-08-2018-121: Elongated, narrow, with angular detailing.
Butterick 6326: Very sleek and narrow, emphasizing the vertical line.
Burda Easy F/W 2017 #5A: Sleek and narrow, with a back slit and zip detail on the front. Everything is very vertically elongating.
Simplicity 8175: Both views A and B are elongated with slits and pocket details. Either could work for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-08-2010-127: Extremely fitted and elongating.
Burda Plus S/S #407: This Burda Plus option emphasizes the vertical line with the stitching detail on the front.
BS-06-2007-132: A long Burda Plus option with vertical slit up the front. As a side note: those hip yoke seam pockets are so cool!
BS-08-2014-139: Although a Dramatic Classic would want a different fabric, the overall silhouette here would work, as does the pocket detail.
Level 2: For Level 2 we see even sleeker, more fitted examples.
Burda 6467: Both views would work here; we have an elongated line, with a side slit and minimal detail. The fitted waist is great.
Burda 6835: A similar style with a zip slit detail. View A’s length would be better for a Dramatic Classic.
Burda 7069: View B would be the better option here, though view A could work if we take Kibbe’s description of a bias cut skirt quite liberally.
BS-10-2005-105A: Sleek and elongated; the details add a very angular effect.
BS-09-2010-118: More elongated with minimal detailing.
BS-01-2011-113: A similar elongated style, with a vent in the back.
BS-09-2013-105A: Simple, narrow, elongated, with a side slit for walking.
BS-11-2015-125: Here is a Burda Plus example with a small slit and elongated, narrow line.
BS-09-2017-114: This is a fantastic recent option from BurdaStyle Magazine.
BS-09-2018-110B: This year also features elongated, sleek lines with clean tailoring detail.
Burda 6431: View A could be great for a Dramatic Classic who wants a skirt that goes to the calf.
Burda 6469: The angled pockets work for a Dramatic Classic because they are still sleek and clean.
Burda 6506: View A could be a great office look for a Dramatic Classic. Not boring, but still fairly conservative with the minimal slit.
Burda 6700: View B is a great length, and it includes a lengthening slit detail.
Burda 6705: If a Dramatic Classic wants a very basic skirt this could be a great option.
Burda 7248: Vintage styles have the length, fit, and waist details Kibbe describes.
Vogue 9209: Elongated, with a slit, and fun tailoring details on the pockets.
Vogue 8697: Lots of great lengths here, with very sharp, crisp details.
Vogue 8672: Views A and B would work for a Dramatic Classic; the extra detail at the waist is great.
McCall’s 5523: The grey and yellow options could work for a Dramatic Classic; the red and blue styles would be too flouncy.
BS-08-2017-102: A narrow style with a slit and angular zip detail.
BS-08-2016-128A: The seaming detail adds vertical emphasis that really works for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-03-2013-117: A very simple style in a good silhouette.
BS-08-2011-127: Elongated, narrow, with a “faux slit” in the front. Great way to get the look and still have a more conservative feel.
Level 3: We get to see a few more examples of the bias-cut options for evening.
BS-04-2001-137: Very straight and narrow, but with the extra godet at the back for movement. The overall impression is great for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-11-2003-132: I don’t know that I would choose this fabric combo for a Dramatic Classic, but the skirt silhouette would be fantastic for evening.
BS-12-2003-103: Another elongated, crisp style.
BS-12-2003-114A: Very long and straight, with a slit detail for movement.
BS-11-2006-114A: Adding a decorative bit of fabric to the slit can really elevate the design for an evening look.
BS-12-2015-115C: Ultra shiny fabrics are perfect for evening; this elongated skirt with angular slit would be great for a Dramatic Classic if the sequins were lined to give a bit more opacity.
BS-02-2018-119: Very flat but detailed waistband. The overall silhouette is extremely crisp and sleek.
BS-12-2008-125: Elongated, gently flaring, with a slit.
Burda 8133: The View D skirt is great for evening – elongated and very shiny.
BS-03-2016-134A: Here is a Burda Plus example. It is perhaps not as narrow as would be desired, but it is generally crisp and sleek.
BS-03-2016-134B: The full length version would be a bit more successful for an evening look.
Pants: Simple tailored styles with pleats and man-tailored detail are best. The pants should be clean, sleek, and elegant.
AVOID: Fussy or ornate styles. Tapered or pegged style. Wide, baggy, or unconstructed styles.
Level 1: Since the trouser styles all need to be clean and sleek, fabric choice is really going to be the determining factor for level of dress in this category.
Burda 7348: View C is clean and sleek with simple detail.
BS-02-2005-102A: The angular detail at the top adds a touch of interest, but the overall silhouette is very sleek. The contrasted topstitching makes the look feel casual.
BS-02-2205-110: The button detail adds just enough to keep these trousers interesting but still fitting for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-08-2005-113: The amount of detail on these trousers definitely makes them feel casual, but the overall look is still quite sleek.
BS-11-2006-122A: Even an interesting pocket detail can make a pair of simple trousers feel more casual for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-02-2011-124: Clean and sleek, but the fabrication makes these feel less formal.
Burda 6432: Narrow jeans styles could work because they still feel very sleek and streamlined.
Burda 7863: Another jeans option for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-02-2005-106: Simple and sleek, with just a hit of detail at the waist.
BS-09-2006-118A: Just a hint of topstitching detail on these otherwise simple trousers.
BS-09-2009-113B: Another option for a sleek looking pair of jeans.
BS-03-2006-131A: This Burda Plus look is quite clean and tailored, but clearly works for a casual look.
BS-03-2008-126B: Another streamlined Burda Plus look with a touch of detail.
BS-07-2008-131B: The pockets and topstitched cuffs give this the “man tailored” details Kibbe mentioned.
BS-09-2009-109: Very sleek and clean, with a front pleat and cuff detail.
BS-08-2006-112A: Similar to the above style, but even sharper in appearance.
Level 2: The level 2 looks are a bit sharper, more tailored, and less detailed.
Burda Classic 2013 #0008: Very clean and crisp, with a center front pleat detail.
BS-08-2013-118B: Another sleek, elegant style with “man-tailored” welt pocket detail.
Vogue 1416: A nice option of trousers from Vogue.
Burda 6816: This Burda Plus design is very crisp and clean. View A would be great for a Dramatic Classic.
Burda Plus F/W 2013 #411B: Very sleek, with some interesting tailoring details and pockets.
BS-10-2007-126B: Sleek, clean, with pleats and cuffs.
BS-01-2009-130A: A very sleek look with minimal tailoring elements.
BS-10-2009-134: Another fantastic Burda Plus option.
Burda 6898: Another very clean/sleek/crisp option.
BS-11-2018-117A: This is a more modern example of a clean look with minimal detail.
BS-11-2015-107B: Sleek and clean, with a front pleat.
BS-02-2007-115A: Very sleek with minimal detail.
Level 3: As previously stated, most of the trouser styles could work at any level, but I did find some Burda Plus trousers that would look great as part of a Level 3 outfit.
BS-12-2005-130A: Extremely clean and sleek. Pairing with a fabulous jacket is great for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-02-2013-143B: Clean and sleek, with minimal tailoring details.
BS-02-2013-143A: Burda even paired this style with a top as part of a wedding look!
Blouses: Blouses should be elegant and tailored, with sharp edges and crisp detail. Stock-tie blouses are acceptable with a very tailored suit, but a more dramatic style is best when the jacket is not covering it. Fabric can be crisp and smooth (luscious cottons), elegantly shiny (charmeuse), or softly woven (challis).
AVOID: Frilly, ornate, flouncy styles with excess detail. Unconstructed styles with no detail.
Level 1: I tried to find a variety of styles that could work in more casual fabrics but still had elegant, sharply tailored edges to them.
BS-09-2008-107: The sleeves create a very sharp edge and shoulder emphasis. In sequins this could go as part of a date night/evening look; but in a knit this could be a good basic t-shirt pattern for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-07-2009-106: The feel is crisp and tailored, though the overall impression is quite casual. Good for an easy summer look; it would probably work well under a jacket.
BS-10-2011-128C: One of the tie blouses that would be “acceptable” as part of a suit; without a jacket it gives a much more casual feel to an outfit.
BS-06-2014-115: The pleating detail adds a sharpness to the top of this shirt.
Simplicity 1462: Clean lines, but not necessarily sharp enough to work in a more formal outfit.
BS-05-2007-116A: A short sleeved button up blouse is great as part of a casual look. The geometric print Burda used would also fit in well with the Dramatic Classic look.
BS-06-2007-111: The asymmetry makes this blouse feel quite casual, but the overall impression is very crisp and clean.
BS-01-2009-108: This style could work in a “crisp and smooth” cotton or an “elegantly shiny” charmeuse.
BS-04-2006-117: Just enough detail to make this top suitable for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-06-2006-102: Sharp tailoring details keep this Dramatic Classic, but the overall cut reads as very casual.
Burda 6630: Am great knit option for a casual Dramatic Classic look.
Burda 6795: The overall look is quite sleek and streamlined.
Burda Easy F/W 2015 #3A: The collar adds a sharpness to this streamlined knit top.
BS-11-2015-112: I would call this pretty elegant and tailored for a knit style top.
Butterick 5525: The yellow version has a very sharp neckline that would work well with a Dramatic Classic.
Burda 6722: A similar option from Burda.
BS-10-2006-114B: The shoulder details offset the rounded neckline, so this should work for a casual Dramatic Classic look.
BS-09-2016-124: The simple details feel clean and sharp, but also very athleisure casual.
McCall’s 7092: V-necks create a sharpness that help more basic knit tops work for a Dramatic Classic.
Vogue 9227: This pattern has some fun shoulder details that add a more tailored feel to a knit top.
Vogue 8670: Similar to the above. This pattern also comes in larger sizes; I’ve been meaning to make it for my mom for a while now…
Level 2: The Level 2 options have more traditional tailoring elements and would work well in an office/work look.
Burda 6694: The V-neck detail adds the necessary sharpness needed for a Dramatic Classic blouse.
Burda 7192: The tops in this pattern all feel very sharply tailored, with crisp details.
Burda 8438: Strong shoulders and mandarin collars are very crisp and clean.
Vogue 9351: The blouse in this wardrobe pattern also has a strong shoulder line and crisp collar detail.
BS-08-2005-119A: A clean design with sharp details in an elegantly shiny charmeuse.
BS-08-2005-119B: The same design works well in a crisply smooth cotton.
BS-09-2006-105: Another blouse that still looks nicely tailored despite being made in a shiny fabric.
BS-10-2009-105B: Another great option for a blouse tailored in a smooth fabric.
BS-01-2011-132: Strong collar and neckline on this Burda Plus top.
BS-02-2011-140: Another crisply tailored top. The length could be shortened a bit to make the top more versatile.
BS-11-2015-129: A nicely crisp Burda Plus blouse option.
Level 3: Some extra tailoring details can elevate the button up style to Level 3.
BS-08-2007-108A: A very clean and crisp style, with sharp pin-tucks that add to the vertical line.
BS-12-2008-126: This pleating detail also adds a sharpness that make this blouse feel a bit fancy, and could be used in a classy evening look.
Butterick 6134: Another streamlined top that could be part of a fancy Dramatic Classic look.
Sweaters: Sweaters should be lightweight and elegant; silky and skinny-ribbed styles are excellent choices. Sweaters should be slightly elongated, with shoulder pads. Long cardigans with pads and jacket styles are very good for the dressy-casual look. Sleek and elegant beading is also stunning.
AVOID: Fluffy knits with ornate trim. Thick, rough, or heavy knits that are bulky. Shapeless sweaters. Cropped sweaters and vests. Symmetrical styles with plain detail such as crew-necked shetlands.
Level 1: With structure and tailoring being so key to the overall look of a Dramatic Classic, there aren’t a lot of sewing pattern styles that fit this description, so I went a bit outside of the recommendations to keep in the overall feeling of Dramatic Classic rather than sticking to the exact recommendations.
Burda Easy F/W 2014 #2A: While this style isn’t very elongated, it is lightweight and has a certain elegance in its simplicity. I think a Dramatic Classic could pull off this style in a casual outfit if the overall look is monochromatic.
BS-04-2010-117B: A lightweight, elegant style. The shorter length keeps it in the casual territory.
Burda 6846: I feel like the A/D combo could really work for a Dramatic Classic; the overall effect is sharp and tailored. View B could also work for a casual look, especially in a ribbed knit.
Level 2: These are more in fitting with the “dressy-casual” look Kibbe mentions.
Butterick 6495: The elongated cardigan is great for a Dramatic Classic. Adding some beading detail would be a great way to elevate this look.
McCall’s 5978: Lightweight, elegant, slightly elongated, with elegant beading trim.
Vogue 9026: Lightweight and slightly elongated, with a sharp-V neckline. This could be part of a casual office look.
Level 3: None. As with many of our other yang-influenced types, a soft sweater is just too casual to wear to a formal event when structured jackets can be a much better option.
Dresses: Dresses should be tailored, sleek, and narrow, with sharp edges and crisp detail. Coat dresses, chemises, and slinky sheaths are all excellent. Waists may be defined with a wide, geometric belt (usually in a contrasting color to match accessories), or may be dropped low, or even eliminated. Elongated draping or sleek bias-cuts are also soft and elegant. Sharp or sculpted shoulders (with pads) are a must!
AVOID: Flouncy dresses with ornate and intricate trim. Fussy detail such as shirring, gathers, silk flowers, bows, ribbons, etc. Wide unconstructed shapes.
Level 1: Lots of tailored shirt dresses in this level. As with most of the categories here, fabric choice and amount of detail will really change how the pattern reads in terms of formality.
BS-05-2007-114: Tailored, sleek, and narrow. The wide belt is also in keeping with the Dramatic Classic recommendations.
BS-05-2009-126: Another great tailored shirt dress. The details are all quite sharp and geometric, but the amount of detail makes this feel very casual.
BS-05-2006-119: An even longer shirt dress option. The sharp collar and pocket details work well for the Dramatic Classic.
Vogue 9313: Views A/B/C would all be great for a casual summer look.
BS-05-2014-103: Sharply tailored and very fitted, with geometric detail. The length looks a bit short on the model, but I suspect it might be because the model looks extremely tall.
McCall’s 7430: Sleek and narrow, with sharp edges and crisp detail.
BS-11-2008-118: A t-shirt dress is a great way to have a sleek, yet casual look.
Simplicity 8334: Elongated silhouette, but with a sharp neckline. The knit keeps the overall feel very casual though.
McCall’s 7662: Sleek and narrow, with an elongated silhouette. The dropped waist is allowed in Kibbe’s recommendations.
McCall’s 7621: Views A, C, and D would all work as a fun/casual look, though the hem would likely need to be lengthened a bit.
McCall’s 7531: Another simple, sleek, narrow fitting knit dress option.
BS-08-2014-103: Sharp shoulders and angular seam lines make this dress suitable for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-05-2012-137: A nicely tailored Burda Plus shirt dress with crisp details.
BS-09-2014-138: Another great Burda Plus option with sharp neckline detail. A Dramatic Classic would likely not want as much contrast in the fabric, but the pattern itself is great.
Level 2: The Level 2 looks are even more sleek and streamlined.
Burda 6454: View A is a fantastic option for a Dramatic Classic. Long and sleek, with strong a shoulder line.
Butterick 6410: Tailored, sleek, narrow, and elongated. All of these options would be great for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-10-2009-115: Narrow and sleek, with strong shoulder emphasis and sharp, angular neckline.
BS-09-2010-122: Another elongated style with sharp shoulder detail.
Vogue 9019: The seams on this dress add shoulder emphasis. There is also lots of shaping to create a narrow, sleek look.
Vogue 8997: Narrow, with sharp, angular seaming detail.
Vogue 8947: Views A and B are both great; sharp shoulder emphasis and angular necklines with a narrow silhouette.
Vogue 8280: Another great pattern with sculpted shoulders, a sharp neckline, and a sleek look.
Butterick 5559: This would work more for a date night, but the angular detail is subtle enough for a Classic but sharp enough to add the drama. The hem length could be slightly elongated for a Dramatic Classic.
Burda 6576: Another sleek, narrow style with a dropped waist.
BS-01-2011-133: This Burda Plus look has a strong neckline with a sleek, tailored silhouette.
BS-12-2015-131A: Another simple, sleek Burda Plus design that is quite fitted.
Burda 6450: Burda has a lot of elongated styles with angular design elements that work well for a Dramatic Classic.
BS-09-2009-111: I love how the pleating detail on this bodice adds such a sharp tailoring element to the design.
BS-02-2017-109: More angular design elements and a slightly dropped waist.
Vogue 8532: This design has sharp shoulder emphasis.
Vogue 1121: This pattern from Vogue could be a great option for an office appropriate look if you have a more formal work environment.
BS-04-2006-109: Dramatic Classics could totally rock the trench dress trend that’s taken the world by storm this year.
Level 3: The Level 3 designs really focus on simple styles with clean, sharp details.
Burda 6830: Very sleek and elegant, with a crisp neckline.
BS-03-2006-117: A similar style from Burda Plus magazine.
Burda Classic 2012 #0004B: A simple sheath with a square neckline is perfect for a Dramatic Classic evening look.
McCall’s 7282: With an elongated hem this would be great. The sparkly fabric works well for Dramatic Classics for evening looks.
Burda Plus F/W 2013 #424: A Burda Plus option with a sharp neckline.
BS-06-2008-128: Strong shoulder emphasis on this Burda Plus design.
BS-05-2010-140: More sharp necklines and strong shoulder emphasis in this Burda Plus sheath dress. This is the perfect length, and elegantly simple.
BS-02-2010-125: Another simple sheath with a sharp neckline, both in the front and back. The seams allow it to be very tailored and sleek.
Vogue 8612: Sleek, elongated, tailored, with shoulder emphasis.
Evening Wear: Symmetrical shapes with clean, geometric detail Shoulder emphasis. Angular necklines. Smooth fabric. Beaded fabric. Understated trim.
Slinky sheaths. Jacketed gowns. Tailored dinner suits. Long gowns with sharp shoulder emphasis. Tailored cocktail dresses. Evening pants with jacket.
The evening looks are really just an extension of the Level 3 looks, but I’ve tried to look for more elegant, elongated gowns with fancy fabrics.
Burda Classic 2012 #0004C: Symmetric, with an angular neckline, slinky shape, and fancy beaded fabric.
Burda 6707: Ok, so while this dress was perfect for Gamines as depicted, I think in a monochromatic fabric it could also work well for a Dramatic Classic. The impression would need to be less wild, but the pattern and silhouette would work well.
BS-12-2004-103: Elongated style in smooth fabric with sharp neckline and shoulder emphasis.
BS-12-2008-107: Another elongated style with beading detail on the bodice.
BS-06-2010-118: The bottom half of this dress may be a bit soft, but the shoulders are fantastic. Might be a good option to frankenpattern for a Dramatic Classic.
McCall’s 7283: Slinky sheath, with a clean, elongated line.
Simplicity 8330: More clean, elongated shapes with angular necklines.
Burda 6547: Is this Burda Plus pattern great for everyone? No, but it is pretty close. The square neckline and elongated shape work well for the Dramatic Classic. The beaded fabric detail also works for this style ID.
BS-10-2015-131B: A very simple, clean, elongated Burda Plus gown.
Another ID down! I think the comparison between Classic and Dramatic Classic is a great way to really understand how the subtypes can require just very slight modifications to be distinct from the main type. While some of these recommendations overlap, a lot of the looks from Dramatic Classic are too strongly yang to work for a pure Classic. There was actually a fair amount of overlap with the pure Dramatic styles, though the amount of detail still needs to be a bit more subdued for a Classic subtype. As I noted in the main Classic post, finding a variety of styles within my set of sewing patterns was a bit tricky, and I found that to be true this week as well, since the recommendations for Dramatic Classics are quite precise. I think the resulting options are quite comprehensive, though perhaps not so numerous as I’ve had for other style IDs.
Also, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Soft Dramatic was my aspirational Kibbe ID, but I’m pretty sure Dramatic Classic is a close second. I love the clean lines and extremely tailored styles. I know this style would be far too severe and fitted on me, but any style ID where “jackets are a mainstay of (the) wardrobe” is definitely high on my list of inspirational styles. It’s interesting how different this is from Soft Dramatic; one is all about large sweeping shapes and Dramatic Classic is all about streamlined, tailored looks. This possibly speaks to why, in hindsight, many of my sewing projects are all over the map, style wise. It also, hopefully, gives me the insight to make more strategic choices in the future and avoid making a bunch of closet orphans, as I have in the past. If nothing else, I’m at least starting to crystalize what I like and why, and that should be really helpful in planning sewing projects in the future.
Coming Next Week: This week we looked at what happens when you add a bit of yang to a Classic with the Dramatic Classic. Next week we’ll see what happens when you go the other way and add a little extra yin with Kibbe’s Soft Classic!