Theatrical Romantic Style Challenge

I’ve received several requests from our readers to write an article about Theatrical Romantic, one of the types profiled in David Kibbe’s book “Style Metamorphosis.” I wrote about his work here; if you are looking to explore style systems, his work is definitely worth a look.

If you know David Kibbe’s work and you are familiar with Theatrical Romantic, you know that it’s a style category that is very easy to dress up. It was made for evening wear. Creating a collage of evening looks for TR would be a lot of fun but hardly challenging. On the other hand, the two areas that are usually difficult for the Theatrical Romantic types to dress for are workwear and casual. Here is my take on this challenge.

I want to let you know in advance that below you will see elements of TR style that I think will work in either business or casual setting. They are not meant to be worn all together, although some of them can certainly be combined with each other. The images below are meant to show you specific examples of casual and workwear elements that bring in what according to David Kibbe is Theatrical Romantic style.

Let’s start with the office. The key here is finding clothes in the right shapes, especially if the fabrics and colors need to be kept conservative. The way to bring in TR style is to add color and shine (red patent kitten heel shoes); or / and intricacy and opulence (watch and bags). In fact, if you are a Theatrical Romantic and have to work in a very conservative office, a watch and to a lesser extent, a bag are the safest items you can use to add that special TR touch and still look office appropriate.

Theatrical Romantic Workwear

Casual of course is the opposite of dramatic; so for Theatrical Romantics, whose style is essentially romantic with a heavy dose of drama, casual wear can be a very special kind of challenge. Below are some elements that I found to be true to the Theatrical Romantic guidelines while still appropriate for casual wear. TR will never be truly casual, but they can still look appropriate in casual circumstances, which is what really matters. The pieces below are the “dialed down” versions of TR and can be combined with each other or other, more casual pieces.

Casual Theatrical Romantic

I hope you found these examples helpful. Let me know what you think in the comments, or on our Facebook page!


6 responses to “Theatrical Romantic Style Challenge

  1. Valeria, I’m still trying to figure out if I’m a TR or an SG, but this is *so good* – you hit the nail on the head when you picked work and casual clothes – those are TR’s biggest challenges indeed! Thank you so much, very helpful examples.

  2. I am a TR stay at home mom going back to work soon, so this was lovely to see. I am at the point where I am just starting to get away from a machine-washable wardrobe. For any other TR SAHMs I highly recommend investing in a Prairie Underground Cloak Hoodie (the short one). I wear one over lace trimmed tanks with bootleg (I think Kibbe would approve) or tapered jeans almost every day…but I am soooo eager and excited to be able to wear finer TR garments like those you posted on a daily basis SOON! Thanks for such a concise, useful post!

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