An adult who seems always to have a youthful or childlike quality, regardless of age, likely has a strong dose of Ingenue or Gamine.
Big eyes, a large forehead, a round face, and a short, straight body all help to create an impression of youthfulness.
One way to think about the seven style identities is to think about the words we use to describe the type of attractiveness each identity embodies.
Which isn't to say Gamines aren't incredibly attractive. They are incredibly attractive. Women who have a "yang" or masculine quality to their beauty are no less attractive than their more "yin" counterparts. They only appear unlovely when they're placed in a clothing context that's more traditionally feminine than they are.
You can see the boyish quality of a Gamine in the following ways:
Which isn't to say that Gamines need little detail. They look great with a lot of detail in the clothing -- pockets, buttons, cuffs, etc. But the jewelry is best when it's minimal. A lot of jewelry = girlish, and girlish context around a Gamine will make her look masculine.
The effect of clothing context on our apparent masculinity or femininity is analogous to the effect of color on our skin.
The apparent color of your skin changes, for better or worse, depending on what color is next to it. That's because of simultaneous contrast.
And the apparent qualities of your face and figure, including the apparent masculinity or femininity, change depending on the context that surrounds it.
If almost everything in the frame reads as boyish, then the viewer mainly notices what's not boyish - and so the Gamine's feminine qualities actually stand out more.
The more boyish the context, the more beautiful Gamines look.
Surround them with traditionally female decoration like long locks, ruffles, and lavish jewelry, and they become less lovely.
Both Classics and Gamines need well-tailored clothes. Classics look their best with very little detail, and Gamines look their best without a lot of feminine frill. How do we tell them apart?
For one, Classics literally need every hair in place, while Gamine hair looks better with some tousle.
(Tousle suggests motion in the hair. Details that makes us think of movement -- such as zigzag lines, nautical themes, running shoes -- are generally good on Gamines. That comes from the boyish quality. When think of boys, we think of bodies in motion.)
Classic or Gamine?
Both Classics and Gamines look good in fitted, tailored pieces. But the overall Classic vibe is elegant and ladylike, while the overall Gamine vibe is spunky and playful. A Classic isn't her best in sneakers, rolled-up jeans and a striped sweater. A Gamine isn't great in a sweater set, pearls and high heels.
And Classics are particularly lovely in their palette's neutrals and understated colors, while Gamines are particularly lovely in highly contrasting color combinations from their palette. (Again, it's about an impression of movement. Neutrals feel still; contrasting colors feel energetic.)
Gamines (and Ingenues) are tiny, right?
I haven't talked a lot about height as a prerequisite for Gamine identity. Gamines and Ingenues are characterized mainly by their small stature -- right?
What I've come to believe is that the Gamine and Ingenue quality of petiteness is more about impression than reality.
Isn't it surprising to learn that Audrey Hepburn, practically the definition of Gamine, was 5' 7"? She looks little.
Big eyes, high foreheads, round heads, slender necks, and heads that look large relative to the size of the body are characteristics of children. So these features read as youthful.
Dress a person with these features in similarly youthful clothes, and it will look right.
Leonardo DiCaprio is 5'11". (Some sources say 6'.) But that baby face looks better in a bowtie, the Gamine man's iconic dress accessory, than in a standard necktie.
So if you're petite, certainly consider Gamine and Ingenue first. For some reason that I don't understand, petite people seem often to have the features I described above.
But don't assume Gamine (or Ingenue) based solely on small stature, and don't rule it out just because you're not petite.