Not all men are made the same. There are numerous different body types, shapes, and sizes; all of which affect overall how items of clothing appear on someone. Although a common concept in women’s fashion, dressing for your body type is often disregarded in men’s fashion.
And this disregard comes at a price. Not looking as good as you could, simply put.
It is extremely important to choose the pieces that are right for your body type; ones that accentuate your positive features and ones that distract from your not so positive features. The good news is; it’s not rocket science. It’s as simple as identifying your body type and then following a few simple guidelines.
Here at Try the Trend, we want to make it as simple as possible for you to look your best. So we’ve created a simple, straightforward guide on identifying and dressing for your body shape:
Dressing for your body type comes down to one simple word: proportion. We outline each body type with their tips and tricks on how to dress for each but it all simplifies down to this one word. Clothing choices are made to make your body look proportional, to balance out your features. Often this is an illusion, drawing attention from less desirable features to the most desirable. It’s about balance, a game of proportions so let’s get started.
Type 1: The Rhomboid (Trapezoid)
This body type is categorized by the shoulders being just slightly wider than the waist. It’s the “ideal” body type, making almost every style of clothing suiting. If this is you, you can try almost any fashion as it will suit you. Feel free to experiment and try different patterns, textures and such. Just remember to always keep it in proportion. If this is not you, don’t fret. From my experience as a stylist, I’d say about only 10% of men have this body shape.
Type 2: The Inverted Triangle
This body type is categorized by broad shoulders and a skinny waist. The key here is to draw attention away from the upper body to the lower body. You want to create balance, so you want to choose styles that balance out your broad shoulders.
– Wear V-neck shirts and sweaters. This draws the eye down and takes attention away from the chest area.
– Wear pants with texture, color, and/or pattern. This draws the eye downward too.
– Wear blazers that are double breasted. This creates the illusion of a wider torso, one proportionate with your shoulders.
– Don’t wear skinny jeans. This makes your legs appear even skinnier and your shoulders even wider.
– Don’t wear blazers or structured jackets. Avoid shoulder pads at all costs. These types of pieces will make your shoulders appear even wider.
– Don’t wear scoop neck lines as they draw attention up to your chest, and with it your broad shoulder.
Type 3: The Rectangle
This body shape is characterized by shoulders and waist being equally as wide. The key here is to not make the shoulders appear broader, but also the waist smaller. Dressing properly will help you to create the illusion of the rhomboid body shape.
– Wear slim fit blazers with shoulder pads. This makes your waist appear skinnier, while making your shoulders look wider.
– Wear circular necklines. These draw attention up to the chest area.
– Layer! We love the look of the solid colored round neck sweater with a patterned button down underneath. This draws attention up to the chest. Plus, layering can help create the illusion that the chest is larger than it actually is.
– Go for slim fit! You want your waist to appear as small as possible.
– Avoid attention grabbing belts.
– Avoid double breasted jackets. These only add to the rectangle shape.
Type 4: The Triangle
This body shape is characterized by shoulders that are narrower than the waist and hips. When not dressed accordingly, you may look wider in your lower torso area and appear to have sloping
shoulders. Remember, it’s all about balance so tailoring what you wear to draw attention to your upper body while lengthening your torso will make all the difference.
– Invest in properly fitting clothes. The worst thing you can do is attempt to hide something under ill-fitting clothing. This will only further emphasize the triangle shape. We recommend investing in a tailor for your suits. This will allow you to custom fit your pieces for them to be the most flattering.
– Wear jackets and blazers with shoulder pads. You want to make your shoulders appear wider. You also want them to have a defined shape.
– Also with blazers, choose single breasted as these make you appear slimmer in the waist.
– Also slimming are dark colors. Wear these as your basics and if you’re dying for a pop of color, add it in with accessories.
– Don’t wear double breasted suits. This will only make your lower torso appear wider.
– Avoid horizontal stripes.
Type 5: The Oval
This body shape is characterized by an oval shape, particularly in the stomach area. You may also have small lower legs. This can make your shoulders appear narrow. The key in dressing for this body type is to lengthen the torso and accentuate the shoulders, making them appear wider.
– Wear blazers and jackets with defined shoulders. We want to create a defined shoulder for you.
– Wear longer blazers, ones with the button a bit lower than normal. This helps create an elongating illusion.
– Invest in tailoring. Again, the worst thing you can do here is to believe you need to hide certain areas of your body by wearing oversized clothing. Doing so actually makes everything appear larger.
– Wear vertical stripes! Pinstripes are your best friend as they do wonders in lengthening your torso.
– Wear fitted trousers that help lengthen your leg. Again, pinstripes are your friends.
– Wear dark colors. These are slimming in nature.
– Don’t wear baggy or oversized clothing.
– Don’t wear block color or horizontal stripes
– Avoid double breasted suits.
– Avoid shoes that have different color soles as these will cut off your leg length prematurely. You want to elongate your legs as much as possible.
– Wear accessories high up on the body such as ties (bowties especially), pocket squares, and hats. This draws attention up.
– Choose jackets with a high waist button. This elongates your legs as it gives the appearance of your waist starting earlier.
– Have no break on the pant leg. This means no sagging in the cuff of your pants when you wear them with shoes. If you have extra material here, it will make you look like you’re too small for your trousers.
– Wear monochromatic colors. Wearing colors in the same color spectrum such as grey, charcoal, and blue/grey helps elongate the torso as the body line is not broken up by color changes.
– Wear vertical stripes.
– Don’t wear visible belts. This actually creates a vertical line cutting your body in half. This disrupts the elongating process of your attire.
– Avoid long hair. One’s neck is actually the feature with the most elongating potential so covering this up won’t help you appear any taller.
– Wear horizontal stripes. This will give the illusion of a broader chest area.
– Invest in proper tailoring. Nothing makes you look skinnier than a suit that swallows you whole. Invest in the right fit and you will be turning heads.
– Find shirts and jackets with a defined shoulder line. This doesn’t necessarily mean shoulder pads, but just structured shoulders; ones that are defined rather than rounded.
– Experiment with small, intricate patterns. Paisley’s and other small patterns look exceptionally well on you.
– Layer! Layering looks exceptionally well on you.
– Avoid larger patterns. These make you appear smaller than you actually are.
– Don’t wear necklines that are too big for you. In button downs and polos especially, buy ones that fit you well. A neckline that appears too large will make you look smaller than you actually are.
– Avoid vertical stripes as these make you appear skinnier.
Dressing for your body type is a strong start to feeling and looking your best. Us at Try The Trend want that for you. Using this guide will help you do just that. And of course, if you need a hand, our stylists are always here to help!
Need any help dressing for your body type? Contact a stylist here.