Have you ever visited a store, seen a mannequin dressed nicely, and attempted to copy that look? Usually, the results are not exactly what we were expecting in the beginning. I’ve been there, and I’m certain most of you have as well. Granted, modern-day mannequins come in various shapes and sizes, but you hardly ever see more than one variation inside a single store. Just like with mannequins, real people come in many shapes and types of bodies. It is crucial you understand what works best for your body type and what doesn’t in order to know how to dress for your shape. It is really not that difficult, and once you learn about it, you start to see how intuitive it actually is.
There are a few types or shapes of bodies, and we’re going to learn about them right here.
A man with a rectangle body shape shares approximately the same width on his shoulders, waist and hips. These men should look for clothing that accentuates their shoulders, making them seem wider, while narrowing the area around their torso.
There are several ways one can achieve that.
What to Do
You can, for example, layer your clothes. This is one of the easiest ways to make emphasis on your chest and shoulders area. Choosing crew-neck shirts over v-necks is the way to go, this will draw attention to your chest, enhancing it, making it look bigger. Then, you can throw in a button-down shirt to make your shoulders appear wider.
If you’re looking for a more formal attire, a great option is a shoulder-padded blazer. Keep in mind that, in this particular case, it will be best to take your blazer to a tailor – if you already have a personal tailor, even better – to have them take in the back and have the arms thinned a little. This will give you a more structured look overall.
Yet another excellent alternative is dressing with horizontal lines across the upper body. This goes for both short and long-sleeved shirts. Adding these lines will create the illusion of a wider top frame.
What to Avoid
Double-breasted jackets. These already have a rectangle shape around the torso, so single-breasted jackets are the better pick.
This type of body makes the man appear larger around the torso, while narrower on the shoulders. It’s a struggle for most men with this body shape. This is because, typically, clothings address the exact opposite features in mind.
But there is always a solution.
What to Do
This is where having a personal tailor comes in very handy, again. Wearing poorly fitting clothing is only going to worsen the case. So make sure you take your clothes to your tailor.
Elongate your upper body by wearing vertical stripes. This will make you look thinner. However, you can also wear horizontal ones, but be careful with how you make use of them; make sure they go from the chest up only. Otherwise, they will make your waist look wider.
Wear structured jackets and blazers. This will create the effect of having wider shoulders.
For formal occasions, choose single-breasted suits with structured fit on the shoulders. By doing this, your body will look slimmer around the waist and wider on the top.
Between crew-neck and v-neck shirts, always choose the former to make your chest look bigger. Dark colors work best for this body shape.
What to Avoid
Prints and patterns should definitely be avoided. These draw a lot of attention to the waist. You can accentuate other areas of your body by accessorizing. You can wear a pair of glasses, for instance, a bracelet or even bright colored socks, if you like. Also, avoid wearing big, adventurous belts.
Skinny trousers are a no-go. They will only highlight the triangle body shape by making the legs look thinner.
Wearing bomber jackets will usually make your shoulders look slouchy, which will exaggerate the triangle shape. This is why structured jackets are a wiser choice.
The Inverted Triangle
Otherwise, seen as having a v-shaped torso, men with an inverted triangle body shape have broad shoulders and relatively narrow waist and hips. This is usually the result of long training sessions in the gym, which is great in itself, but presents difficulties when looking to buy clothes that fit well right off the rack.
Still, nothing to worry about, as for the inverted triangle body type, there are several great ideas on how to dress for your shape. We are going to focus on accentuating a fit, toned body.
What to Do
Given that the mid-section of the body is slimmer here, our aim is to add some volume around this area, while still maintaining a well-proportioned body shape.
Horizontal lines from the chest down will help you attain a wider look around the waist.
On the other hand, you can wear plain shirts, but with a more fitted finish. However, make sure the fit is neither too tight that it will hug you around every inch of your body, nor too loose that it won’t let you hint your robustness. Usually, sizing up is the solution.
A v-neck shirt is a great option, too. It will take away the attention from your top – your shoulders and chest – and will draw the right attention to your stomach area.
You can wear double-breasted suits for formal situations.
If you like jackets, a slim fit will do. The wider section of the hips and waist will give you a well proportionate look.
For trousers, opt for slim fit pairs rather than skinny.
For the most part, finding yourself a tailor will be the best approach for this type of body.
What to Avoid
Stay away from structured suits and jackets. They will make your shoulder line seen even wider, drawing attention to the wrong areas of your body.
Differentiate between a regular v-neck and a deep-v-neck shirt. While the first is great for this body shape, the second one will give your body an imbalanced look.
This is the easiest body shape to dress. These men have wide shoulders and a similar waist and hip widths; not to be confused with a rectangle shaped body, which has approximately the same measurements all around.
Here’s another way to see it. While there is a difference between the shoulders and the hips and waist area, it is not as drastic as with the inverted triangle body shape.
What to Do
You can take advantage of having this body shape in may ways. One, being able to try bolder looks. You can wear fit clothings as much as slim ones. But there are still some limitations to consider.
Putting on a blazer will contour your body line more nicely, especially if you button just one of its buttons instead of all.
When it comes to patterns, the most common ones are vertical lines or checks. This decision, however, will be more influenced by your height. If you want to appear taller, choose vertical lines. Whereas if you want to add more volume to your torso, pick plaids or checks.
Being the average and easiest body shape to dress also come with few consequences. You will have to think of ways to accentuate your look with accessories if you want to stand out, and fixing this is not too hard.
Try wearing a watch or a tie. Note that the perfect tie length is achieved when it lands right above the belt buckle, and its length should be approximately three inches. Any more or less will more often than not give your torso an odd look.
Adding a pocket square is an excellent idea as well.
What to Avoid
When it comes to trousers, bagginess and loose fits will result in adding unnecessary bulk to your shape.
Too much clutter. Don’t go overboard when adding accessories. It’s easy to get carried away, but remember to be wise as to how many bracelets, rings, necklaces, or any other complimentary pieces you add to your outfit.
What to Do
For the upper area, choose dark colored shirts. These will make the body look slimmer. Alternatively, you can opt for vertical lines that will lengthen the area around the stomach.
Let’s not forget about the collar of a shirt. A collar with a wider spread is great because this will give the neck a thinner appearance.
In general, a shirt should not be too loose nor too tight. Loose shirts will result in unwanted bulkiness around the belt line. A shirt that is too tight will cause many wrinkles. Taking your shirts to a tailor will easily solve both scenarios.
Here is a tip for loose shirts: Wear shirttail garters or suspenders. Wearing either one of these will help keep the shirt in place, thus helping maintain a straight placket, particularly while standing.
Personally, I recommend KK & Jay shirttail garters. They are amazing in terms of quality and have a very modern look. They come in several colors and patterns, and never fail to do the job they’re built for. Hands down, KK & Jay have the best shirttail garters in the market right now, in my opinion.
For layering, wear dark-colored jackets to slim down the line of your body. Single-breasted suits and jackets make the right choice. You can take your suits to the tailor and have them slightly take from the sides.
To give your legs more length, wear fitted trousers. They will seem thinner at the same time.
What to Avoid
Horizontal lines would be a bad choice, they add width to the torso.
Polo shirts are almost all the time stretchy, and they would create the illusion that you’re wearing a shirt with a tight fit.
Avoid double-breasted jackets. They add volume to the center of the torso.
Wide crew necks are another bad choice. A shirt with a neck as wide will only broaden your upper body.
The Geniality of the Right Perspective
I think it’s beautiful how there are so many, many ways men can style their own lives through the right pieces of clothing. Humans are creative, imaginative and capable of overcoming any and all forms of situations through proper knowledge.
We come in many shapes, and while this may have been a limitation at some point in our lives, we’ve come to uncover a world of possibilities perfectly suited for each of us. When you understand the circumstances, it’s easier work towards a solution.
Playing with shapes is actually a fun thing to do. Do not be afraid of them. On the contrary, you should embrace them. It’s all about adding and subtracting to the right spots. A well-proportioned outfit will give you the look you’ve been wanting to achieve for a long time.
Now that you have the knowledge to do so, go and experience it for yourself!
If in the past you’ve found it hard to figure out what kinds of clothing are the best for you, I hope this serves as a way to turn those struggles into strengths and that feel proud of the body you’re rocking!