How To Dress For Your Body Shape

How To Dress For Your Body Shape
It might seem obvious, but deciding how to dress for your body type can be trickier than first appears. Choosing the right clothes for your size is arguably the most important part of any outfit. Read more Men's Style Guide features and check out our Store shopthelook

Which Body Shape Are You?

We’ve mentioned that men's body shapes come in a range of different sizes, but generally speaking, we all reduce to one of five different shapes: trapezoid, inverted triangle, rectangle, triangle, or oval. These are mostly based on your shoulder and hip proportions and what silhouette they create respectively. The simplest men's body shape, the rectangle, is fairly self-explanatory. Your shoulder width will be reasonably similar to the size of your waist, making a rectangular shape. Rectangular people also tend to be reasonably tall in height and slight of frame. Popular rectangular figures include Peter Crouch and Eddie Redmayne.
Men's Body Shapes.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
shopthelook The oval shape is similar to the rectangle but typically involves a larger frame and is a lot softer around the middle – the quintessential ‘dad-bod’, if you will. This is by no means a limit on how stylish you can be, in fact, many top Hollywood actors are rocking the oval right now – Leo, Seth Rogan, even Gerard Butler to some extent.
Gerad Butler suit grey suit the idle man
Men Shapes
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
shopthelook The trapezoid, that 2D shape that looks a little like a trampoline, differs slightly to the rectangle in that the shoulders protrude out more from the body making them more prominent compared to the hips. Of all the men's body shapes this is the one most likely the figure of the stereotypical Hollywood heartthrob à la Zac Efron or practically any sports star.
zac efron grey jeans brown boots mens street style
Zac Efron Grey Jeans.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
shopthelook A slightly exaggerated form of the trapezoid is the inverted triangle. More muscular men tend to have more emphasised arms and shoulders that loom over their waist, making a triangular shape. One of the most obviously triangular celebrities is Jason Statham – a men's body shape whose hips are relatively lean but has a reach wide enough to kick ass in virtually every martial art. The non-inverted triangle, as you could probably guess, is similar to the inverted triangle but rather than the shoulders protruding it’s the hips that take prominence.
Jason Statham street style bomber jacket
Jason Statham Wearing Jeans.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
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Dressing for Your Shape

Now that you know your shape, it's time to find out how to dress for your body type for males. Here we’re mainly looking at your hip and shoulder proportions and how we can emphasise (or subdue) them in different ways to suit your appearance.
large-man-denim-jacket
Man in denim jacket.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
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The Rectangle

With a rectangular body shape, the main aim of the game is to bring out your shoulders and make yourself look more trapezoidal (just don’t tell the trapezoids). One of the easiest ways to do this is opting for more structured clothing. Whilst not necessarily bringing back eighties shoulder pads, you can add some architecture to your frame with stiffer blazers (or jackets) that won’t sag downwards. For this, we recommend the slim-fit options.
man in blazer street style
Smart street style outfit.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
toppicks Adding layers to your outfit will also make your shoulder bulk out – knitwear, in particular, can come in handy here as it can easily go over shirts or polos without necessarily making you too warm. Again, accessories can act as a quick fix. Scarves, backpacks, potentially even headphones can add chuck to your shoulders whilst horizontally striped t-shirts will also give your frame a little more width. In order to induce more of a downward point to your shape and help you look more trapezoidal, tight fitting trousers should become a staple of your wardrobe and act as a base to build your outfit from. Combine these with skinny shoes or trainers to further amplify the effect.
Mens blazer outfit
Blazer outfit.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
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The Oval

Similarly to a rectangular shaped gentleman, the chaps with a more rounded body shape among us need to think about adding some structure to their clothing too. The same idea of using sturdier blazers and jackets to broaden the shoulders applies as this will add some definition to your shape and reduce the slope towards your middle. Vertical stripes can also help to streamline your shape and can be incorporated via pinstripes on your jacket or trousers or even just a patterned t-shirt.
street style oval
Street Style.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest
toppicks Whilst an extra layer of knitwear would help to add a little chunk to your shoulders, avoid V-necks as they’ll actually counteract that and work to reduce the prominence of your shoulders – giving focus back to the middle that we’re trying to avoid. A crew neck will suit perfectly well. On the leg front, rather than slimming down like with the rectangles, try a looser fit so as to widen your legs and take away some of the emphasis from your middle. Chinos or straight leg jeans are ideal here and can be coupled with trainers for a great sports-luxe look.
dickies 872 874 chinos wide leg
Wide leg trousers.
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man
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