Skinny men need not coil in fear of trying something to wear, this style guide will show you how to rock clothes if you're on the slimmer side. There's plenty of style advice out there for guys with a larger frame or bigger, build but men with much smaller body shapes also have plenty of dilemmas themselves when it comes to building a wardrobe.
Style Do's for Skinny Men
Many assume that slim guys can wear whatever they want. It's true that they have more options but there are still a few simple rules to bear in mind to make sure you're not making any sartorial errors that do your shape an injustice.
Do Wear Crew Necks
You want to avoid V-necks at all costs, particularly ones with a more drastic scoop. You've not got huge pecs to show off and that's ok - even if you did, we wouldn't suggest showing them off. Crew necks give the appearance of squared shoulders and complement a narrower frame much better than scooped necks. This jacket from The Idle Man is the perfect accompaniment to any look, and fits in with the clean shape of a T-shirt.
Do Wear Slim Fitting Tailoring
You may think this will just accentuate your shape but if you're going to a formal event, you want to keep your tailoring slim fitting. It will give you a cleaner silhouette and give the appearance of a more customised fitting. Whatever you do, just make sure your suit fits you properly, you don't want any bagging in the trousers and you don't want the suit jacket to look too big. If you're a big fan of skinnier fits then you can also get away with a skinny fitting suit.
Do Wear Clothes that Fit
This may sound obvious but it's probably the most common mistake skinnier men make. The temptation is to hide your frame by wearing baggier pieces of clothing, but this will only make you look smaller - and like you're wearing your brother's hand-me-downs. Avoid baggy jeans, oversized tees and really chunky outerwear. Well fitted clothes are what you should always be aiming for - the days of jeans hanging below your arse are over.
Do Layer Up
When I say layer up, I don't just mean chuck on three T-shirts, two jumpers and a coat to make yourself look bigger. This is all about layering properly. The whole idea of layering is about making your outfit blend together naturally. Although it might sound like a strange way to stop you looking skinny, it should be a key part of your overall style. The outfit below highlights exactly what we mean.
One for the smarter occasion in your calendar, this outfit is a great example of how layering can really make your outfit. A simple Oxford shirt and jumper combination pulled together with a good quality denim jacket can go a long way. Slim jeans and a pair of Chelsea boots are going to take this outfit a long way and will draw away from the fact that you're on the thin side.
Style Don'ts for Skinny Guys
Now we've covered all the things that we'd recommend you can wear as a slim guy, we come to the things that you should avoid. If you're wearing any of these then chances are that you should try and cut them out of your wardrobe completely.
Don't Wear Big Accessories
You want to steer clear of large belt buckles, big chains, huge watch faces and especially, oversized scarves. Instead go for more classic looking watches, simplistic necklaces (if you want something around your neck at all) and the traditional belt buckles with no large decorative features.
Don't Wear Super Skinny Jeans
Although I said go for slimmer fittings, don't take this too far. We don't want super skinny or women's jeans - this will just emphasise your smaller frame. Stick to normal or slim fitting jeans or alternatively try chinos by brands like Dickies. They're a great alternative to your regular jeans and will open up a variety of new style options for your wardrobe.
Don't Wear Shoulder Pads
We've seen some people advising smaller men to wear shoulder pads but we see this as a big no-go area. You may get away with very subtle shoulder pads but there's really nothing to be ashamed of if you are a smaller build - don't feel like you have to look butch and built. Be comfortable in your body shape and embrace it. No one likes the inevitable disappointment that comes with push up bras do they?
Don't Wear Vertical Stripes
This is a more commonly known rule for skinnier builds. You want to stick to horizontal lines (if you're going for lines at all that is), as these will give a more squared appearance rather than giving a more streamlined look that the vertical lines give. In general, we'd say stay away from big or bold prints as these will only overpower your whole outfit.
Style Rules for Skinny Men
- Wear clothes that fit. Throwing on layers of larger clothes won't make you look any bigger - just terrible.
- Wear crew neck T-shirts /sweaters, avoid V-necks at all costs.
- Don't wear super skinny jeans - this will highlight your smaller frame even further.
- Don't wear shoulder pads - leave this one to Lady Gaga and the 80s.
- Layer strategically, this will make you look bulkier.