A Guide on How to Dress for Your Body Shape

body shape featured image
PHOTO CREDIT: Lets Restcycle

Learning how to dress for your body shape isn’t as tricky as you’d first think. By following this simple guide you will know which clothes flatter you in no time at all.

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For years, men have assumed that “dressing for your shape” was a concept best left to their fairer counterparts, but it’s important for men to embrace as well. Whether you’ve got the perfect body shape or are rocking the “Dad Bod,” every guy can benefit from dressing in a way that best suits his physique.

Before we begin, know that this guide only works if you’re honest about how you’re actually shaped. Most guys fall into one of five categories: rhomboid (sometimes referred to as a trapezoid shape body), inverted triangle shape, rectangle, triangle, or oval. Finding out what shape you are will help you know what to look for and what to avoid in your wardrobe.  Most importantly, never overlook the wonders well-tailored clothing can do for guys of any size or shape.

Types of Body Shapes

The Rhomboid Body Shape

The rhomboid shape body is characterised by broad shoulders and chest with relatively narrow hips and waist. Since the upper and lower body are balanced, the shape is pretty simple to dress. Generally, most styles and fits suit this shape as long as you keep everything in proportion.

mens How to Dress for Your Body Shape diagram
PHOTO CREDIT: The Style System

With this body type being easy to dress, it’s the perfect canvas for experimenting with new trends. Why not try out bold patterns and or different shapes like these.

mens double denim street style
What Body Shape Am I?
PHOTO CREDIT: mfs

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The Inverted Triangle Body Shape

Like the trapezoid, the v-shaped body or inverted triangle has broad shoulders and chest but narrower hips and waist. Think Michael Phelps, only probably not with size 14 feet. With a v-shaped torso, it’s especially important to pay attention to the imbalance between the upper and lower body.

How to Dress for Your Body Shape mens diagram
PHOTO CREDIT: The Style System

How to Dress For Your Shape

Do:

  • Add a belt for focus around the hips to help break up and outfit while also drawing attention to this area.
  • Wear Breton striped tees- while classic in style, they are also ideal for a man with this shape, especially if the stripes focus around the stomach rather than the chest.
  • Choose V-neck shirts and jumpers as they draw the eye down and take attention away from the chest.
  • Try statement printed legwear to once again draw the eye downward.
  • Opt for unstructured double-breasted jackets as this will widen the torso into proportion with the shoulders.

Don’t:

  • Wear skinny cut trousers or jeans as this will draw attention to the disproportion of the lower half. Opt for slim-cut instead.
  • Wear structured jackets with shoulder padding or wide lapels. This will just further emphasise the widest area.
  • Wear shirts with scoop necklines for the same reason as above.
mens breton shirt blue chinos street style
A man wearing a stripy T-shirt with cropped trousers
PHOTO CREDIT: Lookastic

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The Rectangle Body Shape

The rectangle body type has shoulders as wide as the waist and hips. Dressing for this body shape aims to widen the shoulders while narrowing the lower torso to create the illusion of a more trapezoid-like shape.

mens How to Dress for Your Body Shape diagram
PHOTO CREDIT: The Style System

How to Dress For Your Shape

Do:

  • Wear structured blazers that are padded in the shoulder while narrow in the underarms. Finding this ideal fit is hard, so ask your tailor to take in the sides of your jacket and the jacket arms thinned.
  • Layer your clothes. Shirts and jumpers can be used to widen the chest, especially by wearing jumpers that are fitted to the waist like the one below.
  • Try circular necklines to draw attention to the upper torso.

Don’t:

  • Wear double-breasted jackets- these only emphasise the rectangular shape.
  • Wear prints that mimic your rectangular shape such as photographic T-shirts.
  • layer block colours on the torso.
mens grey blazer and denim shirt street style
A man layering outerwear
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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The Triangle Body Shape

The triangle body type has shoulders and chest that are narrower than the waist and hips, making you appear larger on the lower half of your torso. This may also create the appearance of sloping shoulders. With the triangle body shape, you should focus on fixing the imbalance created by the lower half appearing larger than the upper body.

mens How to Dress for Your Body Shape diagram
A triangle body shape
PHOTO CREDIT: The Style System

How to Dress For Your Shape

Do:

  • Focus on well-fitting clothing. Ill-fitting clothing will just further emphasise this shape. If you don’t already have a good tailor, find one. This advice applies to all men, really.
  • Wear single-breasted pieces and button-down styles to streamline the torso.
  • Use structured blazers and jackets to give shape to the shoulder line.
  • Choose darker colours up top as they are more flattering. You can add colour by layering a bright tee or Oxford under a jacket or jumper.

Don’t:

  • Wear horizontal stripes across the stomach. Try vertical stripes or pinstripes instead.
  • Wear polo shirts or narrow crew necks. These styles decrease shoulder width.
  • Wear skinny or heavily tapered trousers or jeans as these widen the central area of the body.
mens tailored suit street style
A man wearing a checked suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Marksman Style

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The Oval Body Shape

As the name suggests, this shape appears round, particularly in the stomach area. This often results in narrower shoulders and slimness in the lower leg. Out of all the male body types, it is important to focus on lengthening the torso and widening the shoulders in order to make the rest of the body look more defined.

Mens How to Dress for Your Body Shape diagram
An oval body shape
PHOTO CREDIT: The Style System

How to Dress For Your Shape

Do:

  • Wear vertical stripes and pinstripes to lengthen the body.
  • Ensure trouser legs and sleeves are the right lengths as gathering will shorten the limbs. As mentioned previously, a good tailor is your best friend.
  • Wear detailed prints or textured pieces in dark colours to provide interest while remaining flattering.
  • Wear fitted trousers that help lengthen the leg.

Don’t:

  • Wear horizontal stripes.
  • Use statement or brightly coloured belts, as this will just draw attention to your widest part.
  • Wear cowl necks, polo shirts, or wide crew necks.
  • Wear double-breasted jackets.
  • Have shoes with a white sole or trim as this will shorten the leg line
mens large man suit in camel street style
A man wearing a camel suit
PHOTO CREDIT: Cool Artisan

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How to Dress for Your Body Shape

  • If you have broader shoulders and a narrower waist, avoid skinny jeans as they exaggerate your smaller centre.
  • If your shoulders and waist are proportionate then you can wear pretty much anything.
  • For a rectangular body shape, avoid double breasted jackets and tops with graphics that are also rectangular.
  • Men with wide hips should avoid skinny jeans as they can emphasise your waist line.
  • If you have an oval body shape, avoid horizontal stripes and colourful belts or tops as they draw attention to your waistline.
mens blue blazer and chino shorts street style
A man wearing shorts and a blazer
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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On That Note

Despite all the different body shapes around you can always find something to wear without feeling stressed out. Whether you’re a pear shaped man or have a rectangle shape body, you can find clothes that flatter your body to stay looking stylish without having to compromise on anything.

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