How to Dress Your Body Type

Written by: Kimberley Sandford | December 3, 2015.

When mentioning the concept of body type to male fashionistas the majority instantly assume it is something that only applies to women. However, when it does come to different body types for women the list really is endless. Like women, men can equally dress to suit their shape, hair and skin tone. Buying clothing that is to suit your body type is just one way to personalize your style even further.

Male Body Shapes:

There are five common body shapes that men will often fall into one of these: trapezoid, inverted triangle, rectangle, oval or triangle. Learning to recognized and accept exactly what type of body shape you are means it will become much easier to identify whether an item of clothing has a positive or negative impact on your appearance and even more so why it has that impact. Once this knowledge becomes second nature it can then be applied to your everyday shopping habits, this will improve your style and look, but will also give you the confidence to know that you are shopping for what is right for you.

To help you with this process here is an introductory guide to the five body shapes identified above, along with some basic dos and don’ts for each.

1. Trapezoid:

Someone with a trapezoid body shape will have broad shoulders and chest with relatively narrow waist and hips. The good news is due to the upper and lower body being balanced, it means this shape is far simpler to dress than others. Due to this body type being in well-proportioned most styles and fits will suit this shape.

If this body type relates to you, then you are the lucky one! So why not incorporate new trends, cuts and colors in your wardrobe. We would still advise wear what you feel comfortable in as this is important, but you should also realize this shape has perfect potential for experimentation. Below are some examples of bolder prints and colors that you could really make a statement in.

Picks we suggest:
Trapezoid Collage

2. The Rectangle:

Those with the rectangle body shape have shoulders that are the same width as their waist and hips. If you fall into this category when dressing, you need to aim to widen the shoulders whilst making the lower torso appear narrower. You are unable to physically alter your shape, however wearing certain styles and cuts can work to give the illusion of a different shape.

Things to Do:

• Use scarves and circular necklines to widen the upper torso.
• Layer clothing intelligently – wearing shirts and fine knitwear can be used to widen the chest and shoulders and then narrow down towards the hips.
• Wear structured blazers and jackets that appear padded in the shoulders yet narrow down from the underarm. Ways to achieve this would be to have the sides taken in by a tailor or the jacket arm be thinned.

Things to Avoid:

• Wearing sleeveless pieces, unless layered effectively these will only emphasis the rectangular shape.
• Using bright primary block colors on the torso unless print.
• Avoid wearing prints that mimic and emphasize the rectangular shape, such as photographic tees or large geometric.

Picks we suggest:
Rectangle Collage

3. Inverted Triangle:

The inverted triangle is similar to a trapezoid, you will also have broad shoulders and chest, however your hips and waist are much narrower. This is a particularly common body shape for those with athletic frame and can be sculpted through regular weight lifting/body building. This subsequently means you upper torso is much wider than your lower torso. When dressing for this body type you need to pay especial attention to the imbalance between top and bottom.

Things to Do:

• Wear Breton striped tees, these provide a classic look and ideal for men of this shape, especially if the stripes are focused across the stomach rather than on the chest.
• Opt for V-Neck jumpers and t shirts these will narrow the chest and draw the eye down.
• Experiment with statement printed/pattered leg-wear this will again draw the eye down.
• Try wearing straight or more relaxed leg-wear instead of slim/skinny this will help balance your proportions and broad shoulders.
• Consider adding detailing around the hip area, this could be through the usage of belts or pockets. This will enhance the breakup or an outfit whilst still drawing attention to that area.

Thing to Avoid:

• A certain thing to avoid is three quarter length sleeves, these sleeves will broaden the appearance of your chest.
• Dodge the shoulder detailing/prints/color blocking. These kind of pieces will draw eyes to that area.
• Don’t consider tops with wide scoop necklines, this will appear to widen that area.

Picks we suggest:
Inverted Triangle

4. The Triangle:

This body shape is defined by the chest and shoulders being narrower than waist and hops, meaning you appear larger on the bottom half of your torso, this can also commonly result in a sloping shoulder line. The imbalance is created her by your lower half of your body appearing wider than your upper.
When dressing for this body type correcting the imbalance should be the main focus.

Things to Do:

• Choose single breasted and button down styles as they will help streamline the upper torso.
• Wear straight leg or chino styled trousers.
• Using tailored blazers and jackets will give shape to the shoulders.
• Opt to wear darker color on top as these will instantly flatter.

Things to Avoid:

• Stay clear of wearing skinny or heavily tapered jeans/trousers as these will widen the central part of the body.
• Dodge wearing jacket with large pockets or detail on the front as these will draw attention to that area.
• Horizontal stripes across the stomach area will do the same so also avoid these stripes.

Picks we suggest:
The Triangle Collage

5.The Oval:

This oval shape is majority self-explanatory. An oval body shape appears round particularly at the center of the body. This can also result in narrower shoulders and slimness in the lower leg. Ways to correct this imbalance are to pay attention to lengthening the torso this will essentially make it appear slimmer. Give the shoulders shape will also make the body shape appear more defined. This body shape typically is a shape that men find they fall into in their later years and some may always fall into this category. Whichever is your situation there are ways in which you can add definition.

Things to Do:

• Ensure clothes fit correctly especially trouser legs and sleeves, gathering in these areas will shorted the limbs and fail in adding shape.
• Aim to wear fitted or loosely tapered trousers these will help to lengthen the legs.
• Pick detailed prints or textured pieces in darker colors. These will add point of interest to and outfit whilst still remaining flattering.
• Vertical stripes and pinstripes are instantly flattering these will lengthen the specific area worn.

Things to Avoid:

• At all costs avoid horizontal stripes these will instantly make the part appear rounder.
• Don’t use statement or colorful belts these will only attract attention to the waist which will highlight the widest part of you.
• When buying shoes avoid wearing footwear that has a white sole or trim this will widen your feet and take away from any attempts to lengthen the legs. Similarly boots can make your legs appear shorter.

Picks we suggest
Oval Collage



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