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, 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
1. The Rhomboid Body Shape
The rhomboid shape body is characterized 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, it’s the perfect canvas for experimenting with new trends. Generally, most styles and fits suit this shape as long as you keep everything in proportion.
2. 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.
- 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.
What to avoid:
- 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.
3. 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.
- 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.
What to avoid:
- Wear double-breasted jackets- these only emphasize the rectangular shape.
- Wear prints that mimic your rectangular shape such as photographic T-shirts.
- Layer block colors on the torso.
4. 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.
- Focus on well-fitting clothing. Ill-fitting clothing will just further emphasize 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 colors up top as they are more flattering. You can add color by layering a bright tee or Oxford under a jacket or jumper.
What to avoid:
- 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.
5. 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.
- 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.
What to avoid:
- Wear horizontal stripes.
- Use statement or brightly colored 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