What's your body shape?
Every man is different. Did you know that experts have identified 5 unique male body shapes?
Knowing which shape you are means you can dress in a way which emphasizes your best features.
Today I'm going to teach you how to dress perfectly for your body type.
Understanding what will and won't look good against your own silhouette is the key to looking good in general.
Just because something looks a certain way on someone else doesn't mean that's the way it will look on you.
Approach your wardrobe with brutal realism.
So what are the 5 male body shapes?
- Inverted Triangle
Men's Body Shape – Ground Rules
- Your body shape determines what you should wear. Just because it looks good on the mannequin doesn't mean it'll look good on you.
- Use clothing to emphasize the best aspects of your build and divert attention away from your undesirable features.
- Be aware: even if you have the body of a supermodel, the wrong clothes could make you look out of proportion.
- Don’t expect your clothes to fit you off the rack – you’ll probably need to have them altered. Get a good local tailor and get to know them on a first name basis. You should trust your tailor like your best friend.
- Dress for the body you have now and not the body you want in the future.
Men Body Type 1. Triangle Body Shape
You're larger around the waist and hips in relation to your chest. Your lower body is heavier than your upper body and you have narrow or sloped shoulders.
This is the “dad bod” you've heard so much about.
Emphasize your upper body and broaden your shoulders.
Celebs With Triangle Body Shape:
- Jack Black
- Alec Baldwin
- Adam Devine
What To Wear:
Jackets with shoulder padding and a narrow athletic cut will emphasize your shoulders and make the top half of your body appear more weighted, giving you more balanced proportions.
Correct fit at the shoulders is priority #1 when it comes to sizing a jacket, and that's especially true for you. Don't compromise – take it to a tailor if you can't find a perfect fit off the rack.
Single breasted jackets will have a slimming effect on your lower body, as will vertical patterns. A mixture of patterns and solid colors will create the illusion of shape (as opposed to softness) and draw attention away from your waistline.
Meanwhile, light-colored shirts and jackets can add width to your shoulder area.
When you buy a shirt, look for a standard straight point collar with a medium spread. Wider styles can make your shoulders look narrow.
The types of jeans and pants cut with a slight flare will help balance out your larger thighs. And remember, the old saw is true: black, or any dark color, is slimming.
What Not To Wear:
Avoid double-breasted jackets – they can make you look bulky. Polo shirts and roll necks have the opposite problem: because they're fitted, they tend to narrow the shoulders while emphasizing any flab you might have at the waist.
While patterns – especially vertically-oriented ones – are your friend, you don't want any that are too bold or bright. The goal is to draw the eye away from your midsection and towards your face. Lean towards the subtle side, and layer under a solid.
The best thing a triangle man can do when choosing pants is to keep it simple. Stick with classic fits – no slim or skinny – and avoid pleats and cuffs that ‘weigh down' the look of your legs.
Men Body Type 2. Inverted Triangle (AKA ‘V' Shape)
You have an athletic build – a well-developed chest and shoulders that are significantly broader than your waist and hips. Overall, the upper half of your body is wider than the lower half. Your shoulder, arm and chest muscles may be fairly bulky.
Balance out the upper and lower parts of your body. You want to show off those guns without looking like a cartoon character. Buying clothes off the rack can be challenging for you – you may find clothes that fit your shoulders are noticeably baggy around the torso. Every guy can benefit from having clothes tailored, but for you, it may be a necessity.
Celebs With Inverted Triangle Body Shape:
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
- Vin Diesel
- Taylor Lautner
What To Wear:
Look for close-fitting clothes that reduce visual clutter and emphasize the clean, sharp lines of your torso.
You can wear slim-fit shirts to show off your torso but remember to size up. You want to hint subtly at your fitness, not scream it by wearing figure-hugging clothes like ‘extra skinny fit'.
Choose slim-fit jackets that follow the natural line of your silhouette and are tapered at the waist.
Go for unstructured jackets – the silhouette works better in streamlining your frame. The added bulk of a structured jacket will add unnecessary bulk to your frame.
Go for straight-leg trousers and jeans. Wearing patterned pants, camo shorts or checked trousers is a good idea because it distracts from your comparatively broad upper body.
Wearing a good quality men's leather belt will help you to emphasize the waist and hips, giving a sense of balance to your look.
Trousers with cuffs and pleats give the impression of bulkier legs, thus balancing out your top half. Consider lighter colored trousers which will make your hips look wider.
What Not To Wear:
You should avoid jackets and blazers with shoulder pads – your natural body shape already has enough width in the shoulders.
Avoid prints, patterns and scoop necklines: Any kind of detailing, especially around the shoulders will focus attention on your wide frame and throw your body out of proportion.
Avoid skinny jeans and extra slim fitted trousers because these will accentuate your legs and make your top half look disproportionately wide. They are also likely to get stuck around your larger calves.
Avoid darker colored trousers or jeans which will make your legs look slimmer (and throw out the proportions of your top half).
Men Body Type 3. Rectangle Body Shape
Your shoulders are roughly the same width as your waist and hips. You have a slight or slender frame.
Your goal is to use clothing to create the illusion of broader shoulders and a slimmer waist. Creating a nipped-in silhouette across the middle of the body is key to give the illusion of an athletic build.
Celebs With Rectangle Body Shape:
- Ewan McGregor
- Hugh Grant
- Ashton Kutcher
What To Wear:
Horizontal stripes, especially across your upper torso, will add width to your slight frame. Avoid horizontal stripes because they will make you look thinner.
Use layering (for example, a cardigan over a dress shirt and underneath a sports jacket) to add shape to the upper half of your body.
Opt for wide collar shirts and wide lapels to create the illusion of broader shoulders, and roll-neck sweaters to make your chest look wider.
Jackets or blazers with shoulder pads will also help create the illusion of broader shoulders.
A single-breasted jacket in a patterned fabric (combined with plain-colored trousers) will make you look as if you have broader shoulders and a slimmer lower body.
Find a suit jacket with as many pockets as possible, as this helps to draw the attention away from the straightness of your figure and helps to create more horizontal lines on your body.
Pops of brighter colors up top or details like epaulets will expand the dimensions of your slim frame. A neatly tied or draped scarf is an easy way to add a point of difference to your look, as well as flesh out your upper torso.
Dark-colored trousers or jeans will make your legs look slimmer, indirectly adding width to your shoulders. Trouser cuffs are a good choice as they add substance and shape to your lower half.
What Not To Wear:
Avoid double-breasted jackets – the square cut shape of a double-breasted jacket will not complement your rectangular body. Also avoid suits and blazers with little or no shape, because these will emphasize your rectangular shape.
Instead of tight or slim fit trousers (these will emphasize your thin legs) go for a more relaxed fit (straight cut) instead.
Avoid trousers with a waistline above your original waist as this will give the impression of a longer leg and will emphasize the rectangle shape of your body.
Men Body Type 4. Oval Or ‘Apple' Body Shape
You're carrying a little extra weight on your body. Your torso is wider than your shoulders and hips. You have a more rounded stomach, fuller face, and short neck. However, your legs are slimmer in comparison with your upper half.
You want to stretch out and slim down your silhouette while building up your shoulders.
Celebs With Apple Body Shape:
- James Corden
- Zach Galifianakis
- Cedric The Entertainer
What To Wear:
Vertical stripes and pinstripes will lengthen the body. These give an elongated appearance to the specific area worn.
Trousers and shirts or sweaters which are the same color will create a slimming effect. Avoid contrasting colors, which will draw attention to your larger stomach area. Opt for navy or charcoal; darker colors are more slimming.
A V-neck sweater or t-shirt with long sleeves will create a slimmer silhouette illusion. In dress shirts, a wider collar spread works well for broad men because it balances out their wide proportions.
Wear trousers with a comfortably loose waist (never belted so tight that it pinches and wrinkles). Trousers that start just above your original waistline give the impression that you have slimmer, longer legs.
For casual wear, consider untucking your shirt (make sure you are wearing a casual shirt) so as not to draw attention to your belt line.
Consider suspenders in place of a belt (“braces” in the UK) – they hold the trouser front out slightly, letting it fall in a smooth front all the way past the crotch.
What Not To Wear:
Avoid double-breasted suits, which will draw attention to your rounder frame, and opt for single-breasted suits with a single vent at the back (this avoids bringing attention to your rear).
Steer clear of turtle necks and sweaters with large patterns, which can bring attention to your larger midriff. Lighter-colored clothing will also make you appear wider.
Avoid pants which bunch at the bottom of your leg (a full trouser break). This will draw attention to this area and make your legs appear shorter than they actually are.
Never wear tight belts – they can make your belly hang out over them. If you do wear a belt, avoid statement belts – patterned or bright colored belts which will draw attention to your larger stomach area.
Men Body Type 5. Trapezoid (The “Perfect” Body Shape)
You have broad shoulders and a well-developed chest. Your waist and hips are narrower but not disproportionately.
The Trapezoid is a well-proportioned healthy figure and one of the most desirable body shapes for men.
Most clothes will fit you off the rack but your goal is not to become complacent. You should still take your clothing to a tailor when needed.
You're also in danger of blending into the crowd with this common body type, so try to have a few distinct details in your outfit at all times.
Celebs With Trapezoid Body Shape:
- Hugh Jackman
- Gerard Butler
- Daniel Craig
What To Wear:
Vertical stripes will make you appear a little taller. Checks and plaids add horizontal bulk, so pick which one you need based on your height.
A blazer or suit jacket tapers your waist, making your stomach seem slimmer and your shoulders seem broader. Wear it buttoned with a single button at the waist for maximum effect.
Wear dark colored trousers along with light colored shirts. This will make your legs look proportionate to your upper body.
Take care that your trousers meet with your ankle and shoes, This will show that both your upper and lower body are of equal proportions.
An average build just needs clean lines and a good personal style to look sharp. Details such as pocket squares or boutonnieres will help separate you from the masses.
What Not To Wear:
Remember your hips are narrow and do not wear jeans that are too tight as that makes your hips look even slimmer. Never wear your pants much below your waistline, as this makes the lower half of your body look disproportionally short.
The biggest no-nos are anything loose and saggy, and any outfits that are completely bland and generic-looking (unless you want to vanish easily in groups).
Body Shape Summary
Got all that? Here's a quick recap of your goals for each type:
- Triangle (the ‘dad bod'): Emphasize your upper body and broaden your shoulders.
- Inverted triangle (muscular): Balance out your muscular upper body with your lower body.
- Rectangle (skinny): Create the illusion of broader shoulders and a slimmer waist.
- Oval (the big guy): Stretch out and slim down your silhouette while building up your shoulders.
- Trapezoid (the healthy regular guy): Just wear clothes that fit well and avoid getting lost in the crowd.