The best things to wear for your body type
The Handbook / Style / How to dress for your body type for men

How to dress for your body type for men

The best things to wear for your body type

Words— Frank And Oak staff

Have you been described as having "hockey player legs"? Skinny jeans might not be for you. Are you carrying a little more weight in your mid-section than you'd like? A raglan t-shirt will help with that. Knowing how to dress your body type is a struggle that all guys have to deal with. However, keeping your silhouette in mind when shopping and showcasing your assets is an easy way to look your best. We’ve divided the vast array of body types into three main categories with tips and style advice for each.



Triangle (Smaller shoulders with larger waist and thighs)



Your shoulders are narrower than your waist and hips and your midsection is wider. It’s cool! Just focus on balancing the upper body. The trick here is to elongate the body and widen the shoulders to make the rest of the body look more defined. Stock your closet with:


  • Raglan t-shirts and baseball tees will draw attention to your shoulders because their unique sleeves that leave a diagonal seam from the underarm to the collarbone.
  • Structured pieces. Blazers with structured shoulders and weighty denims will give you more definition and square off your frame. Make sure to go for a jacket that’s tailored throughout the body or it’ll add volume to your midsection.
  • Straight leg pants will also have an elongating effect on your body type by balancing your proportion from your waist down. The good thing is, tons of brands out there (including us) are making very on-point pants with wider legs.
  • Oxford shirts and other pieces with structured fabrics that have a certain weight to them tend to fall better than thin, clingy materials.



You're best to avoid


  • Skinny fits and extreme tapers. Super narrow trousers draw the eye to the center of your body.  
  • Horizontal stripes will make your midsection seem wider. However, a colour-block pattern on top could be interesting: a lighter colour at the shoulders will broaden them while a darker hue will camouflage your waist.
  • Busy prints on top will emphasize your midsection instead of lengthening your figure. If you want to achieve that look, stick with deeper colours or try a small to micro print.





Inverted Triangle (broad shoulders with a smaller waist)



Your shoulders are broader than your waist. It’s a pretty average silhouette and it’s relatively easy to find pieces that suit you. You should emphasize your slight definition in a way that will make you look lean and athletic, not like you skipped leg day. Stock your closet with: 


  • Dark colours will balance your silhouette by slimming your upper body and by shifting the focus away from your shoulders.
  • Deconstructed blazers won’t put emphasis on your already broad shoulders. They’re also versatile, modern and comfortable. It’s win-win.



You're best to avoid


  • Large lapels and shoulder padding will further emphasize your narrow waist. To balance out the proportions, go for a well tailored jacket with thinner lapels and a tie to match.
  • Skinny pants will also emphasize your narrow waist without balancing your figure. Go for a slim or straight leg to match your shoulders’ proportions.





Rectangle (straight, thin frame)


Your shoulders are as wide as your waist and hips. To create volume around the area you want to highlight, play with prints and textures. Stock your closet with:


  • Horizontal stripes that will add width to your top half.
  • Well constructed blazers will add form to your figure. Go ahead and add some volume to your shoulders and highlight your waist by asking your tailor to take the waist in slightly at the back.
  • Layered looks will add instant bulk to your silhouette and there are plenty of combinations so go ahead and play around with your shirts, sweaters and jackets to create different looks.
  • Prints, pops of colour, and detailing will expand the dimensions of your slimmer frame.
  • Belts are a simple trick that put the focus around your hips to add structure to your silhouette while accessorizing your outfit. We’re not saying to go for that mid-00s white belt look or anything but something to anchor your look helps.



You're best to avoid


  • Some printed t-shirts with a rectangular design such as photographic prints won’t help you create volume.
  • Vertical stripes will only elongate your already thin frame.





And that’s it. Just a few simple tips to help you make the best of what nature gave you. It’s important to remember that clothes often need minor alterations to achieve the perfect fit. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a good tailor. Sure, it’ll cost you a bit more but the investment is definitely worth it.



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