How to Dress Men to Their Body Shape

Written by hallie engel
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How to Dress Men to Their Body Shape
Dress to flatter your body shape. (handsome men image by Mat Hayward from

Clothes really do make the man. Unfortunately, many guys have a tendency to not put thought into their wardrobes, toss on any old thing and fail to take advantage of their good features while exaggerating their flaws. It's an easily remedied problem though, and one needn't be a suave, urbane metrosexual to pick out an outfit to compliment body shape and size.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • A variety of clothing

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    Determine Body Shape

  1. 1

    There are three basic body shapes that apply to men and women. The short legs and long torso build features a low waist, a hip line that hits at less than half of total height, and typically, a heavy and low bottom. A balanced body features a waist that aligns with the elbows and the hip line is halfway up the frame. A long legs and short torso build features legs that are longer than the upper body, a short torso and a high waist. Much of the time, people with this build are tall.

  2. 2

    Understand the ideal build, which is tall with a broad chest tapering down to a waist and hips of medium size, creating a sort of upside-down triangle. Even men who aren't built thusly can find a way to mimic this shape and look their best.

    How to Dress Men to Their Body Shape
    The ideal men's shape is that of an upside down triangle. (triangles graphiques image by Beatrice Preve from
  3. 3

    To add the look of height, wear trousers and shoes in the same colour, giving the appearance of a long, lean line and adding the illusion of inches. Avoid trousers that are skintight or baggy, opting for a standard fit that doesn't succumb to the whims of fashion trends.

  4. 4

    If dealing with a square torso and a boxy waist, wear a shirt with definition in the shoulders to make them look bigger and tuck the top into a pair of belted trousers to emphasise the waist. Men with a larger stomach may want to avoid the tucked-in look, as it can exaggerate their girth; an untucked polo shirt, for instance, can help conceal a bit of tummy.

    How to Dress Men to Their Body Shape
    Large men should avoid tucked-in shirts. (man image by anna karwowska from
  5. 5

    Know what to avoid based on body type. Men with a long torso and short legs should sidestep cropped trousers and overly long shirts, which diminish height. Those with a balanced body won't be complimented by high waistbands and thick belts, which dramatically cut a body in half. Guys with long legs should avoid pin stripes, as they will make the wearer look like a beanpole, and tapered trousers, which can add the appearance of big hips. Horizontal stripes are a no-no for everyone, as they make the wearer look wide. Big men should also avoid busy, large prints, which will just make them look larger.

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