How to dress appropriately based on your body type

When it comes to fashion, looking for inspiration is the best way to learn about trends, colors and style. Nonetheless, even when your look checks all the right boxes, sometimes your outfit ends up looking nothing like the picture. If you wonder why, the answer probably is body type.

mens shirt to dress stylish for body shapeDressing for the right body type is a game-changing factor. And it applies for any look, no matter if it’s daytime or nighttime, or if it’s a formal or casual occasion. Looking for inspiration is absolutely great, but you should always keep in mind that not all men have the same shapes and measurements.

In this article, we will share with you our tips on how to determine what body type you have and how to choose the right garments for you.


What is your body type?

First thing first, there are five body types: triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, oval and trapezoid. We will dive into each one later, but the rule that should stick with you is that no matter the fashion trends or styles, your body shape should always be a priority.

As we said at the beginning, your outfit might be on point regarding color, texture, style. But if it is not the right choice for your body type, then it’s not doing you any good. On a similar note, there is no correct answer when it comes to body shapes either: all shapes have their pros and cons.

The important thing is that you learn what benefits you and how to choose the right clothes to spotlight your best features.


Triangle body type

The triangle body type is one of the most common ones, especially among older guys. The triangle describes a type where the body is larger around the hips and waist, and therefore it creates a triangular shape between the two lower laterals and the center of the face.

If this is your body type, then your goal will be to create balance between your lower and upper body. That is to say, you want to balance the proportions on your hips and waist with weight on your shoulders and top.

We’ve been over the problem, now it’s time to go over the solution. If you have this body type then you want to opt for clothes that add weight to your upper part. Think about jackets with structured shoulders or blazers with solid shoulders too.

In the same way, you want to keep all patterns and textures on the upper side of your body. Keeping these elements on your top will create a visual illusion of a broadened torso and bigger shoulders.

On the other hand, clothes you need to stay away from include fitted polo shirts, roll necks, skinny trousers and bold belts. The first two will make your upper body look even narrower, while the other ones will accentuate the width of your waist.


Inverted triangle body type

Opposite to the triangle body type, the inverted triangle body shape matches a broadened chest and shoulders, and narrower hips and waist. To create a balanced, proportional body shape you want to bring attention to your lower part.

Opt for patterned trousers and straight-leg jeans to add volume to your bottom half. Regarding your upper side, you want to keep things simple and neutral: the best options for your body type are slim fit shirts, V-neck t-shirts and slim fit jackets.

You should stay away from structured tailoring, prints and patterns on your upper half too. This will only bring more attention to your torso and shoulders, and it will make you look even smaller on your legs, waist and hips.


Rectangle body type

This body type might be easier to work with, nevertheless there are a few things you need to be aware about. The rectangle body type tends to be perfectly proportioned between hips, waist and shoulders. Yet the wrong prints or patterns can make you look too rectangular.

For example, you should avoid wearing vertical stripes on your upper half and instead you should opt for horizontal lines that will add width to your slight frame.

Structured suits are also a great alternative and you can actually improve the fit by making your tailor take them in slightly at the back to emphasize your waist.


Oval body type

The oval body type is also very common among men and it is characterized by a torso that is wider than the shoulders and hips. You can identify it by the slim shoulders and chest, as well as the wider waist and slim hips.

Your goal with this body shape is to bring attention away from the waist area. So in order to achieve that, you can opt for solid and darker tones, as well as patterns with vertical stripes, which will slim and frame your body at the same time.

Tailored pieces should be your new best friend as they prevent your clothes from looking either pinching (too small) or bulkier (too big). If this is not a comfortable or accessible option for you, you can look for a brand that offers the right size for you and stick with it.

If you have this type of body, you should avoid wearing tight clothes, especially on the upper part of your body. They won’t spotlight your best features, quite the opposite! Stay away from prints and patterns that draw attention to your midsection, and instead go for colors and layers that will guide the eye through the length of your body.


Trapezoid body type

Fashion designers have used the trapezoid body type as a reference for many years now and that is why it is considered to be easier to find off the rack clothing that fits.

The trapezoid body type is known for having the narrowest point at the waist and the broadest one at the shoulders. Meanwhile, the man also has a wide rib cage and chest, which ends up creating this particular shape.

As we discussed earlier regarding the previous body types, it’s all about finding balance. Sports-inspired, modern looks are a great choice for this body type, including slim and fitted garments.

While colors and patterns are not much of a problem for the trapezoid body type, baggy trousers are, so you might want to focus on skinny or tailored pants only. You should also pay attention to your heights, as vertical striped shirts will make you look taller, while checks and plaids add horizontal volume.

If you are having more doubts about height, then you can take a look at these 3 tricks to look taller.