If you want to look your best and present the ideal professional or personal image, dressing well goes a long way. It’s not just about looking stylish, fashionable or trendy; when you wear clothes that fit you perfectly and highlight your most unique features, you’ll look polished and feel more comfortable and confident, too.
One trick to dressing well is to dress for your body shape or type. And knowing your body shape helps you choose clothes that look great on you.
The five male body shapes and how to dress for them:
You have slim shoulders and a narrow chest, along with a wider waist and slim hips. To look trimmer and more proportionate, select pieces that make your waist look slimmer. Some great choices are tees, shirts and jackets in dark colours or that feature pinstripes – these will take the focus away from your waist.
Alternatively, wear loose tops that won’t accentuate your midriff, says Shireena Shroff Manchharam, an image consultant, and the founder and principal consultant of Sheens Image Consulting. Don’t tuck your shirt into your pants and avoid using a belt. A loose-fitting jacket may also help conceal your belly.
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You have a narrow chest and shoulders with a wider waist and hips. Pick clothes that will accentuate the upper half of your body and play down the bottom half.
Like the oval body shape, Shireena says to wear looser tops to draw attention away from your waist and to avoid tucking in your shirt. Wear slightly baggy pants that aren’t tapered at the ankle, as these will make your legs look skinnier. Pinstripes and a loose-fitting jacket will help elongate your body. You can also pair bright-coloured or patterned shirts with dark-coloured pants – this helps you look more balanced and proportionate.
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You’re well-proportioned, with a slim waist and hips. This body type can get away with most styles, and even looks good in bright colours, prints and patterns; however, you should stay away from vertical stripes as this pattern may amplify your rectangular shape.
If you want to visually “break up” your shape, try drawing attention to your top half. Shireena recommends a colourful necktie or pocket square.
Shopping tip: Complete your look with a new pair of shoes. Bata Shoes is home to a range of styles, from dress shoes and loafers to sandals and sneakers. All NSmen enjoy 12% off storewide with Bata Shoes’ current NS55 “We Support NS” promotion.
You have broad shoulders, a wide chest and a slim waist. This body shape is very easy to dress, as almost anything will look flattering.
“If you’re short and want extra height, wear pinstripes or anything that makes you look ‘up and down’, and avoid baggy clothes,” says Shireen. “Accentuate your broad shoulders with large lapels or collars and wide neckties. Tight or close-fitting tops will help highlight your biceps and wide chest.”
Shopping tip: For simple but stylish, tailored menswear that is wrinkle-resistant and easy to care for, make an appointment with Ethan Men, which specialises in high-quality tailored shirts, pants and jackets. SAFRA members enjoy 15% off regular-priced items.
5. Inverted Triangle
This body shape is common in athletic types or those who work out a lot. You have big arms and a wide chest, while the rest of your body from your waist down is slim. Most styles will look good on you, but as your waist is conspicuously narrow and small, you’ll want to avoid tops that sag around your abdomen.
“To balance out your shape, avoid tight pants or shorts that may make the bottom half of your body look skinnier or ,” Shireena points out. “Try wearing pants with pleats instead. And because you have broad shoulders, you can get away with wearing tops with large collars and tight tops. V-neck tops also help draw attention to your chest.”
Shopping tip: Arden Teal offers well-designed shoes at affordable prices. Think classics like Oxfords and Derbys, and loafers and monk-straps. Their designs are made with Argentinian calfskin leather. SAFRA members get 10% off regular-priced footwear.
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