Last week, I wrote to you from my cave of sickness and mentioned that Bree had a great question about dressing men’s body types. She writes:
I’ve noticed there is so much advice out there on how to dress different female body types, but the advice on how to dress a man is hard to find. I’m trying to help my fiance be more stylish and feel more confident, but strugge to determine what styles flatter him the most. He is very very tall (6’7″) with a belly and wise-ish hips/rear. Any tips?
The best bet for dressing any body (and personality) type- male or female – is trial and error.
However, I can offer you
My quick tips for dressing a man whether he is built like a linebacker or a parking meter.
Here we go!
“Full Figured” Bass Ass
I’ve always heard women referred to as full-figured and fabulous, so why can’t we put guys into the same category? This is for the guys who shopped the husky department with their mom throughout grade school:
- Start anew. Stay away from boutiques and vintage shops – places that are notorious for their small sizes – focus on stores with a wider assortment of sizes. Larger chain stores like J.Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic all offer a tall selection. Other higher end designers like John Varvatos and Ralph Lauren also cater to taller men. Check out these places for a great start to rebuilding your wardrobe with pieces that fit well. Avoid stores with “Big & Tall” in the name – the clothes in those stores have been sitting on the racks since the mid-90s.
- Know your size. Or at the very least, make it fit you well. Avoid things that are too baggy: they just add excess material and create a sloppy look. One of the best things you can do is become friends with the tailor in your neighborhood. I’m still looking for a good one here in Philly, so if anyone has any tips, drop me a line! In short, your clothes should be trim to your body without hugging it too tightly.
- Express yourelf. I’m a huge fan of personal style: express yourself through the clothes that you wear and how you put it all together. If you wouldn’t wear a bright orange shirt, then don’t buy a bright orange shirt just because it’s on the sale rack and fits you well! Spend a little bit of money on what you know you will wear and get a great look in return.
- Slim your style. Wear a undershirt, not a wife beater: it creates a more even silhouette. Wear thin lapels on your jackets, not thick: it thins out your neck and upper body. Wear a v-neck, not a t-shirt: it thins your neck and face. Wear thin stripes, not thick: it draws the eye up without emphasizing your weight. Wear your belt one notch looser, not two notches tighter: you want it tight enough to function, but not so tight that it draws attention to your waistline.
Short and Chic
Finding a 29-inch inseam is just as difficult as finding a 34-inch inseam. Don’t worry I’m not going to send you to Gap Kids. This is for the guys who bust out the step stool to reach the top of the pantry, just like me:
- Break it up. Wear something that clearly breaks your body up into clear, defined sections. For me, I’ve noticed that I look best in lighter pants and a darker shirt. This emphasizes my muscular legs and hides the extra weight that I carry around my midsection. Don’t be too afraid to tuck in your shirt… it’s not just for nerds! It helps break up your outfit and create a cleaner, leaner look.
- Let it all hang out. If you’re short and slim you could go to the other extreme and buy fitted t’s and button downs and let them hang out to make your torso look longer. I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but skinny jeans will add so much length to your look too.
- Be bold, but only once. Pick up the patterns and embrace the plaid trend. Go for ginghams, plaids, stripes, and more! I feel like shorter guys get to have a little bit more of a quirky style, so embrace the fun that you can have with your clothes. Just be careful because mixing patterns is quickly becoming a trend of the past.
- Roll with the punches. One of my favorite looks is a rolled cuff, I wear it on nearly all of my pants except for suits and dress pants because it’s such an easy way to take a pair of jeans or chinos and not only make them fit, but to make them your own. You can do the same with jacket sleeves, shirt sleeves, and even some casual blazers…as long as your OK with the wrinkles that will follow.
My tips for shorter guys aren’t all about tricking people into thinking that you’re taller; they’ll see right through your smoke and mirrors as soon as they walk up to you. Instead, I’m a firm believer in embracing your body type whether it’s tall, short, thick, or thin. Confidence is the only thing that will really make you stand out and look great. The clothes can only go so far, the rest of it is in you.