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HOW TO DRESS FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE
3 KEY SOMATOTYPES WITH TIPS ON WHAT TO WEAR & ADVICE ON WHAT TO AVOID
For ultimate style you need to think about what pleases your taste and what works with your body shape. As a personal stylist I hear a lot of women talking about the ways in which they can make their figure look better by their choice of clothing. The same applies to men and more of us should take advantage of this. Whether you have short legs or a beer belly it doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel good too, it’s just a case of making the most of your assets and scaling your body to the right proportions through illusion.
There are a number of different common body shapes that most men will fit into. The technical term for these three sizes is 'somatotypes' and we discuss the 3 that most gents fall into.
This refers to men with broad shoulders and athletic chests with a smaller torso and waist (Mesomorph). For the first the best advice we can give is to avoid adding further attention to your shoulders, so anything with a lot of padding or jackets with large lapels should be avoided as these will only make your proportions look off. Slim fitting jackets with skinny or shawl lapels are the best options for you. You also need to concentrate on balancing out your upper and lower body by drawing attention to details at your waist area; you can do this with belts, bulky pockets, t-shirts with bold stripes at the waist and tapered trousers.
In short this is when you’re a little bit larger (Endomorph) so if you struggle with shifting weight on your tummy there are various ways to disguise this. Keep to straight fitting jackets and single breasted and avoid any bomber or puffer jackets as these will make you look top-heavy. Instead, wear longer coats in straight fits. If you like stripes, keep them vertical and avoid horizontal at all costs, this will give the illusion you’re taller and subsequently will distract attention from your mid body area. You also want to concentrate on your lower body to scale, so add attention to your waist with a belt and feet with socks and footwear.
This is where your torso is straight from top to bottom (Ectomorph). You need to aim to broaden your shoulders and nip in the waist. Keep to single breasted jackets that are slimmer on the waistline for a balanced look and go for large collars/lapels and throw a scarf or cravatte on to bulk your top half. Avoid any t-shirts with block patterns or block colours. Instead, experiment with layering or piping on jackets and stick with tapered trousers as opposed to straight fits.
Lastly, we answer a few of your frequently asked questions to help increase confidence and minimise confusion. If you have further questions feel free to ask in the comments section below.
I have short legs for my body, how can I keep them in proportion to my body?
"Wear tapered trousers and make sure the length is perfect, not too short and not too long - so they sit on your shoe. If you need to, get them altered. Avoid wearing trousers with turn ups as it will give the illusion your legs are shorter than they are. Keep any jackets you wear short because longer jackets will instantly cut you down in size and I also advise you to wear pinstripes and vertical stripes."
I have sloping shoulders, can I make them look straighter by what I wear?
"Whatever you do avoid shawl lapels and relaxed tops with raglan sleeves or gilets. You want to put emphasise on your shoulders not away from it, so find jackets with padded or pleated shoulders with big collars and lapels."
I have big feet for my body, how can I make them look smaller?
"Anything pointy and shiny is a no-no. Keep to styles such as boat shoes or loafers which are rounded at the front and generally minimal, anything brightly coloured with bold patterns should be avoided because you’ll be drawing more attention to your feet. For a casual option try to find slim fitting trainers or sneakers, with a shallow sole."
My bum is quite big and protrudes too much, how do I make it smaller?
"If you’re purchasing a jacket make sure it's either single vented at the back or not vented at all as double vented will add bulk. Opt for large pockets on jeans and trousers to create a smaller surface area."