Have you lost weight?
Or maybe you’re bulking up….
Either way, dressing to your specific body type can be the difference between getting noticed and being overlooked.
How do I know?
Take a look at this before and after picture of myself…
Though there’s about a 13 year difference between each picture, I was roughly the same height and weight.
Based on the way I dressed (a reflection of my self-esteem) you could argue that the before version of me looks heavier.
That’s because of the baggier clothes that were sloppily draped upon my frame.
As a result of not dressing specifically for my body type, I was often overlooked.
It was easy for people to brush me off and to not be taken seriously.
What I’ve come to learn after figuring out how to dress well is that when you take yourself seriously, others will too.
Their basic train of thought tends to be “If he’s well put together, he’s likely got other areas of his life figured out too.”
I still see it today.
When I dress more casually (jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie) people treat me a certain way. It’s not rude, just noticeably different.
Then there’s day when I need to dress up for meetings or simply because I feel like it.
More often than not I’m referred to as ‘sir.’
Doors are held open for me and people are more willing to lend a hand (like better service at restaurants, cars stop when I attempt to jaywalk, help from sales associates when shopping, etc.)
The point is that we live in a society that makes assumptions.
Wouldn’t you rather have them work in your favour?
It begins by knowing how to dress for your specific body type.
Here’s The 5 Most Common Shapes For Men
This is when the width of your chest and shoulders is more narrow than your waist and hips.
It usually happens when men have a beer belly.
I know what you’re thinking, “But dad bods are so trendy right now!”
(Don’t buy into that garbage – it’s just an excuse for hipsters to skip working out.)
The distribution of their weight is more noticeable in the stomach area.
Which is ok as long as you’re healthy but the tricky part is dressing around your proportions.
Your best bet is to focus on correcting the imbalance between the top half of your torso and the bottom half.
Though your first reaction may be to buy baggier clothes to avoid drawing any more attention to your stomach, this will actually have the opposite effect.
Boxy shirts and oversized jackets will only emphasize this visual imbalance. Instead, go with items that are well-fitted to your body.
Doing so will draw less attention to your problem areas.
Also consider leveraging the power of layering around your chest and shoulders.
This will add some weight to that area and will at least create a visual balance between your upper and lower half.
This one’s the typical athletic build.
Think of anyone who hits the gym frequently or is basically built like The Rock (maybe not that extreme though).
You might’ve already guessed it, but this one’s the exact opposite of the first one in terms of proportions.
Balance needs to be restored to the upper body since the shoulders and chest are noticeably wider than the hips and waist.
Since there’s so much definition up top, it’s a bit harder to tailor clothing to this body type.
Guys in this category will find it hard to buy shirts and jackets that fit properly.
You’ll often notice that the length might be perfect but the button between your pecs is ready to burst (for example).
If this is your body type, your goal is to make your lower body appear larger or you’ll risk looking like Johnny Bravo.
You might’ve guessed it.
This body type is equally proportionate from top to bottom. That means that your shoulders and waist are the same width.
How you want to dress for this body type is to focus on making your shoulders appear wider will your waist appears narrow.
You can achieve this by wearing structured blazers that have padding in the shoulders.
Another way to add some bulk to your upper body is to explore layering (much like the reverse triangle).
This could mean wearing jackets with padding (like a bomber) or shirts with pockets.
Also consider wearing heavier knit sweaters, just make sure they’re well fitted to your body and don’t billow out around the waist.
When it comes to pants, once again your goal is to make sure they’re well fitted around your waist.
Consider heavier fabrics that can also add some structure to the lower half of your body.
Be careful with baggy pants since they’ll only emphasize the rectangular shape of your body.
If you fall into this category, consider yourself lucky!
When it comes to dressing for your body type, it’s considered the most balanced proportions.
Men in this category typically have a broad chest and shoulders with narrow hips and waist.
It’s somewhat similar to the reverse triangle body type but the dimensions are more equally distributed.
You’ll notice that when you’re out shopping, nearly everything you try on will fit you with no need to have it altered.
When it comes to jackets, make sure they’re slim-fitted and the length doesn’t exceed your waist.
As for finding the right pair of pants, be careful with buying anything that’s too long or baggy.
This will only make the lower half of your body look disproportionately longer than your top half.
Men in this category tend to be more circular in the stomach area.
Their shoulders are also narrower and their legs are lean.
If you happen to fall into this category, focus on lengthening your torso while drawing less attention to your midsection and broadening your shoulders.
Be careful with brighter colours and avoid high contrast outfits (e.g. black and white combos).
When it comes to jackets, try something with a longer silhouette like a trench-coat and avoid anything with shoulder pads.
This approach creates vertical lines that will elongate your torso and “distribute” your proportions.
Once again you’ll want to avoid wearing ANYTHING baggy or tops that are too snug (this will only draw the wrong kind of attention).
Something worth keeping in mind when it comes to pants is to make sure they’re darker colours.
Also avoid heavier materials since this will only add more weight to your frame.
This should go without saying, but make sure to have your clothes altered when necessary.
Not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to dressing for this body type since it can only draw more attention to the problem areas.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
While you’re here, you should check out the free style guide below…