MIND YOUR SHAPE

28 June 2017

By Musa Bwanali


Determining your body shape is often the first step in learning how to dress in a way that makes your body look its best. Men come in all shapes and sizes, and for every man there are fabrics and styles that best compliment his individual body type. Every man wants to be taken seriously.  A tall man in an overcoat will want to command a regal look. A short man in a suit wants to look professional. A large man wearing a blazer seeks to project a stately image. To ensure that people do not focus on physical flaws, it’s important to de-emphasize them. Just to be clear – no suit is going to hide excess weight, however, you can minimize the attention paid to certain physical features and thus downplay their significance. A large man will look big, but he doesn’t have to look fat. Here are a few tips to help you dress better for your body shape.


The Athlete
Because your upper and lower body are already well balanced, your shape is much easier to dress as most clothing seems to just fit you off the rack. You can play with colours and cuts without having to worry much about whether or not everything is properly in proportion. Be daring. Take advantage of the gifts Mother Nature gave you and experiment with your wardrobe. Your body was made for making a statement, so don't be afraid to take risks (as long as you still feel comfortable in your clothes). If you are in this category thank your parents, dress neatly and pay attention to your complexion and fabric combinations.


The Happy Eater
Your wardrobe is your opportunity to correct the imbalances in your natural body shape. For Happy Eaters, that means wearing clothing that adds some substance to a sloping shoulder line and smaller chest. What you wear should reduce the effect of a lower half that appears wider than your upper body. Streamlined cuts and flattering colours are important for you. Enhance and emphasise your shoulders. Steer clear of polo necks and narrow crew-necks because they decrease shoulder width, and opt for structured, tailored blazers and jackets instead. Single-breasted and button-down styles will also help streamline your torso. Don't put the focus on your stomach. Horizontal stripes across the stomach are a definite no, as is any kind of outerwear with details (like pockets) that draw attention to the stomach area. Dark colours will look best on your triangular shape. Give your lower body a little more heft. Wear trousers with a straighter leg. Skinny or heavily tapered trousers will widen the central part of your body, which is exactly the opposite effect you're going for.


The Weight Lifter
Your large frame is somewhat imbalanced as the upper torso tends to be wider than the lower half. This imbalance can be evened out by your wardrobe. Draw attention to your hips while reducing attention to your upper chest by avoiding bulk on the upper body, and adding a little extra to your legs. V-necks narrow the chest and draw the eye down. Stripes across the stomach and detailing around the hips (think belts or pockets) also help emphasise the parts that need it. Go graphic - simple graphic prints and logos will get attention, taking it away from your more substantial upper chest. Scratch the skinny stuff - they will make the top half of your body appear even wider. Try straight or more relaxed slim cuts instead, to balance out your proportions. You can also use statement trousers to lure the eye away from your broad shoulders. If you can, go for tapered jeans.
 

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