MEN’S BODY SHAPES

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MEN’S BODY SHAPES

If you have ever taken a slight interest in fashion and style then I’d hasten to say that you’ve heard things about body types, things like ‘pear shape’ and ‘apple shape’. Let me tell you quite firmly that this is a load of junk used to make something simple into something complicated.

I’d also like to add that men’s body shapes have rarely been categorised. Just like us men get the smaller space on the shop floor we’re supposed to understand our body shapes based on the advice given to women. Not anymore.

The only attempt I’ve seen is the ‘Ectomorph’, ‘Mesomorph’ and ‘Endomorph’ body types, but these relate more to physical training and how to gain muscle or lose weight rather than fashion or style.

So I classified them.

Once you understand body shapes you will realise just how simple it is to achieve the three golden rules. First of all let’s have a quick look at men’s body shapes.

From Right to Left:

Slim Regular Adonis Middle Heavy Contoured

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MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Once you know which one of the five body types you are then the fashion battle just got a million times simpler. I’ll explain each one now and you decide which you are.

Note: I haven’t mentioned height for any of these body types. This is because no matter how tall you are, dressing for your shape and following the rules works for everyone. Don’t think too long about it just choose quick. Read on and discover what works for your shape and what doesn’t.

Before you read on, just let me refresh you on the 3 golden rules;

 Always look taller – anything slimming and anything that makes your legs look longer

 Narrow Waist – Use garments cleverly to show a narrow waist

 Wider Shoulders – A Clever use of colour and layering helps widen the shoulders.

Here’s a great way of demonstrating the three rules not working (Left) and working very well (Right). Read on to find out how you can change from left…to right;

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MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Slim

Slim – You know if you’re slim. Generally you wont put on weight too easily and you can probably eat what you want without it affecting your shape. The most notable physical traits of your body are your slim legs, mainly around the thigh. The width of your chest and waist will have little or no variation, creating a long square body shape from the waist to the shoulders.

Golden Rule

Present in Body Shape?

Why?

Any Styling needed?

Height

Yes

A Slim build naturally looks taller

No, enhance existing features

Slim Waist

Yes

Slim waist is present in the natural body shape

Ensure clothing is close fitting around the waist

Wide Shoulders

No

The natural body shape lacks wide shoulders

Yes – See Styling tips.

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Styling Tips

Using the information from above, we need to enhance and draw attention to the slim waist and the slim legs, whilst making the shoulders wider.

Good

 Slim fitting trousers/ jeans / chinos in bright noticeable colours – this will focus attention on your legs & the height

 Single Button blazers – slims the waist and widens the shoulders

 Lightweight knitwear – if you chose anything too heavy or chunky it would drown your frame

 Roll Sleeve Shirts – adds ‘bulk’ around the biceps and help create width in the upper body.

Bad

 Relaxed or wide fitted blazers, jackets or coats – again, these will drown you

 Chunky knitwear

 Short sleeve shirts – will only serve to make your arms look ‘weaker’ and smaller.

 Baggy Jeans – you will look swamped in excess fabric

MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Regular

A regular shape guy has shoulders slightly wider than his waist showing a hint of a masculine V shape (wide shoulders nar- rower waist). You will generally lose and gain weight quite easily. Some regular shapes may carry some weight around the stomach or chest, if you do, admit it! It’s better to know the ground you’re fighting on.

Golden Rule

Present in Body Shape?

Why?

Any Styling needed?

Tall

Yes/ No

This depends on the height, however height should be added in almost every situation

Yes – See Styling tips

Slim Waist

Yes/ No

Some regular shapes do and some don’t.

Yes – See styling tips

Wide Shoulders

Yes/ No

Depends on the body shape, but we’ll adress it too.

Yes – See styling tips

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Styling Tips

We need to stick to the rules as closely as possible to make the attributes of the regular body type stand out as much as possible.

Good

 Slim fitting trousers/ jeans / chinos in bright noticeable colours

 Single or two Button blazers – creates a waist and gives shoulders width.

 Light weight or medium weight knitwear (V-neck jumpers, knit jumpers)

 Roll Sleeve Shirts with tab fasteners

 Wear a fit that ‘skims’ the body and doesn’t fit too tight – skimming is where the garment doesn’t ‘hug’ the body too tightly.

Bad

 Baggy Jeans, boot cut trousers/ jeans – these don’t give you any shape what so ever

 Relaxed or wide fitted blazers, jackets or coats – will kill the shape of your body.

 Tight or closely fitted t-shirts – these will pick up on attributes we may want to hide.

 Short sleeves in any garment (shirts, t-shirts) – will make the arms look very skinny and weak.

MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Adonis

You know who you are, but don’t fool yourself. If you havent got a flat stomach and big arms then don’t pretend to yourself that you have. An adonis body shape has shoulders and chest measurements that are significantly wider than the waist. You don’t have to be too specific here and start taking measurements – a visual assessment tells you all you need to know.

Golden Rule

Present in Body Shape?

Why?

Any Styling needed?

Tall

No

An adonis could be tall, but the nat- ural body shape adds width, we need to style this accordingly

Yes

Slim Waist

Yes

Working out at the gym has resulted in having a slim waist

No

Wide Shoulders

Yes

Working out at the gym has resulted in having wide shoulders

No

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Styling Tips

We need to add height to balance out a muscular frame, the width created by the muscular arms and chest needs to be well balanced to avoid a ‘gorilla’ shape. It is also important to show off the work you’ve done in the gym, but in a subtle way.

Good

 Regular fit jeans or a slight tapered jean (not skinny) jeans – jeans that are too skinny and you’ll look like an upside down pyramid.

 Two Button blazers – will really enhance the chest and elongate the waist

 Light weight, close fitting knitwear

 Short Sleeve T-shirts – to show some bicep/ triceps – avoid a super low neckline as we learned from the female panel.

 Roll Sleeve shirts with noticeable patterns such as checks – this helps keep attention on the upper body

Bad

 Skinny jeans or wide fitting jeans will ruin the shape you’ve worked for

 Baggy Jumpers, T-shirts, Cardigans, Blazers are all terrible because you will be hiding all the hard work you did in the gym

 All black clothing will just mask your body shape

MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Contoured

Lets not flap around the subject here. Some guys carry a little excess fun and enjoyment around with them. Don’t see it as a problem, it isn’t. Like I’ve said before, if you understand the lanscape then it’s easier to build upon it. A countoured shape tends to display a convex shape around the middle rather than a concave shape. As a general rule a mans legs don’t grow in proportion to the rest of the contoured shape, although there are exceptions.

Golden Rule

Present in Body Shape?

Why?

Any Styling needed?

Tall

Yes/ No

Depends on the man. But we will add height regardless

Yes

Slim Waist

No

This mans shape has a wider middle

Yes

Wide Shoulders

Yes/ No

Because of the shape, we may need to enhance the shoulders because this shape has a wide middle.

Yes

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Styling Tips

The goal here is to smooth out the contoured shape by balancing the top and bot- tom half. This can be achieved by using clothing that skims and also adding shape where possible on the torso.

Good

 Wide fitting jeans such as a boot cut or relaxed fit – this will help balance the upper body shape

 Single Button blazers create shape at the waist and shoulders

 Lightweight knitwear that skims – if lumps and bumps are a problem then clothing that ‘skims’ carves out a nice line.

 Button down shirts worn open at the neck

 A smart casual dress sense – casual clothing doesn’t create shape easily, always dress with a slight air of smart causal formality, to help create shape.

Bad

 Skinny, slim or tight jeans/ chinos – these will create more width on the upper body

 Slim fitting upper body garments – we need to skim the body not strangle it.

 Chunky knitwear – will only add more weight

 Short sleeve shirts – will make your arms look smaller and your torso wider, not good.

 Light coloured shoes with dark jeans/ trousers – the contrast in colour will make you look wider.

MEN’S BODY SHAPES

Middle Heavy

Middle Heavy – A very common shape for men aged 35 upwards. Tragically as metabolisms start to slow down around mid 30’s the effects of beer start to take effect around the middle, namely the waist and stomach. The effect of this is that the shoulders and chest appear narrower than the waist, due to the expanded middle. If this is you, be honest, because you have one of the most common men’s body shapes.

Golden Rule

Present in Body Shape?

Why?

Any Styling needed?

Tall

Yes/ No

Depends on the man, but we always add height regardless.

Yes

Slim Waist

No

The body shape carries weight around the waist

Yes

Wide Shoulders

No

The width around the waist makes the shoulders look narrower

Yes

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Styling Tips

With most of the weight being carried around the middle, it is important to make the shoulders look wider and to add width around the legs. Both of these things will help to reduce the middle heavy appearance.

Good

 Regular or boot cut jeans will help balance a heavy middle

 Dark coloured trousers or jeans with a medium to high rise – this will help shape the waist.

 Patterned Roll sleeve shirts under dark jumpers – The pattern will hold the attention of onlookers whilst the dark colour will maintain a slim upper body

 Two Button Blazers – by just fastening the top button then the blazer will ‘skirt off’

Bad

 Skinny or Slim cut Jeans – these will add a greater focus a wider middle

 Tight fitting T-shirts or knitwear – this would further highlight a narrow waist against a wide middle

 Short sleeve shirts – the shape of the shirt will not lend itself to the shape of your figure.

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