Searching for clothes that fit can be fraught with problems if you don’t conform to the ‘Joe Average’ frame. In an industry that purports to care about fashion, it’s astounding to see just how contemptible retailers are in formulating clothing ranges for non-standard males.
To help combat the problem associated with irregular body types, I present this list of basic ‘know-how’ knowledge to assist in concealing your flaws and redressing your misbalanced figure:
Short Guys – The vertically challenged need to beware of excessive color combinations and large, consuming patterns; monochromatic outfits will give you a taller appearance and smaller patterns will appear more proportional. Try to select tailored and trim fitting garments that hold your shape to minimize the ‘squat’ appearance. Throw out the chunky shoes, wide ties and anything else that appears oversized on your smaller frame. Clothing with upright stripes will elongate the body, as will pinstripe and other fine, vertical-run patterns.
Top Tip: Neat, trim, contained hairstyles work best for shorter guys. Again, it’s all about balance; long, unkempt hair will appear bulky and overwhelm your scaled down features.
Skinny Guys – Slimmer men should also stick to fitted and tailored garments, lest they wish their clothing to appear ‘puffy’ or ‘billowy’. In a similar vein, ‘skinny’ garments (e.g. Skinny Jeans, ties, etc) can appear anorexic against your svelte figure if you don’t balance out your look correctly: Try introducing patterns, detailing and pleats to add volume and fill you out. Remember, heavier fabrics will create more depth on your silhouette.
Top Tip: Just as dark colours appear slimming, light colours add weight; pick out bright pastel shades that complement your skin tone to bulk up your frame.
Taller Guys – In direct contrast to the shorter guy, taller men should avoid vertical stripes and monochromatic looks; instead, break up the body with multiple patterns and a wide mix of colors that flatter your skin type to appear shorter. Avoid wearing too many garments disproportionately scaled on your frame: ‘Skinny’ clothing will give you the stature of a bean pole.
Top Tip: Don’t go overboard with strong vertical lines; these will draw attention to your height. Keep away from tall hats too…
Chunkier Guys – Be you stocky, meaty or stout, chunkier guys need to ensure they’re wearing clothing that fits properly – too big and you’ll look like a shapeless blob, too small and unattractive bulges emerge. Don’t wear horizontal stripes, busy patterns or chunky garments; these will all draw attention to your excess mass.
Top Tip: Wear lighter, breathable fibers like cotton; they’ll hang better on your substantial frame and won’t cocoon your body in thick, sweat-inducing materials.
Having read these general hints and tips, you may be thinking to yourself,
“Does this mean, I should never, ever wear [xyz]?”
The answer: not necessarily!
Remember the cardinal rule of fashion: Any style rule can be broken with a valid reason. Just be careful about how you chose to combine your elements.
For instance, if you know wearing a heavy sweater’s going to leave you looking rotund, factor it into your equation. Try offsetting the weightiness with appropriately light fabrics elsewhere. Does that polo shirt leave you with skinny, stick arms? Add a little bulk by wearing a robust watch with a sturdy metal strap. Want to show off your straw-like legs? Throw on a pair of skinny jeans and wear heavier clothing elsewhere to emphasize their skinniness!