Look Your Best by Knowing How to Dress Your Body Type

Our latest guest blogger post for the Goodwill Fashionista:

Gentlemen, do you like to shop for clothing?  Many people do not because they don’t know what to look for when it comes to style and fit.  Without this knowledge, it is easy get frustrated and end up spending money on garments you aren’t even happy with.

This is especially true when it comes to professional attire- when buying a suit the fit is crucial and you must understand your body shape and what works best.  Only then can you accentuate the positive and play down your weaknesses.  Let’s start with the three most common body types.

First are the mesomorphs– medium build types with an athletically shaped body.  If you are fortunate enough to fall in this category, let your clothing enhance your shape- which means no baggy clothing.

Other key points for mesomorphs:

  • Look for a semi-natural to medium shoulder coat.
  • No coats with narrow shoulders, only slightly extended point to points.  Two button single breasted jackets.
  • One pleated trousers with cuffed bottoms.
  • Cuffs should be 1 1/2 inches in height.
  • Look for fabrics with depth, including plaids, sharkshin, tickweave and birdseye.  Also textured and lofty clothes such as flannel, tweeds, twills, crepe, boucle and woolens.

Finally, patterns that look best on mesomorphs include plaids, windowpanes, checks and stripes.

V series Coat, Zegna Ties smallThe second body type is described as heavy or stocky types who put on weight easily.  Known as endomorphs, the goal is to elongate the body.  Here’s how:

  • Wear a 1-2 button single breasted coat.
  • Proportion your trouser leg with 1 1/4” cuffs.
  • Use smooth finish fabrics
  • Patterns that look best:  stripes, especially narrow and vertical, small Herringbone, small checks, and small, muted plaids.
  • For Sport Coat ensembles, avoid sharp contrast between coat and trouser
  • Your jacket length is also critical, many endomorphs are between short and regular, be sure to have it tailored properly.

The last type is ectomorph, referring to thinner people who tend to be gangly or tall in shape. If this is you remember to:

  • Accentuate horizontal lines in order to stress breadth.
  • Use higher 2 or 3 button coats
  • Shoulder width should be somewhat wider with a slightly square shoulder.
  • Trouser should be pleated with a fuller cut in the thigh and knee.
  • Cuffs should be 1 3/4” if above 6’2”, otherwise 1 1/2 inch cuff.
  • Width at the bottom of your trouser should be proportional with shoe size.
  • Patterns that look best:  Plaids, Windowpanes, bigger Checks, wide Herringbone and wide subdued Chalk stripes.
  • Avoid narrow prominent stripes

Regardless of your body type, you can look and feel great when you learn to appreciate your strengths and dress appropriately.  A little knowledge and you will be empowered to enjoy shopping and wearing professional attire!

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