A Man’s Guide to Shopping for Clothes
Much of the fashion world and the advice available is geared towards women, but men need help too when deciding what suits them and how to wear it. One of the most important factors in looking good is shopping to suit your body type and shape. The following guidelines can steer you in the right direction when you try on clothes:
Body type: Heavyset
Men who tend to be on the heavier side should avoid horizontal stripes. These serve to widen the body and make you look shorter and heavier. Opt for vertical stripes instead, as these elongate the body for a more streamlined silhouette.
Also make sure that you wear the correct size. A lot of heavy-set men wear larger clothing because they think it will help them look slimmer, when in fact baggy clothes make you look larger! Don’t be tempted to squeeze into anything too small either; this makes it looks as if the seams of your clothes are straining. Take time to find the right size and fit – the results will be worth it.
Darker colours and monotones tend to be more slimming, while lighter colours and contrasting colours can expand your silhouette. This doesn’t mean you have to stick with basic black; just choose the darker shades on the colour palette, like navy, chocolate and charcoal and stay within the same colour family for different items – for example, combine various shades of brown from tobacco to leather and taupe.
Body type: Tall and slim
Men who are tall and slim can usually get away with most things, from a sartorial point of view, but some tall, slim men prefer a silhouette that is more substantial, especially around the arms, shoulders and thighs where men want to look muscular.
Light colours, bright colours and contrasting items will all make you look larger, so you have a wide colour palette to choose from. Stay away from monochrome looks though – wearing the same colour from head to toe will definitely make you look longer and thinner, especially if you choose darker shades.
Those blessed with a height advantage can wear horizontal stripes with ease – this is a good look and always in fashion, so take full advantage of this classic design style. The pattern of the horizontal stripe will create the optical illusion of cutting through your height and subtly widening the body silhouette.
Body type: Short
Shorter men who want to appear taller should go vertical and lean. In other words, choose fabrics and patterns that have a vertical (up and down) tendency and stay away from horizontal (side to side) patterns. Avoid clothing that cuts the body in half and instead reach for clothes that create a long, lithe line. For casual outfits wear shirts loose instead of tucked in and at the office try a sweater vest the same shade as your pants over a light shirt to create a monochrome line from head to toe. If you wear ties, opt for the slimmer ones and wear it at the right length – a tie worn either too long or too short creates a schoolboy appearance.