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How To Choose A Suit For Your Body Type

Body TypeWhether you’re the type of man who detests getting dressed up or the kind who thoroughly enjoys wearing a suit, shopping for one can be a difficult venture. Some men have a natural sense of fashion and know exactly what to look for when seeking event specific clothing, while others haven’t got the first clue about the difference between purchasing a suit for the office or evening wear for a night on the town. There are a few things to consider when seeking and outfit that makes you look your best, and they all start with promoting the features you already have; this means dressing for your body type.

Short and Sweet

If you’re on the shorter side then shopping for dress clothes could pose to be even more difficult than it is for other gentleman; don’t be discouraged by the sizes in most shops; pants and jackets can always be altered for your shape. When you visit the tailor, be sure to specify that lengths should be kept short or medium rather than long, especially in the jacket as it will only make your bottom half seem even smaller in comparison; gq.com writes writes:

Don’t wear a longer suit jacket. It just makes your legs look shorter.

Wearing a vertical pattern like pinstripes is another way to elongate the form; avoid checks and horizontal lines as they’ll have the opposite effect. Having a suit custom made for your body can be expensive, so it isn’t an option for every man. If you have the financial means, however, it can be a great alternative to all that shopping around, as the fit will really speak for itself.

Living Large

Similar to the shorter man, if you’re on the large size around the middle, it may be difficult to buy something off the rack, but there are options to help slim or at least streamline your look. The first thing to remember is not to buy clothes that are loose or hang off of you, this will only make it look like you don’t know what size you are, and it may even make you look larger, or untidy. If you can’t find a suit that matches your every proportion, for example if the suit fits in the legs but not in the shoulders, talk to a tailor about the possibility of having it altered. Nick Bradshaw of oje.ie suggests:

The great thing about most suits is that they come in dark colors. Light, bright colors will draw the eye, dazzle the onlooker and effectively make you look bigger. Understated dark colors won’t.

You’ve probably heard that black is slimming, well so is navy blue and dark brown tones as well, so don’t feel that buying dark colors will leave you without options.

Tall and Proud

Depending on how tall you are, you may not have any problem at all walking into a men’s clothing store and choosing a classy suit right off of the rack, but if you’re too tall this could pose a problem. One thing to try for when shopping for dress clothes is the appearance of a proportionate figure; Xiaoli Li of everyguyed.com explains:

Appearing tall and thin can appear disconcerting, so you need to add width to that frame to achieve proportions that people will find aesthetically pleasing.

This means trying for the opposite of the above tips by wearing horizontal stripes instead of vertical, wearing an outfit that is fitted, but wider in the legs rather than a narrow look that will make you seem taller and thinner than you actually are. If you’ve got a longer torso, you should wear more than one color in your outfit, trying for a bright shirt and dark jacket rather than similar shades throughout the ensemble.