Men come in an array of body shapes and sizes, and this can prove to be difficult when shopping for clothes. Whilst the average male mannequin will be slim and toned with the perfect amount of shoulder “broadness”, the reality is that only a small percentage of men have a body to match.

This means that trying on clothes can be frustrating. Not to mention that shopping for men’s clothing online is near impossible.

So, in order to flatter your body shape the best you can, and look great in every outfit, you first need to pinpoint what type of body you have. These are the 5 most common:

  1. Triangle
  2. Inverted Triangle
  3. Rectangle
  4. Oval
  5. Trapezoid

Once you have figured out which shape best describes your body, follow the sartorial rules below…

1. Triangle

The triangle body shape is common in a lot of men, especially as they get older. It’s when the hips and waist area is a lot wider than the shoulders and the top part of the torso.

The problem that has a triangular body type poses is that it’s difficult to balance out the torso so that it appears in proportion. Here are the men’s clothing items that you should be wearing if you have a triangular-shaped body:


Wearing a top with vertical stripes on it create the illusion of a longer body. Horizontal stripes can help to balance out the triangle shape if they are located across the top of the chest.

Structured-shouldered jackets

The key to making it look as if you have a broader top line is to wear jackets that have structured shoulders. Therefore, it’s best to choose a blazer with shoulder pads over a thin anorak-style coat with sloping shoulders.

Dark colours around the waist

Wearing any colours around your midsection will only accentuate it. So, leave the colours for the chest and shoulders, and keep the mid-section black, dark grey or navy.

The clothing that men with triangle body shapes should avoid include:

Roll necks

Although roll necks are stylish, they are not flattering on men with a triangle body shape because they make the chest and neck area appear slender, thus accentuating the triangle shape.

Skinny trousers

Skinny trousers are bad news for men with a triangular body shape because they narrow the legs and draw attention to the wide middle section. To balance out your shape, wear straight-leg trousers instead.

2. Inverted Triangle

If you have an inverted triangle body shape, chances are you work out a lot at the gym and have seriously muscular arms and shoulders. As this is a desired body shape for a lot of men, you should want to show off your toned torso (without making it look too extreme), and you can do that effectively with the right clothing.

Slim-fitting shirts and tops

You should wear slim-fitting clothing on your top half to accentuate your muscular torso, but be careful that it isn’t too tight. You don’t want your top to look like it’s a second skin.

Straight-leg trousers

If you have an inverted triangle body shape, your legs are considerably thinner than your chest and shoulders. Therefore, you should aim to balance this by steering clear of slim trousers and opting for a shape that is the same width as your hips.

3. Rectangle

Men with rectangular body shapes have a slim frame that is a similar width from top to bottom. To create a silhouette and create the illusion of structure, the clothes you should be wearing are:

Breton t-shirts

Breton tees are a great option for men with rectangular body shapes, as horizontal stripes create the illusion of width and broadness.


Layering up t-shirts, jumpers, jackets and scarves is an easy way to add shape and dimension to rectangular body shape.


Another way to add dimension and the illusion of shape is through patterns and colours. Unlike other body types, a rectangular body type actually favours colour experimentation.

4. Oval

Men with a round or oval body shape may find it hard to dress, simply because the widest part of the torso is the mid-section. To frame an oval body shape and rebalance it, clothing that you should wear include:

Loose-fitting trousers

You may be tempted to buy slim fitting trousers with a slimmer waistline to counteract the roundness of your body shape, but you should avoid doing so. Slim trousers or a tight waistband will bunch up and only cause your midsection to look bigger. In order to balance out your body, keep the trousers straight-legged and comfortable.

Tailored shirt

Shirts can make or break an outfit, especially if it does not compliment your body shape. It is a good idea to get your shirts tailored if you have a round body shape so that it fits correctly.

5. Trapezoid

A trapezoid body shape is known as the average man’s body shape. On a trapezoid body, the waist is slightly narrower than the shoulders. Generally speaking, this is a pretty easy body shape to dress.

Wear the following clothing to flatter a trapezoid body:

Slim trousers

Slim, tailored trousers will look best on a trapezoid body. Avoid loose fitting or baggy trousers as they can make you look shorter than you are.


You can also add height by wearing shirts and tops that have vertical stripes on them. They don’t have to be too in-your-face, either, as a shirt with faint vertical lines will still add to the illusion.

Slim jacket

Make your torso appear a little broader by wearing a slim jacket and buttoning it at the waist. This will give you more shape and make you appear less rectangular.


When it comes to dressing for your body shape, it’s all about creating balance and illusions. And, if you can remember sartorial one rule above all others, it’s this: dress only in clothes that fit you properly!

Categories: Style & Fashion