how to dress for your body type


There's nothing more uncomfortable (or more unflattering) than wearing clothes that fit your body awkwardly which is why we at SAX have taken it upon ourselves to try stump this by creating a basic guide on how to dress for your particular body type.

It’s understanding your body type that will make the purchasing of clothes much easier (because now you know what is and is not for you) and ultimately producing better looking and fitting outfits.


With that said, we have categorised the male body into 4 common shapes; rhomboid, inverted triangle, rectangle and triangle. We have also provided a brief description of the different body types and the do’s and dont’s for dressing each of those body types respectively.

The Rhomboid Body Shape (Average)









The rhomboid  body shape is characterised by it’s broad upper body area (shoulders and chest) with a relatively narrow torso area (hips and waist). There is a natural and visual balance between the upper body and the waist. Because the upper and lower body are balanced, the shape is pretty simple to dress. This type of body can pull off vertical and horizontal stripes without looking awkward. Generally, most styles and fits will suit this shape as long as there is consistency in proportion.





  • Keep jackets and trousers tapered. This will compliment the outline of your body shape.




The Inverted Triangle Body Shape










Like the trapezoid, the v-shaped body or inverted triangle has broad shoulders and chest but narrower hips and waist. Think of a swimmers physique minus the size 15 feet. With a v-shaped torso, it’s especially important to pay attention to the imbalance between the upper and lower body. This body type can pull off crewneck shirts with graphics and/or horizontal stripes.




  • Add a belt, this will put emphasis around the hips to help break up the outfit whilst also drawing attention to this area.
  • Wear Breton striped tees - which are classic in style, but also ideal for a man with this shape, especially if the stripes focus around the stomach rather than the chest area.
  • Opt for unstructured double-breasted jackets as this will widen the torso into proportion with the shoulders.
  • Shop (in store) for “slim fit” shirts and “slim fit” pants as oppose to “skinny”.





  • Wear skinny cut trousers or jeans as this will draw attention to the disproportion of the lower half. Opt for slim-cut instead.
  • Wear structured jackets with shoulder padding or wide lapels as this will just further emphasise the widest area.
  • Wear shirts with scoop necklines for the same reason as above.



The Rectangle Body Shape










The rectangle body type has shoulders as wide as the waist and hips. Dressing for this body shape aims to broaden the shoulders whilst narrowing the lower torso area to create the illusion of a more trapezoid-like shape.





  • Wear structured blazers that are padded in the shoulder while narrow in the underarms. Finding this ideal fit is hard, so ask your tailor to take in the sides of your jacket and have the jacket arms thinned.
  • Layer your clothing to add emphasis on a neutral waistline. Try circular necklines to draw attention to the upper torso.
  • Look for slim fit items, especially with button down (cardigans) and suit jackets.





  • Wear double-breasted jackets - these only emphasise the rectangular shape.
  • Wear prints that mimic your rectangular shape such as photographic T-shirts.



The Triangle Body Shape










The triangle body type has shoulders and chest that are narrower than the waist and hips, making you appear larger on the lower half of your torso. Essentially, having a pronounced mid-section. This may also create the appearance of sloping shoulders. With the triangle body shape, you should focus on dressing around the proportions to fix the imbalance created by the lower half appearing larger than the upper body. Focus on adding structure up top.






  • Focus on well-fitting clothing. Ill-fitting clothing will just further emphasise this shape. If you don’t already have a good tailor, find one. This advice applies to all men, really.
  • Wear single-breasted pieces and button-down styles to streamline the torso. Use structured blazers and jackets to give shape to the shoulder line.
  • Choose darker colours up top as they are more flattering. Dark colours such as black, charcoal and navy have been popular because they are slimming colours. Being monochromatically dressed streamlines the silhouette.






  • Wear horizontal stripes across the stomach. Try vertical stripes or pinstripes instead.
  • Wear polo shirts or narrow necklines (Turtlenecks). These styles decrease shoulder width by “pinching” your neck.
  • Wear skinny or heavily tapered trousers or jeans. Going for a slimmer trouser increases the visual width of the waist.




  • Avoid the bulk of a double-breasted suit. Do a single breasted, two button suit.




When you apply the above information, you will need to take your overall height into consideration. What works for Lionel Messi will not work for Cristiano Ronaldo as far as clothing is concerned. The advice below applies more to suiting but can apply across the board. Here are a few things to consider*:


  • Smaller guys should wear their pants on their waistline. This increases the leg line and makes your waistline look higher thus extending the leg line further.
  • When it comes to the upper half, make sure your dress shirts are comfortably cut and that the sleeves are no longer than your wrist.
  • Taller guys should be looking for length that matches their own. Make sure your dress shirts are long enough enough to tuck into your waistline.
  • Trousers can be worn either stacked or cropped.




Photo credit:



© 2017 Sweet Urban Communications. All Right Reserved.