Prince Charming - Understand the best style for your shape.
Trapezoid – The Athlete
- Broad shoulders and a broad chest like the Inverted Triangle.
- A top half larger than the bottom.
- A bigger waist, that is to say medium as opposed to narrow.
- A well-proportioned appearance.
Trapezoids, whilst sharing many similarities with the Inverted Triangle are easier to dress and look more in proportion. Lucky, lucky, lucky; you will look good in almost anything you choose to wear, but don’t be complacent. As you already have good body proportions, your task is to keep those natural attributes when suited - For instance, if you wear a jacket that broadens your shoulders, wearing trousers that slim your waistline will transform your trapezoid body to an inverted triangular shape.
Take a look at the other body shape tips to help you understand how different styles may change your appearance.
Inverted Triangle – The Weight Lifter
- Broad shoulders and a broad chest.
- A very narrow waist and narrow hips.
- Well-developed arm muscles, maybe even bulky A significantly heavier top half.
- The appearance of disappearing almost to a point at the waist.
The key to dressing well if you’re an Inverted Triangle is balance, always think balance! Whether that be your torso and legs, your shoulders and waist etc.
While the Inverted triangle is an enviable body shape and quite easy to dress, always keep these tips in mind: Your already broad shoulders and chest naturally emphasise your upper body, so the trick is to add balance to your waist and lower body.
A jacket with minimal shoulder padding will limit further emphasise of your broad shoulders; combine this with narrow lapels and a low ‘V’ line, the eyes will be drawn down away from the upper body to help give the proportional effect of the much desired trapezoid shape. A slightly longer jacket will also disguise your slim triangular torso.
To add bulk to your lower region, wear loose fitting trousers pleated from the waist-band that deliver a generous fitting around the groin area.
Rectangle – The Block Man
- Shoulders, waist and chest that are all the same width.
- The most important thing for a rectangle is to give the illusion of a trapezoid shape.
- To achieve a more shapely illusion, concentrate on adding bulk to your upper torso and below waist area.
Jackets should be well padded at the shoulders, with wide lapels. This will immediately give the illusion of a slimmer waistline in comparison to your upper shoulders and chest. Little tricks like having a pocket handkerchief folded in the jacket external chest pocket, and having a large knotted tie or cravat will further emphasise the broad upper body illusion further.
Like the inverted triangle, you should bulk out your lower region with loose fitting trousers pleated from the waist-band that deliver a generous fitting around the groin and bum area.
Triangle – The Happy Eater
- Be bottom heavy.
- Have a chest narrower than their hips.
- Have a sloping shoulder line.
- For a Triangle is all about detracting from a bottom heavy frame.
Adding weight to your shoulder and chest area is first objective to balance your larger midriff. Extra shoulder padding to overcome the probable sloping shoulder line you may have, plus large lapels, wide knotted ties or cravats will all help to disguise the wider waist line and emphasise a more balanced upper body shape.
Look towards a boxy longer length straight styled jacket to streamline the torso to provide an athletic shaped impression. Choose straight legged trousers that fit snug around the groin rather than pleats - this style will progress your aim to complete the athletic appearance.
Oval – The Cuddly Teddy Bear
- An overall round appearance.
- A large stomach.
- For the Oval it’s all about toning down the stomach, whether that is by illusion or directing attention elsewhere.
- There’s no concealing an oval shape, but the right suit can lessen the width by adding height and refocusing observer’s attention to the face.
Dark colours have a slimming effect, so this along with lightweight fabric that doesn’t add extra width is the foundation of any suit. Narrow vertical pinstripes will instantly stretch the body to further the leaner silhouette. A two buttoned single breasted jacket, with peaked lapels, and a deep ‘V’ will elongate the chest to continue the theme of adding the illusion of height.
Don’t fall into the trap of a tight cut, this will only serve to highlight your midriff in movement. Instead lean towards a more generous cut to allow freedom of movement without the fear of revealing the areas you’re attempting to mask.
Aim to wear fitted, loosely tapered trousers that start above the hips, drape over the midriff and hang as low as possible. This will help to lengthen the legs adding to the illusion of height. Suspender braces are your friend, so consider buying a pair to match the colour of your neckwear.