WORDS BY JON CLARKE
I’m in love with the shape of you. Many of you probably think these are Ed Sheeran lyrics but in actual fact these are the words your clothes are going to be whispering to you after you’re done reading this. That’s right, because we’re about to dish out some quality tips on how to dress in order to complement your body type.
Let’s do this…
The ‘Dad Bod’
A certain Leonardo Di Caprio put the dad bod into the spotlight last year. The term itself refers to a man, more specifically a dad, who has simply embraced his natural physique for what it is. He sees the gym as too much effort, and survives on a very manly diet of pies and alcohol.
As a result, his body is one of raw power, akin to a silverback gorilla, but one of aesthetic struggles. You see, top designers don’t generally design clothing to fit the dad bod. Most t-shirts and tailoring are created on the assumption of a slim stomach and bulging biceps.
So what can you do?
Leo embracing his dad bod with style
Well avoid things that make you look larger than necessary. Stretching horizontal stripes or garish patterns across your barrel belly won’t do it any favours. Likewise, skinny fit jackets and trousers that taper in at the ankle will only accentuate your big thighs.
Instead, you need to opt for, what we like to call, ‘tactical tailoring’.
Tactical tailoring involves choosing thinks like blazers, because the shoulderpads emphasize your top half more - drawing attention away from your larger midriff. Linen shirts are great for the summer too, as they can be worn as a slightly looser fit and still look stylish.
Where possible you should leave shirts and t-shirts untucked, as this will go a long way to masking your overhang. But ultimately be proud of that bod. It’s taken a lot of pies and pints to get there. Respect.
Are you more abby than flabby? Then you’re probably partial to showing off your physique a little more. But this doesn’t mean buying spray-on shirts and stringer vests. It means getting the fit just right which, surprisingly, can be a pretty difficult task.
Well because brands tend to cater to the ‘average’ human body. And while there are ‘slim fits’ and ‘skinny fits’, most places (with the exception of sportswear brands) are yet to stock ‘muscle fit’. This is because muscles come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and are therefore very hard to standardise to one size. This can leave those of us lucky enough to have bulging biceps and pert pectorals a little frustrated - as the XXL t-shirt necessary to fit your chest and arms, is also very baggy and loose around the waist.
Hardy, Cavill and Momoa know how to dress their muscles right
So what can you do?
Utilising certain materials is key. Wool and cashmere knitwear is grippy and often elasticated, so will accentuate your physique more. Wearing belts with your jeans / trousers and tucking your shirt in is also a good thing, as you don’t have an overhang to worry about because…abs.
Probably the most crucial tip for the muscular male though: always get your suits tailor-fitted. It might cost a little more, but a tailored suit will contour to your built body in ways an off-the-shelf one will not. Hey and some places even offer free tailoring.
The Skinny Mofo
Now we go to the opposite end of the scale. What if you’re problem is not filling clothes out enough? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back too.
The great thing about being lean (we’ll use the word lean instead of skinny) is that many retailers do provide standardised sizing for you. This means that you’re less reliant on having things tailored, and tapered trousers will look awesome on you.
Beckham knows how to give his slim frame some size
If you’re the kind of guy that embraces such a physique, then skinny jeans and scoop neck t-shirts work well and really accentuate your svelte frame.
However, if you’d sooner appear ‘bigger’ than you are, then wearing chunky knitwear and wider jeans can add the bulk you desire. In either case though, you should accessorise with slim jewellery. Wearing a chunky watch or big chains / bracelets will only serve to make you look out of proportion.
So there you have it! Hopefully some of the tips above will come in handy when you’re next out shopping. Just remember one thing: no matter what body type you have: OWN IT!