So we’ve gone through color coordination. We’ve gone through how suits should fit and what we should look for in bespoke shirts. And we’ve gone through ranges of different fabrics we can wear. But what should we wear and how should we wear it based on our body type?
Short Body Type:
Suit Style: Pick a two or three-button single breasted suit, as this will give you a longer line in front and provides a taller, elongated look.
Jacket: Fit is crucial for the shorter man, since every detail – sleeve length, jacket length (should cover your back side), and pant length will make you look that much more sophisticated and well dressed. Center or side vents will add a vertical line, whereas pocket flaps and wider lapels will certainly not.
Patterns and Colors: Anything that elongates your frame looks good, such as the vertical effect of pinstripes, chalkstripes and herringbone. If you are opting for patterns, try a smaller or medium size. When wearing a sports jacket, try to ensure minimal contrast between the jacket and trousers, so that you have a ‘longer’ seamless look.
Fabrics: Light or medium weight. Bulkier fabrics will draw more attention to your height.
Shirts and Ties: Shirt colors that are best for you are the straight point, button down or tab collars. Vertical stripes will help elongate your frame. Straight point collars help to draw away from your width and add length to your body. Hence, necktie knots that you opt for should be smaller and you should definitely avoid the full-windsor. A four in hand would be ideal, or a half-windsor could do as well.
Trousers: Medium break on trouser bottoms will look fine. If you opt for cuffs, go for narrower cuffs – 1 to 1.25 inches instead of 1.5 – 2.0 inches.
Tall Body Type:
Suit Style: Two-button, single breasted suits. Double breasted suits can look fantastic if you button the middle (waist button), provided that they are in fashion! Single breasted suits are the choice of fashion these days!
Jacket: Shoulders should be squared, slightly padded and the fit at the waist should be loose or straight. Flapped pockets will add a horizontal line to the jacket. If you prefer the French or Italian look, you can go for tapered all the way! But if you are looking to add some ‘width’ to your look, go for a looser or straight fit. The length of the jacket can be slightly longer than just covering your rear.
Patterns and Colors: Larger size patterns in plaid or other designs can be worn well. While stripes can look good, avoid over wearing them, as they do add further length to your frame, making you look even taller and slimmer.
Fabrics: A full range of fabrics are possible, from lighterweight fabrics to heavier fabrics such as tweed!
Shirts and Ties: A wide spread collar and wide knot tie like the Windsor or Half-Windsor work well as do button down and rounded collars – but avoid long pointed collars, as they will make you look extra tall and thin. Horizontal stripes on ties and shirts can add ‘width’, as can patterns such as plaid.
Trousers: Ensure that you have long-rise pants. They will look better than shorter rise pants. If you go for cuffs, opt for wider cuffs , such as 1.5 inches.
Heavy Body Type:
Suit Style: A three-button jacket can add height, but if that’s not an issue, a two button will work just as well.
Jacket: Slanted, flapless pockets add length to your frame. Extra width in the lapels should be avoided. Try avoiding wearing a jacket that is too tapered, and definitely opt for vents! No vents on a heavy body type will accentuate your mass. Try to avoid tightness in the upper chest and shoulders.
Fabrics: Ideally, you want to go for medium or lightweight fabrics. Try avoiding anything that is bulky.
Patterns and Colors: Vertical stripes will add height and length to your frame. Too much contrast will break your vertical line. Black, charcoal grey and navy blue, besides being classic suit colors that command authority, will add a ‘slender’ effect to your outfit!
Shirts and Ties: The collars to try and avoid are spread collars. Regular point collars will look best.
Trousers: Wear your pants under your natural waist line. Wearing your pants under your belly just highlights it. Pleated pants can most definitely serve a functional purpose if you are on the heavier side.
Thin Body Type:
Suit Style: Single breasted two or three button suits will work fine.
Jackets: Padded shoulders, wider lapels (peak lapels) and vents. Generally, assuming you are taller, flapped pockets will help as they will add width to your frame.
Fabrics: Bulky fabrics such as tweed can add do to your size.
Pattern and Colors: Opt for patterns that give you width, such as plaid. While stripes can look great, avoid over wearing them as they will add further length to your frame, and if you are tall and thin, you want to try and avoid this. With regard to colors, lighter, warm colors will add to the illusion of helping you bulk up.
Shirts and Ties: A spread collar will work wonders as it will help to broaden your face. As such, you should opt for a half or full-windsor knot. Try avoiding vertical stripes on your shirts.
Trousers: If you are thin and tall, go for a wider cuff of about 1.75 inches. Otherwise opt for narrower cuffs at approximately 1.25 inches.
So there you have it! As always, suggestions and comments are welcome!
Check out some of our favorite ties at The Dark Knot!