How To Figure Out Your Body Shape

Published: 19th December 2011
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If you've ever walked into a clothing store and tried on the exact outfit that was displayed on a mannequin, I am sure you inevitably looked in the mirror and felt disappointed. How do I know this? Because mannequins are simply not shaped like a real person. All mannequins must do is display colors and fabrics that look nice together. They do not have to consider whether they have long legs, or short torsos, or an extra paunch at the belly, like we real men do.


Yes, when dressing, there is more that you must consider beyond just the texture and color of the items you are putting on. You need to consider whether they compliment your body shape. There are three main men's body shapes that you may be:


  • Anectomorph is tall and thin, with a fine bone structure, lean muscle mass, and small shoulders. He is often told he is skinny and finds it difficult to gain weight regardless of what he eats.

  • Amesomorph has a large bone structure, and an athletic physique. It is easy for him to gain or lose weight based on his workout and diet. He has a generally rectangular shape and decent muscle mass, especially through the chest and shoulders.

  • Anendomorph is a man who has an apple or pear shape. He has a round face and is generally referred to as "stocky." He may find it hard to lose weight and tends to carry some weight around his midsection.


Tall & Thin (Ectomorph):

The goal when dressing should be to add a little bit of shape and curve to your frame. This can be achieved by wearing well-fitted clothing in layers, as well as avoiding thin vertical stripes and monochromatic looks. While the inclination for a tall, thin man may be to hide his frame in baggy clothes, an ectomorph should avoid anything baggy, as these items will simply billow around him. A good look would be a pair of dark dress trousers, a button up shirt with a colorful wide stripe, a thin knit cashmere sweater, and a dark colored sport jacket. Ectomorphs can also benefit from a slim tie knot and a square toed shoe, in order to add appealing lines and symmetry to his figure.


Athletic Physique (Mesomorph):

Men with athletic physique's should exercise caution when selecting button down shirts. You may find that, because of your broad chest, the buttons tend to strain. If this happens, it is best to buy the next shirt size up, then have the shirt professionally tailored. The mesomorph man can also benefit from looking for athletic fit shirts, which are a bit more accommodating than traditional cut men's shirts are. This body type, because of his athletic build, may also wish to keep an eye out when buying suits, sport jackets, and other items that contain shoulder pads. If needed, a large shoulder pad can be replaced with a thinner one by a tailor. Always tuck in your shirt and wear a nice belt with in order to emphasize a smaller waist (but avoid tapered pants!). If you are a mesomorph and find that your broad shoulders tend to make your body appear unbalanced, you can help to camouflage this by wearing a dark color on top and light color on the bottom, such as a navy sport jacket with light khaki colored chinos.


Apple/Pear Shape (Endomorph):

The key word to keep in mind when assembling your wardrobe is "elongation." An endomorph man will benefit from clothing that draws the eye up and down, such as slim vertical stripes, and monochromatic color combinations. If you are an endomorph, it is in your best interest to avoid horizontal stripes and turtlenecks, as these tend to emphasize width. Instead of a turtleneck, opt instead for a v-neck sweater, which is much more elongating. And a sport jacket or blazer is the #1 absolute best garment for hiding a bit of width in the midsection. A great outfit would be a dark gray pair of dress trousers, a brown leather belt and shoe, an aubergine (dark purple) dress shirt with a light gray vertical pin stripe, a matching aubergine tie, and a gray sport jacket.


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