The Reason Why so Many Men End up as Fashion Disasters Despite Trying Hard, Is Because Unlike Women, Most Opt for What Looks Good, Not What Looks Good on Them. Hear What Fashion Observer Sonali Kokra Has to Say
How many times have you heard the woman in your life bemoan the fact that a gorgeous dress just doesn’t work for her “body type”? My guess is, more times than you can count. If you’re anything like the vast majority of men I’ve encountered, you’ve probably also wondered what all this brouhaha about body types is and thanked your lucky stars that men don’t really have to worry about it. After all, most of you are shaped similarly, right? Wrong! While it’s true that because men aren’t as naturally curvy as women, there are fewer variations in how your bodies are proportioned, men do have some very distinct body types and, dare we call them, problem areas. And the reason why so many men end up as fashion disasters despite trying very hard not to is because, unlike women, most of you are dressing for what looks good, not what looks good on you. Two extra words, but they can make a world of difference to how you look.So, here’s a guide to help you understand your body type, recognise what you’re doing wrong and fix it. Must read for men who are novices; and a refresher for the others!
THE HEAVY LIFTER
his body type is characterised by broad shoulders and chest but a narrower lower frame. Think athletes or, like the name suggests, weight-lifters. If you find that you’re generously proportioned on the top, there are some very simple things you can do to draw the eye downwards. First off, rush to ditch all the skinny pants you might have.
They make your hip area look narrower and instantly make the eyes trail upwards. Try straight or relaxed slim cuts instead. These pastel picks from Arvind on the right are good bets – in shape and colours – as they can be mixed and matched with a wide range of separates. You can pair with your choice of blazer or take to wearing V-necked T-shirts instead of round-neck ones since they narrow the chest and draw the eyes downwards.
If you have a heavy lifter’s frame, belts are your friends since they bulk up the lower half. The good news for this body type is that with the right tailoring, you can look like a woman’s wet dream. The bad news is that you’ll probably find it harder than most to find clothes that fit right off the rack.
Make sure you pick the right shape in trousers – check the variety at Arvind to nail it
So you’re a happy eater and there’s a little more of you to love. Here’s what you do: Get rid of all the horizontal and diagonal stripes in your closet. Opt instead for dark colours and vertical stripes. Avoid double vents (the slits at the back of your suit) if you’re touchy about your cushy posterior. Go monochromatic, it’ll give you an instant slimming effect. Avoid narrow crew necks, polo necks and turtlenecks, instead go with full-sleeved tops and V-necked T-shirts. Wear a belt, to nip the waistline but don’t cinch it so tight that your belly hangs. A rookie mistake that bigger men tend to make is wearing too-small sizes in the hope of smothering their bulky areas, but dressing out of size only makes you look awkward and uncomfortable and emphasises what you’re trying to hide.
You’re blocky if you’re all angles and straight lines and very little curve or shape. This is not such an issue if you’re tall, but if you’re not well-endowed in the height department, it could be the cause of much heartache when not styled appropriately. You need to add structure to your frame, so buy clothes that bulk up the top and tuck in the mid-section to create the illusion of wider shoulders and chest. Scarves, shoulder pads and knitted clothes are good additions to your wardrobe. Jackets are important and easy to get wrong. You can go with shoulder pads, but make sure you get your tailor to take in the sides a little to give you some shape. A great cheat is to go narrower on the arms than regular suits.
If you’re challenged in the height department, you need to be really careful with prints. If you’re slight and short, big prints can overwhelm your frame. What you want to try are graphic blacks and whites or small, simple checks. Going mono- chromatic is your best bet fora slight illusion of height. Never ‘break’ your middle with a contrasting shirt and trouser, it’ll make you look shorter than you are.Avoid pointy-toed shoes, they’ll make you look disproportionate and gimmicky. Short frames are best served by simple square-toed shoes.Like in the case of prints, don’t overwhelm your frame with broad,bulky ties. Slim Italian ones are best for shorter people. You can also consider foregoing the belt, but only if you’re wearing really well- fitting pants. Wear a small rise (distance between the crotch and waistband of the pant), as a long rise will be unflattering both to your butt and the front.
Check these options from Arvind… Going monochromatic is your best bet for a slight illusion of height