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In MENSWEAR

The Well-Dressed Man: 3 Body Types For Men and How To Dress Your Best.

There’s a big difference between dressing men and dressing women. Women in the dressing room always vocalize their body insecurities, and they want to dress in a way that conceals them. Men, on the other hand, may also have their own body image issues, and may be fully aware that they’re out of shape for example, but they’re not driven by body insecurities when it comes to dressing their best. Men dress for respect. A man tends to be more concerned with his position in the world. He’s not dressing to make his body look in shape; he’s dressing for how he wants the world to perceive him.

What Men Want When It Comes To Clothes.

The first step in becoming a well-dressed man is understanding the motivation behind why men want to be well-dressed in the first place. He’s dressing for his position, and his role in the world. He’s invested in getting people’s respect, whether that’s at his job in consideration for the next promotion or respect in his dating life.

It’s his perception in the external world that motivates him most to be well-dressed. When a man get’s dressed he’s not thinking, do these jeans make me look fat (no disrespect to women–we’ve all been there), he’s thinking do these jeans make me look badass? He’s thinking, am I gonna get respect when I go out of the workplace or even on a date?

Most of the time men have a vision of how they want to look, but may not have gotten to the place of dressing to become that man they know they are deep down inside. This is where a stylist comes in. Every man has a style archetype (more on this in a future post) and it’s a stylist’s job to dress that archetype he has living inside of him. That is going to make him feel badass.

For example, when I asked a former male client to create a mood board of his style, there were a lot of pins of James Bond like characters, and I found that his main archetype was the Daniel Craig, George Clooney old classic type. This is where I begin when styling men. I always start with the pieces that bring his archetype to life. But for now, let’s back up and get clear on the three male body types so you can first distinguish which type you are and start dressing right for that body type.

Which Of These 3 Male Body Types Are You?

There are 3 body types for men: Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. Let’s break each one down, so you know which body type you are and how to start dressing your very best according to that body type.

Dressing Tips For Ectomorph Body Types.

The Ectomorph body type is the guy with a thin, small build and lean muscle. No matter how many hours he clocks in the gym, or how much he eats, this man doesn’t gain weight easily. Ectomorph body types don’t really change. He’s got a thin face with a high forehead, receding chin, narrow chest and abdomen, rather long, thin arms and legs, a little body fat and a little muscle. If he does gain weight, he is still considered an ectomorph; only overweight. Think Pharrell Williams, Bradley Cooper, or Mena Massoud.

  1. Use structured clothing; avoid loose, draping garments.
  2. Use slim pants and straight leg pants; avoid flare pants (it makes them look like Scooby Doo, not sexy).
  3. Light colors on top create a stronger looking chest and top half.
  4. Longer jackets and coats help create balanced proportions.
  5. Wear 3-piece suits and structured fabrics like tweed, twill and collared shirts are a plus.
  6. Layering is a great option for this body type. Use scarves, vests and layered jackets.

Dressing Tips For Endomorph Body Types.

Endomorph body types are the bigger guys who gain fat easily. An example of an endomorph body type is Jack Black, Forest Whitaker, or George Lopez. Endomorph body types is globe-shaped as humanly possible with a round head, and a large round abdomen. Rather than short arms and legs, he has fat upper arms and thighs, but more slender wrists and ankles. They can go to the gym all day, but they’re never going to be really skinny. Everything is round and they’re the big teddy bear guys with thick necks. The waist is the bigger part of this guy. Under normal conditions, the endomorph has a great deal of body fat, but he is not simply a fat person. If he loses significant weight, he remains and endomorph only thinner. Here’s some dressing tips for Endomorphs below.

  1. Wear jeans with a slight flare or wide-leg pants that will create balance.
  2. Avoid skinny jeans (it makes you look like a lollipop and gives the effect that you’re going to tip over).
  3. Wear shoulder pad jackets and shirts to help create a balanced body.
  4. Avoid pleated pants; they create too much bulk and volume.
  5. Use pocket squares, interesting glasses and hats, loud ties to distract from stomach area.

Dressing Tips For Mesomorph Body Types.

The mesomorph is the final body type for men. This is the guy with the strong, muscular build. The mesomorph body type has a square, massive head, broad, muscular chest and shoulders, heavily muscled arms and legs and minimal body fat. He tends to develop muscle easily. His muscular development can usually be distinguished from that of one who has developed his muscles through bodybuilding exercises. Below are some dressing tips for mesomorph types.

  1. Wear thin, draping fabrics to highlight the body and muscle tone, don’t hide it.
  2. Avoid baggy and too tight pants and jeans.
  3. Close fitting tops are best, especially thinner knits.
  4. Avoid layers; don’t want to add texture.
  5. Get jeans to fit: buy and tailor pants at waist.
  6. Wear jackets that finish at the hips.
  7. This is the hardest type to dress out of all three types because you need to make clothing fitted. You can buy it too big and tailor it down. Think fitted tops and tailored waist.

Next Steps: Know Your Body Type And Dress Your Best.

This week, I want you to try to take 3-5 of the dressing tips based on your body type, and apply them to your daily dressing routine. See how you get noticed at the office, or by that beautiful woman at the coffee shop (even if you’re married or boo’d up a look from a woman is still a well-dressed compliment!). Women respect men when they make a statement with their clothes that says I respect myself, and put in the effort. This translates as he’ll respect me and put the effort into our relationship. Being well-dressed communicates value in your body language. It gets you what you want in life. I will forever quote costume designer, Edith Head, who says, “you can have anything in life, if you’re willing to dress for it.” Want that promotion or that date with that beautiful woman that works in your office building? The key to getting noticed is dressing the part.

Need a test drive? Visit the Mr. Porter website and add things to your shopping cart using the dressing tips from your body type above. When you’re done looking around at what you like, check out your cart, pull up this blog post and compare your cart to the dressing tips and see how you did. You’ll be ready to shop online or in-store to dress your very best in no time.

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