How to Shop for Your Body Type

how to shop for your body type How to Shop for Your Body Type
Most men tend to approach clothes passively, spending little time shopping and opting to buy those things that are most familiar to them; something that becomes a problem when it comes to finding clothes that best suit your body. So sit back and take in this EveryGuyed article, and learn just why that shirt is bunching around your waist, and why those pants are stacking badly.

Identifying Your Body

First thing’s first, let’s identify what we’re working with here. Once you’ve determined what body type you have, you can focus on picking clothes that suit you, and clothes that do their best to flatter your shape.

  • Rectangular or Straight: You’re not necessarily working with a gut here.You might be a jacked kind of guy, or just a wider guy with a lot to work with, but either way you’re a blocky man.
  • Slim, V-Shaped: Lucky, aren’t we? When Da Vinci drew his Vitruvian Man, he was drawing you. You’re built like a department store mannequin, but there are a few variants on this frame, and you should understand which of these categories you fall into.
  • Short Legs: In this case, you were given legs shorter than average. Maybe as little as one inch, maybe as many as three. Bottom line is that you have difficulty buying pants that fit.
  • Long Legs: Your legs are longer than average. Perhaps you’ve noticed that you’re a better swimmer than expected, and slim fit skinny-leg jeans fit you like a dream. You’re probably slightly taller than average.
  • Balanced Body: Absolutely balanced, your hip line falls at precisely half your height. Most clothes are designed with you in mind.
  • Apple/Pear-Shaped: You’ve got a bit of a gut and that’s okay. Just the same, you’re going to need to play a few tricks to draw the eye away from your spare tire. Even if the spare tire looks like it fell off a Hummer.

Your Specific Needs

For each of these bodies, there are specific needs and issues that you need to watch out for.

  • Blocky Body: Avoid things like horizontal stripes, which highlight width, and double-vented blazers that will make your body look bigger than it is. Avoid skintight pieces, but find clothes that fit and don’t add any excess bulk. Be aware of how clunky knits and fabrics will look.
  • Slim Body, Short Legs: With short legs, you want to avoid drawing attention to your legs. Tight pants and drop-crotch pants are to be avoided at all costs. Layer your tops and use pieces that draw attention to your upper half. Blazers with shoulder padding will add needed
  • Slim Body, Long Legs: If you’ve been given long legs, you want to highlight them. Buy slim-cut shirts to draw attention away from the small top half, and avoid bulking up your top half. Slim cut pants show off your legs and focus attention on them.
  • Slim Body, Balanced: With a body that’s perfectly proportional, you want to avoid doing anything that will break this look up. Avoid pants with the waistline drawn too high or too low. Draw attention to your midsection, and don’t worry too much. This body shape runs few difficulties.
  • Pear Shaped: Black is most slimming of course, but don’t build your wardrobe around one color. By balancing your top half with your bottom half, you can create a good look. Try higher waistlines, subtle shoulder padding, and avoid anything that adds additional bulk to the bottom half.


  • Figure out which body type you fit into.
  • Determine the specific needs for each category
  • Each category generally has things that need to be accentuated and hidden. The goal is to highlight assets and hide flaws.
  • Typically, the largest part of your body is the part you want to highlight – long legs should be shown off, as should a long torso; but NOT a larger stomach. Use items that draw attention to these features.
  • For bodies with disproportionate widths, you should seek to create a sense of visual balance by exaggerating weak features.
  • A pear-shaped man might want to wear subtle padding on the shoulders to offset his gut, while a barrel-chested man might want to add width to his gut.


Still need help shopping for your shape? Want to add to our collection of advice, or dispute something up here? Use the comments box below to get the discussion started right!


Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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What's on your mind?

  1. Are you kidding?
    Why would I want to exaggerate my already-too-long legs instead of balancing them out?
    So people will tell me I look like Ichabod Crane?
    NO thank you.

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