Proportional Challenges

Dressing for your Body Type

Rob H. writes: I am a 6 feet tall, slim guy. What can I do to look sharp while making the most of a limited budget?
TomTalks: Your question is really two parts, both highlighting issues many men struggle with at some level. One has to do with choosing styles and fit that make the most of your build (body type), and the other has to do with making the most of your wardrobe budget.
For men, the essential parameters are just two – the vertical and the horizontal.

  • Vertical: Medium or Average height (5’ 9” to 6’ 1”), Tall, or Short
  • Horizontal: Slender, Average, Muscular (athletic), or Stout (heavy)

Optimal dress based on one’s body type is essentially about visually accentuating the positive aspects of your build or essential parameters and reducing those aspects that create the most challenge.
Custom suits are all the rage these days. When a suit is made for you, it fits well. It literally emphasizes the positive in such a way the negatives are a non-issue.
It’s true the man of regular proportions (equally admired and despised by the more proportionally challenged) has more freedom within “the rules.” The rest of us would do well to pay stricter attention to some particular guidelines. Even when you wear custom suits there are guidelines that are wise to follow.
We’ll investigate those ideas over the next week. And if you can’t wait,…check out our NEW FEATURE – The Virtual Tailor. It’s a virtual treasure trove of resources to help you look your best!

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