Do you have a rectangular build, or are you more of an oval shape? And what does an inverted triangle frame even mean? Though body shape isn’t a common discussion amongst men, it doesn’t negate the importance of knowing which category you generally fall into. Plus, knowing the best aspects of your physique not only allows you to dress well, but helps you determine what to wear, too. Keep scrolling as we break down three of the most common body shapes and explain how to dress for your unique body type.
Men's inverted triangle frame
If your chest and shoulders are more broad compared to your narrow waist and hips, your frame can be classified as an inverted triangle. The key to creating balance is to add bulk to your lower body so it looks proportionate to your upper body.
Create a polished look by going for neutral-colored pieces. A tailored, earth-toned top helps balance out your shoulders, especially when paired with slim-fitting pants or chinos. Make sure your pants aren’t too skinny though, because the slimmer the cut, the more it will minimize the appearance of your legs. Our men's denim fit guide can help you find the best fitting jeans for your body shape. Our favorite way to add heft to the lower half? Shoes with a thicker sole.
Starting on top, you’ll want to go with jackets and shirts that have a slim fit to help streamline the look of your shoulders. Solid colors or micro prints work best because they highlight your assets without overdoing it. Then, to add length to your look, opt for darker denim and give your shirt a simple French tuck to further elongate your silhouette.
First things first: finding an off-the-rack suit that fits an inverted triangle properly is challenging. So make sure to have your pieces tailored or consider getting a custom suit made. To avoid any excess bulk, you’ll want a trim-fit button-down and lightweight fabrics to help keep your look streamlined. And watch the length and width of your tie—a slim tie works best for this silhouette.
Men's oval frame
A torso that is wider than the shoulders and hips with shorter and broader limbs tends to fall under the oval category. The goal here is to find clothes that flatter and add shape your frame.
We love a trim-fit dress shirt with vertical stripes, because it works to guide the eyes up to the face and away from the midsection. Tuck your shirt into pants with a slim-straight fit, making sure the waist fits comfortably so it doesn’t pinch or wrinkle—this will exaggerate the midsection, and we definitely don’t want that. To line the torso for a slimming effect, consider finishing off the look with a sport coat.
As long as you keep it simple, you can bet you’ll look good. Muted tones and slightly tapered fits are what you want to look for, because this will help trim your silhouette and elongate your torso. We recommend going with a Henley, because they’re more flattering than a crewneck. Give your shirt a casual front tuck, and leave your jacket open in order to draw the eyes up.
When getting dressed up, there are a few important tips to remember. A light pinstriped suit is your friend because of its ability to elongate your appearance. You’ll want to stay away from pants with cropped or cuff styles, which actually shorten the leg. Instead, try shoes with a narrower toe to help lengthen the appearance of your legs.
Men's rectangular frame
A tall and thin frame with shoulders that are roughly the same width as the waist and hips is typically classified as a rectangular shape. Adding a bit of structure to your appearance is an easy solve, with the right clothing.
The awesome thing about having a rectangular shape is being able to pull off stand-out prints and colors. Feel free to experiment and have fun with it, but just be sure to keep your pants and chinos to a slim cut. You’ll want to avoid any excess fabric that adds weight to your legs and creates a bulkier appearance.
Enhance your upper body by adding bulk to your shoulders with boldly patterned tops and lightly structured jackets. For a more sculptural look, make sure to define both halves of your body by going for pieces that feature a subtle taper from the top down—this is ideal for defining the waist and giving you some shape.
Remember what we said about patterns? We really meant it. Because your frame is already pretty streamlined, it can carry a dimensional, mixed-patterned look very well. Just be sure to stay away from pinstripes and long ties, because they’ll be too lengthening for your frame. As for your suit jacket, single-breasted styles are our top pick to add plenty of structure to your shoulders.
There’s truly no one-size-fits-all solution to dressing, so use this guide as a starting point to help choose the clothes that work best for you. Nordstrom Trunk Club offers a wide range of sizing and fit options.