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Body Types and Suit Styles...weigh in everyone

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
This should make for an interesting thread.

I am an image consultant and when I work with my male clients on body type and dress, I talk to them about the styles of suit and silhouettes that help to bing their body shape into proportion. For example, with a V or Cone, we want to detract from the shoulders, back and large chest by drawing focus away and putting more visual emphasis on the waist and hips area. I personally do that with flap pockets or even better patch pockets in more of a sack jacket. If I put the man in a ulta waist suppressed jacket than it will over accentuate the upper body.

The question I pose to all of you bright minds is, how would you dress if you were of a certain body type. This should make for a great exchange. I'm sure there is still more for me to learn. When answering, consider body types

O - V - Pear - and Straight or rectangle

Now thinking about this, let's start with the jacket.

(1) What cut
(2) Length
(3) To suppress or not to suppress waist
(4) Notch or peak lapel
(5) Higher sitting or lower sitting gorge of the lapel
(6) Single Breasted vs Double breasted
(7) What type of single breasted
(8) What type of double breasted
(9) What if the person is a tall or short of a particular body type

Now how about the pants

(1) To cuff or not to cuff (height issues)
(2) Pleats or no pleats
(3) What type of pleat

I'll start this off: Let's take a Short "O" body type.

The goal is to elongate (create height) and slim.


peak lapel, higher sitting gorge, 3 button single breasted (or 2???), shorter jacket if need be to create a longer leg line, jetted or flap with besom pocket,
dark colours, no sportsjacket, and waist suppression


Flat front or single reverse, no cuff

Let's all weigh in here. lots to learn and info to exchange from one another
post #2 of 45
Thread Starter 
What's most slimming and creates an illusion of height:

3 button, 2 button or 1 button single breasted....

post #3 of 45
Is this a strange sort of test? Your question is both involved and abstract. Generally this sort of stuff gets answered for individuals on a case-by-case basis. The way that you ask makes this very taxonomic. It's as if you are: (i) cribbing from a book and seeing whether what we say matches what it says; (ii) writing a book and looking for free content. Not sure why/if this is an interesting discussion. But maybe others will weigh in. If you do have a book/article, could you just post a link so that we can reference the useful thinking?
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
No not writing a book. Just getting confirmation on views from our skilled members about body types and image.

Not a skill testing thingy either. I think by us exchanging views and opinions, we're all better off in understanding clothing as it is specific to the individual in terms of style and cut.

Or should we just can this discussion altogether?

Maybe I should pose my views and have others wiegh in to comment? Would that work best?
post #5 of 45
I did personal styling for a while (which can be very different from Image consulting, though they are often related.) Bed time now, but I'll post something tomorrow.
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks LA Guy!

Looking forward to the exchange!

I think with some of the new silhouettes out there, this can make for an interesting exchange.
post #7 of 45
Well, my body type is straight and here's how I answer to these... Jacket (1) Slim English cut with natural shoulder. (2) Proper length (to the knuckles, with arms hanging at sides). (3) Suppressed waist, always. (4) Notch, though peak is always good for dinner suits and making the shoulders seem wider. (5) Regular to low gorge height. (6) Single breasted or double breasted both work just fine. (7) Two or three button. (8) 4x2 or classic 6x2. (9) I'd say if I were shorter, I'd wear a pinstripe. Pants (1) Cuffs are okay, but I don't prefer them. (2) Doesn't matter, but if you're going to pleat... (3) ...make sure they face forward for a slimmer look. I'm not fond of the Italian/American style reversed pleat which throws some bagginess to the sides. A single pleat looks cleaner than two. Of course, no pleats are the cleanest look; I usually forego them altogether.
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 

Would you confirm with me that with the straight body type, one of the goals is to create the allusion of a defined waist...

Now for a lapel question: Does the peak lapel widen the shoulders more or does the notch and why? I figure the notch creates the impression more of a horizontal line (which widens and shortens) vs the peak which draws the eyes up and out.

post #9 of 45
Peak drives attention to the shoulders and creates the illusion of the desired v silhouette. However, some designers have recently designed very thin, and very upturned peak lapels that do not achieve this effect.
post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
So on that not Whoopee...

Are notch lapels better for the "V" man and should they be lower sitting (gorge) to not widen the upper part.

I guess we're talking about the ideal situation here...

post #11 of 45
Yes, a waisted look is pretty desirable for people with the straight body type. Though my only reason for doing it is because it looks fucking sexy.
post #12 of 45
Thread Starter 
I'm with you there Jovan!
post #13 of 45
I much agree with Jovan, as I have a straight body type. I'm 6 feet and of medium build. However, I also have some preferences: - If pants are cuffed, I include pleats. Uncuffed pants are flat-front. - Peaked lapels are prefered - Shawl lapels looks awesome with a black jacket and worn casually (Cloak/Undercover aesthetic), but that would be going off the tangent of the thread. - All my jackets must have vents to prevent the illusion of a mummy suit. Btw, suppresed waist would mean the waist of the jacket hugs the suit? I have never come across this term. Is it the same as waisted?
post #14 of 45
I suppose notch lapels are better for the v shaped body for balance, but, speaking as someone with that type of body, I do not shy away at all from peak lapels. The decision to wear them on standard suits rests more on personal style and the intended use of the suit instead of an obsessive need to look more normal. Lower gorges actually broaden the body while higher gorges elongate the torso and thus heighten, and for all but the tallest men, are IMO more attractive.
post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 
Great reply.

Thank you
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