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Dressing for body size and proportions

Kaplan

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Assuming a below average height and a slim/fit build, what are the most flattering clothes styles? Preferably some that'll let one appear taller?

I gather that slim rather than baggy pants with no cuffs and little to no break are best.

But what about the upper body?

I'm guessing that single breasted jackets are best, but should they be 2 or 3 buttoned? Have a high or a medium gorge?

What about shirt collars and sweaters (v-neck vs round)?

(If someone can offer some good advice on this, I have some follow-up questions regarding body proportions...)
 

Zenny

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Vertical stripes, subdued patterns and colours. The clothes should fit and not look like they are too big for you. Keep your shirts slim cause blousing looks much worse on shorter guys.
 

TheFoo

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I'm only 5'4" and I'm a convert to the belief that there are little to no limits to what you can wear on account of your height so long as the fit is right.

Don't even bother trying to look taller. At a certain and early point, making yourself look like an optical illusion and dressing stylishly are going to become contradicting motivations.
 

bbaquiran

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^ mafoofan, are all your jackets one-button? I'm asking because we're roughly the same size and I'm in the process of building up my wardrobe.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by bbaquiran
^ mafoofan, are all your jackets one-button? I'm asking because we're roughly the same size and I'm in the process of building up my wardrobe.

All my bespoke jackets are one-button, except for in the case of a double-breasted suit I'm waiting for.
 

Sator

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If you think that by aping Matt and getting a one button coat you will look 6 foot tall, you will fall flat on your face. As Matt said: FIT, FIT, and FIT is all that matters.
 

bbaquiran

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^ was that for me or the OP? I already have a one-button TaT suit which I belive fits quite well and I it enjoy very much. Also the aesthetic I have in mind is quite different from Matt's (although I appreciate his style). I'm also familiar with my physical proportions etc.
 

Kaplan

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So, would a 2 or 3 button jacket be better?

Or are you saying that style decisions such as this are truly irrelevant, as long as the fit is right?
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by Kaplan

Or are you saying that style decisions such as this are truly irrelevant, as long as the fit is right?


Yes, just about - if not entirely - true.

Fit still overrides ever other consideration - colour, style etc. Dressing well is first and foremost about fit. Wearing RTW is thus always something of a compromise.
 

Kaplan

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I agree that fit is extremely important, but once that's taken care of, there must be some styles that are more flattering to certain bodytypes, no?
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by Kaplan
I agree that fit is extremely important, but once that's taken care of, there must be some styles that are more flattering to certain bodytypes, no?

This returns us to a fundamental point of controversy: whether style should be corrective. Some will pull out golden ratios and talk about the ideal male body, but I think it's better for clothes to express what you've really got.
 

Kaplan

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It seems to me that dressing 'correctively' and dressing to best 'express what you've got' are two sides of the same coin.

For instance, choosing slimfitting pants with no cuffs and very little break might be seen as dressing to make your legs seem longer, when it's just as much a case of making you look your best with what you have and finding what's most flattering for you.

And while the advice for pants makes sense to me, I can't find a logical explanation for what would be best for the upper body.

For instance, do you choose a jacket with a high button stance, to create a long, unbroken line from the bottom of the pants to the top button (when the jacket's closed), which might seem slimming and elongating?

Or do you choose a jacket with a lower button stance, as that will show more of your breast/shirt, which might make your torso appear longer?

And, in choosing either of these styles, do you run the risk of throwing off the proportions between lower and upper body?

 

vitaminc

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
This returns us to a fundamental point of controversy: whether style should be corrective. Some will pull out golden ratios and talk about the ideal male body, but I think it's better for clothes to express what you've really got.

Completely disagree. I don't see the point of exposing your visually displeasing side when you can hide it with proper proportioning.

But then I am never a fan of Hello Kitty or The Dog Club, so there's some merit of cartoon looking styles.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by Kaplan
For instance, choosing slimfitting pants with no cuffs and very little break might be seen as dressing to make your legs seem longer, when it's just as much a case of making you look your best with what you have and finding what's most flattering for you.

Well, in the case of pants, cuffs serve a substantive function in helping the fabric drape better. In other cases, I think you have to consider (1) whether there is such a thing as 'correct', (2) whether making yourself look more 'correct' in some aspect is even possible, and (3) whether correcting one feature will have other negative effects.
 

Holdfast

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I fall more on the "idealising" side of the argument re: what clothes can do for you. I'm about 5'5"/5'6", and reasonably slim. But I do choose clothes that don't emphasise my rather short height. I prefer them to be either neutral or elongating.

However - and I think this is an important point - I don't choose items BECAUSE they're neutral or elongating or shortening or whatever. I choose them because I like how they look when I try them on and look in the mirror. Train your eye rather than following random optical rules, and you'll be closer to finding a look that pleases you.
 

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