4Men - Style

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Dressing the Thin And The Wide

By Alex James

Unfortunately, not all men are born tall and handsome with naturally built gorgeous physiques. Nevertheless, while you may not have won the genetic lottery, clothing and grooming choices can go a long way in helping you make the best of what you've inherited.

Fashion Tips for "thin" men

Many men spend a lot of time dieting and working out to achieve a slimmer physique, all while harboring serious envy for their skinny counterparts who can eat whatever they please without gaining an ounce. Because society tends to equate being lean with being attractive, it's easy to forget that being too thin is a real problem that some individuals face. When it comes to fashion, just as overweight individuals find it tough to buy clothes that are flattering for a larger body, super-slim people experience difficulty finding clothes that fit well and complement their smaller frames.

One way to bulk up is to join a gym and start lifting weights, alongside eating more protein and other foods that will add muscle mass to a bony body. However, don't worry if you hate exercise or can't seem to fit it into your day, because we've put together a collection of fashion tips for thin men that will help you create the visual illusion of being larger than you truly are.

Buy blazers with small shoulder padding
To make your upper body look more muscular, purchase blazers with light shoulder padding. Be warned that bigger is not better here, as small shoulder pads will give your back and chest a visual boost, but massive padding will make you seem like a small boy lost in a man's jacket in addition to cheapening your look, even if your blazer is pricey.

Avoid slim-fitting shirts
Avoiding slim-fitting dress shirts and T-shirts is an important fashion tip for skinny men. Instead, opt for tops that come away slightly from your midsection, as these will hide a small ribcage. Don't buy your tops too large, though, as too much extra fabric will make you seem like you're swimming in your shirt. In addition, avoid clingy fabrics. Check the labels on your tops to make sure they don't contain too much elastic.

Tailor your blazers
Only wear single- or double-breasted blazers and make sure to tailor them so they fit properly throughout your entire body. Avoid any loose fabric under the arms or in the shoulder area. Also, a key fashion tip for skinny men is to keep consistency in your tops and bottoms, so don't wear oversize blazers or sweaters with fitted pants or vice versa or your thin frame will be glaringly apparent.

Wear jackets at the right length
When it comes to jackets, make sure they all fall right under your buttocks. A shorter jacket will emphasize your height as well as your skinny waist, arms and legs. A longer jacket, on the other hand, can make you look like a blanket-covered stick.

Wear flat-front pants
Your pants should have a classic cut and remain simple with a flat front. Go for straight-leg or slightly boot-cut shapes and steer clear of tapered trousers or skinny jeans. Pockets also add a bit more volume to your shape, as do pleats and cuffs, but wear pants with the latter two features only when they're in fashion. Don't be afraid to wear pants with lines or patterns because these add volume, although you'll want to banish pinstripes from your closet as they will make you look like a beanpole.

Choose bulky fabrics
Choosing bulkier fabrics for all your clothes is an important fashion tip for skinny men. When in style, thick corduroy pants can beef up your legs. During the colder months, skip out on trends like fitted, grandpa-style cardigans in order to avoid resembling a schoolboy, and try chunky, knitted wool cardigans instead. As far as dress clothes go, select heavier wools for your suits and cotton dress shirts with a higher thread count. Whether you?re dressing up or down, always dress in layers as more clothes means you appear to have more mass.

Wear turtlenecks and crewnecks
When you're a skinny man, wear turtleneck or crewneck sweaters in chillier weather. V-neck sweaters will expose your neck and thin features. Similarly, open-collared shirts won't flatter you, so button up your dress shirts as much as possible. Pay attention to the collar when you're buying dress shirts and pick ones that have spread collars as they will make the upper portion of your chest seem wider.

Fashion Tips for 'wide' men

The best way to look great in the long-term when you're overweight is of course to lose excess weight with the help of a proper diet and exercise program. Once you start dropping pounds, your clothes will fit better and your confidence will increase along with your motivation to try new fashions and styles.

HOWEVER - Since there's no reason to put off looking good until you reach your goal weight, we've put together a few fashion tips to help you make the most of your shape right now and create a slimmer-looking physique.

Ensure your clothes aren't too tight
Your clothes should fit perfectly. Garments that are too tight will reveal all the lumps and bumps you'd rather not draw attention to. On the other hand, while very loose clothing will hide your problem areas, it will also make you look larger than you actually are. Take care when shopping to choose pieces that skim over your body and smooth out its surface.

Don't wear shirts or jackets with sloped shoulders
Avoid clothing with naturally sloped shoulders as these tend to draw the eye down to your midsection. Instead, check to make sure that all your tops have slightly squared shoulders as these will concentrate attention to your chest and face.

Don't wear bold patterns
Avoid loud or bold patterns as they will make you stand out in addition to drawing attention to the upper half of your body. One pattern you should wear, however, is vertical lines; they create optical continuity and will help elongate the look of your body. Dark, solid colors are also your new best friend as they are an instant figure fixer and will make you look 10 kilo's thinner.

Wear low-rise bottoms
Instead of wearing trousers and jeans that hit at your waist, invest in low-rise bottoms that sit on your hips. Low-rise trousers have a shorter distance between the top of the waistband and the crotch of your pants than regular trousers. Also, ensure that the waistband of your pants is large enough to accommodate your midsection so that your belly does not stick out over your pants. A stomach that protrudes over your pants lengthens your torso and shortens your legs -- not exactly the most attractive combination. Rotund individuals should also avoid pants with pleats as they will make your pelvic area look bigger.

Empty your pockets
Don't carry around excess baggage. Emptying your pockets of unnecessary items like bulky cell phones, overstuffed wallets and electronic devices will take the focus off a large midsection. On your pants, have any bulky side pockets sewn shut or removed by a good tailor. Doing so won't cost much and it will make your hips appear smaller.

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