The Dapper Gentleman’s Dress Code — All Things Black & White Blog

After going through many awkward stages in my life (and I do mean awkward) and learning the hard way, I guess you could say I have also learned what to wear and what NOT to wear. We all want to look our best whether we are going out on a first date, a night on the town, or going into the office for busy day full of meetings; however, not every man knows how to dress immaculate. Attention to the fit of your clothes and your body type is essential! If you wear something too large, you look like you are wearing your dads hand-me-downs. Wear something too tight, you will for sure look like you frequent the Gap Kids. I have put together some different categories to help you determine your body type and how to dress it up. Lets gets started!

What is my body shape…?

Have no fear! The following information should help you narrow it down. Outside of our muscle mass, we all have a frame that typically does not change no matter how much weight/muscle we lose or gain. NOTE: These body shapes have little to do with bulk.

1.TRAPEZOID: Your typical “GQ cover” build. This is your normal/average build. Most men clothing is catered to this body type.

  • You have wide shoulders that are slightly wider than your midsection, giving your upper body a nice taper.
  • Your legs are proportionate to your upper body.
  • You probably workout, but don’t have a meat head build.

This is the most versatile shape, which gives you the most freedom to try riskier options. Use this to your advantage! The way clothes look online is typically how they will look on you.

How To Dress For Trapezoids:


  • Chinos & Slim fit pants: I do not mean skinny jeans. Just a more fitted/athletic style trouser. Since most pants are made for this versatile shape, you should be able to buy slim fit off of the shelf and they will look like perfection!
  • Regular ties: Skinny ties make you appear broad and longer ones will make you appear shorter. If you aren’t a regular tie kind of guy, go with a bow tie.
  • Patterns: Whether it is checks, stripes, or a masculine floral, there is not pattern too bold for you to pull off.


  • Well-tailored trousers: Go for a contemporary, modern look by asking your tailor for a slight break or no break. This looks best with slim fit (trust me).
  • A tapered jacket: You should absolutely be sure your jacket comes in at the waste to avoid unbalance between your top and bottom halves. Most modern style jackets already have some tapering so it should be pretty easy to find a good fit.

2. RECTANGLE: This is your typical tall/thin guy (aka lanky).

  • Your shoulders are as wide as your waste.
  • You have a skinny top half and slim legs.
  • Above average height (Oh yeah this is definitely me… all 5’ 7” of me)

This shape can be a challenge when trying to find the right fit. Wide fits leave you with a boxy shape up top (no one wants to look like Spongebob), large patterns make you look swallowed up. Try layers instead, or heavy fabrics, as this can make you appear as if you have a heavier frame.

How To Dress For Rectangles


  • All the layers: Cardigans, jackets, undershirts, V-necks, and pullovers are all options in adding some weight to your shoulders, which gives the illusion of a trapezoid shape. The heavier items draw the eyes upward and put more emphasis on your fame.
  • Across the shoulder details: When you do not want to layer up, color or pattern on the top half of your shirt creates the same effect without suffocating you.
  • Slim fit trouser: You most definitely need slim fit trousers. Any extra fabric through the legs will you look even skinnier (you don’t want to look like you have chicken legs, even if you do..)


  • Jackets: Your jackets should be single breasted as a double breasted will make you look even more rectangular. Structure in the shoulders is also not a bad idea.
  • Pant length: You shouldn’t go any shorter than a no break look. The cropped look throws off the balance between your top and bottom halves.

3.INVERTED TRIANGLE: You have a stockier build that consists of bigger legs and wide shoulders.

  • Your shoulders are the WIDEST part of your body.
  • You have bulk in your legs.
  • Your waist is probably more tapered than someone with a trapezoid build.

This is a difficult shape to dress, as most clothing brands cater to bodies less refined than yours.

How To Dress For Inverted Triangles:


  • Straight leg pants: Instead of slimmer fitting pants, a little more fabric here will add to your frame and allow you a bit more comfort.
  • Unstructured jackets: This style will help even the proportion of your waist to your shoulders. The unstructured style jacket will hug the shape of your shoulders, while the slight flair at the bottom half will add bulk to your waist.
  • Belts: This is a great way to break up your frame a bit. Draw the eye a little lower with a belt, whether you are wearing shorts or pants, and make it standout color one at that.


  • Smaller Patterns: This is one I am a firm believer of. Since you have a bigger build, keep the patterns smaller to downplay your size. More intricate patterns on your shirt will also look best on you.
  • Tailored waist: As you will need extra room in your shoulders, you should go up a size in your suit jacket, but ask for a tailored waste. Otherwise, you will be left with a boxy, unfitted look that isn’t flattering.

4.TRIANGLE: A rounder shape in the mid-section usually post college. This one is also referred to as the “DAD BOD.” Everyone loves a good dad bod.

  • Your midsection is wider than your shoulders.
  • Your legs have some shape and are balanced by your top.
  • You probably have slimmer shoulders.

How To Dress For Triangles:


  • Structured shoulders: Since you have a wider midsection, structured shoulders are necessary for balancing it out. This will minimize the appearance of the belly area and make you look more proportional.
  • Across the chest detail: Anything that will draw the eyes upward is a good look for this body shape. Patterns and colors that will draw attention up to your chest is the most flattering.
  • Straight leg pants: Anything too slim will draw attention to the largest part of your body. THE SIX PACK (of beer HA). A straight legged pant will give you a more balanced look with some added comfort for the boys.


  • Single breasted jacket: The bulkiness of a double-breasted jacket will simply add too much weight to your top half. Instead, go with a classic single that will sit close to your frame. Structured shoulders will also draw the eyes upward and provide a more formal appearance.
  • Dark colors: They always say black is more slimming, and that is because IT IS; however, darker colors are in general. A deeper, bolder blue, gray, or green shirt will create a nice neutral look with the rest of your suit.

“Dressing well is a form of good manners.”

-Tom Ford

If you are still having trouble defining your body type, I would suggest going and trying things on! If you are like me, sometimes you need to see it for yourself. Conquering how to dress is a step toward becoming a dapper, more gentlemanly version of yourself.  I hope this article will help you find the signature look that is best suited for your body type. To see more style tips for each body shape, check out my Pinterest!



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