How to Dress for Your Body Type: The Oxford Guide

Dressing well is all about finding the right clothes for you. We all know that trends come and go, baggy pants might be in for a while, but the next wave of skinny jeans could be just around the corner, and for a lot of body types, neither is the right fit. So rather than getting caught up in ever-changing fads, get to know how to dress for your body type and nail a look that works for you.

We’ve prepared this guide to help you find your body type and figure out how to enhance your look.


As we get older our waists get larger. It’s totally natural for a body to develop into a triangular shape over the years of a happy life. Most men are predisposed to this body type, but never fear.. Help is here. Choosing the right clothing can make all the difference, a few subtle changes can enhance the shape of your body and wind the clock back.


Achieving a broader shoulder is the first step to balancing your waistline. Structured shoulders will square up your frame by horizontally extending and straightening the top half of your frame, creating a more evenly proportioned shape. Always go for a suit with strong shoulders for formal occasions and in the warmer months a polo shirt is a better option than a close-fitting crew neck tee.

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Another trick for elongating your body shape is the time-tested vertical stripe. Oxford’s range of Beckton Striped Shirts have a subtle, low contrast stripe pattern to sneak in some extra stretch without making an overtly stripey statement. However, make sure to keep it vertical with stripes and always avoid horizontal stripes as they will give the opposite effect.


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Another thing to avoid is unnecessary bulk, particularly in outerwear. Pockets around the stomach might be handy, but they’ll add extra bulk and widen your stomach area. Double breasted suits are another no no. Though they might feel like the more dapper of the suiting styles, they’ll also add unnecessary bulk to your frame. Oxford’s range of men’s suits includes a range of single-breasted styles that will slim your silhouette and balance your overall shape.



All those hours at the gym might have built up your muscle bulk, but that doesn’t necessary mean you’ll look more stylish. When it comes to learning how to dress for your body type, it’s all about balance. While your chest, shoulders and arms might be big, your legs will look small in comparison so consider some tasteful styling choices to help balance your overall silhouette.


First up, never wear skinny jeans. Tailored pants and straight legged chinos or jeans are your best bet to avoid the chicken leg look. You’ll find plenty of options in Oxford flagship range of pants to help, our chinos have a slightly tapered leg for a tailored look that will balance your legs and chest. Chinos are one of our most popular styles and are the perfect option for you muscle men.


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Of course, you want to show off your hard-earned chest, so go for a slim fit shirt but proceed with caution. Try going a size up for a flattering and tasteful fit rather than a button busting Hulk look. Oxford’s range of business and casual shirts come in both regular and slim fit so you can choose the right option for the optimal chest fit.


Too much balance can be a bad thing, if your frame lacks definition you can add a touch of shape to your frame with the right clothes. If you have a thin frame but your shoulders don’t really pop, there are plenty of options to help broaden your top half and create a more masculine silhouette.


Unlike more bulky body shapes, horizontal stripes are a good choice for rectangular frames. A t-shirt or polo with horizontal stripes will add some width to your chest and elongate your shoulders. Furthermore, shoulder detail like epaulettes on winter coats and open neck knitwear will also bring your shoulders out a little.


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When it comes to formal-wear a slim fitting suit is the right choice for you. Oxford’s range of men’s suiting features several slim fit jackets and blazers that will add a structural touch to your frame while maintaining your overall slim look. You can even experiment with patterns and textures to achieve an eye-catching look while also enhancing your shape.

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The rectangular body shape is also perfect for layered looks. Try a button-down shirt under a slim crew neck jumper in winter, or go for an open shirt over a crew neck tee for a casual summer feel that will add some shape to your chest and shoulders.


Commonly considered the average body type for men, the trapezoid shape is narrow at the waist and slightly tapers outwards from the rib cage up to the chest. This is the shape that most brands design for so is the easiest body shape to dress. Nevertheless, the wrong clothes can still make for an unflattering fit.


The most basic rule of thumb is to never wear baggy clothes, despite trends towards baggy looks, oversized clothes won’t ever bring out the best for your body shape. Especially when it comes to trousers, well-tailored pants or skinny jeans will always look great. Take your pick from Oxford’s range of chinos, trousers and pants in a variety of colours or patterns and patterns. 


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Close fitting knitwear is also a great look for the cooler months. Perfect for layering or on the over the shoulders for the ultimate dapper look, you can afford to experiment with a variety of knitted styles.

For a formal look, a jacket that tapers at the waist will help accentuate your good figure, you can even button it up for a tighter fit. Oxfords range of men’s suits come in a variety of slim fit styles with a double button front and back vents. Just add the right necktie for the finishing touch, a normal width tie that sits just around your belt buckle is the ideal way to style your look.  


If your figure is on the generous side, your oval body shape can be tamed by the clothes you wear. You can create a significantly slimming effect by choosing the right clothes, starting with adding garments that fit well and are comfortable to your collection.

A lot can be achieved with a smart colour choice, dark colours are always the best for a slimmer look but steer clear of patterns and stripes as they have a tendency to exaggerate the wide parts of your body. Dark navy, brown and grey are excellent options to bring some variety into your collection while achieving the slimming benefits of black.

When it comes to suiting, a single-breasted regular fit jacket with a slight taper at the waist is a great choice. Oxford’s range of men’s suits includes several regular fit options in larger sizes that have a small taper towards the buttons to bring your silhouette in.

Another trick is going for a bow tie rather than a necktie. This will draw attention away from your waistline and highlight the upper part of your body. Also consider accessories such as cufflinks, pocket squares and tie pins for a touch of flair.


Complete your look with some flashy accessories 


If you follow these tips and learn how to dress for your body type you'll always look your best. No matter how your body looks, Oxford’s range of men’s clothing will help you look great. We believe that fashion is transitory but style is permanent, and it’s this approach that means our clothing is well made and designed to give you a timeless look. Our garments are crafted from the finest fabrics with expert tailoring and features a range of sizes and styles for the modern man.


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