How To Dress For Your Specific Body Type

What you look like with clothes on depends on what you look like without them.

What’s your body type? And, how should you

This article will help you determine your body type & learn how to dress  to maximize your best assets.

A *highly-abridged* history of Body Classification

To better understand body types, it’s important to remember we’re far from first group to classify our bodies and that the “ideal” has changed over, literally, millennia.

Five thousand years ago, Sanskirt teachings and Ayurvedic medicine broke the body types into both shapes and personalities:

vata body typeVata: a thin body type belonging to a person who can be unpredictable and who becomes vivacious and excitable under pressure.

pita medium body typePitta: a medium body type represents a person who can be intense, orderly, decisive and tends to become angry and ubrupt under pressure.

kapha heavy set body typeKapha: a heavy set body embies a relaxed, calm, steady, easy going person who, when stressed may balk and grow silent.

The ancients Greeks considered body shape and aesthetics to the point of an obsession. They expressed their “ideal” in both painting and sculpture.

For the Greeks (and, subsequently, Renaissance artists), proportion and symmetry in the body was paramount to size. The best way to visualize this is through the Golden Ratio:

Expressed numerically, this a 1:1.618 ratio.

On the contemporary end of things, American psychologist William H. Sheldon (1899-1977) classified bodies into three body types and linked personality traits to them:

ectomorph bidy typeEctomorph: An ectomorph was a person with a tall, thin, fragile frame and a large head. He tended to intellectual, introverted, self-conscious and often nervous.

Endomorph body typeEndomorph: With a rounded, soft, plump body, this person was thought to be sociable, friendly, relaxed with a fondness for food and comfort.

Mesomorph body typeMesomorph: His athletic body type had a muscular, sturdy and thick-necked frame. According to Sheldon, he tended to be active and noisy, risk-taking and sometimes insensitive in his personal relationships.

For years, these descriptions were the conventional ways in which bodies were classified.

Then came Roseanne and Hulk Hogan.

Also to help narrow it down, here’s a list of fairly typical men’s shapes. Be honest and figure out which comes closest to describing you:

IMPORTANT! You may fit two of these categories — i.e., Short and Heavy or Tall and Athletic, so go with your best guess as to which you most closely resemble.

Stocky, muscular, bulky.

SHORT BODY TYPE5′ 6″ or under.

tall body type

Above 6’4″

heavy body typeThis is the polite word for fat.

thin body typeAnd this is the nice word for skinny .

 “How to Look Your Best” is comprised of several articles.

Read these sections to see how you can project your best image.

  • The Basics: Start here — stripes, patterns, how to stand up straight, all that.
  • Body types: Your body type can be more important in finding the right clothes than your taste. Outlined here in this article.
  • What colors say: Need to make a statement? Let your hues cry.
  • How women see colors: To every man, there is a season.
  • How men see colors: Who says clothes have to be complicated?