As a fashion and underwear model, I often get asked what diet and workout regimen I follow to maintain my body. But, let’s be real, not everyone needs to have a model’s body, and you certainly don’t have to have a body like Luke Guldan to rock an outfit.
So I wanted to discuss four ways that every guy can use style to bring out the best in his unique shape.
4. Play to your strengths.
If you want to use style to make your body look as good as possible, you first have to recognize that regardless of your body type or what future goals you have for it, there is something about your body right now that is beautiful. It’s up to you to decide what that “something” is, but it’s important that you do decide and then begin to think about how to work it.
For example, the slender form of thin men can create the illusion (or reality, if you’re tall) of elegant, long lines. Bring out that stylish sophistication with long, slender-cut clothing or pairings of short and long pieces (a short bomber jacket with skinny jeans, for example) to highlight those lines through contrast. Joseph Gordon-Levitt mastered this kind of elegance in his skinnier days (apparently he’s JACKED now).
Other ideas are thin ties, lengthy, low-hanging scarves or necklaces, especially if you’re tall, and shirts that open up your collarbone area and create a long line from the base of the neck to the chin, especially if you’re shorter.
The frames of heavier set men can create a sense of prominence and strength. Consider ways to make your style look decisive and formidable with solid blocks of strong (not necessarily loud) color, fearlessly bold stylistic choices, and larger accessories that match the power of your frame (e.g. watches with large faces and ties with thicker knots).
Bigger guys also look great in suspenders, as an alternative to belts. And don’t forget SHOES. A fly pair of shoes can add the perfect amount of polish and balance to any outfit. That goes for everyone actually.
3. Balance your visual proportions.
Careful use of style is a great way to enhance and balance the proportions of your body.
If you’re heavier set, think about wearing clothes that give more angular shape to the body and that are more fitted up top to accentuate your broad shoulders. Blazers are great in this department, as are cardigans, tapered vests, or well-fitted jackets. Also, try untucking collared shirts. A choice hat can help balance your silhouette by adding a bit more height to your look, particularly if you’re on the shorter side.
If you’re slim, wearing more layers can add some visual “weight” to your frame. Stay away from oversized accessories. Use your small waist to outline a V shape by wearing shirts that are well-fitted at the waist and that accentuate your broad shoulders (if you have them), or create the illusion with a wider neckline, cap sleeves, or a jacket or blazer, perhaps with very subtle shoulder padding.
2. Wear clothes that fit.
Know your correct size. Then wear it. A lot of people wear clothes that are way too big for them, often to hide weight or the lack thereof. However, this usually just makes things worse. An old acting teacher of mine once gave me this critique after an acting exercise: “You are the biggest, most noticeable person on the stage, and you are trying so hard to be the smallest, which makes you stick out like a sore thumb.” Focus on proudly highlighting your strengths, rather than hiding your (often imagined) weaknesses.
Still it might not be the best idea to wear clothes that hug every inch of your being. Take the time to find the cuts and the fabrics that are snug in the places you want to highlight and that loosen up or add shape elsewhere. Even if you’re showing off a muscular frame with a tighter shirt, make sure it’s not too short, or it will be distracting.
1. Carry yourself like you ARE somebody.
All of this said, there is absolutely no reason for everyone to strive to create the illusion of the conventionally accepted ideal male form. Nor is there anything wrong with subscribing to certain conventions. At the end of the day, what makes a strong and lasting impression in questions of aesthetics is a coherent concept and a confident commitment to it.
This is more important than anything else I’ve said.
I happen to prefer certain conventions in terms of the male form, but the streets of New York would be god-awful and unspeakably boring if everyone had the same taste as I. If we all recognized this, we’d stop judging each other and be less afraid to do whatever the hell we wanted, style-wise and otherwise.
Whether you take my advice or not, whether you’re in haute couture or sweats, whether you’re heavy set, slim, muscular, tall, short, or “average,” the way you carry what you wear (including your posture) and the way you feel about yourself when you wear it will ultimately determine the impression that you leave. I was lucky to have a mother who always told me to “Walk like you are somebody!” and it made all the difference. I love what Harvey Guillen has to say in his interview with Chubstr about his style as a big man. Nothing drags down a potentially amazing outfit faster than a person that’s insecure wearing it.
So decide what is beautiful to you, what is beautiful about you, or what you would like to make beautiful. Organize your style choices around it. Then commit to that shit, and wear it like you ARE somebody (because you are), no apologies.
Take a note from this guy (extra points if you know what he is referencing) because he actually WINS.
What are some of your tricks for playing up your beautiful bod?