How to Dress to Suit Your Body Type: A Groom’s Guide

By Devonché and Luke Ellery

Wearing the right suit can have a remarkable effect on the shape of your figure. Whether you are tall, short, skinny, large, or athletic - the correct decision making when it comes to the design of your wedding suit can accentuate your most attractive qualities. As a groom, you’re going to want to look your best to impress the guests as well as your other half. The best way to accomplish this is by making a few conscious style choice when picking out your suit for the wedding. 

To help improve your knowledge so you don’t feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark next time you go into a fancy suit shop, we reached out to the experts to help build a handy list of things to consider to get the best out of your suit and your body type.

You may fall into more than one of the following categories. Everyone’s body is unique after all. If that is the case for you, you’ll need to trust the suiting professionals to take care of styling your body. Alterations may become expensive to achieve the perfect look for your body, so you may want to consider Custom/Made-to-Measure - which are not near as expensive as a few fashion myths would have you believe

Athletic Men 

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Image by Hollow & Co

You may have the ideal body type, the perfect fit-model body. Even with these hard-earned, or God-given, assets you still need to make some tactical choices to show off your figure. Many suits are designed to give the illusion of an athletic physique to the men who haven’t been hitting the gym. Since you clearly don’t need that aesthetic assistance, you need to avoid some of those features. A few things to avoid include shoulder pads, aggressively tapered pants, and peak lapels - which are designed to make a chest look broader and the body taller. 

  • Have your suit taken in at the sides. Off-the-rack suits tend to assume that a large chest means a large waist. 
  • Get pleated trousers to balance your suit 
  • Ensure the shoulders of your suit are unstructured - no shoulder pads.

Larger Men 

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Image from DLA 

The most important piece of advice here is don’t make the mistake of trying to hide your figure by going baggy - we’ve all tried that and it’s time to accept that it doesn’t work. 

Tailoring your suit will be a great chance for you to experience the joys of a contoured outfit. When it comes to picking out design elements, you should opt for a peak lapel as it gives the illusion of height which will improve your proportions Pinstripes always result in a more slender look. Another handy tip is to go for lighter fabrics - thinner material can create the illusion of a thinner physique. 

  • Stay away from large checks - keep it pinstriped. 
  • Nip the jacket at the waist. 
  • A two-button jacket will elongate your core. 
  • Slanted pockets will draw focus upwards, towards your chest
  • Slimmer Lapels that are 7-8 cm wide will look best for you

Skinny Men  

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Image from Devonché

The primary goal for the skinnier gentlemen is to add some weight to your look. The best way to achieve this is to opt for heavy fabrics such as wool and consider some bold patterns like large checks. Double-breasted jackets can add some girth. The trick is to get spectators to think horizontally, and avoid vertical thinking wherever possible. 

  • Watch out that your lapels are well proportioned to your head and shoulders - too wide and your head will look like a child's head.
  • Pleated trousers are optional, but can help your legs look a little thicker - can’t forget about the legs. 
  • Shoulder pads will help give you a more structured frame.

Tall Men 

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Image from Devonché

Don’t try and cuff your pants too much. We know it’s in fashion right now, but it’s just going to make it look like you couldn’t find pants for your extremely long legs. As a taller man, there is a lot of you to see, so when it comes to suits you need to find creative ways to fill the space and break up space between your head and feet. 

  • Wear a longer jacket, one that covers your shirt all the way to the hips. 
  • A breast pocket with a pocket square inside makes use of the space on your chest.
  • Wearing separates can complement the taller gentlemen as it helps to break up height. 
  • Trousers should end cleanly over the shoe - no cuffed pants. 

Short Men 

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Image from Devonché 

Naturally, the approach for a suit complementary to a shorter figure is the direct opposite of that to a taller figure. You want to encourage vertical thinking with one streamlined look. Therefore, avoid separates, and avoid bold patterns. Tapered trousers worn on just above the hips can make you look inches taller, particularly when paired that with a shortcut jacket. 

  • Peak lapel will elongate your upper body.
  • Pinstripes encourage vertical thinking and give the illusion of height.
  • Cuff your trousers slightly to add some imaginary inches to your length.
  • Shorter Jackets (ending around the first thumb joint will help) will give the illusion of height

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