Kinobody introduces guest author, Nicolas from Kinowear to talk about dressing with style when you’re rocking a lean and muscular physique. I’m actually very excited to share this article with you because I feel that dressing properly is very, very important. You can put a lot of work into developing a totally incredible physique, but if you have no idea how to dress, you’ll never look great. In fact, rocking good looking outfits that fit well and suit you is going to make a huge different in terms of how you look and how people respond to you. When you’ve developed an incredible physique it’s important that you put a little bit of effort into your style. In fact, women make so many assumptions based entirely on how you’re dressed and if meeting and attracting beautiful girls is important to you, you’d be silly not to put a little effort into how you look.
How to Dress if You are Muscular
Dressing well when you have the build of a Hollywood actor, contrary to what you might think, requires you to really roll up those sleeves. The vast majority of brands are looking to dress the ‘average’ man. And while the industry has been making an effort for a few years to dress slimmer and smaller men, muscled men still struggle to find clothes that are appropriate for their build.
Why is it so difficult? We’re talking about a built body that has resulted in a very developed top of the torso (shoulders and biceps) and a very slim waist. It’s this large shoulder:waist ratio, more noticeable than for the average man, which makes it difficult to find clothes. We find the same problem (emphasized to varying degrees) with the legs, having very muscular thighs and a slim waist.
The two most common problems…
This means that in practice it’s difficult to find:
– A shirt or jacket in which the shoulders and biceps fit perfectly without having excess material around the waist.
– Pants/jeans where the thighs fit and the hips are hugged nicely. That is to say that the waist isn’t too big and the pants hold up well without a belt.
So obviously it’s always easier to wear tracksuits everyday like you do at the gym. I’m exaggerating a little, I know that lots of you regularly wear jeans and T-shirts that aren’t sports tops. However, I know that faced with numerous disappointments in stores it’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll never find anything else that’ll suit you. But that’s wrong; shirts, jackets, and pants are all within your reach…Let me show you.
A bit of inspiration
Below I’ve chosen some photos of really chiseled actors (who often play superheros) dressed for daily life. If you’re telling yourself that they’re not muscled enough to have problems dressing, look for some photos of them in swimming trunks and it should be quite clear (the paparazzi have done their job really well, you’ll have no trouble finding them).
But dressing well with your build is completely possible, and we’re going to see how in the next part of this article, but let’s have some ‘evidence’ to start with.
Ex-Captain America Chris Evans, who fills his shirt out well but without his muscles straining the material around his biceps.
Ex-Superman Henry Cavill
Ex-Thor Chris Hemsworth
Daniel Craig, i.e. real life superhero James Bond, here in Skyfall
Always try before you buy. Your build doesn’t match 95% of the pieces designed by brands, so never just assume that it’s going to look okay. Don’t be lazy, try lots on and when you find the cut that suits you, buy the same thing in several versions or several colors.
Know someone who does good alterations. That’s the secret for a physique like yours. Be aware that you might have to alter everything in your closet. So you really need someone who can alter well and one that you trust with your jackets, shirts and pants. Based on this relationship, you’ll be able to buy more easily and with the guarantee that it’ll fit you well after a few alterations. It won’t cost you too much in comparison to the price of the item.
How do you find excellent alteration services? Simply ring up the highest-end store in your area and ask them who does the alterations for their customers.
This is how laidback you’ll be about shopping once you’ve found an alterations service
Final thing, look to add vertical height. You’ve got an athletic body, you don’t want to give the impression that you’re more wide than you are tall (I’m joking, but it’s so that you get the idea). It’s why you should be interested in adding height to your figure. In practice it’s about avoiding horizontal stripes or big squares. Go for thin, vertical lines. Alter the length of your pants and sleeves. It’s particularly important if you’re short, but in any case you don’t want it to bother you.
To go over your closet essentials, I suggest you re-read these articles.
Choose item by item…
In the paragraphs below I’m going to go through the solutions available for each piece of clothing.
How to choose a shirt
Contrary to what you might have thought for jackets and shirts, you shouldn’t go for straight cuts. The larger shoulder:taille ratio being than average means you should go for slim fits, like really slim guys. It’s best for your build. Nonetheless it’s far from perfect. In general when you try something on you should notice that you’re in between two sizes. (I rightly say in general, because if you take enough time to try on lots of brands you’ll discover that there are some ready-to-wear brands that will more or less suit you). You might find a shirt that fits your shoulders and arms but has too much material around the waist, waving like a sail on the beach at Dunkirk, or you might find one that is good around the waist and your shoulders are too tight so the sleeves ride up and are too short.The solution is in alterations. Buy the tailored shirt that fits your shoulders, accepting that the waist is too baggy. Take it to an alteration service and it’s really easy for them to put two darts in the bag. This is just when the extra fabric is folded back into the shirt.
How to choose a jacket
Choosing a jacket is the same idea. Look for slim fit/tailored jackets.
Once again the most important thing is that the shoulders have a good fit. All the rest is easy to alter. Obviously the important thing is to adjust the waist, but you can also adjust the length of the jacket and the sleeves… For a visually harmonious outfit, avoid jackets with very thin lapels that will make it seem as though your shoulders aren’t in proportion. For the same reason, ties and shirt collars shouldn’t be too short, in order to keep everything in proportion.
For blazers, I’ve read that Brooks Brothers ‘regent fit’ blazers fit well enough but should still be tailored. The regent fit being not the slimmer fit of Brooks Brothers but the one with the bigger drop. You can also check out blazers with good fitting at Suit Supply, Bonobos and J-Crew. If you choose a suit, you’re most probably going to have to choose the suit jacket and pants separately. It’s not possible with all brands but if you have larger legs it will be particularly important.
How to choose pants
For a build like yours it’s absolutely forbidden for you to wear skinny jeans. If you try on skinny jeans, in order to fit your muscled thighs in you’re going to have to three or four sizes bigger than your real size. The problem is that your quadriceps need room but you definitely don’t want the pants to be baggy around your waist. The cut that’s going to look best is slim fit or straight cut jeans. Choose jeans that fit you well at the waist and in which your thighs aren’t too squeezed. Choose a raw jean and it’ll work in your favor because the fabric will slacken where it experiences the most tension, the butt and thighs. It’s possible that the size of your thighs will require you to buy a size bigger than normal. Don’t panic.
Again, head for your favourite alteration service. In the first instance they’ll be able to bring the waist in a little. It’s very easy to add some darts in to make sure the waist isn’t too baggy. The tailor will open the waistband by the butt to put the material on inside the pants. For a more modern style and to slim your figure (particularly important if you’re short) we’re going to get nearer to a slim or semi-slim cut with the help of a very simple alteration that will slim the pants below the knee. It’s also the chance to alter the hem of your pants to make them the perfect length.
There are some extra suggestions on Rawr Denim.
This is a straight cut 501 jean that’s been slightly slimmed down.
Many de la Cruz at EffortLess Gent
How to choose knitwear
Knitwear is less complicated to choose since it’s a much less structured piece of clothing and it’s more elastic so it adapts well to different builds. I’ve read a little bit of everything on this subject. Some think that you should absolutely avoid chunky knitwear and there are others who think you should avoid thin knitwear. For me, the truth is found elsewhere. There’s no reason to let it bother you. Just remember that thick knitwear will highlight your shoulders (especially if it has a collar, or is a roll-necked or shawl collared cardigan). For thinner knitwear simply be careful that it’s not close-fitting. Once again, in order to dress your larger shoulder/waist ratio go for brands that are more fitted at the waist.
This is too big.
Just the ticket.
Some outfit ideas
For outfit ideas you can check out Kinowear’s look book series
A straight cut or slim fit pair of jeans with a good pair of powerful shoes. And on the top go for very simple pieces, T-shirts, Henley shirts, shirts and a thick, short, jacket/cardigan. In terms of shoes go for brands like Alden, Wolverine, Red Wing.
We saw a list of checkpoints earlier on about jackets and pants. For suits it’s simple, make sure you choose the jacket and pants separately. Don’t compromise. For more ideas of very tailored suits on muscled models, take a look at Tom Ford. The suits always have noticeable shoulders and fitted waists as well as rather big lapels.
An in-between outfit
A shirt and chinos, well chosen, well altered and well fitting and you’ll instantly have the look. Simple colors for an elegant and spontaneous outfit.
To conclude, I’m emphasizing that your build doesn’t at all stop you from dressing well. There’s no reason to hold yourself back from wearing such-and-such, you can wear anything. The difficulty is in choosing some gems that will really suit you. Dressing well is a work in progress, as tastes evolve and assert themselves over the course of several years, but for pity’s sake don’t reject style from your life under the pretext that you can’t work out how to dress. It’s something you can learn and it’s not for sissies, I hope the photos in this article will convince you of that. I’ll leave you with Greg who’s going to talk to you a little about the ebook that I wrote about men’s style and how reading it helped him.
My thoughts on Style for the Modern Man by Greg O’Gallagher
Naturally, I have zero sense for fashion. My entire wardrobe consisted of track pants and t shirts until I was about 16 years old, then my girlfriend at the time insisted I go shopping with her. Since then I started to pick up on how to dress and what looks good. Still something was missing and I was having trouble creating versatile, good looking outfits that suited me. Last year I picked up style for the modern man and that’s when everything came together. I learned what pieces were essential to own so I could save money and rock great looking outfits that suited me. I now have this style and fashion thing handled and I know exactly what items to invest, solid brands and items to go with and what creates solid style that reflects my personality. Furthermore, this improvement in my image has had a noticeable impact on my interactions with stunning babes. The only downside is that when I see my friends that are sloppily dressed I can’t help but shake my head and insist they go shopping for new clothes.
To quote Style for the Modern Man (kinowears style bible), “Feeling that people find you good-looking will make you feel good. Feeling good, you develop charisma. Your body language evolves, and that twinkle in your eye shows to the world how confident you are. This makes you magnetically attractive to everyone around you, and this starts a positive feedback loop. Self-confidence extends your comfort zone and as such you are willing to give new things a shot. It makes you seize opportunities you did not even see before.”