How To Dress For Your Body Type: Thin/Slim

For those thin men out there (like Dorian!), you can probably just walk into most stores and find something that generally fits your frame. But, understanding how to properly dress for your body type when you’re thin is more than just wearing the right size.  And, since a great fit is probably the biggest factor in making you look your best, we’re going to dive in on some specific tips for those of you who have thin or slim builds.

For item-specific fit tips, be sure to check out all the different Fit Guides we have available!

General Tips

Thin men can struggle to find things that fit trim enough and often just settle for wearing oversized clothes; don’t do it!  It can be tempting to wear clothes a bit big to feel like you’re adding mass to your frame but actually, it’s the opposite. You want clothes that fit properly and highlight your shape.

Since a “slim fit” can vary widely across brands, it’s really important to try lots of brands and find the one with the right slim fit for you.  Then, it’s important and to find a good tailor to make the tweaks you need to your wardrobe.

Shirts

Say no to v-necks, they’ll only make your neck look overly long and this isn’t flattering. Focus on crew neck t-shirts, polo shirts, oxfords, and dress shirts.  You can wear all patterns, stripes, and prints.  Vertical stripes are fine but horizontal stripes will add some visual width.  Make sure shirts and tops are tapered in the waist to give your body some shape.  You don’t want things to hang off your frame in any area as baggy fits will just enhance your slim frame.

Fit Guides: T-Shirts, Polo Shirts, Dress and Oxford Shirts

Jackets/Suits

Bomber jackets and blazers are best for a thinner man’s frame.  Just make sure you have them tailored if necessary to fit you in the sleeves and body.  Any suit style will work for you but just make sure you have the proper size and a slim fit.  Try a double-breasted suit or blazer to add a bit of size to your torso.

Fit Guides: Suits, Blazers, Jackets

Sweaters & Cardigans

Shawl collar sweaters and cardigans can add some size to your shoulders so we highly recommend them as a good option for your frame, but stay away from standard cardigans, they can hang off you too much.  Crewneck sweaters will also look great and can be layered with a t-shirt or a collared shirt.  But, if you’re going to wear a v-neck sweater, make sure you only wear it with a colled dress shirt or oxford underneath.  Like a v-neck t-shirt, it’s going to accentuate the length of your neck in a bad way without a collared shirt underneath.

Fit Guides: Sweaters, Cardigans

Pants/Jeans/Trousers

For jeans, trousers, and chinos, a slim fit with a tapered leg will look the best.  Stay away from straight or relaxed fits and avoid super skinny or tight pants, they will only enhance your slim legs.  Pants should be fitted at the waist and in the seat. Tailor if there’s too much fabric in the seat.  From there you can focus on tapered fit from the knee down – straight leg or no taper will give your leg the incorrect proportions.  Again, try on a bunch of different brands to find one that works best for you.

Fit Guides: Jeans, Chinos, Trousers

How Shirts Should Fit A Muscular Man With Steve Cook

Finding the right shirt fit can be a challenge, especially when you’re very muscular up top and have a narrow waist. We’re excited to be joined by our friend and fitness guru Steve Cook to discuss Ashley’s shirt fit tips for all of you fit, muscular guys!

In terms of fit details, there are four main areas you want to focus on in terms of a good or bad fit.

Chest/Shoulder Fit

Make sure you’re buying your appropriate chest/shoulder size. Focus on this area first and foremost as other areas (sleeve, waist) can be tailored much more easily. Look for trim/fitted but not tight. You don’t want button-up shirts pulling at the chest or riding up into your armpit. When you’re shopping, look for slim fit or athletic fit t-shirts for the ideal starting point. From there, test out a bunch of brands so you can figure out which ones work best for your body type.

Neck Fit

For dress shirts, make sure the neck isn’t squeezing or tight, you should be able to insert a finger or two between the collar. For t-shirts, I recommend going with a v-neck as it will highlight those neck and shoulder muscles you’ve worked so hard on in a really great way. Just make sure the v doesn’t extend too low, it should hit just above your armpit line. This rule goes for scoop neck t-shirts as well. In terms of polos and casual button-ups, you can mimic a v-neck by unbuttoning one or two buttons (but not too many, don’t be that guy!) and highlight those muscles we spoke about before.

Sleeve Fit

Again, trim and fitted (depending on preference) but not skin tight is what you want. You want the sleeves to lightly hug your bicep but not pull. For short sleeves, I also recommend keeping an eye on sleeve length. Your sleeve should hit midway down your bicep, you don’t want too short of a sleeve. If your sleeves need a bit of taper, a tailor can help.

Waist Fit

As with other areas, you want your clothing fit to accentuate the v-shape you work so hard for, and the waist area is a hugely important spot to keep an eye on. If the shirt fits your chest and arms properly but is loose and baggy around the waist it’s time to visit a tailor. Ideally, you want to be able to pull 1-2” max from the sides of your shirt, any more and it’s probably too baggy. The great news is, this is a simple alteration that a tailor can make, and trust me, it’s money well spent, even for t-shirts.

Don’t forget to check out our companion video on pants fit for muscular men over on Steve’s channel!

Extra special thanks to Steve for joining us, for more, check out his channel and site:

Youtube

Instagram

Website

10 Biggest Style Mistakes Young Men Make

As a stylist, my clients range anywhere from teenagers all the way up to men in their 60s and 70s, and these are 10 mistakes I’ve noticed with my younger clients when I first start working with them. The road to finding your own personal style is a long one but keep these in mind as you’re figuring out your own path!

10. Ill-fitting clothing

Whether you’re on the thin side or are a bigger guy, your clothing should always fit properly. A lot of times many young men try and over-compensate in either direction to make up for what their body type is, but don’t do it.  Big or small, proper fit is always king.

9. Oversized ties and knots

Buying a tie that’s too wide and using massive knots will only serve to make you look like a little kid, so make sure you use a knot that’s proportionally sized for your frame and suit.

8. Trying to be a hypebeast all day, everyday

Focusing solely on brands and labels plastered all over you is only going to send the signal that you’re dressing for the wrong reasons.  Be judicious in your brand choices and know that understated is always going to look good.

7. Dressing well means being uncomfortable

Thinking that you can’t dress well and be comfortable at the same time is something that I get all the time and it drives me crazy! A properly fitting shirt or jeans should always be comfortable and flattering.  Are they going to be as comfortable as baggy sweats and an old t-shirt? No, but ultimately if you want to be taken seriously you should always be cultivating and presenting a thoughtfully stylish appearance to the world, not one focused only on comfort.

6. Buying all statement items

This is a problem for most men looking to dress better, but more often with younger men because I notice they confuse fashion with style. Fashion pieces can be loud and make a statement, but that doesn’t make you stylish. Here or there, sure, it’s fine, but it’s important to always have basic, foundational items that are stylish and versatile as well.

5. Not having a foundational wardrobe

Speaking of the foundational basics, it’s critical to always start with the basics and get the right jeans, t-shirts, button-ups, shoes, and sweaters first. Don’t underestimate the style and power of a sharp, basic wardrobe as the building blocks of great personal style.

4. Dressing exactly like your friends and not trying different things

Going along with following hypebeast trends, I see a lot of men fall prey to dressing just like everyone else in their squad. You’re young, have fun with your clothing and style and embrace your individuality. Figuring out what looks good on you and makes you feel best is an important step in figuring out your personal style.

3. Looking good is expensive

One of my least favorite misconceptions about style is that unless you’re rich, you can’t look good, and that money matters in dressing well. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Looking good on a budget is absolutely doable, no matter how low the budget, and it just takes some knowledge and focusing on well-fitting, basic items.

2. Mixing too many patterns and colors

Just like focusing only on statement pieces, many younger men confuse being loud and wearing excessive patterns with being stylish. But in reality it’s just the opposite. Focus on more subtle details and cohesive pieces to give your outfits the best look.

1. Not caring how you look

This applies not just to clothing, but to grooming and hygiene as well. If you focus on looking relatively clean and well-groomed you’ve beaten a majority of young men out there.  Anyone that makes fun of you for caring about your appearance is a lost cause, so don’t even worry about the haters.

As I said earlier, don’t forget that personal style is a journey and like any journey, it’s bound to have a few bumps along the way, the important part is learning from your mistakes and figuring out what works best just for you.

Henley Shirts

Henley shirts are one of the few items that, to me, don’t really have a specific season they’re best worn in because there’s so many different versions for men. Other shirts, like T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Dress Shirts don’t really have this problem since they’re pretty standard across the board no matter the season.

I love henleys, because they look sexy and masculine, especially when the top 1 or 2 buttons are undone to draw the eyes to your chest and shoulders to show off your physique in a flattering way. Hence, the image below.

BUT, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of men making – they’re not for every everyone. More on that shortly.

Let’s get into what to look for in your henleys based on the time of year.

Intro - Short Sleeve Sexy henley

Fabric

Generally, henleys will be made out of cotton, so there’s really not much choice outside of that, but you still need to consider fabric weights depending on the time of year. The main thing to know is that lighter weights should be worn in warmer months or in warmer climates and thicker, heavier fabrics in cooler months or climates. You can get them in everything from a lightweight summer weave, where it feels like a t-shirt, to thicker, quilted versions which will keep you warm during the cooler months.

You don’t have to worry too much when buying them because, based on the time of year, the brands will carry the appropriate weights. But I still want you to be aware of it just in case.

Henley Fabric Ashley Weston 2

Fit

Like all your clothing, including henleys, they should have a trim fit throughout the body and arms – no matter your body type. You never want it too loose anywhere because that’s when you’ll look sloppy and not put together. You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 1-2 inches of fabric on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch around the bicep.

The image below highlights the proper fit around the torso and sleeves.

Fit - Perfect fitting henley shirt

I mentioned earlier that henleys aren’t for everyone, so let’s get into that right now since we’re talking about fit.

For Thin Gentleman

If you’re a thin guy, no matter your height, if you want to wear a henley, you absolutely need to nail the fit, especially if you’re going to wear a long sleeve version. If the fit is too loose, it’ll make you look thinner and more frail than you are – not good!

I only like long sleeve henleys on thinner men if they’re layered underneath a jacket, like the below right image. When worn on their own, it really spotlights and elongates your thinner torso, like image on the left. So if you’re a thinner guy and want to wear a henley on its own, then wear a short sleeve version since it’ll look similar to your t-shirts.

Henley Fit Ashley Weston

Bigger Gentleman

If you’re a rotund gentleman (aka you’re not in the greatest shape and have a belly), you cannot wear a henley shirt, period. Allow me to show you why and explain. See exhibit A:

Fit - Big Guy - Bad Example of henley

Because of the button placket on the front, coupled with the lack of a collar, a henley will shine a massive spotlight on your bigger neck and torso. This is when a polo shirt is perfect and should be used instead, because a polo shirt’s collar will visually keep your torso balanced and in proportion, so your top half doesn’t look so big compared to your bottom half. The image below of James Corden shows a guy with the exact same body type as the image above, but in a polo shirt. Talk about a night and day difference…

Fit - Big Guy - Good Example - Polo Shirt1

Best Ways To Wear A Henley Shirt

Think of your short sleeve henley as a t-shirt, they’re interchangeable in the same outfits, so that means they can be worn on their own or underneath a jacket.

How To Wear Henley - Short Sleeve

J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley
J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Hampton Ave Tan Leather Belt 
I would pair this look with white sneakers – Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

For a long sleeve, you would normally wear these during the cooler months as a layering piece, so I styled Dorian in a long sleeve henley shirt underneath a bomber jacket, dark wash jeans, and sneakers.

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-2

Mens-Henley-Shirt-Long-Short-Ashley-Weston-3

Burberry Lightweight Lambskin Bomber Jacket 
J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Wool Henley Sweater
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Decatur Ave Black Dress Belt  
Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Black Chukka

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch
Ray Ban RB4258 Sunglasses 

During the warmer months you can wear them with the sleeves pushed up. As I mentioned in one of my other videos, women LOVE to see sleeves rolled/pushed up around your forearms.

How To Wear Henleys - Henley Sleeves Pushed Up On Forearms

My Favorite Henley Shirts

Here are some great short sleeve and long sleeve (lightweight and heavyweight) henley options that I love.

Short Sleeve Henleys

Short Sleeve Henley 1 Ashley Weston

$125 – Rag & Bone Classic Short-Sleeve Henley
$35 – J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley (White, Navy, Heather Grey, Black)

Long Sleeve Henleys

Rag & Bone Long Sleeve Henley Ashley Weston

$250 – Rag & Bone Giles Merino Wool-Blend Heavyweight Long Sleeve Henley Shirt
$40 – J. Crew Slim Broken-in Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley
$15 – H&M Jersey Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley 

THE #ASKAW SHOW: EPISODE 09 W/ Andrew Snavely FROM PrimerMagazine.com

In this episode, my special guest – Andrew Snavely from PrimerMagazine.com answer some of the most scintillating questions for the readers/viewers.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask in the comments of the above youtube video or send me an email.

In this episode, we answer:

Q: I’ve lost a significant amount of weight and now all of my clothes are clownishly large on me. Can a tailor make my clothes fit again or should I just buy all new ones?

A: See the video above for the answer and my men’s clothing fit guide for how your clothes should fit.

Q: I watched your T-Shirt video and if I have a nice looking tee with a pretty minimalist design, does that hinder a look the same way a straight up graphic tee would?

A: Short answer – sort of. See the video for the longer answer.

Q: As a shorter man (5’6″), I find it difficult to find stuff that fits me and looks good. I was hoping you can provide some general style tips for shorter men.

A: See TheModestMan.com for a great site for shorter men style. But in our experience, as long as your clothing fits properly, there’s not much else to worry about.

Q: I recently picked up a Briefcase in a navy/ tan leather color way, would I match my wallet/watch/belt/etc. To the bag? What would you do in my situation?

A: Don’t think about it too much. Andrew is less of a stickler here, but I am more of a stickler. See video for details.

How Should A T-Shirt Fit?

Just like with polo shirts – if I had a dollar for every poor-fitting t-shirt I’ve seen a man wearing, I’d have two moneybins! So let’s make sure you look amazing in your t-shirts, as well.

When I first start working with clients, I always get pushback when I utter the next sentence, but they later admit I was right when they’re getting complimented all the time.

These rules apply to all men, no matter your age or body type. So trust me on these rules. I’m here to make you look amazing, not like some doofus who’s trying too hard.

Neck Opening

Crew necks are pretty standard, but just make sure it doesn’t fit too tight around your neck, or too loosely. If the collar looks stretched out or you can see some of your shoulder when wearing, that’s too loose.

If you’re wearing v-necks, you need to avoid deep v’s at all costs. Man cleavage is just… no. Some brands will have deeper v’s than others, so be wary of how deep it is. Just make sure the bottom point of the “v” doesn’t go past the top of your armpits and you’ll be fine.

Sleeves

Crew Neck T-Shirt Fit Guide Ashley Weston

The sleeves should hit around mid-bicep and lightly hug your arms. The sleeves shouldn’t be too tight where it looks like your biceps are being strangled. The image below has sleeves that are perfectly hitting the right place and hugging the arm to perfection.

You also don’t want there to be bunch of slack or room around the bicep, either. That just looks cheap and tacky and makes your arms look really small in the worst way possible. If the t-shirt fits well everywhere else, have your tailor slim the sleeves to fit your arms better. I have to do this with clients all the time.

Body/Torso

Armani Exchange Grey Pima V-Neck Tee

Like I say in all my shirting videos & articles, the perfect fitting t-shirt will be when you can pinch (not pull) between 1 to 2 inches of fabric on either side of your stomach, like the image above. This goes for EVERY SINGLE BODY TYPE. A lot of my larger clients fight me on this… until the compliments start rolling in. 🙂

Length

Crotch Measurements

The shirt should end somewhere between upper to mid crotch. I would rather it be closer to mid-crotch than upper-crotch because this avoids showing stomach when reaching up for things and allows it to be lightly tucked into the front of your belt/pants to break up your proportions – if you want.

The Best T-Shirts For Men

See my T-Shirt Essential Article for my favorite t-shirts that every man should own.

The #AskAW Show: Episode 06

In this episode, I answer these questions:

Q: What was your “big break” in the fashion industry?

A: I talk a little bit about it here, as well.

Q: What is the most important thing to keep in mind on a first date?

A: I actually have a whole long story about this in my free 10 Style Mistakes ebook. It gave me the inspiration to write the book!

Q: I work out and am having a hard time finding clothes that fit me properly. What can or should I do?

A: Get your clothes tailored to fit your body type properly. See the video for details, as well.

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask in the comments of this youtube video or send me an email.