How to: Dress for your body size and color

Have you ever tried wearing something that looked really good on somebody else, and when you put it on you just thought, “what the hell?”  It happens.  Before you started following us, you may not have had many rules to go off of.  It’s one thing to learn general rules, but it’s quite another to apply them to you as a unique individual.  No worries though, we’ve got you covered.
What tone is your skin color?  Are you skinny or chunky?  Are your eyes black, brown, blue, green, or require a pirate eye patch?  You probably don’t take this into consideration while styling yourself or making purchase decisions for clothes and fashion accessories, but you should.  Some colors work for some people, other colors work for others.  Aside from the clothes you wear, your skin is the most visible color that will always be present in your look.  How should you account for that? We’ve compiled some of the more popular shirt and suit color combinations and laid it out for you.
Take a look at our infographic under our old company brand (jdm Accessory Vault was our name before The Loaded Vault).
1) Account for skin color
Think about it this way: if you put a mask on your face that had the same color as your face, would it make sense to wear that color with the rest of your clothes and accessories?  Or, if you’re wearing short-sleeve shirts, or shorts, would it look absolutely hideous if you imagine that they were long-sleeved or pants, and that the second half was your skin tone?
Keep in mind that you can wear too much of the same color as well.  Although you may see someone pull that off every now and again, it essentially screams that you don’t know what you’re doing.  It also screams that you’re hoping to get noticed for your looks in a positive way, but it’ll probably work exactly the opposite.
2) Fit your body type
Okay, so, the next most important aspect to consider is your body type.  People first catch your vague shape in their peripherals, and then when they look directly at you, the thing that becomes most clear is your shape and the fit of your clothes.  It’s one of the big things they base their first impressions on.  You need this to work in your favor.  Too many people get excited about spending x amount of money on new items and get that nice dopamine rush, but never get that good feeling again because they’re not getting compliments.  Why?  They didn’t take their own body into account.  Big mistake.
Lumped into this same body type issue is assuming that you want everything to fit nice and tight, because you see that on models and described in magazines.  You’re probably not a model, and you’ll probably be snickered at if you tried to pull off exactly what they do.  You want to look the best for YOU, not for the GQ model on the front page.  How are you going to spend hundreds on the right combination, but then keep it from actually fitting your body properly?
Are you skinny?  
Embrace layering when it’s not hot as balls outside.  Throw on an undershirt, then a collared dress shirt, then a sweater, then a jacket.  It sounds like a lot, but if you get a breathable material, it’ll work in your favor.  This will give you a sexy look while making it look like you hit the gym.  When 3-4 layers just aren’t in the cards, then horizontal stripes and double-breasted jackets are your friend (as are under shirts.  Even when it’s hot out, you want that so that your sweat absorbs into there, and not your nice shirt).  Short sleeved shirts, v-necks, and over-sized shirts are your enemy, skinny man.  Oh, and get straight cut pants, not slim fit.
Are you a bit on the chunkier side?  
Does your waist pop out more than your back?  We’ve got you covered, my man.  I’m sure you’ve heard that vertical striped shirts gives a slimming effect.  That’s true, but if it’s a super obvious vertical stripe pattern, it’ll consciously trigger that thought in other people and they’ll soon be pointing fingers at the big guy failing at attempting to not appear big, so be careful.  Light weight knitted sweaters are good for you, as are single breasted jackets, but only button it up if the button isn’t pulled askew, looking like the pressure could make it burst.  V-neck shirts are actually good for you and could give a more muscular and intimidating appearance.
The unfortunate natural tendency for the big guy is to go baggy on the pants and the shirts and ignore the fit, but that’s about as big a mistake as you could make.
Unfortunately, really heavy people are looked down upon in society, so you actually have to take it the opposite direction.  If you’re decently in shape, it’s actually much easier for you heavy guys to get an “alpha look” than it is for the skinny guys.
So, keep yourself at a reasonable size, and take advantage of your size.  Oh, and chances are you sweat at times that most slimmer people don’t, so if that’s you, then always wear an undershirt that effectively keeps the sweat from coming through (yeah, I know you’re even hotter that way, still do it) and also carry around a handkerchief to wipe off the sweat.
Not only is it good to wipe off the sweat before personal interactions, but you’ll be gentlemanly as heck when you whip out that bad boy for the damsel in distress (think: crying girls, girls who spilled things, girls when they have something on their face but no napkin nearby, etc).
Big guys actually have to put in a bit more work to make things look easy and not sweaty, but the pay-off for a guy who cares enough about his body to at least follow these rules, and to keep himself fit enough to at least not need to buy a new wardrobe every month, pays off with an easier muscular and confident look.  You can be a force to be reckoned with, if you put in just a tiny bit of effort here.
For the “regular sized” guys out there: congratulations- most of the fashion articles are written for your body type.  Use Google.
For all body types: If all else fails, find a trusted tailor nearby with good Yelp reviews and explain your predicament.  The extra $10-20 per clothing item to have it customized for you while keeping a fashionable eye out for you, is simply invaluable.  Get 1 less shirt and 1 less pair of pants and put that towards a tailor instead, if cost is a concern.  Looking perfect in fewer clothes and accessories is better than looking awful in a bunch of clothes and accessories.  You will thank me later.
3) What’s your hair and eye color?
And, last, but not least, how do you take into account hair color and eye color?
Most people fall into the black/dark brown spectrum, and, sorry dudes, but those aren’t special.
Light blond and white are neutral, and red hair can easily get into over-kill, so don’t match it.
Got gray hair?  Silver foxes can go gray or white for their shirts or suits and be fine, assuming it makes sense with their skin tone.
Dark blond/light brown haired people with light skin benefit most from tanning a little bit more, looking like a fade within the same color spectrum.  Mid to dark skinned people with light brown hair pull off that fade naturally.
If you’re part of the 10% of the world population that has light eyes (green, blue, and you orange-eyed guys as well), then grab something that matches that, but is small.  Get a tie, watch, bracelet- something- that matches your eye color, and watch the compliments fly.  Maybe it can work with a shirt, but I wouldn’t recommend more than that.  It’s meant to be an accent color, not the dominant color (just like your unique eyes don’t match your skin and take up a small proportion of space comparatively, so too should your wardrobe look).
And that’s it, folks.
Hopefully you’ve learned that there’s no one-sized fits all answer to style, but that you learned a little bit about what can and can’t be great for you.  Feel free to contact us here or on our Facebook page with questions specifically for you, and we’ll help you out.
Send us pictures of you and some of your wardrobe, and we’ll do a free quick 5 minute consultation.
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6 thoughts on “How to: Dress for your body size and color

  1. Pingback: International website confirms what 12 looks women find most attractive |

  2. Pingback: Your First Suit Should Be A Solid Navy Blue– Not Black Or Anything Else |

  3. Pingback: First Impressions Matter: 9 Things People Decide Right Away About Us, and What To Do About It | The Loaded Vault's Blog

  4. Pingback: The Difference Between Handkerchiefs and Pocket Squares | The Loaded Vault's Blog

  5. Pingback: International website confirms what 12 looks women find most attractive | The Loaded Vault's Blog

  6. Pingback: Your First Suit Should Be A Solid Navy Blue– Not Black Or Anything Else | The Loaded Vault's Blog

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