5 Types of Clothes That Don’t Look Good on Skinny People

As the fashion industry is designed for people who are tall and skinny, you would think any man fitting this description has it easy in the wardrobe department. As it turns out, there are some things that even look horrible on skinny body types, or, as they’re technically described, ectomorphic types. Whether you’re tall, of average height, or even a little shorter, this particular body type is classified as having a light build, with lean muscle, long limbs, a flat chest, smaller joints, and small shoulders. With this specific body type, it can be hard to find clothes that will fit and flatter because sometimes pieces seem to accentuate skinny bodies too much.

As with every body type, there are some rules to follow. For all you skinny people out there, here are five types of clothing that will not look good on you. We recommend avoiding them.

1. Nothing too fitted

man with muscular wearing white shirt

Stay away from anything too tight. | iStock.com

Yes to slim fit, no to anything skinny. From dress shirts to T-shirts, jeans to suits, and everywhere in between, this is one of the most important tips for skinny men and women. Nothing should ever fit like it’s a second-skin because it’s only going to draw attention to your lankiness. However, that doesn’t mean you should order anything a size larger because that can also counter-intuitively highlight your build. Your clothing should fit comfortably and just right.

2. A skinny tie

man straightening tie

A skinny tie is, well, too skinny. | iStock.com

Let’s make this a general rule: Anything that has the word “skinny” in the description should not be worn on your frame. A skinny tie will not only make you appear skinnier, but you’ll look like you’re wearing something that doesn’t fit you. A broader tie is going to be your best option, since it goes a long way in bulking out the chest. Bonus: Learning how to properly tie a Windsor knot will add some definition and strength to the neck and chin area. Be sure to look for ties with horizontal patterns, slanted diagonals, check patters, and wide diamonds to add to your bulking-up look. Also be sure your tie does not fall past your belt buckle, or you may look like a clown.

3. Anything with vertical stripes

Stay away from verticle stripes when shopping | iStock.com

Stay away from vertical stripes when shopping. | iStock.com

A word about vertical stripes: This pattern is commonly used as a trick to make people look thinner, which is something you need to steer clear of. Wearing something like a pinstripe suit can make you look like a bean pole. Instead, if you must wear patterns, look for ones that do not run vertically.

4. Dark head-to-toe monochrome looks

young man wearing black suit sitting on sofa

A monochrome look will overwhelm your frame. | iStock.com

Black is one of those colors that slims you, which is the reason for the popularity of the little black dress and the all-black-everything for women. When coordinating color is concerned, wearing a head-to-toe monochrome look, specifically with dark colors like black, will only emphasize you slender frame. Opt instead to break up the colors in your outfit by adding hints of color, and when it’s possible wearing lighter hues, such as light gray, paler blues, and even white.

5. Blazers sans shoulder padding

Dark blue in a small checkered formal men suit

Your shoulders need a little bit of help. | iStock.com/fotobyjuliet

A blazer without shoulder padding is not a good look on a skinny frame. You want to make your body look as muscular as possible without going overboard with the shoulder padding — no ’80s-inspired padding that makes it look like you’re wearing your dad’s blazer. Look for blazers with light shoulder padding to give your back and chest a visual boost.