The 5 Types of Body Shapes: Which Are You?

Here are the 5 types of body shapes

Here are the 5 types of body shapes | Source: iStock

Just as there are different general classifications of body types for women, there are ones for men too. Though you’re probably wondering why you need to know yours, there are several good reasons why you should determine your body type:

  • It helps to draw attention to your best features and maximize your “look good” potential.
  • It can help you to play down your less positive features or areas of your body that you may want to hide, such as a larger tummy (more on that in just a few).
  • Knowing your body type makes shopping for clothing much easier. We know most of you gents aren’t keen on the shopping, so knowing your body shape is actually great news because it can cut down shopping time significantly. Who wants to waste their time on clothing they know won’t look good on them?

Curious about what yours is? Here are five types of body shapes.

The Trapezoid

If you’re a guy who’s very into fashion, then, you’re lucky if you have the body type that looks like a trapezoid shape, which is a broad set of shoulders and chest that taper down from the top, with relatively narrow hips and waist, to your legs. The upper part and the lower part of your body are balanced. In other words, your body type is perfect for fashion and you can wear pretty much anything. You’re easy to dress, so long as you keep all your cuts in proportion.

The Inverted Triangle

Complex refers to this body shape as “the athlete.” Slightly similar to the aforementioned trapezoid shape, or “average build,” since this one is seen as an athletic figure, your proportions are slightly larger due to muscle. The best way to dress for this shape is to add bulk to your middle and lower body, while slenderizing your chest and shoulders slightly.

The Rectangle

layered clothing on a stylish man

Layering is a great way to accentuate a rectangle body shape | Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

The rectangle shape is characterized by a similar width of your shoulders at your waist and hips, and most of the time the person with this shape is tall and thin. This shape doesn’t mean that if you workout you have no definition, rather, you’re less likely to show it and you just appear narrow.

Because your body is straighter down in appearance your goal is to create structure and achieve that trapezoid shape  with clothing that will widen the shoulders, while also creating that desirable tapered effect from top to bottom. Your goal: Add definition where there is none, and layering is a great way to start.

The Triangle

Listen up: Men have curves too, and no, this does not mean that you’re fat. The triangle body shape is characterized by narrower shoulders and chest compared to your waist and hips that are slightly larger, thus making your lower half appear wider, like the shape of a triangle. This body shape can also make your shoulders appear like they’re sloping. When it comes to dressing for your figure, unfortunately, most clothing is designed to fit the opposite of your proportions. This simply means that you need to focus on fixing the lower and upper half imbalance.

The Oval

Last but not least, the oval shape, the one most associated with having a beer belly. While it may be less popular to have this shape if you’re younger, if you’re older and you’ve pledged your allegiance to beer and burgers, then you may be sporting an oval shape. If you have this shape, you appear round in your torso, with your legs and shoulders looking disproportionately smaller than your tummy area. Dressing for this shape can be very tricky, not to mention the health implications of carrying extra weight around your middle, you need to add width and structure to your shoulders to square them off, while streamlining your body to create a slender silhouette from the chest to the knees.

There are also three other body types to consider, if you’re tackling a diet and fitness plan:

The Ectomorph

The ectomorph has a very slender build, having neither a lot of fat or muscle tissue. You also have longer limbs, narrow shoulders and hips, and also smaller wrist and ankle joints. This one is similar to the rectangle figure.

The Mesomorph

The mesomorph is sort of the middle of the road body type between the other two, and it’s viewed as the most desirable of the three types because it’s “marked by a well-developed musculature,” and it’s most similar to the trapezoid. Other characteristics of this body type include, broader shoulders, a longer torso and narrower waist, and also thinner joints.

The Endomorph

The endomorph body shape carries a little more body fat than the others, and will tend to look heavier even if your muscles are very toned. This body type is characterized by hips that are slightly wider than the shoulders, a thicker rib cage, and just a general stockier look with shorter limbs. This one is similar to a wider rectangle figure.

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