If you’re between 5’6″ and 5’10” and have been described as “skinny,” “slender,” “thin,” or had someone tell you that you need to eat something right now, this article is going to show you how to look your best in your clothes.
Thinness is highly prized in the Western world. In the world of menswear, fits have gotten slimmer and slimmer over the past fifteen or so years. Mike used to be a really slim guy myself and loved those tight-fitting clothes.
That was until he had a kid and adopted a more sedentary lifestyle, but that’s a different article for a different time.
If you’re thin, you’re fortunate in a lot of ways when it comes to clothing.
It ain’t all easy though, so we’ve put together a collection of articles that detail the ins and outs of various male body types. If you’re here but aren’t 100% certain if this is your body type, please see our high-level guide. You’ll learn which body type is yours and be easily directed to its article.
If you’re here because you’re just a skinny dude, keep scrolling and take notes!
How To Dress The Thin Male Body Type
So you’re a bit scrawny. No problem! You have more leeway than you might think in terms of what you can wear, you just need to be judicious about the particulars of what you choose to wear.
The key is to emphasize width and tailoring. You want to flatter your figure, but not make yourself look anorexic.
- Typical chest size for the thin man: 34-38
- Typical jacket length for the thin man: Most often will be a “regular” length in ready-to-wear, but may be a short of you’re on the smaller end of the spectrum
The most important thing for you to consider is fit. As a thin guy, even the slimmest of jackets will need some sort of alterations. We suggest a two-button single breasted model, though if you like double breasted jackets, you can certainly pull those off too. A 6×2 model will add the most breadth to your frame.
Jacket length should hit just at the base of your buttocks and no further. This will offer you the neatest appearance possible.
You can choose between peaked or notched lapels at your leisure, but we suggest that they be about 3″ wide, which is just a hair narrower than the classic 3 1/8″ lapel width. You are slim, after all.
- Typical trouser waist size: 30″-32″
- Typical trouser inseam: 30″-33″, though this can be based on preference for the kind of break you prefer and how high (or low) your trousers sit in relation to your waist.
Slim guys benefit from slim – not skinny – trousers. The difference between slim and skinny is subtle; the former accentuates thinness in a complimentary way, turning one’s slender frame into a positive. The latter screams to the world that you are scrawny, even sickly-looking.
Skinny pants (we mean jeans too) do you no favors.
You can wear your trousers either at your natural waist (which we recommend) or a bit lower depending on your preference and actual height. If you’re shorter, wear them higher to make you look taller. If you’re taller, wear them just below the natural waist, as you don’t need any help looking tall.
Style-wise, you can opt for side fasteners, belt loops, or whatever your heart desires.
- Typical necktie width: Skinny ties range can be as narrow as 2″, and kipper ties can be as wide as 5″. We suggest ties between 2.75″-3.5″ depending on your personal preference.
Skinny guys can get away with skinny ties. If there’s a body type that can pull off a barely 2″ silk knit tie, it’s you. In fact, a narrow tie will serve to make you look a bit broader by comparison, so it stands to reason that you should avoid wide ties altogether.
You can wear just about any pattern you want, Mr. Thin. The only caveat is that if you’re on the taller end of our spectrum (5’9″-5’10”), we suggest that you avoid wearing stripes or any other vertical pattern. These will make you look taller, yes, but also thinner.
With that said, if you’re shorter, put on some stripes and give yourself a bit of height.
Braces Versus Belts
- Typical belt size (remembering to size up from your pant waist size): 30″-34″
- Typical brace size (“suspenders” in American English): Not applicable, as most are adjustable “one-size-fits-all” models
We’re fans of belts for thin guys for the same reason that we like them for tall guys. The horizontal line breaks up verticality, making tall guys less tall and thin guys less thin.
- Typical shoe size for the thin man: U.S. 8D-10D (7-9 in U.K. sizing, with medium width)
Thin guys will often look best in slim footwear. You don’t need the added bulk of typical British footwear weighing your bottom half down. Loafers will serve you well, as will most Italian makers’ offerings.
Last Thought On Dressing For The Thin Man
Being thin is nothing to complain about nowadays. Many clothes are made for thin men, though finding ones that fit perfectly is often challenging and time-consuming.
We strongly encourage you to read our article on irregularities in the male body to fully flesh out your wardrobe. Just because you’re thin doesn’t mean you totally proportional!