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Video: Dress your guy for his body type

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    >>> "today" on nbc.

    >>> this morning on bobbie's style buzz, the guy's turn. women are not the only ones who look in the mirror and don't think the outfit they put together don't flatter their form. today, bobbie is here with do's and don't's for your body type . are we creating illusions here, distracting people?

    >> absolutely.

    >> if you've got a flaw, maybe too strong a word. you want to distract people away from it.

    >> it's all about balance and proportion. women, we dress to flatter our figure. for men, it's about comfort.

    >> four different body types we'll get to. let's get to the first one. the first one we're calling short stature, okay.

    >> yes.

    >> we'll use one of our favorite guys around here, mark. let's look at mark and the way he tends to dress or tended to dress before.

    >> this is an outfit we put him in to show what not to wear. you want to avoid bulky fabrics and you want to avoid horizontal lines.

    >> you want vertical lines?

    >> vertical lines are going to help stretch out your frame. and you say thick knit, stay away from it. and the bottom half , it's better to go dark.

    >> what about the style. pants. i happen to know, mark recently traded in his meeted-front pants for flat-front pants.

    >> and a straight or a tapered leg, it will give you a longer line.

    >> let's put this to use and to actual practice. and let's bring mark out right now and see him with what he should be wearing. mark, dashing. dashing. we like it. look at the vertical lines.

    >> and if you're going to go for a pattern, he doesn't have to have a pattern, but something more monochromatic, the gray and the dark jean. the legs on the jean are great. how do you feel?

    >> it's great. it's great, i love this look. they're great.

    >> you can keep them, you can wear them tomorrow morning .

    >> and another big tip is the shoe. don't go for a heavy, bulky round shoe. because women know that show will help elongate his leg as well.

    >> let's go to the big and tall look right now, bobbie.

    >> our first victim. we do this every day for you guys, okay?

    >> let's go to the big and tall look if you're big, stocky, big tall guy, what should you avoid?

    >> well you should avoid the overpowering, intimidating factor. you bring to the room. so light colors, bold colors or you know, danny clark ? giants player?

    >> exactly. he's helping us out here. he's got a four-button suit. this is really kind of almost making him look oversized. it's so long, we really should chop it here and get him a nice classic two-button suit. the legs again are baggy, we want to taper that. and really he's got these huge, broad shoulders, so we want to help in this area, so i'll show you what i did.

    >> danny , come out here, sir, look at what you did.

    >> looking dashing as well. i love this, it's a nice dark suit . because when you're big already, you don't need to fill the space with a bold color . and i like the two had been button suit and the vest that keeps it altogether.

    >> you don't think the vest and the two-button suit, gives the illusion of a four-button suit?

    >> no, because the vest stops right here.

    >> what about the slacks?

    >> the slacks are a nice, tapered leg and not overly baggy. he's got personality, and we played it up in the color . the tie has a thicker knot, so he's bouncing it off his broad shoulders.

    >> danny , do you like this?

    >> yes.

    >> is this something you would wear?

    >> it's actually mine.

    >> way to go, danny . that's great, you look fantastic.

    >> all right, bobbie, thank you very much. let's go to our next body type . we'll talk about the real slender build right now and what do we have to know about this?

    >> big mistake , lots of guys try to wear baggy clothes. it's not building his frame. it's getting him lost. and the other thing is the color . you want to try to break it up. if you have a different color on the top than bottom.

    >> monochromatic makes him look even thinner.

    >> so let's bring him out, this is trevor .

    >> we're trying to make him look a little bit beefier.

    >> layering a sweater, a nice textured knit will do it for you. a bright color with a bat earn underneath will give it that illusion. trevor wants to fill up the space he's in. so he's taking charge with the color and the light pants, is is a nice kind of break-up that adds to his build.

    >> trevor , how do you feel about this look?

    >> it's great. you know. it's fine.

    >> he likes it. it's something i wouldn't normally choose.

    >> usually likes tight-fitted clothes.

    >> and he's not as slender --

    >> he's on the borderline.

    >> he has a good build.

    >> trevor , thank you very much.

    >> our final body shape is the average athletic build. common sense would say, this is the easiest build to dress.

    >> you would think and that's actually a good point you bring up. it's funny enough, all about balance and proportion. this is a big stumbling block , you'll see on the short jacket on gus , it's giving him this rounded-out top and double-breasted jackets are not good for guys that are athletic. so what he's going to want to do is get a blazer or a casual sportcoat that will give him a sleek line. and bring up the shirt. a lot of guys don't tuck in their shirt. which you can see when he comes out, i'll show you the difference.

    >> it should be tucked in or should not be tucked in?

    >> it should be. the pants are a little too short. and with the shirt this long, you'll see, i have to get a different color , this space is cutting off his leg.

    >> so you'll see that when he comes out.

    >> gus , come on out. let's see what you look like now.

    >> you'll see his legs look longer, he's --

    >> because you tucked the shirt in.

    >> gave him the belt, drew the leg line up and the nice casual sportcoat, this corduroy blazer is great, it slims him out and gives him a few extra inches.

    >> how tall are you, gus ?

    >> about 5'9".

    >> how do you like it?

    >> i like it, it's a little more comfortable than i thought it would be. normally i substitute style for comfort. but it looks pretty good.

    >> you're dying to pull the shirt out, aren't you?

    >> yes, i am.

    >> i can tell. let's bring all of our models out, danny and trevor and mark --

    >> we're dieing to get out of our spanx.

    >> don't take me there.

    >> guys, you look great.

    >> can we have a round of would beie and her telestrator work? danny , working with the giants, you know that.

    >>> up next, a real-life indiana jonesed on his search for the lost ark. but first, this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> and back at 8:44. in

By
TODAY contributor
updated 1/11/2010 9:28:52 AM ET 2010-01-11T14:28:52

Men may think they have fewer options when it comes to dressing in order to enhance or disguise, but there are plenty of tips and tricks they can use to create balance and proportion. Just a few dos and don’ts can make a huge difference. Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style editor and author of the Buzz column for In Touch Weekly, offers ways to shift his shape:

Short stature
Clothing can help to elongate or dwarf your frame, so it’s important to know the dos and don’ts. Stiff fabrics, thick knits and baggy pants will add volume, not height, while smooth fabrics that flow and move with you are best. Avoid contrasting colors, as monochromatic ensembles will lengthen, and look for vertical patterns to add some extra inches visually. Fitted or straight-leg bottoms will be much more flattering than full-cut or wide-leg ones. Overall, keep things lean and sleek, but not too tight.

Big and tall
For men, looking large-and-in-charge is a plus, but there comes a point when oversized may feel over the top. To tone down one’s physique, avoid loud or bold colors, prints and patterns. Instead, opt for classic shades such as olive, chocolate, navy black and charcoal. Pants with pleats or tapered legs and loose-fitting jackets are generally not the most flattering. Two-button suit jackets and flat-front, straight-leg pants are likely to be more slimming. And finally, finish off the look with a pair of sleek, streamlined shoes, which will help create a slimmer appearance.

Slender frame
For those who want to bulk up, loose, oversized clothing is not the way to do it. Believe it or not, it’s best to opt for fitted, tailored pieces, and play up layering items instead. Argyle patterns and other horizontal designs will help to visually expand your chest, while vertical stripes will work against you. Bold colors have more weight than muted ones, and will help to create a flattering visual illusion. Basic hues can tend to fade away and blend into the background. So don’t be afraid to mix and match contrasting shades, and to wear light looks instead of dark.

Average athletic
While one of the most basic body types, proportion is essential. Clothing shouldn’t be too short or too long, but rather just right. Full chests and broad shoulders tend to look stocky in double-breasted and shorter zip-up jackets, but will appear more streamlined in a casual blazer. It’s best to wear darker-colored coats over lighter shirts, rather than the reverse. If thicker on the bottom half, draw the eye up with generous lapels on the upper torso. Look for pants that fall at the natural waist or even slightly higher to compliment muscular legs. And invest in a strategically washed pair of medium blue jeans. Denim that’s faded in the center thigh but gradually darkens on the outside edges will balance out your build.

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