The Right Stripe For Your Body Type


Stripes have been a staple in men’s wear for decades. We wear them in suits, shirts, pants, shorts and even undergarments. But not all stripes are created equal. You should know what type of stripe works best for you and why. I see a lot of guys wearing vertical stripes when they should be wearing horizontal. Yes, there is a difference. Here’s a simple guide for guys, it works for gals as well, on how to wear stripes:

Horizontal: if you are thin, or tall and want to look wider, horizontal stripes are your friend. Slender, tall frames usually look their best with a wide horizontal stripped shirts. If you are heavy or have short legs, horizontal stripes usually make you look bigger and stubbier. Big or broad guys with short legs should stay away from them.

Vertical: If you are short and/or heavy, vertical stripes are good for you. They create an illusion of height and help you look more “streamlined” or slimmer. If you’re very tall but broad, you can pull vertical stripes well, however.

bad horizontal stripes man

horizontal stripes on her look great, on him not so much. I'm sure the wardrobe person hates this guy.

Fat Guy in horizontal stripe

Stripes are not helping him. Either he won a prize or she lost a bet.

Mike Jordan in stripes

Tall but broad men can pull off the vertical stripes well.

Large man vertical stripes

A big man should stick with vertical stripes. They make you look leaner and taller.

How do you feel about stripes?

  • Mark H Jeffress

    I’m very tall but not broad. Should I stay away from vertical stripes? 

    •  I would be careful with them. IF you don’t want to look taller, than horizontal stripes might work best.

  •  Not much on the stripes.  Never have been.  I like solid colors.

  • I think I’m better about this now that I dress in business atire for work, but there are some terrible pictures from high school that will haunt my dreams forever 🙂

    •  I have tried to search and destroy pictures from high school. I’m afraid now that Brazilians are finding their way into Facebook.

  • Bill

     Clarification: How do vertical stripes make you look like a learner? 🙂

    •  @92c88c0015fce15e2bda3b43e8892c31:disqus stripes make you look smarter. 🙂 Sorry about the typo. Fixed now.

  • Christian

     Something else that can help create the illusion of being “streamlined”: exercise.

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