Men: Here's How to Choose the Best Shirt and Pants for Your Build

Men: Here's How to Choose the Best Shirt and Pants for Your Build

Men’s shopping can be a challenge—it can be hard to find pants in the right shape, shirts in the right length, and clothes that fit your unique build. But, there are many helpful things to keep in mind to help you have a successful shopping trip (meaning, a shopping trip where you find clothes that fit your build).

Here’s how to choose the best men’s shirts and pants for your build.

Make Sure Your Button-Down Shirt Closes

One of the most common flaws when it comes to button-down shirts is wearing a button-down shirt that's too small. In other words, wearing men’s button-down shirts that don’t properly close. Your shirt should not gap and should button-up smoothly—that’s how you know it fits. Men's button-down shirts with gaping buttons are the first sign of a top that’s too small. Remember this: your button-down shirt should be flush down your torso—the buttons should not gape and the shirt should not appear to be stretched, or too loose, for that matter.

Don’t Get Too-Big Sizes

Speaking of clothes that are too loose, it’s as important to make sure your clothes aren’t too big as it's to make sure they’re not too small. Too-big clothes can appear sloppy and can be very unflattering to your build.

Make sure your pants don’t appear to be baggy or too long and make sure you aren’t swimming in your button-down shirt or sweater. All in all, the best clothes for you truly fit your build.

Ensure Your Pants Meet Your Shoes

Traditionally, men’s dress pants should meet your shoes when you’re standing up. When you’re sitting, it’s OK for your pants to show your (hopefully matching) pair of dress socks. When trying on dress pants, make sure you follow these rules and be sure to test out the sitting-down rule when you’re in the dressing room.

It’s easy to accidentally get a pair of too-long or too-short dress pants, so shopping for your build is crucial.

Get Tops That Are Long Enough

When shopping for your build, it’s very important to keep your height in mind. This is especially true when shopping for T-shirts and sweatshirts, which can often rise and reveal your stomach. When shopping, make sure your tops (whether it’s a men’s t-shirt or men’s flannel are long enough.

A good way to test this is by raising your arms as you try on your top. This way, you’ll see quickly if your shirt is likely to raise when you’re reaching for a high shelf or playing a game of football. If the shirt raises up too high for you’re liking, you can easily size up or even opt for a shirt in a tall-specific size.

If You’re Big and/or Tall, Get Those Sizes!

If your body type requires a special kind of sizing, it's important to acknowledge this fact! In other words, if you’re a man who looks best in big and/or tall sizes, be sure to shop for those styles whenever you can. At Lands’ End, we have many big and/or tall styles available for men who fit the build. Big and tall sizes are made specifically for men of a certain size—for example, men who are 6’1” or taller should opt for tall sizing. If your hips and shoulders are not an equal build, you may be a candidate for big sizing.

When You Find Something That Works, Stick to It

If you find a specific shirt or pants style that flatters your build, stick to it! There’s nothing wrong with having more than one pair of bootcut big and tall jeans if you know they’re ideal for your build. Or, if slim-fit oxford shirts are your dream top, purchase a few of them! You can easily get a few different varieties of the style that works for you (different shades, patterns, or brands) and wear the flattering style throughout the season. This way, you can be confident your outfit is best for your build all year round. Plus, when you have some closet staples that you know look good, you’ll be easily and quickly able to pick out an outfit you love.

In the end, it’s important to know your proportions so you can ensure you’re getting the best shirts and pants for your build. If your body is meant for big or tall sizing, you’ll look better in clothes in those sizes. If your body is meant for regular sizes, that will best suit you.


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