Broad Shoulder Problems

As a sort of sequel to our Skinny Guy Problems post, I thought I’d talk about another specific body type. While media might tell us that the broad-shouldered, tiny-waisted v-shape is the male equivalent to the hourglass shape, a lot of clothes aren’t actually made for that shape. But don’t feel too bad, you basically have the body of a superhero:

Captain America is a classic V-shape

Now, there is a reason these superheroes walk around in skintight clothing,  but it isn’t really a good look for real life. Your first goal when shopping should be to find something that fits through the shoulders (aka the seams should hit the rounded part of your shoulder). If you are broad-shouldered, this will be the hardest spot to fit.

Keep an eye out for shirts labeled “athletic fit,” as this usually means it is pre-tailored to your approximate body shape. Since these terms vary between brands, still, please, try it on. Also if your proportions are too extreme, you may need to rely on a tailor to get a really good fit.

Thor only casts the broad-shouldered

If you are looking to play down your shoulders, as easy way to do that is through jackets. By visually dividing the body vertically, you de-emphasize the difference between your shoulders and waist. Also a v-neck or slightly lower neckline draws the eye to the center of the body and off the shoulders.

This body shape also allows you some fashion advantages. Broad and tall guys can more easily pull off double-breasted jackets. Also as I pointed out on Tom Hopper (who I actually intended to use in this post, but it turns out it is hard to find a picture of him that is both fully clothed and not in costume) on our black tie post, you should have more buttons on your tux jackets and blazers.

A look also favored by action heroes


If we are being honest, you have a body to be envious of, so embrace it. A good fit through the shoulders will out-weigh any other minor fit problems, but again, if you are really struggling to find a good fit, consider getting at least a couple of nice pieces tailored or bespoke.

This post gets a special dedication to my superhero-loving friends. Enjoy.


Sporty Chic

The weather’s getting warmer, which means I’ve seen a lot of basketball shorts. I get it, they are comfortable and keep you cool. However, they also look pretty lazy and immature. So let’s just agree up front to shelve the sport shorts unless you are a t home or actually exercising.

We have already posted about favorable alternatives for shorts, so I thought I’d take this in a bit of a different direction.

So, you are a sporty guy. You like being active and maybe support some teams. Here is how you can show that side of your personality without donning jerseys or logos.

Baseball Tees and Henleys

Baseball tees are a classic All-American look that reads young and active. They come in a wide range of color combinations and don’t need to be layered to look good.

Henleys have a similar vibe, although a little less casual. These are great go-to shirts that are manly, but also look polished. They tend to be dark or neutral colors in my experience.

Faux Letterman Jackets and Shorts

For colder weather, you could try a faux Letterman jacket, which, lucky for you, are very trendy right now. These are lighter weight and less logo-ed than your real jacket from high school. Similar styles can even be found in cardigans and variations on track jackets. Layer these with more sophisticated looks for a grown up version.

I’m also going to talk about the shorts in the picture above because they are basically the real man’s version of basketball shorts. These particular ones are from J. Crew. They are a lightweight cotton instead of fleece or some synthetic material (like most sweats and gym shorts are), which means they are still comfortable and cool without looking horrible. The nice slim fit looks polished, while the draw string keeps them casual.

Several of these looks come from Express and J. Crew’s current collections.

We are not asking you to ditch your comfort or your athletic look, we just would like you to step it up a notch.

Preppy, not Fratty

This post is partially inspired by those delightful pastel suits we found for Easter, but also by the fact that it has been almost hot the last couple of days, meaning everyone’s wardrobe has changed. Around here that means a lot of bro-tanks and open shirts. I’m not a fan. I am, however, all for the preppy brights and youthful summer-wear, but make it look like you are taking the day off from your crew team, not your keg stands.

Community goes preppy

The three basic components of preppy are: color, plaid, and shorts.

You don’t have to do all of them at once, but we’ll break down the pros and cons of different combos.

Brights and plaids actually go great together because plaids are usually a combination of opposing colors and they are often bright. If you want to add another non-neutral article of clothing to your outfit, pick one that matches a color in the plaid. Also keep the plaid localized to one piece of clothing.

Preppy plaid Now shorts are something else we’ve talked about before because it can be really tricky to get the right length. The goal is to hit right above the kneecap. A little shorter is actually preppier, but if you’re above by more than an inch or two, you’re in risky territory. Cuffs are also extra preppy and would allow you to switch up the length depending on your comfort and style.

Colored or plaid shorts are another quintessential preppy look, but again, be careful what you pair it with, so you don’t overwhelm your body. Muted colors, especially blue, and neutrals like khaki and olive are all good options. Jean shorts are questionable at best; see what else you can find.

Preppy shortsWarm weather really opens the door for more adventurous clothing, including classic preppy looks. Bonus preppy points for no socks. Negative points (although it is preppy/fratty) for popped collars. Now go forth and enjoy your yachting, or croquet game, or whatever preppy thing you have planned.

Oh, and if you are looking for a little extra Theo James, check out this video of him singing.