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.


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