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How to flash the flesh this summer – whatever your age or body type

Former Blue Peter presenter and leading ageing expert Stuart Miles shares his top tips.

By Will Stroude

It’s simple: if we all had the perfect body we’d walk around wearing as little as possible all summer long. Just look at Love Island

But seriously, who doesn’t have hang ups about some aspect of their body? We probably shouldn’t, but in the age of social media we can all feel more judged than ever.

It’s all about enhancing the positives no matter what our age, and understanding what really suits us as opposed to what used to suit us.

As a general rule, look for more tailored summer clothes if you feel body conscious at any age. Detail, structure and clever use of colour are key. Summer clothes have a tendency to be made out of thinner lighter material to keep us cool with less structure and styling which can highlight all the wrong areas. Skinny chests and bigger bellys beware!

Here’s my guide to looking great in less this summer, whatever your age or body type:

Polo shirts

As a rule, tight t-shirts should only be worn if your chest sticks out further than your tummy – if not, instead try a loose-fitting polo shirt. The collar sits in a relaxed place rather than tightly around your neck, which can make you neck look bigger than it is!

Darker, stronger colours work best as they will add warmth but also give the illusion of slimming you. A long-sleeved linen style shirt rolled up at the sleeves and unbuttoned a bit can really flatter.

Sleeveless t-shirts are great to avoid a half arm tan but only really look good at a beach-side café unless you’re under 25!

All eyes on the thighs

A man’s thighs are often a strong muscular area that stays looking tight and toned when other areas may have gone south, so show them off. Find shorts that are fitted around the thigh – denim with some stretch in it works really well here.

Avoid huge cargo pants that are not fitted around the thigh and end up making the rest of your legs look strange, like two small chicken kebabs poking out each end.

Nice and fitted around the bum too will help enhance and actually lift this area. If you are worried about putting on weight around the middle, choose a short colour that is lighter than your top half to draw attention away from your middle.

Good things come in large packages

Speedos can suit some, but you need to be slim-hipped, toned with a tight bum. Much better to look for some tight swimming shorts, and short ones at that – not the long board shorts that resemble a skirt. You haven’t worked for months in that gym to hide it all away!

Shorter, tighter swimming shorts look great and are flattering to most. If you are worried about a tummy or a slight overhang seek out the shorts that are tied rather than elasticated at the waistline.

Go bright too: The brighter and lighter the colour, the more people will notice all you have to offer, if you know what I’m saying…

Finally, remember to be proud and confident in what you like about your body and don’t be afraid to show it off!

We should all embrace different sized and shaped bodies and at the end of the day it’s all about how you carry yourself: wearing what suits you and makes you look your best even when wearing less will give you the confidence to do just that…

Stuart Miles is the founder of and the UK’s leading ageing expert. Follow him on Twitter @mrmilesyounger and listen to his podcast ‘How to Age Well’ here.