How Many Are the Kinds of Bodies and in What Modes They Should Be Attired
All human male bodies have been and are either diminutive, of medium height, or tall; and slender, muscular, or stout. Their looking good is caused either by fortune or by virtue. But since Lady Fortune's powers are unfortunately beyond our control, our natural appearance may be pleasing or not according to her whims. And even if it is, necessity and convention require that we adorn ourselves with clothing, and this may be done well or badly. Thus a man must have recourse to his own virtue if he is to look presentable on all occasions; and this virtue consists of the exercise of the body and of the mind. Since tailored clothing can make a man look either rakish or ridiculous, as well as shorter or taller or fatter or thinner, it is necessary for him to choose models, fabrics, and patterns that flatter his shape while minimizing its defects. As Xenophon wrote in his life of Cyrus, it is not reasonable that a big man wear a little coat, or a small man wear a big coat, and expect to look smart.