Requirements for a Male Model

  • Freya Hill

UK Models work with both male and female models and although the majority of advice we give is targeted at both sexes, in this post we aim to cover male related topics specifically.

Find if you have what it takes to be a male model in the fashion industry with our in-depth guide.

How Tall Does a Male Model Have to Be?

High fashion modelling has strict guidelines; a male models height should generally be between 5’11″ and 6’3”, their waist should measure 29-32 inches and their chest 39-40 inches. These figures will vary slightly depending on the agency yet they will always be looking for well toned, slim physiques. Commercial models are expected to be 5’11” or taller but the niche is not as strict as high fashion. It is important to remember that the boundaries are constantly changing with the industry welcoming different heights.

Fitness/real life models are very much chosen because of their characteristics, not their height. If your height is something you are concerned about, please get in touch with us and we will advise you on areas of modelling that you are best suited to. You can do this by attaching a headshot of yourself to our online application form found on our website.

Thinking of becoming a male model? Make sure you register with us today!

Different Types of Modelling

First off we’ll start with types of modelling, as these variations will affect many of the topics further down. Male models are able to work as:


  • High fashion models: Models who represent designer brands and are most commonly associated with the catwalk.
  • Commercial/advertising models: Models who are used to sell a product or service. From cars and insurance to dental floss and hair gel. High street brands fall under the commercial umbrella.
  • Catalogue models: Models who wear branded/high street clothing for store catalogues and website appearances. When you buy a fashion product online and see pictures of a man wearing it (normally there’s a front, back and close-up shot), he’s what we refer to as the catalogue model.
  • Real life models: Men who represent the ‘average’ male. These guys are employed because of their natural look; customers can relate to them easily.
  • Classic models: The older male model. You will see him advertising golf clubs, expensive cars, holidays, retirement packages etc. Classic models are used so an older target audience can relate to them.
  • Fitness models: Models who have particular definition to their body and are happy to show it off in front of the camera.


How to Become a Male Model

The most important requirement for male models is great physical health; white teeth, bright eyes, good skin. Not every male model needs to be ripped – many guys are employed because of their small frame and lean features – but a healthy body is vital. No one will employ a model that doesn’t look after himself.

The second requirement is body confidence. This is as important because without it you will not be able to achieve your full posing potential and this will absolutely show in front of the camera.

Finally, male model require open mindedness. If you are willing to take on any project put your way, you will be opening up more avenues for modelling yourself (and expanding your modelling skill set) thus ultimately encouraging your career to flourish. Without open mindedness your modelling life will be short.


A good example is; male models wearing make-up. You’ll be pleased to hear that guys are generally asked to wear make-up to create a flawless finish. Commonly you will have foundation put on by a make-up artist (this goes over the whole face) and concealer (this goes on problem areas such as redness or dark areas under the eye) and then a few extra powders to bring colour to the cheeks. However, if you are not open minded to the idea of wearing make-up, photography teams will struggle to work with you. You will not be re-employed by them. Word will get around that you’re hard to collaborate with. Soon find yourself out of model work.  (Don’t worry though, make-up is totally removable and can be wiped off within a matter of seconds!)

Male Model Grooming Tips for Beginners

Successful models do have a grooming routine to ensure their skin is in tip top condition for a photoshoot or when standing in front of the casting directors. Remember modelling jobs require close up body shots. Therefore, your skin has to be flawless to avoid too much digital editing. The modelling industry demands that male models look after their physique. An unkempt look is interpreted as lazy and not serious about their male model career.


  • Moisturiser – Apply when you wake up in the morning and before going to sleep at night to keep your skin soft. Protect your skin from sunrays with SPF15, this is required in the winter also.
  • Also cleansing is really great for removing all sweat and dirt from the day, which can cause an unwanted outbreak. You can buy cleansing wipes, which are good to use on the go after a shoot.
  • Good Quality – Do not use cheap products that will irritate your skin. Find cosmetic items that suit your skin type. This also relates to hair products as saving money can result in a sore scalp and forehead.
  • Shaving – Whether you are clean shaven or trimming a beard make sure it is both carefully and professionally. The last thing you want is a rash the day before a shoot. Believe it or not there is a way to contour your beard for fantastic results. Also, male Calvin Klein models have to think about chest and pubic hair before a shoot. However, it is always worthwhile checking with the brand before a shoot as some might want a bit of chest hair. Cory Bond speaks of a time that he shaved his chest hair before a casting and it cost him the job as they wanted body hair.

To Conclude

To review, UK Models believe that good looks, strong poses, good health and open-mindedness are key factors in starting a modelling career. Although some agencies will have specific heights in mind, or some photographers will request a male with a certain body type, these are your three major male model requirements.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.