The struggle for bigger men when shopping for clothing is all too real. Anything other than “average” tends to fall between the cracks, which makes finding pieces that accentuate your smaller, taller or larger figure difficult.
No matter your size, there are always tips and tricks men can employ to look their best when putting daily outfits together.
Just remember, that taking action starts today. Often, we can wait for the day we get to our optimum body weight before making positive style changes. Dressing better should begin in earnest as your current weight shouldn’t stop you from looking great.
Start by seeking out brands that will cater to your size. This will typically mean avoiding the mass-market guys that think anything above a size 44 chest is obese. Embrace that barrel chest and let’s improve your personal and style confidence at the same time.
Read on for more tips on dressing for a bigger body.
1. Fit Is Everything
Men of all shapes and sizes need to take greater notice of fit, as getting it wrong is a surefire way to ruin your look.
If you suffer from a lack of confidence the default can often be to hide behind ill-fitting clothing. But, this can have the opposite effect, showing how negligently you have dressed and bringing unwanted attention.
The key is not to go too extreme the other way and start wearing figure-hugging pieces. Strike the balance by picking items that don’t swallow but allow movement when sitting or walking. For example, no tightness on the trouser waist when sitting and no flashes of belly when stretching out your arms.
2. Choose Structural Pieces
The trick here is to effectively frame your body. That means picking a jacket that sits squarely on the shoulders and falls in a nice drape, enveloping the body rather than suffocating it. A nice drape stops any pinching in the fabric at the waist or thighs and removes any excess layers that will bulk out a man’s frame.
With bottoms take a pair of joggers and compare them to chinos or formal trousers. The joggers will have excess fabric throughout and look sloppy. A pair of structured trousers will give a clean line without drawing the eye.
Once you have nailed that silhouette, it is about adding pieces that work within that fit rather than ruin it. So, no bulky wallets or keys billowing out pockets and undoing all that hard work.
3. Take Note Of Fabrics
Larger guys can negatively accentuate their frames by seeking out heavy fabrics. These types of materials will only add unnecessary bulk and heat and trust me, no one wants a sweaty mess on their hands.
Thin materials though will cling to every bump or curve. The middle ground is a natural fabric like denim, oxford cotton or cashmere that can keep the wearer cool while also being structurally sound.
We want to create a wardrobe full of interchangeable pieces. If men take note of the fabrics, they can ensure they have more items that can look good together through effective layering.
4. Get It Tailored
Our bodies are all unique and that means we might need to seek professional help to get great-fitting clothing.
If your budget stretches to it, I would recommend getting your suits made from scratch. You know from experience that off-the-rack won’t be catered to your size or shape, so bigger guys should start from the ground up with a tailor.
To make your investment go further, work to the lifetime of your garment rather than the initial occasion. Pick out timeless fabrics that you can wear year after year.
But, what if you lose or gain weight?
A tailor can always easily shorten or tuck pieces, finding additional inches is more difficult. By striking up a line of communication in person, a tailor can accommodate changes in a man’s body over time and include hidden material for any future weight gain.
5. Be Careful With Prints
If you are the guy that likes to embrace some colour or pattern then don’t let us be the ones to stop you. We would just stress the importance of airing caution.
Neutral colours are going to be a larger man’s best friend, think navy, brown, charcoal or black. Use these as your anchor points for any patterns or additional bolder colours.
Stripes (vertically, not horizontally) can elongate your body while checks are also a commendable choice. Anything too colourful or too busy can overwhelm you and make you look bigger than you are. Bold patterns in muted tones should be the sweet spot.
6. Pay Attention To The Details
Looking your best doesn’t start or stop with the clothing you wear.
Being proud of who you are should seep into every area of your life. That means refreshing your skin with a good regime, choosing a signature scent and trimming that unruly beard. Small changes can elevate your presentability and show you take pride in your appearance. This will make a lasting impression on anyone you meet.
7. Go Long
When shopping for outwear, bigger men will look better in longer coats. A short coat will draw the eye to the midriff while a longer coat will nicely frame that robust shape.
This simple switch elongates the body, not cut it in half. Just remember to avoid coats like a trench which typically has a belt, as this will have the same effect as a shorter jacket and split the body in half.
Key Items For Bigger Men
The repeat colour and pattern found with a suit is an ideal way to appear slightly slimmer with an elongated body. Uniformed, neutral colours are the way forward, which larger framed men can then use to add a subtle check or stripe.
There is a lot men can do with a humble piece of knitwear. Ideal for adding a layer in lighter fabrics like merino wool or cashmere. Equally, we can use it to add more definition by incorporating it as a focal point with a shawl cardigan version. The vertical collar line draws the eye up the body with the overall shape being fitted without suffocating.
The tough nature of the denim material means it is great at giving us that much-needed structure. Clean, simple lines can be achieved by choosing a pair of jeans without any distressing or patches. Selvedge would be a nice pick, just make sure you get through the difficult early stages of wear as the fabric needs to soften with use.
Add some texture and definition to your outfit with a polo shirt. The shirt collar’s ‘v’ neckline will draw the eye up while keeping some of them undone can suit those men with broader shoulders and thicker necks.