The fashion industry is notoriously unforgiving for the larger man. Or at least, it used to be. Yes, runways are still populated by Amazonian ectomorphs, but on the high street, brands are waking up to the fact that the average man is getting bigger and no, he doesn’t want to be fobbed off by yet another black T-shirt.
The era of hiding a bigger body is over. It’s shameful that it took this long for people to realise that every shape is stylish with the right know-how. Still, at least it means that the plus size man now has options that let him embrace fashion. Here’s how to make the most of them.
Style Rules For Bigger Guys
It’s All About Fit
When carrying extra timber, the temptation is to either squeeze everything in with tight clothes or mask it by sizing up. Neither works. “That doesn’t hide your shape,” says Freddie Kemp from men’s styling service Thread. “It accentuates it.” Instead, look for clothes that fit and have some structure, which creates a flattering silhouette.
Use Colour Sparingly
Dark, plain colors are more flattering on bigger bodies, but that doesn’t mean you have to swerve bright shades completely. A colorful pocket square will lift the eye away from your waistline. This trick works for anything up top, from a mustard scarf to a red beanie.
Make Friends With A Tailor
Fashion brands make clothes to fit the everyman. Or, rather, their view of what the everyman looks like. The further you diverge from that vision, the harder it is to get dressed. A tailor is the bridge between vision and reality – they can give loose shirts shape, tight waistbands more room, and generally make your clothes fit you better. Which always makes them look better.
Be Careful With Pattern
Pattern is a powerful thing, and the more of it there is on display, the more powerful its effects. On big physiques, busy prints can start to feel a bit overwhelming. Instead, think classic and straightforward, like a Breton top (and you can ignore that nonsense about horizontal stripes widening you).
Wardrobe Essentials For Bigger Guys
Tailoring has always been the rounder man’s best friend. A jacket with padding in the shoulders and a nipped-in waist will create a more flattering shape, especially when the buttons sit low. “A deep gorge with long lapels creates a V shape, which makes you look slimmer,” says Kemp.
That old saw about black being slimming is actually true; dark clothes don’t show shadows, so any lumps and bumps that sit underneath aren’t as visible. You don’t have to wear the stuff head-to-toe, but it’s especially good for tees, sweats and shirts, which act as a neutral and flattering base to build the rest of your look around.
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