It can be extremely difficult to find cool clothing if you’re a larger gent. All the ad campaigns are dominated by slim or built models with nothing much left for larger guys to gather inspiration from. There are also a handful of shops out there that do offer large sizes, however, they’re often plain and simple – sometimes even daggy. So where do you look?
Before we give you the down-low on what’s good in the world of dressing large, it’s a good idea to give you a crash course on large men’s style. The good news? It’s not all bad news.
Ways Larger Men Can Look Stylish
A little known secret in the menswear game for bigger guys is visual trickery. The secret to adding style to your frame is by minimising the surface area of your clothes. This means tucking dress shirts into trousers and utilising a belt to break up the belly from the crotch. Another tip is to create vertical lines in your outfit – a task easily handled with a v-neck shirt or a button-up shirt. This draws attention away from the gut and towards the centre of the body. Colour can also play a big part of this. By simply wearing darker colours like black or navy, larger men can draw attention away from bigger areas of the body, so choose wisely.
What Colours To Wear
The last thing you want is to look like a giant eggplant, so avoid bright colours like red, purple, green, yellow and pink, on shirts and tops. Coloured pants are fine but solid neutral colours are where you’ll shine: navy, chocolate, olive, black and grey. These broad, block spaces in dark shades help complement your shape and are perfect for tees, jackets and knits.
What Fabrics To Wear
Always go for lighter fabrics if you’re a larger gent – but not too thin. Too thick, and the materials will add bulk to your frame; too thin and you’ll be exposing your lumps and bumps.
- For suits, separates and smart casual looks, avoid polyester as heavy cheap fabrics retain heat and lead to increased sweating
- Always employ cotton for shirts, tees and chinos (polyester blends are fine).
- Go for smooth, natural fabrics like linen shirts that hang close to the body without looking chunky
- Selvedge denim is key for jeans, and will mould to your shape for a customised fit
What Fitment To Wear
There’s no real shortcuts here. Simply search for clothes and brands that offer a flattering aesthetic to your body. In formal wear the key is structural suits, jackets and blazers that add a nice ‘squaring’ from the shoulders down and give shape automatically. Then, as the coat drapes, the body becomes naturally framed and contained within the garment. Again, structure is key for bottoms too.
Trousers are the silhouette you want, as opposed to track pants and athletic gear, which can offer sloppiness – unless you’re working out. Separates provide a nice flat front but ensure they are clean, without pleats. If the occasion is more casual, chinos are the big guy’s off duty go-to as well. Other simplicity tips: eliminate chunky wallets and keys from pockets as these are unsightly on larger guys.
Now that you know the rules of dressing as a larger gent, it’s time to hit up the selection of online retailers that offer a great range of plus size clothing no matter your personal style or taste.