Yes, a “Husky”, aka “Larger” man can indeed dress well.
I aim to please. I can’t help it. It’s who I am. I’m a “people pleaser”. So when a friend complimented my blog about Men’s Sports Coats (The Truth about Sports Coats…not that we were every lying: https://dressedtoat.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/the-truth-about-sport-coats-not-that-we-were-ever-lying/), he seemed to like the blog, but Not necessarily the pictures I used:
Love the blog, but not necessarily the pictures/examples…I’m fat (Mom calls me husky), can I not dress well? Can you help me dress well? (Mr. X)
I knew at that moment (and I believe I received that comment around 11PM), that I needed to Jump to action (or Pen into action) and craft something to help provide guidelines to Mr. X. And as I mentioned to Mike (Mr. X) , I really need to stop using pictures of my old boyfriends in my blogs. 🙂
And just what is a good word to use for the “not quite thin male”? Portly? Heavy? Chunky? Big? Husky? Fluffy? I think we need to coin a new term, as I find the former rather unbecoming. I’m at a loss here. I don’t like Any of those terms…and naming this blog was not easy.
Here are some tips for Dressing for Big and Tall Men
1. Accept your body for what it is right now. Even if you want to lose weight, make peace with your size right now and move forward from here. While it is good to pursue a healthier lifestyle, getting down about your weight isn’t attractive, and depression doesn’t motivate changes (at least not healthy ones). Plus no one wants to hear you complain about your weight, when we are thinking about our own. 🙂
2. Wear clothes that fit you now. While you may have been lighter six months or six years ago, and you may at one point weigh that much again, if it doesn’t fit you now, don’t wear it now. Over-tight clothing just draws attention to the fact that the clothes don’t fit you, and emphasize curves you may not want emphasized. Similarly, over-sized clothes don’t make big people look smaller, they just make you look bigger. You may even want to go get fitted for a pair of pants, as what you THINK fits you may not be what fits you best.
3. Don’t buy shirts that are huge and baggy, thinking it will make you look better. It’s all in your mind, and chances are it will only make you look sloppy. A t-shirt that is 2 sizes too big will be too large in the shoulders and neck, will hang too low and will make you look even bigger as a result. The same goes for those large camp shirts (think Charlie Sheen)…when it’s too large, it looks like you are indeed, wearing a tent. I have a perfect example of this, which was sent to me by numerous people, but since I know the victim, I mean the person, it would be in poor form to post a picture of him as a fashion don’t, without his permission, or knowledge.
4. If you have problems keeping shirts tucked in, there are some ways to help. Buy shirts labeled “tall”, which are usually available only in large or XL but if you are in that size group, then they will fit you will without being too big. Put your shirt on FIRST, and then your pants. Do not do too much “blousing out” of the shirt, particularly at the front, but also don’t tuck TOO tight – somewhere in between will look best. And always wear a belt – one that is wide, thick, and sturdy will work best, and wear it tighter than you would with a untucked shirt (a wide belt will feel more comfortable if tight, than a narrow belt will.)
5. Find clothes that fit the largest part of your body and have them tailored. If the pants fit in the waist, but are busting at the seams at your thighs, buy a larger size that fits your thighs and have them taken in at the waist. It is better to pay $65 for a pair of pants that fit you perfectly, than $50 for pants that doesn’t.
6. Wear vertical stripes (stripes that go Up and Down) :). Even a faint pinstripe (which is very “in” right now) does wonders for creating a nice vertical line. Make sure that the stripes are on clothes that fit you because a regular pattern like a stripe can accentuate clothes that don’t fit and make you look like a watermelon instead of the leaner look you should be angling towards. This is a great rule for women as well…no one wants to look like a watermelon!
7. Wear straight leg pants with no pleats. Straight leg pants (meaning as wide at the bottom as at the thigh) keeps you from being V-shaped with tiny ankles and a wider midsection. If your pants fit, you don’t need pleats.
8. Don’t add extra bulk to your body. Cargo pants, hoodies with front pouches, bulky sweaters, and the such can make you look bigger. Shoulder pads are also a generally a no-no (speaking in terms of suits, not aka Linda Evans from Dynasty). While natural materials are generally preferable, synthetics can help you cut down on bulky clothes during colder seasons.
9. If you have a large wallet, giant cell phone, a large key ring, a PDA, writing utensils, and a pad of paper, you may want to invest in a messenger bag or suitcase. While nobody wants a man-purse, lots of things in your pocket just add weight to your waistline. For a professional look, invest in a high-quality briefcase.
10. Lighter shades attract attention, darker shades detract. Use these principles in conjunction to suit your body best. If you have a larger torso than bottom half, dark on top and lighter on bottom can help you look more proportional.
11. Undershirts can keep you cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and help to avoid some sweat-seepage. Nothing is more unbecoming than wildly visible sweat on one’s shirt…especially when it’s not the cause of a kick-a** workout! 🙂
12. Don’t obsess about how you look. That’s what women do. Confidence will make more of a difference in your appearance than a new wardrobe. Clearly, the below visual is aimed towards women, but I think both men and women can take something from here!
Now my new friend Mike (actually my friend Kristin’s husband, but I find him quite funny and witty and shall refer to him as “my friend” as well)…so, my new friend Mike sent me this picture of him on Easter…and was wondering if perhaps I could offer him help. Hmmm.
Sadly, when he sent me this photo, I thought I was being Punk’d. I then realized I’m not nearly as famous as my blog depicts and no one cares enough to punk me (except Kevin, Meredith and Patrick) and when I asked Mike if I was being punk’d, he made mention of someone being “sassy” (not sure whom he was referring) so decided, he was, indeed, quite serious. Personally, I think he looks darling. I love his bow tie, shirt and slacks, but would Not have done a light-colored jacket (or is that an actual suit?). So lighter trouser, darker sport coat, same shirt and bow tie, and Love, love, love the Bucks! Swap out that sport coat, and he’d be on my Best Dressed list! Another option for Mike on Easter, could have been this look Mr. Vince Vaughn is sporting, with either a matching trouser or khaki or stone trouser. Dark blazer, striped blue shirt, khaki trouser, and you’d be good to go anywhere.
So, if the above tips weren’t enough, I found more, that were more specific to the needs of larger men.
“Fashion Tips for Larger Men”
I found these little tidbits on askmen.com, but they referred to the Men as “Fat”. I don’t care for that term, so changed it to “Larger”. Again, I do not find Mike, or other “not-thin” men “fat”, but perhaps “cuddly” is a more accurate term until we can coin a better term.
The best way to look great in the long-term when you’re overweight is to lose excess weight with the help of a proper diet and exercise program. Once you start dropping pounds, your clothes will fit better and your confidence will increase along with your motivation to try new fashions and styles.
Since there’s no reason to put off looking good until you reach your goal weight, we’ve put together a few fashion tips to help you make the most of your large body type and create a slimmer-looking physique.
Don’t wear tops with sloped shoulders. Avoid tops with naturally sloped shoulders as these tend to draw the eye down to your midsection. Instead, check to make sure that all your tops have slightly squared shoulders as these will concentrate others’ attention on your body to your chest and face.
Don’t wear bold patterns. Avoid loud or bold patterns as they will make you stand out in addition to drawing attention to the upper half of your body. One pattern you should wear, however, is vertical lines; they create optical continuity and will help elongate the look of your body. Dark, solid colors are also your new best friend as they are an instant physique fixer and will make you seem 10 pounds thinner.
Wear low-rise bottoms. Instead of wearing trousers and jeans that hit at your waist, invest in low-rise bottoms that sit on your hips. Low-rise trousers have a shorter distance between the top of the waistband and the crotch of your pants than regular trousers. Also, ensure that the waistband of your pants is large enough to accommodate your midsection so that your belly does not stick out over your pants. A stomach that protrudes over your pants lengthens your torso and shortens your legs — not exactly the most attractive combination. Rotund individuals should also avoid pants with pleats as they will make your pelvic area look bigger.
Empty your pockets. As mentioned above, but is worth another mention. Emptying your pockets of unnecessary items will take the focus off a large midsection. On your pants, have any bulky side pockets sewn shut or removed by a good tailor. Doing so won’t cost much and it will make your hips appear smaller.
Wear V-neck shirts. V-necks are a great way to create the illusion of a slimmer neckline, particularly if you have a double chin, as they place emphasis on your chest area instead of on your neck. When it comes to dress shirts, choose ones with very pointed collars to focus others’ attention on your face. Avoid turtlenecks completely as they will make your neck disappear, meaning that you’ll look shorter and, therefore, bigger.
Wear three-button blazers. Avoid one and two-button blazers. Instead, go for blazers with three buttons. They are just as classic as two-button blazers, but they will elongate your body and make you appear taller and, therefore, thinner. As well, always leave the top button on your blazer undone as it will stop your clothes from pulling, particularly in the area around your middle, and consequently, your movement will seem less restricted.
Stand up straight. It’s a tried-and-true tip: Work on your posture. Standing up as straight as possible will make you look like you just dropped 10 to 15 pounds and will also make you feel and act more confident — a trait that most people find quite attractive. To appear even slimmer, buy shoes with a small heel of about half an inch to one inch.
Avoid bulky blazers. Avoiding bulky fabrics means that chunky wool sweaters are a big no-no. To stay warm in the winter, choose cashmere as it provides warmth without adding bulk to your figure. Or, try a dress shirt and V-neck sweater vest combination as the sweater vest will keep you warm while also smoothing out your midsection and love handles. For suits, choose softer wools so that the fabric is as thin as possible. Invest in high-quality, lightweight wool suits if you can afford them as these will be the most flattering suits for your body and you’ll feel and look like a million bucks when you put them on.
Wear pants with a longer hem. Wear your pants long to look taller and thinner. They should hit almost at the ground to really lengthen your body. If you’re wearing shoes with a slight heel, the bottom of your pants should hit about a quarter to a half-inch above the heel, no more.
Ensure your clothes aren’t too tight. Your clothes should fit perfectly. Garments that are too tight will reveal all the lumps and bumps you’d rather not draw attention to. Alternatively, while very loose clothing will hide your problem areas, it will also make you look larger than you actually are. Take care when shopping to choose pieces that skim over your body and smooth out its surface.
This picture is a Fashion “Don’t” by the way! 🙂
What to Wear
Whatever your body type, play up your best features and de-emphasize those you don’t love quite as much. Dress to flatter your physique, but don’t try too hard as you don’t want to look like a bald man who uses a comb-over to hide his flaws — only to emphasize his problem areas.
Here are some looks that I think look fabulous on Cuddly, “Big and Tall” Men!
Cam, from Modern Family…best show on TV, btw. While this shirt is large and baggy, it still fits well.
I like the look of the white-t underneath the striped polo.
These are some good options to wear with jeans.
though with the above the cargo pants can add size to the legs. If you have thinner legs, this is a great option.
a zip up sweater, with shirt underneath…and you only need to zip up the sweater half way up, if it makes you feel trimmer.
This plaid suit coat and tie combo seems to work well on him.
Al Roker, his weight has gone up and down and up and down, right before our eyes, but he’s Always well-dressed.
This gentleman above isn’t necessarily “heavy”, but he was in a Big and Tall ad, and I like his look.
This is a great example of a well-fitting shirt which works nicely tucked out.
Another good example of a well-fitting shirt, which doesn’t look like a large sack.
Truth in blogging…I do know the young lady (who is perfection, btw) and gentleman above…Meet Meredith and Kevin. Kevin isn’t thin (or at least when he stops working out with the trainer), and he really can rock a suit…He, however, needs a bit of help in casual dressing (another blog).
***This gentleman is wearing a Pink tie…Every man should have a Pink tie. Repeat. Every man should have a Pink tie. This tie, featured below is, in my opinion, the best tie Ever!! And just like women’s shoes or handbags, no man Ever said, “Does this tie make me look fat”?
And Mike, you and Kristin were the Picture of perfection on your wedding day. This outfit works perfectly for your beach wedding. You both looked absolutely Marvelous!!…Truly, cutest couple ever!
And as my very dear friend Carol just commented, which is worthy of an edit:
Big or small, lovely people have the good stuff on the inside, then take what they have on the outside and make it work.
Check out my newest venture: www.indiahicks.com/rep/terry
- The Truth about Sport Coats (not that we were ever lying) (dressedtoat.wordpress.com)
- Big and Tall? No Way: Clothing Lines Take Shape for Shorter Men (newsfeed.time.com)