So, you’re a bit bigger or taller than the average guy. It’s not a problem for you… except when it comes to purchasing decent, in-demand casual wear. It can become frustrating and somewhat disheartening when you’re searching for the right clothes that are both appealing and stylish – particularly when you’ve got four different seasons in the year to worry about.
All that change of weather means another grueling wardrobe update and every big and tall man knows the difficulties of finding flattering clothing. With the turn of winter, there is the increase of layers and no one really cares or can even tell what’s going on underneath layer 59. This same concept, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to the hotter, summer months. You can’t hide behind dark clothes and multiple layers, and you know what else… you don’t want to!
An Important note when choosing what to wear:
Focus on the positives of your body rather than trying to downplay the negatives. By wearing stylish and comfortable clothing, you’ll always have a smile on your face. First impressions are lasting, and it’s important to ensure you’re making a great one with everyone you meet.
So without further ado, here are my best tips that will give every big and tall man a dash of modern sophistication for in-demand casual wear.
1. GET THE PERFECT FIT
Wearing clothes that fit perfectly is the easiest way to improve your look and make sure you feel confident in your body. However, let’s face it, most of our bodies are different and not many people can afford to have custom-made shirts and suits. Our best tip for getting the tailored look for big and tall men without the hefty price tag is to buy items that fit the largest part of your body, and then get your local tailor to make some simple and cheap adjustments. For as little as $20 you can make a $30 shirt look a million bucks!
2. LENGTHEN WITH A V-NECK
Shirts with a V-neck give you a more defined neckline over traditional crew neck shirts by drawing emphasis down to your chest.
To get a similar slimming effect, leave the top buttons of your polo shirts and casual shirts undone. When dressing for more formal settings, choose shirts with a narrow collar spread to complement your broader face. What this means is that you want shirts where the collar points are closer to each other as this creates vertical lines that draw the eyes up and down, giving that lengthening effect, rather than shirts with wide collar spreads that make the eyes move horizontally – giving the impression of greater width. This type of sharp collar is the perfect match for your sharp sense of style and how your button up shirt should fit.
3. FRAME YOUR BODY
Structured jackets are a wardrobe staple. You can wear this jacket anywhere from a family day trip to an outdoor dinner party. When picking a blazer, suit or sports jacket, look for slimming single-breasted ones and experiment with light patterns if you want to show some creative flair. On days that are too hot to even contemplate a jacket, don’t tuck your shirts in because that emphasises your waistline. What you want to do is wear your shirts untucked so that there’s a smooth plane across your front, giving your body nicer lines while emphasising your personal swag.
4. GO FOR SIMPLE SHORTS
Dress for warmer days with a simple pair of shorts in a flattering classic cut. The best shorts for big and tall men should rest just above the knee, giving a touch of formality and elegance while still being comfortable and breathable. Avoid baggy cargo shorts with extra pockets as these add unnecessary bulk to your frame. For relaxing days at the beach or by the pool, the same rules apply. Try a pair of trendy boardies rather than elastic-waist swimming trunks so you can look and feel great all summer long.
5. PROPORTION WITH PANTS
Straight-leg pants create clean, vertical lines that elongate your figure and flatter your body. Tapered pants, on the other hand, exaggerates the proportions of your hips – making you look wider than you really are. Similarly, loose and baggy pants are very unflattering for most figures, especially if you’re on the heavy side. Also, while you may have gone for pleated pants in the past because it allows big and tall men with a large back and bottom to move more freely, modern flat front pants now come in larger sizes, and these create a much better streamlined look that is very fashionable right now – keeping you nice and warm in those cooler months!
6. WEARING THE RIGHT FABRIC
Lightweight fabrics are both flattering on your body and are very practical – particularly in the summer months. Clothes made from natural fibres like cotton and linen are highly breathable and will allow any excess moisture to evaporate. This will keep you comfortable especially when you’re outdoors having a BBQ or out fishing.
The winter months means a time to bring out those denim jeans and cargo pants. If you think jeans aren’t for you, that just means you’ve never bought the right pair. Be sure you’re picking the right shade and width. Never underestimate a good blue hue. And remember… despite what the common misconception would have you believe; baggy jeans are not slimming, so make sure you find the right balance between MC Hammer and Justin Bieber (unless you dig that sort of thing).
If you decide to go for the cargo pants, choose a style with an elasticated waist for ultimate freedom and flexibility. The right pant will make a huge difference to your overall look and matching it with that carefully selected T-shirt could give you a surprising, yet simple transformation.
Dressing for the weather is always a smart move that demonstrates your impeccable style.
7. CHOOSE UNDERSTATED PATTERNS
Your stature already gives you a striking presence, so you don’t want to go overboard with loud patterns and colours and become overpowering. This doesn’t mean that you have to steer clear of patterns completely, big and tall men look handsome in understated prints like paisley, vertical stripes and light checks which give an air of sophistication. Narrow pinstripes, in particular, have a lengthening effect on your body and highlight your best qualities. Choose patterns with small or medium-sized elements so that you can demonstrate your personal flair while still being poised to perfection.
8. PICK COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS
You may have heard that big and tall men should dress in darker colours, but why is that? Darker fabrics easily disguise your curves and wrinkles in your clothing, creating a slimmer silhouette of your body. Another reason that larger men are recommended to wear dark clothing is to create a seamless flow between your upper and lower body. For example, if you wore a black shirt with light-coloured pants, the contrasting tones would draw unwanted attention to your waist, making you look bigger than you really are. Therefore, don’t be afraid to wear light colours in warm weather, just remember to wear clothes in similar tones and conservative colours so you look effortlessly put-together.
9. GO DRESSIER
Choosing clothes with interesting cuts over plainer clothing highlights the forethought you placed into selecting your wardrobe. When in doubt, always go for something dressier over a more casual outfit – for example, skip the plain t-shirt and choose a dashing polo shirt. In addition, layers always add a touch of class to your look. Try wearing a black V-neck shirt underneath a smart jacket to give the appearance of a longer and leaner upper body. Finally, complete your outfit with some accessories. While thin watch bands and ties will look disproportionate to your stature, strapping on bigger accessories like a watch with a large face and a smart pair of sunglasses will make sure you’re the snazziest dresser about town.
The crowning piece of your outfit cannot be bought and that piece is confidence. By improving your wardrobe with these tips, you’ll know that you’re always looking your best whatever the season, whilst remaining comfortable. It’s never a bad thing for people to know you take pride in how you present yourself, even if it’s just the smallest amount.