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By Gavin Jewkes, 23 January 2017

The good news for those of us carrying some extra heft is that the cost of stocking your wardrobe with flattering threads can be a lot less than joining a swanky gym. Sure, that’s probably the wrong attitude to have, but in our experience, buying clothes is a lot more enjoyable than doing squats. And with that in mind, here are five rules of how to dress for the bigger man and maximise your spend.

how to dress: big guys

Picture: Press Association

1. If it’s baggy, bin it

It can be tempting to cover up a substantial frame by throwing some baggy clothes at it, but rather than having the slimming effect you might imagine, poorly fitting shirts, jumpers and jackets actually amplify your bulk and look sloppy. Instead, source stuff that fits close to the body (without being too tight), as this reduces the chances of unflattering bunching, creases and rolls in the fabric.

how to dress: big guys

Picture: Rex

2. Create definition

If you’re a unit, sourcing a suit that fits well can be hard and it might be worth investigating how much it costs to get one tailor made. However, there are plenty of high-street retailers that make suits for bigger men, which can then be altered to create a slimmer, more defined silhouette. A quick tip to ensure you’re making your suit work as hard for you as possible is to keep a single button fastened at all times, as this ensures the fabric sits close in against your widest point.


3. Simplicity is key

Classic, uncomplicated clothes suit big men best. Anything too heavily patterned draws the eye to it and unfairly exacerbates the appearance of lumps and bumps. Stick to classic styles and colours, such as Jonah Hill’s jumper (below), for a fresh, fuss-free casual look.

how to dress: big guys

Picture: Mega Agency

4. The right stripes

Perfect for the shorter, larger man, vertical stripes help elongate your frame and draw the eye upwards. With that in mind, be wary of the Breton – it's horizontal stripes create the illusion of a wider torso. Either be bold with block lines on your tees or more subtle in your formalwear by opting for pinstriped designs.


5. A little stubble goes a long way

Alright, so this isn’t technically a styling point. However, not looking cleanly shaven can, ironically, shave pounds off you. Create the sense of a stronger, more defined jawline by trimming your facial hair short and neat but wet shaving your neck.