Here at WDB, one of the questions we received lately was about fashion for men who are on the larger side.
Guys who are a little heavier, built a little thicker, or can’t rock the ‘slim fashion’ archetype that seems to be everywhere in the world of fashion today.
Not to fear, we got love for our bigger brothers as well. I’ve put together a bit of a guide that you can use when it comes to upgrading your wardrobe.
Don’t worry if if you’ve got a higher percentage of body fat…
There actually isn’t a problem, at least the way we see it. When it comes to style, it’s all about presenting the best version of yourself and you can do that at any weight.
Rest assured that if you’re a bigger guy, you can still be stylish. As a matter of fact, there are several dudes whose lane out there is to help you with just that.
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Resource: Notoriously Dapper
A lot of the time, when I’m thinking of black menswear bloggers who are out there killing it, I keep coming back to @NotoriouslyDapper.
NotoriouslyDapper was ranked one of the best menswear blogs out there today, and his list of accolades extend to publications like the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Glamour and so on. It’s run by Kelvin, a brother who focuses on style for guys on the larger side of the scale.
Guys like Kelvin are out there everyday proving that larger black men can still kill it in the fashion game, despite what other folks may tell you.
So don’t be discouraged if you’re a heavy-set brother….because the truth is, I am as well. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the rules of fashion are universal.
Here are a few style tips for guys that have more to work with.
1) Recognize That Fit Still Matters
True at any weight, but especially so for larger men.
If you have got clothing that is baggy, loose, or hanging off the sides of your body, you need to find a tailor that you can work with and alter your clothes to give your body its shape.
Unfortunately, on a larger man, this matters even more. If you’re dressing in clothes that are several sizes too big, it’s time to find the size that fits you best.
Of course, that also makes for more comfortable clothing, so it’s a win-win all things considered. Trimming down pants that are too wide, or altering shirts at the waist to fit your waistline – all of these things make a big difference.
2) Figure Out Where You Carry the Most Weight
Identify where your body carries the most weight. Some guys have large stomachs, some guys have big love handles, and still other guys have very thick thighs.
Depending on where your body stores the extra weight, you’ll have to make sure that the clothes you wear in that area are well-tailored.
For example, if your body carries extra weight in the love handles area, try and come back that with well-fitted jackets, shirts, vests and so on.
This prevents that part of your body from looking disproportionally large or oversized.
3) Rock Black and Other Darker Colors
Everyone knows black hides your silhouette the best, but there’s still truth to it.
Dark colors, such as black, dark grey, dark blue and so on, really create more of a visually appealing effect when it comes to slimming down the extra mass that your body carries.
That said, try not to go all the way in the other direction, because as black men, it’s always great to have other colors in the outfit that provide a little bit of contrast.
4) Look for Clothes That Give a Frame to the Body
Invest in, and tailor your wardrobe to clothes that give a defined shape to your body.
That means things like sport coats, blazers, tuxedos, jackets, and so on.
They frame the body while giving you a neatly contained look, giving you the appearance of being stylish while still being larger.
The addition of jackets, things like slacks, wider /bootcut jeans, and wider chinos, do well in terms of giving your body a flattering appearance that visually pops. Large men, in particular, are able to wear suits very well.
5) Avoid Softer Clothes
When clothes start to get less defined / thinner, things take a bit of a turn for the worse. We’re talking clothes like sweaters, sweatpants, and so on. Clothes like these give larger guys problems because, they’re often meant to be a little more loose-fitting, which isn’t the goal here.
If you’re going to wear things like sweaters and sweatpants, you’ll need a very close fit and no wrinkles / loose or baggy areas.
In general, loose-fitting / baggy clothing + informal / casual clothing is the worst kind of combination.
Loose tank tops, baggy shorts, and t-shirts don’t look good on anyone, but they especially look bad on larger men because being heavy-set gives you the negative stereotype of being sloppy, which is something you really want to avoid.
6) Stick to the Universal Rules
In general, some elements of fashion are universal for larger guys, no matter what their skin color is.
Here are a few in short format:
- Suspenders are better than belts (as your stomach tapers off, having a circular band around isn’t ideal).
- Hats often look great – try accessorizing with fedoras or wide-brimmed baseball caps. Wide ties and collars work best ( because as your face becomes wider, collars and ties should too the match).
- Finally, when it comes to grooming, having a precise shave (and not a neckbeard) makes a world of difference as well. Don’t rock messy beards and other varieties of facial hair. The shave counts!
All these things play a part on how fashionable you are, and whether you’re considered stylish.
The story is the same; no matter what the scale reads.
So if you take these style tips to heart, rest assured that you can be just as stylish, if not more, as the competition.
Any of you brothers been doing it big lately on the gram?
Make sure to hit us up.