Larger lads know that when it comes to finding clothes in your size that you actually want to wear, the struggle is real. But big men’s fashion doesn’t have to be baggy or boring. There are plenty of on-trend options out there for the plus-sized gent — you just have to know how to work them. Whether you’re broad-shouldered, barrel-chested, extra tall, short and stocky, or just proudly cultivating that dad bod, you can master both style and comfort with a little savvy dressing. Here’s how to look (and feel) better in clothes that flatter a fuller figure.
- Top tips to dress well for big guys
- What to wear if you are big and tall?
- What to wear if you are big and short?
- Key pieces for big guys
- Big men’s fashion FAQ
Top Tips To Dress Well For Big Guys
- Find your perfect fit
- Simple, solid colours are your fashion friend
- Streamline your silhouette
- Add structure
- Choose your fabrics wisely
Find your perfect fit
Don’t be tempted to hide your frame under baggy, ill-fitting clothes — they’ll only add bulk, draw attention to your size and make you look pretty sloppy too. On the other hand, clothing that’s too tight will accentuate those pesky problem areas. Instead, find your perfect fit in tailored garments that rest lightly on your body without hugging every curve. As a rough guide, there should always be a little room in the torso under your tee or shirt — check that you can move your arms freely, with no strain on the buttons. Trousers should have a slight taper below the knee. And if you can’t sit down without them cutting into your waist or thighs, they’re not the pair for you.
Simple, solid colours are your fashion friend
Bigger frames already command attention, so solid neutrals are the larger man’s fashion friend. That doesn’t mean you have to live in a wardrobe of black — chocolate browns, olive greens, charcoal greys, and deep navy blues can all provide that magic slimming effect. Solid shades of yellow, red, and pastel blue can look great on bigger bods too — just don’t wear them all at once.
Streamline your silhouette
If you’re on the chubby side, then a little visual trickery can really make a difference to your look. These simple tweaks only take a few seconds but will instantly create a cleaner, leaner silhouette.
- Start by tucking your shirt or tee into your trousers to emphasise your waistline.
- Add a belt to create further definition, and get rid of any chunky accessories that are bulking out your pockets.
- Lastly, make colour work to your advantage. Reserve lighter shades for your slimmer areas and use darker hues to camouflage problem areas.
A little clever layering can hide a multitude of sins. Look for pieces that frame your shape and add automatic structure without adding excess volume. V-neck tees will draw the eyes down, not around. Add an open button-down shirt on top to create another vertical line. Throw a structured jacket or shacket on top to add shape and disguise a beer belly. Alternatively, opt for a blazer with sharp or even slightly padded shoulders and long lapels that will help to square off your upper half.
Choose your fabrics wisely
If you’re a larger man, finding fabrics to suit your shape is a bit of a balancing act. Materials that are too thick will add bulk to your frame, while those that are too thin are likely to cling to any lumps and bumps. Your best bets are smooth, sturdy, and durable natural fabrics such as denim, thin knits, cotton, oxford cloth, or twill. They’re heavy enough to drape well on the body and light enough to add structure without adding volume.
What To Wear If You’re Big and Tall?
Casual fashion for big and tall guys
- Fitted, collared cardigans
- Polo shirts
- Open-collar shirts
- Cotton tees
Thicker guys should keep their casual wear as structured as possible to avoid looking sloppy. For example, just because you’re dressing down doesn’t mean you can’t wear a collar. Fitted, collared cardigans, polo shirts, and open-collar shirts allow you to pull off casual and tailored at the same time. Stick to one solid colour for separates — your basics should provide a flattering, clean surface without pleats or other unnecessary detail. Cotton is the best choice for tees, as it tends to hang close to the body without hugging too closely.
Smart casual fashion for big and tall guys
- Low-rise trousers
- Fitted shirts
- Cropped bombers
- Varsity jackets
- Leather jackets
Bigger guys can still dress sharp, so there’s no excuse to limit your wardrobe to baggy T-shirts and sweats. Opt for low-rise trousers or chinos with little or no break. Designs with a slight taper from the knee down will have an extra slimming effect. When choosing a fitted shirt, make sure the shoulder seams sit directly on the top of your shoulder bone. Lastly, throw a cropped bomber, varsity, or leather jacket on top to create a sharper silhouette and a look that’s right on-trend.
Street wear for big and tall guys
- Slate grey utility joggers
- Plain black tees
- Camo jackets
- Long-line jackets
- Slim-fit jeans
- High-top trainers
Chubby guys can rock streetwear just as well as the next bloke. If you’re big and tall, however, avoid busy prints and patterns and keep your street style statement simple and understated instead. Pair slate grey utility joggers with a plain black tee and a structured camo jacket for a military vibe. Or layer a long-line jacket of slim-fit jeans and team with your favourite pair of high-tops for a more laid-back street style.
What To Wear If You’re Big and Short?
Casual fashion for big and short guys
- V-neck tees
- Button-down shirts
- Slim fit chinos in kaki or navy
- Dark-wash jeans
If you’re short and stocky, try to create vertical lines wherever you can to elongate the body and draw the eyes away from your width. V-neck tees and button-down shirts are great for this. Slim-fit chinos in khaki or navy are your go-to off-duty bottoms, while sturdy, dark wash jeans will also create a clean vertical line from the waist to the ground. Either way, low-rise designs that don’t sit under the belly will help to lengthen the appearance of your torso.
Smart casual fashion for big and short guys
- Cuffed-leg chinos in classic colours
Chinos are a smarter alternative to jeans and joggers and will double the amount of outfits your wardrobe can create. Opt for a pair that skim the heel, or go for a slightly shorter, cuffed leg cut. Choose classic colours such as camel, burgundy, grey, or army green for maximum wearability. Pair with a blazer or jacket that sits flat when fastened, without pulling or stretching. Avoid double-breasted suit designs that can make you look blocky and wide.
Street wear for big and short guys
- Dark-wash, boxy tees
- Charcoal grey hoodies
- Dark utility joggers
- Distressed, skinny fit jeans
Monochrome looks have an effortlessly cool street wear vibe, and effortlessly flatter a larger physique too. A dark-wash, boxy tee is a great base to begin with. Pair with a charcoal grey hoodie with contrasting white graphics, or on-trend black acid wash design. Team with dark utility joggers or distressed, skinny fit jeans in a dark wash on the bottom.
Key Pieces For Big Guys
Use your outerwear to either add structure or to create a long, straight vertical line along your sides that will draw the gaze down and help mask any roundness. Shackets are made from heavier, structured fabric and so do a great job of squaring off your silhouette without hugging your curves. Varsity and track jackets also work well to structure your shape without adding too much bulk. And in the colder months, a longer jacket is a great way to make a leaner impression with your whole body.
While neutral colours are undoubtedly a flattering choice for bigger guys, a stylish shirt is also a great way to add some interest to your look. Button shirts with traditional stripes and checks will add immediate flair to an otherwise monochrome outfit. Steer clear of neon colours and busy patterns, however, and opt for darker hues and smaller-scale patterns like micro gingham and mini checks instead. Horizontal stripes are notoriously unflattering on bigger bods, but if you can’t resist, go for narrow, chalk stripes in low-contrast shades.
There’s an art to selecting big men’s jeans, but if you master it, you can easily camouflage those love handles with a little denim. Start by choosing a pair that sits at your waist, rather than a design that hugs your hips. Then tailor the fit to suit your shape. Opt for slim if you’re more of an average build with a few problem areas, or go for a straight fit if you’re overweight. If you have bigger thighs but a relatively slim bod, an athletic fit that tapers below the knee is your best bet.
A good quality hoodie is the foundation of every large man’s wardrobe. Choose a design in solid colours with a V-neck hood and make sure it sits right on your shoulders to help define your square off a round belly. Hoodies that sit just below the hips can also disguise a larger midriff. Pastels are right on-trend this season, but these candy-coloured shades aren’t as high-fat as you might think. Mint greens, butter yellows, or powder blues make a softer statement than primary colours, and hoodies in these summery shades will pair well with your favourite black jeans or navy chinos too.
Jeans are great, but joggers are undoubtedly the comfier option for the plus-sized man. As with other trousers, the fit should be slim but not skinny. Luckily, contemporary jogger designs are a lot more tailored than the traditional track bottoms of yesteryear. Choose a fine cotton design with tapered legs that won’t cling to the thighs or sag at the knees.
Big Men’s Fashion FAQ
- How to dress when you are bigger on top?
- How to dress in summer when overweight?
- How to dress professionally when you are plus size?
- How to dress for a party if you are overweight?
- How should big guys wear jeans?
How to dress when you are bigger on top?
When it comes to up top, don’t shop for the size that you wish you were — shop for the size you are now. Give tight-fitting tanks and turtle necks a miss and invest in slimming cotton V-neck tees and collared shirts instead. These will draw the eye down rather than across the chest. Boxy tees with a slightly scooped neck and a vertical pattern or graphic will work well too.
How to dress in summer when overweight?
Natural, lightweight fabrics such as cotton and linen are your friend during the warmer months. These breathable fabrics will allow a little airflow, and they won’t cling to your body either. Dark navies and blacks work well to disguise sweat patches on top, but if you want to experiment with colour, summer is the perfect time. Broader guys can often pull off bolder Hawaiian prints better than smaller-chested men. As for your bottoms, choose linen trousers or longer, knee-length shorts.
How to dress professionally when you are plus size?
Proportion is key to dressing professionally — and powerfully — as a plus-sized man. That means if you’ve got a broader face, match it with a broad, spread collar. If you’ve got a larger head and chest, leave the skinny tie at home and opt for a thick knot instead. Larger accessories (especially watches and cuff links) will also convey both proportion and presence.
How to dress for a party if you are overweight?
More often than not, a party invitation calls for smart casual attire, which means both joggers and double-breasted suits are out. Tuck a simple V-neck tee into a pair of navy slim fit chinos, add a leather belt to define the waist, and polish off your look with a pair of smart leather shoes. For a more formal affair, elevate your style with a roll-sleeved, open-neck shirt or a square-shouldered blazer.
How should big guys wear jeans?
Jeans can look great on bigger guys, as long as you pick the right pair. As a rule of thumb, selvedge denim offers a cleaner, smarter look, and darker washes are always more flattering. Avoid baggy designs that rely on a belt to hold them up, as well as lighter washes and excessive rips and distress. Instead, opt for a clean, dark-wash pair with a straight or slim fit.