How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (2024)

Whether you’re naturally big-boned, have an under-active thyroid, or just enjoy consumingseveral pies at once (no judgment, no shame), the overweight guy shouldn’t be exempt from looking like a star. Here’s how to nail your style game no matter how much timber you’re carrying…

The most important thing to understand when it comes to fashion for the larger gent is that most ready-to-wear fashion brands are not your friends, nor are the countless magazines and fashionistas that parade around in their clothes.

We’re here to show you some of the best available brands or bigger men but, even more crucially than that, how to make their garments help you look good. Ordering a t-shirt is easy, but knowing which pants, jackets, or shoes to pair it with… that’s where the fun really starts.

Whether you’re going for a smart, casual, or (you guessed it) smart casual look, here are our top tips for looking your big, bold, best.


In this Plus-Sized story…

  • Short For Time? Here’s What You Need To Know
  • Style Advice For Bigger Dudes
    • Employ Visual Trickery
    • Terrifically Tailored
    • Pick The Right Fabrics
    • Keep It Simple
  • Key Big Man Fashion Items
    • Suits For Big Guys
    • Knits For Big Guys
    • ShirtsFor Big Guys
    • Bottoms For Big Guys
    • Jeans For Big Guys
    • Accessories For Big Guys

Short For Time? Here’s What You Need To Know

What clothes look good on bigger guys?
All kinds of clothes can look good on bigger guys, the key is knowing which pieces to pair and the colour combinations that look best. In short, darker clothes will slim you down, but don’t be afraid of a pop of personality-proving colour.
What is the dress code for bigger guys?
It’s all about the tones and colours you pick. Your big frame already attracts attention, and you should be proud of that, but don’t then go overboard on bright colours or complex patterns; understatedness is key.
How can a plus-size man look good?
Easily: stick to darker colours and neutral tones. If you insist on patterns, vertical stripes are your friend. Nailing the fit is important too; flatter your silhouette with clothes that aren’t too tight.
How should a big guy wear a suit?
The same rule applies to suits as any other clothes for big dudes: dark and solid tones are your friend. Avoid light colours along with bold patterns and you’ll be good to go. Keep it classic.
Do girls find bigger guys attractive?
You bet they do. Studies suggest that more women like larger guys than ever before. The key to nailing the first impression is confidence and a good outfit; we can help with the latter.
Can big guys wear baggy clothes?
Absolutely. Baggy clothes can look great on anyone. The key is to make sure they compliment the rest of your outfit and your overall personal style.
Can bigger guys wear slim fit?
Absolutely. Baggy clothes can look great on anyone. The key is to make sure they complement the rest of your outfit and your overall personal style.

Style Advice For Bigger Dudes

Employ Visual Trickery

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (1)

The key to looking sharper and slimmer is using visual trickery. Firstly, minimise surface area. This means always tucking dress shirts into trousers and with a belt to break up the belly from the crotch.

Creating a vertical line is another easy win — using a v-neck or a row of shirt buttons, for example — drawing the onlooker’s focusto the centre of the body, not your gut, and emphasising its length rather than its breadth.

Darken out the big places — belly, butt or thighs — that you don’t want to emphasise, and wear lighter tones over your slimmer areas. We all have our not-bad-to-better assets, so understand yours and make them work for you.

Solid Neutrals & Classic Prints

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (2)

To prevent yourself from looking like a giant piece of fruit, avoid blocked bright hues such as red, purple, green, yellow and pink on your shirts and tops. Coloured pants are fine but solid neutral colours are where you shine: navy, chocolate, olive, black and grey. These broad, block spaces in dark shades help complement your shape, perfect for tees, jackets and knits.

Look to classic patterns like checks and vertical stripes on button shirts, as theyhave a distractive element and spice up a boring work look.Try working checks into shirts in dark hues and subtle stripes on blazers in muted tones. It’s all about light textures with prints rather than anything with busy graphics or patterns.

Terrifically Tailored

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (3)

Every man needs a good tailor and the larger gent is no exception. Thanks to the inaccessible size ranges of many off-the-rack brands, we recommend skipping the boutique immediately and seeing the man with the tape measure and thread instead.

Made-to-measure suiting or bespoke — where you can select everything from button colour to lapel width — will cost more than an in-store suit but it will fit you like a glove and likely last a hell of a lot longer.

A quality fabric in a timeless hue will last you through the ages. For trousers, opt fora full break on my pants, with the pant skimming heel or slightly shorter. The jacket should cut the shoulder sharply and when fastened should sit flat with no pulling, nicely obscuring the belly.

Pick The Right Fabrics

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (4)

Light yet sturdy fabrics should make up your wardrobe. Too thick, and the materials will add bulk to your frame; too thin and you’ll be exposing your lumps and bumps. For suits, separates, coats and knits, go for wool, cashmere and silk, avoiding polyester. Heavy, cheap fabrics retain heat and lead to increased sweating.

Cotton is key for shirts, tees and chinos but all of these benefit from a small amount of polyester too; the synthetic fibre can add durability and sturdiness, as well as offer shape and fewer crinkles.Go for smooth, natural fabrics that hang close to the body without looking chunky.

Selvedge denim is key for jeans and will mould to your shape for a customised fit. When it comes to other pant styles, natural fabrics will keep you cool while sturdy fabrics help create a clean line from the waist to the ground.

Keep It Simple

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (5)

Simplicity is your fashion friend. Search for clothes that are clean and shaped to the body. Structural suits, jackets and blazers add a nice ‘squaring’ from the shoulders down and give shape automatically. Then, as the coat drapes, the body becomes naturally framed and contained within the garment. Again, structure is key for bottoms too.

Trousers are the silhouette you want, as opposed to track pants and athletic gear which can sometimes look a little sloppy (unless you’re working out, of course, in which case they’re obviously ideal). Separates provide a nice flat front but ensure they are clean and without pleats. If the occasion is more casual, chinos are the big guy’s off-duty go-to.

Other simplicity tips: eliminate chunky wallets and keys from pockets by investing in a document holder, briefcase or backpack for a more streamlined stride.

Spread Collars & Wide Ties

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (6)

When you have to dress formally, try to make sure that your shirt has a spread collar. If you have no idea what a spread collar looks like, check out our guide to different collar types. But basically, it means you should go for a wider collar. A good way to check is by looking at the angle where the collar meets the top button and ensuring it’s wider than 90 degrees.

Also, don’t bother trying to wear all those thin, ridiculous ties they make these days. Embrace the wider ones!

The idea here is that wide collars make your neck and face look less wide, and wide ties also make your torso look less wide.

A little more on how to dress formally: If possible, replace your belt with braces. Belts draw attention to your waist and clearly divide your body in half—you don’t want that. Finally, don’t wear short-sleeve shirts with formal attire, it doesn’t look right.

Key Big Man Fashion Items

Suits For Big Guys

As above, we recommend getting your suit custom-made. Go for low-rise trousers, with a short break and cuffed leg length. The jacket needs to be sharp on the shoulder and avoid double-breasted; a single button is great for creating a focal point that streamlines.


How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (7)

Unconstructed Italian Wool Blazer Extended Sizes

A lighter, more comfortable way to look sharp.

Jackets & Coats For Big Guys

A cropped bomber or leather biker jacket provides a cool, lean silhouette. In warmer weather, an open shirt over a V-neck works too. Incolder weather, a long overcoat is a great way to make a solid impression with your whole body. Opt for traditional brands like Hackett or Burberry.


How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (8)

Big & Tall Regular Fit Suedette Bomber Jacket

Big & Tall collection | Regular fit | Suedette | Long sleeve | Baseball collar | Front zip fastening | Side pockets

Knits For Big Guys

Sweaters need to be wool or cashmere in a slim fit. This helps flatten the front over the belly but only if close and without bulge. And opt for a v-neck to create the vertical line. Knits can be chunky, but fitted and cardigans are key wardrobe necessities. Opt for one with a collar, like the shawl type, for the appearance of tailoring while being casual.


How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (9)

Blake Shelton x Lands’ End Men’s Big and Tall Cotton Blend Heartland Sweater

Talk about a greatest hit! This soft sweater with eye-catching shoulder patches is part of our limited-edition Blake Shelton collection.

ShirtsFor Big Guys

V-neck tees and Henleys should be your staples due to their slimming neckline and vertical focal points. Vertically-striped business shirts are great too — just remember to tuck that thing in. Solid brands include Ralph Lauren, Saturdays NYC and Perry Ellis.


Bottoms For Big Guys

Shorts aren’t kind to you, so opt for knee-length shorts if the summer weather beckons, avoiding cargo shorts with bulky pockets. Opt for low-rise (a shorter distance between the top of the waistband and the crotch)chinos or pants and don’tsit trousers under your belly as this lengthens your torso to appear short-legged and stumpy.

Check out short and trouser brands, Nautica and Maine New England — made for larger lads.


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469 Loose Jean 12.5″ Men’s Shorts (Big & Tall)

The ’90s are back. And in a big way—literally.

Jeans For Big Guys

Perfect big-guy brands for jeans include Wrangler’s Texas Fit, Lee’s Brooklyn Big & Tall, and J by Jasper Conran. Nudie Jeans and3Sixteendo great selvage denim, too.


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502™ Taper Fit Men’s Jeans (Big & Tall)

Meet our most versatile fit—the 502™ Taper.


Accessories For Big Guys

Suspenders are key under a blazer or suit jacket for ensuring your trousers don’t slip below the belly. And pocket squares, lapel pins and ties are where you can add extra colour, texture and patterns to your look.


How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (13)

Italian Silk Knit Tie in Red Stripe

A refined take on a menswear staple. This classic striped tie is knit in Italy from pure silk and has a subtle, open-weave texture that elevates any outfit; it’s versatile enough to dress up a casual look or dress down a more formal one.

How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide (2024)


How To Dress Well When You're A Big Guy: The Definitive Guide? ›

That said, big guys tend to benefit from either plain or simply patterned clothing. It's also good to stick to more understated colors. For the most part, bright and bold colors or patterns will emphasize your silhouette, so it's best to avoid these (unless you're especially daring).

How to dress if an overweight man is? ›

10 Style Tips For Large Men: The Full Guide
  1. Avoid loose-fitting garments. ...
  2. Wear suits. ...
  3. Opt for long-sleeves. ...
  4. Stock up on suspenders. ...
  5. Choose dress shirts with spread collars. ...
  6. Style with large accessories. ...
  7. Wear dress shirts untucked. ...
  8. Choose custom-tailored whenever possible.
Nov 1, 2020

What is a good style for bigger guys? ›

Wear darker colours - especially on top if you're bigger in this area as most men who are larger will be. Darker colours will diminish the area and if your legs are particularly slim compared to your top, then you could wear lighter coloured jeans or trousers to balance it out.

How to dress a man with a large belly? ›

Skip the baggy pants – It may be tempting to hide your beer belly with baggy jeans, but trust me, a well-tailored pair of trousers and chinos can make you look good and slimmer. Avoid tight t-shirts – Choose a regular fit instead of a slim fit.

How to dress sexier when overweight? ›

Favor thick fabric and use embellishment strategically. Wear tops made with fabric thick enough that it won't cling to your body where you don't want it to. Make sure ruffles, beading, or other embellishments that can be sexy are placed on areas you want to highlight rather than downplay.

How should men with big bellies wear pants? ›

Pants with Elastic Inserts

An excellent choice for those with a big belly are pants featuring side elastic inserts. These inserts provide extra comfort and flexibility, allowing the pants to stretch and adjust to your body shape.

How to hide belly fat in dress men? ›

One of the best tricks is to wear a blazer in a contrasting lighter or brighter color over a dark top and matching pants, for example a white jacket over a black tank and pants. And, of course, make sure the pants you choose have a high enough rise to tuck in that belly! Not a blazer fan?

What clothes flatter a big tummy? ›

Vertical lines, whether a pattern or a strip of buttons, also visually lengthen the upper body. Dark colours can be very slimming, but the overall effect of the outfit should not be too dark. Feminine pastel or nude shades are also flattering. Tip: Matte fabrics are particularly flattering if you have a larger tummy.

What is the best color to hide belly fat? ›

Black never fails to make you look slim and elegant. Darker shades of colors like blue, purple and brown can also help to hide flaws and create a slimming illusion. On the other hand, lighter colors, like white and khaki, can add pounds and give the illusion of a larger frame.

How to look attractive when overweight men? ›

Stick with light to medium weight fabrics to avoid adding extra bulk. Cargo pants, hoodies, and bulky sweaters made out of thick fabrics can make you look bigger. Cotton, linen, and other light, natural fabrics are good choices. If you sweat a lot, natural fabrics can also help cool you down and prevent sweat stains.

How to style a plus size body? ›

You should buy clothes that show a curvy shape of your body. You can purchase bold printed dresses, asymmetrical cuts like a tulip skirt, ruffled tops, heavy knits, tiered styles, wide leg jeans and pants or peplum. You can take your dressing ideas from Queen Latifa and Opera Winfrey.

How to dress professionally when you are plus size? ›

Invest in some classic pieces like a tailored blazer, a well-fitting pair of trousers, a versatile pencil skirt, and a couple of blouses in neutral colors. These can be combined in various ways to create outfits that are both professional and stylish.

What clothes make you look slimmer male? ›

Opt for suits with wide lapels, which help balance your proportions and draw the eye vertically, contributing to a slimmer appearance. If you prefer single-breasted suits, a two-button style is ideal as it offers a longer lapel line, further enhancing the slimming effect.

How to dress slimmer for plus size men? ›

Stripes are a good option (vertical, not horizontal) and a V-neck top will help elongate your figure and make you look slimmer. Keep your trousers dark and your belt discreet – you want to draw the eye away from your waist and up towards your head and chest.

How to wear jeans for big guys? ›

Instead, ditch the extra tight jeans and go for a tapered leg or slim fit. “Tapered” means the pants slowly slim down from knee to ankle, giving you the slim/skinny look, without being too snug in the seat and thigh. You can get a tailor to taper any of your current jeans that you feel have too wide of a leg.

How should I dress to hide extra pounds? ›

Adding a jacket, particularly a shorter one like a moto style, over a longer blouse can hide a tummy and create a waist. Go for high-rise pants or jeans. They will tuck you in, hide that tummy and eliminate any sign of a muffin top. Also, wide-leg jeans or trousers create visual balance and an hourglass shape.

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