Dress & Fashion Tips For The Heavy Body Type
To be heavy was a sign of wealth in the 20’s. Aw, for those days again!
A three-button jacket will add height, but if that’s not a problem, a two-button will work also. Double-breasted jackets are good if you are heavy in your chest; the double row of buttons can cut away thickness. Look for suit styles in “portly” (the “drop” — or size difference — between the jacket and pant waist in portly sizes is two inches) or “stout” (the drop in stouts is zero inches) sizes, depending on how the suit fits your body.
Slanted, flapless pockets add to the vertical look. Avoid extra width in lapels. Slightly padded shoulders, straight sides and center vents. Avoid ventless jackets if you’re wide in the rear (side vents can also emphasize the wideness). Tight fitting clothes accentuate bulges. Avoid tightness in the upper chest and shoulders. Think roomy — but definitely not baggy.
Medium or light weight fabrics, avoid anything bulky (like tweed).
Patterns and Colors:
Vertical stripes play up height and slenderize. Simple patterns or solids in dark colors. Bold patterns expand anything they wrap. Utilize the same color tones in sports jackets and slacks. Too much contrast breaks up the important vertical line.
Black, charcoal gray and navy, aside from being classic suit colors that command authority, actually distance you from your observers and tend to unload some cargo! Dark, cool muted colors can make you appear 10 pounds slimmer.
In sportswear, blue and green will also have slimming power. Conversely, steer clear of warm hues like red, yellow and orange. These colors bring you closer and bulk you up.
Shirts and Ties:
The collars to avoid are spread, tab or pin and club (round) collars. Regular point collars are best. No bow ties please. Go easy on tie patterns. Make sure the tie hits your belt buckle to avoid that horizontal gap. Even in casual wear, long sleeves help with proportion and will look better.
Wear your pants on your natural waist (in line with your belly button). Wearing your pants under the belly just highlights it. Pleated pants which are a style must for everyone else are a requirement for you.
Andy’s Heavy Advice:
Avoid carrying anything in your back pockets. Not just big guys, either. This piece of advice can be heeded by all men since there are nerves that go through that area. Sitting on a bulky billfold can cause nerve and muscle damage that can lead to back pain. Clean out your billfold. If you still have lots of stuff you just can’t do without, buy two thin wallets, carry one in each of your front trousers pockets. You can even sort the important stuff (Driver’s Licence, credit cards, big cash) from the insignificant (little cash) and hand over the insignificant wallet if you ever get mugged!!
Avoid heavy-looking shoes, also anything light colored with thick soles. Try dark shoes with thin soles.
Vests work if they are the same dark color as your suit. Contrasting vests would draw attention to your middle.
Avoid bold belt buckles which can act like a bull’s eye pointing attention like an arrow at your waist. Wide belts make you look wider.
Braces add another vertical line and may help hold the pants at the natural waist.
Pocket squares add a touch of elegance without bringing attention to your size.
Look for styles with vertical lines such as high temples and a high nose bridge. Try glasses with wide frames to span your face. Rimless glasses add length to your face. Large or wide noses look best with low bridges in clear or metal (no dark colors, please).
Longer, fuller hair styles work, but make sure your barber covers the back nape of the neck. If you cut that area too close it can throw the head and neck out of proportion and make them look small in comparison to the broad shoulders. When hair is closely cropped the face is magnified. Grooming is very important for the heavy man. A clean look goes a long way to dispel an apparently instinctive misconception that heavy men don’t care about their appearance.
Single-breasted with a set-in sleeve is best.