Looking your best may seem like such a hassle especially when you worry about not being able to pull off certain cuts, fabrics or styles. Different men have different styles and body proportions so knowing the right cuts for your body frame would definitely help in achieving your desired look.
Ever wondered how you'd find yourself at an off-the-rack departmental store, trying on an L/XL/XXL jacket and the huge shoulder pad makes you look like a shapeless blob? Or when that oversized jacket gives you an extra long sleeve length which hides your entire arm like you could literally fit a chicken inside?
For men with a larger body frame, it would be best to get custom made suits instead of buying it off the shelves. Off the rack items can turn out too baggy or tight, so having a tailor can help you in finding the perfect fabric and cuts that will fit you perfectly.
Here are a few things you should take note of when purchasing and/or tailoring your clothing;
Regular fitted shirts are the best to go for if you have a larger body physique. Go for vertically lined shirts as they help to create an illusion of a longer body and avoid horizontal lines as it has the tendency to make you look wider.
Narrower stripes accentuates visual lengthening effect that makes you appear more trim as compared to broader/thick striped shirts.
Also, avoid flamboyant colours as it brings draws more attention to areas you would prefer to reduce. Needless to say, darker colours frame the face instead of the body.
Trousers should never be too skin tight or loose, and the inseam length should never be too short or long. Waist rise and cuffs is also an important aspect to consider. This, however, depends on your body proportions and your preferred look as some cuts make you look shorter while others can elongate your body.
In order to nail the fit of a trouser, you've got to discuss with your tailor beforehand, and decide where to wear your trouser especially if you’ve got a bit of a belly, i.e where you wish your waist level to be hovering at.
There are 2 ways to go about:
Wear your trousers at a natural waist
If you decide upon this option, it's highly advisable to avoid belts and go for suspenders instead. This is because no matter how much you tighten that belt, your trousers will still inevitably slip off from your waist whereas suspenders will hold your trouser at the proper height and allow the entire piece to hang/drape downwards smoothly. It will help to create a streamlined look, and if done properly, will provide an uninterrupted center crease line (aka ironed line). Wearing this way will also avoid revealing that annoying shirt bottom (stomach area) whenever you button up your suit jacket.
Wear your trousers below the belly
If the advantages of the above mentioned doesn't concern you, this alternative method would be a more “casual” version of it. Think about wearing low-rise denim jeans. That’s right! You may wear your belts and do without the suspenders. However, be wary that wearing a belt gives the impression that your body is cut into half, which may not be visually pleasing especially for men with larger bellies.
In our opinion, suspenders are arguably the most fantastic alternative which helps you to keep your pants in place without it tugging in uncomfortable places, and without you having to adjust your pants whenever you stand up.
Note: Never ever use suspenders and belts together!
Did we also forget to mention pleats? “Oh, that's what my father wears all the time. It's an “ah-pek” pant for old men."
Well, we leave that thinking to you, to each its own. However, if you like a classic menswear style and prioritise comfort, then pleats will be for you as it gives a more natural drape. It is also a fantastic choice for men with larger waists as it gives you plenty of room to move about or to sit down.
We always recommend our clients to try out different suit styles to figure out their own style and personal preferences.
Single breasted suits with generous notched lapels suit larger men, as compared to a double breasted jacket that gives you a wider frame. When looking at lapels, you can go for a 3.5” lapel, which is classic and proportional to your physique and appearance.
A lot of our larger clients are shocked whenever we tell them that suit pockets also matters a lot in their overall appearance. Having a flapped pocket would only draw more attention to their mid section, hence we'd always recommend a piped (no flap) option. If going flap-less is not an option for you, perhaps a slanted pocket would generally draw the viewer's eyes upwards to the chest and focus less on the hip portion.
A vest does wonders especially when you are looking for a slimmer, clean cut look. A 3-piece suit is not only a more formal piece, but also one which hides the layers underneath. A single breasted waistcoat goes very well with a single breasted suit. Plus, coupled with a pinstripe fabric, you'd look so fly..
Do not dismiss the idea of adding in accessories to complement your look. A nice lapel pin or pocket square can help to emphasise your chest area, an elegant cufflink or a timepiece focuses on the details of your shirt, and a bowtie draws attention to the face.
Lastly, never ever forget that presenting yourself well, being confident and looking your best helps in leaving a good impression. If you are interested in making a tailored piece with us, do drop us an email at [email protected]. We would also love to see you in your final outfits so don’t forget to tag us at assemblesg and thegentlemenscollective.