How to Dress Well As an Overweight Man

Three Parts:Getting the Right FitImproving Your StyleAccessorizing Wisely

Having a decent wardrobe will help anyone make a better first impression, even if you don't have the best body. Being overweight doesn't mean that you have to dress poorly. It is possible to be a very stylish, heavyset man. You just need to pay attention to the details and select clothing that suits your body type.

Part 1
Getting the Right Fit

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    Wear clothes that fit your body now. You may have been lighter several months or years ago, or maybe you are about to start a new diet. However, if it doesn't fit you now, don't wear it. This might mean that you have to invest in some new clothes that fit you. Too-tight clothing just draws attention to the fact that you're overweight, emphasizing curves you may not want emphasized. Similarly, over-sized clothes don't make big people look smaller, they just make you look bigger. While Kate Moss might look even more rail thin wearing something that is over-sized, this is not the case with larger people.
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    Don't buy loose-fitting clothes to appear smaller. Chances are they will only make you look sloppy. A T-shirt that is two sizes too big will be too wide in the shoulders and neck and hang down below your crotch, making you look even bigger as a result.
    • If you have problems keeping shirts tucked in, you can change that. Buy shirts labeled "tall", which are usually available only in large or XL. If you are in that size group, then they will fit you well without being too big. Put your shirt on first, and then your pants. Do not do too much "blousing out" of the shirt, particularly at the front, but also don't tuck too tight--somewhere in between the two extremes will look best.
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    Find clothes that fit the largest part of your body and have them tailored. If the pants fit in the waist, but are busting at the seams at your thighs, buy a larger size that fits your thighs and have them taken in at the waist. It is better to pay a little extra for pants that fit you perfectly than $50 for pants that don't.
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    Dress for the occasion. Some overweight men may not want to wear shorts or t-shirts in the summer because of insecurities. However, dressing in out of season clothing to try and cover it up will only draw more attention to you. Wear clothing that suits the environment to fit in instead of sticking out.[1]

Part 2
Improving Your Style

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    Wear vertical stripes. Even a faint pinstripe (which is very in right now) does wonders for creating a nice vertical line. Make sure that the stripes are on clothes that fit you because even a simple pattern like a stripe can accentuate clothes that don't fit and make you look enormous instead of giving you the slim look you're trying to achieve.
    • Wear vertical stripes instead of horizontal stripes. Vertical stripes can help to slim your appearance, and horizontal stripes can actually make you appear wider.
    • Avoid bold patterns and contrasting colors.[2]
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    Go for V-neck tops. The shape of the collar on a v-neck sweater or t-shirt can help to make the neckline appear longer.[3] This can help make double chins a little less noticeable.
    • When purchasing dress shirts, select shirts with a spread collar to balance out the proportion with your face.[4]
    • Avoid turtlenecks as they can make your neckline disappear.[5]
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    Wear straight leg pants with no pleats. Straight leg pants (meaning as wide at the bottom as at the thigh) keep you from being V-shaped with tiny ankles and a wider midsection. If your pants fit, you don't need pleats.
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    Don't add extra bulk to your body. Avoid thicker fabrics. Cargo pants, hoodies with front pouches, and bulky sweaters can make you look bigger. Shoulder pads are also a generally a no-no. While natural materials are generally preferable, synthetics can help you cut down on how bulky your clothes appear during colder seasons.
    • Select cashmere over heavier wool sweaters. The lighter fabric will still keep you warm without adding bulk to your body.
    • If you sweat a lot, you will want to avoid synthetic fibers like rayon and natural fibers like silk. While they may drape well, they are not breathable and can lead to excess sweating and discomfort.[6]
    • When choosing a jacket, select one that suits your body shape. Avoid a double-vented jacket if you have a large backside. The slits will likely leave you exposed. Try getting a single vent jacket instead.[7]
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    Select longer hems. Longer hemlines can help to elongate your body.[8] When possible, wear shirts, jacket or coat that goes down further down your body. Finding shirts that look good without being tucked in can help to lengthen your body. You can also wear a trench style coat over a short coat to help lengthen your appearance.
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    Compose your outfit. Lighter shades attract attention, darker shades detract. Use these principles in conjunction to suit your body best. If your torso is larger than your bottom half, dark clothing on top and light on bottom can help you look more proportional. Additionally, undershirts can keep you cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and keep you from appearing too sweaty.

Part 3
Accessorizing Wisely

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    Always wear a belt. One that is wide, thick, and sturdy will work best, and you should wear it tighter with a tucked shirt than with an un-tucked shirt (a wide belt will feel more comfortable if tight than a narrow belt will.)
    • As an alternative, try switching from a belt to suspenders.[9] Suspenders with business attire will look much more stylish than a belt. Select a bright color like red to brighten up your look.
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    Wear wide ties. If you wear a tie when you go to work, be sure to purchase ties that are wider. Buying a thinner tie will make it seem as though your body is even larger and the tie is smaller.[10]
    • Be sure when you tie it that your tie comes all the way down to your belt.
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    Wear a stylish hat. Pick out a fedora or similar hat that suits your personality and make it your trademark. Wearing a stylish hat shows that you noticed all the details when assembling your wardrobe. It can help dispell any notions that you are heavyset because you are lazy.
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    Get a suitcase or messenger bag. If you normally carry around a large wallet or giant cell phone you might want to consider using something other than your pocket to transport your gadgets or accessories around. While nobody wants a man-purse, lots of things in your pocket just add weight to your waistline. For a very professional look, invest in a high-quality briefcase.
    • If you wear an accessory like a watch, select items that are on the larger side. You want to avoid small accessories that can make it seem out of proportion compared to your size.


  • Don't obsess about how you look. Confidence will make more of a difference in your appearance than a new wardrobe.
  • Keep an eye on what's fashionable. Wearing clothes that are in style now will make you look more attractive.
  • Suspenders can keep your pants where they should be, not under a gut.

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Categories: Plus Size Fashion