Like we’ve said before, the average man isn’t getting any slimmer. Blame it on our sedentary lifestyle, lack of free time to hit the gym, or the Triple Baconator Sandwich from Wendy’s, but our suspicion is that more than a few men reading this right now don’t quite meet the Surgeon General’s standard for a healthy weight. While dieting and exercise are the most effective ways to shed those extra pounds, there are also some easy wardrobe tips we can offer to help you look good no matter what your BMI score might be.
First, don’t get sucked into the plus-sized trap of wearing shirts that are too big for you. Most guys, when they put on weight, find it concentrated mostly around their gut, and so try to hide this problem area under a moo moo-like top – unfortunately, this strategy is not going to help your cause at all and will only serve to further exaggerate your size.
Instead, just like your thinner counterparts, you should try wearing clothing that fits. We don’t mean something skin tight of course, but something cut properly for your measurements.
But while we’re on the topic of things to avoid, steer clear of horizontal stripes and thick tartan/flannel patterns, which are going to make your body appear stout and “blocky”. Set your sites on dark/neutral solid colors and thin vertical pinstripes instead to create a more seamless and slimmed down look. We offered similar advice to our shorter readers a few weeks ago, but solids and tiny stripes are never a bad choice when it comes to minimizing flaws, reducing imperfections or putting together a classic ensemble.
Finally, as a last gem of wisdom for overweight guys out there, try to look stylish. The fashion advice you get from us (or other sources) isn’t just for beanpoles; you can follow it, too. Sure, sounds easier said than done – especially if you’ve got body image issues or have to rely on the uninspired designs available at most retailers catering to the big and tall crowd.
This is where getting a few made to measure shirts can really be key to reinventing your appearance and your self concept. We, as a society, almost expect heavier people to wear bland clothing and poorly put together outfits. People with weight problems get pulled into this kind of thinking too, creating a cycle whereby one’s frumpy appearance reinforces one’s negative self image and vice versa.
If this is your problem, find a tailor who can help you experiment with your wardrobe. Test out epaulettes, or contrast collars – both of which, incidentally, will distract people from your midsection – or different kinds of fabrics, buttons and cuffs. Don’t be surprised, when you’re looking nice and feeling good about what you wear, to hear people asking if you’ve lost weight.
Dressing well, while only a superficial solution for people with real weight problems, can have a huge impact not only on how others look at you but also how you view yourself. Ultimately, changing how you think can change the way you behave and what you’re capable of becoming. If you’re struggling with your weight and appearance, but just can’t seem to do anything about it, a few small changes in your clothing could be just what you need.