How to dress if you have a large build
Whatever body shape you have, wearing clothes that fit can enhance your best features. Do you have a large build and need advice on how to dress to look and feel your best? The team at Ernest have put together a few tips to help you look stylish and curate a timeless wardrobe. Check out our recommendations for shirts, pants, fabrics, cuts, colours, collars and more.
Shirts that are too big or too small
Men with large builds tend to wear loose-fitting T-shirts and sweaters. Although this may seem like a logical choice if you don’t want to accentuate your phyique, it’s a fashion faux pas. In fact, wearing clothes that are too big can make your torso and abdomen look larger than they actually are.
However, large men should avoid wearing tight, stretchy shirts that are too small. Wearing clothing that’s too tight will not only make you feel cramped but will also draw unwanted attention to certain parts of your body. Do you often struggle to find the right size? If so, don’t hesitate to ask an experienced salesperson at a menswear store for advice.
When shopping for a new shirt or sweater, look for a V-neck. The flattering downward point will make your face and neck look long and slim. At Ernest, we carry several sweaters and cardigans in this style. Check out our selection of half-zip, shawl and V-neck styles from brands like Anthony of London, Campione and Orvieto.
A well-cut button-down dress shirt is a wardrobe must-have. Make sure the collar is pointed at a 45-degree angle and fits properly around your face and neck. Similarly, choose a tie that’s wide enough to complement your broad chest.
Thick materials like velvet and tweed can weigh down your figure, and shiny fabrics can add unwanted volume. Therefore, look for light, easy-to-wear fabrics such as cotton and linen. Since knitwear is naturally stretchy, it’ll complement your large stature. For example, a wool turtleneck is a great option.
Patterns and colours
Large patterns can make you appear bigger than you actually are. For this reason, look for small, discreet prints. Moreover, dark colours like black, navy, forest green and charcoal grey are flattering and create a slimming effect. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up light colours entirely. For example, you can pair a light tie with a dark shirt.
Keep in mind that certain contrasting colour combinations can help balance out the proportions of your physique. If your legs are rather thin compared to your torso, you could wear light-coloured chinos with a dark t-shirt.
If you’re a large man, you should stay away from shirts with horizontal stripes, unless you’re wearing them under a jacket or cardigan. Vertical stripes will present the illusion of a slimmer physique. However, you should never pair striped pants or shorts with a striped shirt.
Avoid wearing pants that are too big or too small. Straight cut and semi-fitted styles without pleats are ideal for men with large builds. Don't hesitate to have your pants adjusted at the waist, thighs, calves or seat to ensure they fit well and will complement your silhouette. If the hem on your pants is too long or too short, it can make you look less cohesive. To make a good impression, make sure your pants extend slightly over the front of your shoes, and always wear nice socks.
At Ernest, we’re well acquainted with the art of finding a well-made suit. If you want to flatter your figure, follow these rules when looking for a suit jacket:
- The shoulders should be square and fit close to the body with as few creases as possible.
- The sleeves should never completely hide your shirt cuffs. Leave a quarter- or half-inch visible.
- You should be able to slip two fingers between your chest and buttoned jacket.
- The collar shouldn’t bunch or crease. If it does, have it tailored.
- The back of your jacket should lay flat and not fly open.
Remember that you can have your suit jacket tailored to your exact measurements.
Ernest: your partner in creating stylish looks
Whether you have a large or small build, you can look fashionable if you opt for well-cut clothes. Keep in mind that you don’t have to incorporate every trend into one look. In fact, many clothes are considered basics and never go out of style. Make sure to have a few on hand to create a range of outfits.
If you want an attractive and varied wardrobe that meets all your needs, visit one of our stores. Our stylists will take your measurements and suggest pieces that’ll fit your physique. At Ernest, we know how to make your body shape work to your advantage. We look forward to serving you.