Fashion Tips for the Plus-Size Man

Written by Amy Pusey (last updated September 5, 2022)

Shopping for clothes often becomes a tedious task for the plus-size man. Face the reality early on that not everyone is meant to have washboard abs, and there is nothing wrong with that fact. It is not uncommon for you to settle for a weekend uniform of t-shirts and jeans, and a work wardrobe of oversized plain dress shirts and trousers. Often, as a larger-framed man you become disappointed by the available sizing in chain and department stores. While you may find many casual shirt choices available in sizes above XXL, sweaters and dress shirts may be hard to come by. Trousers and jeans usually run by actual waist size and rarely do most stores carry any sized above a 40"-42" waist.

For the plus-size man, Big and Tall shops will become a fashion save haven and able to satisfy virtually all of your dressing needs. Now that you know one of the best locations to go, all you need is to learn some fashion tips on what will look best on a man of sizeable girth. Begin with accepting your body, so you can learn to work with it and not against it.

  • Cut. The cut of the garment needs to make the grade. Ill-fitting clothes draw attention to your flaws. Stay away from anything too tight because every bump and roll will become ever apparent to onlookers. Likewise for over-sized items, which do not hide your imperfections, but add weight due to the extra fabric you are toting around on your body. Your clothes should provide a smooth and flattering appearance, and lie flat to your frame. Try shirts with squared shoulders, which will place seams closer to your face drawing attention away from your abdomen.
  • Trousers. By all means, stay away from front-pleating near the zipper. While inverted pleats do not look as bad as their opposite, neither is flattering to the portly man. Flat front trousers with shorter side seam or slant front pockets will de-emphasize your hips and lower mid-section. Gentlemen, also do not cram everything into your trouser pockets because all it does it add unsightly bulges distorting a clean body line. If you are heavier and shorter than most men, complete your trousers with a straight hem for length, as cuffing can make your legs look squat. Keep attention away from big bellies by selecting a lower-rise style that starts at the hips, and does not allow your stomach to hang over the top.
  • Color and Pattern. Monochromatic (single) colors will help to slenderize your frame, especially when wearing darker colors. Large, busy patterns will add to your size, but you can still enjoy a bit of flash by using smaller prints. Avoid bulk, such as heavy sweaters and sweatshirts, which simply add on the visual pounds, but choose finer weaves for those items. Lastly, stripes do not need to be your enemy as long as you stick with narrow, vertical striping to help slim and elongate your torso.
  • Suits and Dress Blazers. The goal of a nice suit is an elegant appearance. As a plus-size man, you can achieve this with double-breasted jacket suits, which give you more room from shoulders to stomach, displaying less stress to the fabric and button closures. Alternatively, single-breasted blazers with a lower-set, two-button closure will also allow for less straining to the fabric providing a clean silhouette.

Author Bio

Amy Pusey

With over 18 years experience in operations and human-resource management, Amy Pusey uses her skills in her consulting and freelance writing activities. She is a freelance writer for, as well as a resume writer for ...


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