Big and Tall Buying Guide

Full-bodied blokes are on the rise; according to the stats sales of larger menswear grew by six per cent in the UK between 2005 and 2010 to reach a rotund £1.9 billion. If you are larger than the average gent – either in height or circumference, it can make outfit selection a bit trickier, especially on occasions where you need to dress smart and don’t want to end up looking like a trussed up turkey. So, if you are built like High Tower, or are just plain built; follow these tips when picking out the special occasion must-have and wardrobe staple that is the suit.

First of all, take a realistic look at your shape. Squeezing into a smaller size only to ooze out is a fashion crime – whatever your sex. Choose a specialist like high street and online store High and Mighty menswear which go up to a size 5XL in their clothes making sure there’s no excuse to buy below what you need. That said, you should avoid buying clothes which are too baggy which could swamp you and drown your silhouette entirely. If you have a broad chest and smaller belly you can end up looking like you’re wearing a lampshade if you buy the wrong style of shirt, so always buy with your full body shape in mind (those with a broad chest and slimmer waist should buy a fitted style which tapers in).

Next consider your fabric – both in terms of material and colour. Wider guys need to look out for materials which don’t crease easily as rumples can draw the eye to problem areas. If you are big, in terms of colour you can play it safe by sticking with darker shades such as navy, charcoal and grey. Although some occasions do call for black try to avoid the monochrome look if possible. Wearing contrasting fabrics together like black and white will emphasis where the two colours meet, which is likely to be right below your beer belly. Also remember that although pinstripe patterns can be slimming on larger men they will exaggerate height. If you are tall bear this in mind and never opt for anything stronger than a subtle pinstripe – if you look at it and think ‘deckchair’ stay well clear.

Finally, think about the cut of your suit. Choosing the right cut can help to balance out your proportions so employ a little common sense. If you are tall and wide don’t choose a jacket with big shoulder pads or you’ll look massive. Broadness across the top can be masked a little by choosing the right style of jacket. Look out for single-vented and single-breasted varieties as these will avoid placing focus on potentially rounded areas like bums and tums. Trousers with pleated waistlines are also a bad choice for bigger bellies. If you are tall use features of the jacket to balance out your length by choosing a jacket with fewer buttons. If your height lies in the length of your legs opt for a longer length jacket which will cut across your body at a lower point shortening your limbs and vice versa.

One of our new writers has put together an awesome in depth suit guide coming up in the next few days so stay tuned.

This post is kindly provided by High and Mighty Menswear exclusively for Average Joes Blog.