Big and Beautiful and Loving It!
So you’re a big guy. You stand out (and above) the crowd. We all know the ladies love it, and you were probably (or still are) a force on the football field or basketball court. There’s one time that being the biggest guy in the room comes at a disadvantage, though, and that’s when you’re shopping for clothes. Go to the trendy stores in the mall, and you’re highly unlikely to find something that fits. Go to just any store with your size, and you’re equally as unlikely to find something that’s stylish and on point. Once you do find the perfect place to shop, the choices can then be overwhelming. After all, what are you supposed to be wearing? Aren’t there some kind of rules for clothes according to your body shape and size (or at least that’s what the cover of your girlfriend’s Cosmo said)? What’s a guy to do, right?
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a short and simple guide to show you what kind of fashion choices you need to be making for the upcoming year. That way, when you do find a store you love that carries clothes that fit you perfectly, you’ll be able to choose the colors, patterns, and accessories that suit you best, so you can carry yourself with all the attitude and confidence you’ve already got deep down. Whether you’re in the market for pocket squares or prints that pop, here’s what you’re going to need.
1. Big, Bold Shoulders
While the male models on the runways at Fashion Week may be tall, they’re not exactly wide, but you, sir, have the type of shoulders women swoon over. Luckily for you, Fashion Week for Spring 2017 showed us that menswear is heavily invested in the big, bold and super-defined shoulder when it comes to both suits and coats. Vogue noticed that “the season’s most interesting suits could accommodate even the broadest shouldered gents.” Take advantage of the trend, invest in good tailoring of whichever suit you choose and then pair it with the perfect cufflinks that express your personality.
2. Speaking of Suits…
Remember, that a suit is only as good as its accessories. For this reason, you’ll want to pay added attention to your pocket squares, cufflinks, and extra long ties (yes, if you’re not investing in long ties as a tall man, you should start). You want to make a purchase that expresses your personality, while still showing off great quality, taste, and design. Overlook your normal department store’s selection, and go for the goods. Since these items aren’t as fit-intensive as a suit, you can easily order the best of the best from all over the world. If your suit is of the general variety — gray, black, navy, etc. — then this is the time to let your flair shine. Go for fun long tie designs or even let your cufflinks speak to your leisurely side and hobbies; whether you prefer links handcrafted from a real bullet or those that are created to literally be capable of opening any pair of handcuffs (we won’t judge how you use them), your options are endless. Keep in mind while shopping, the skinny tie is over folks. Go with a wider tie, and, while it may look silly on a slim guy, it’ll look best on you.
3. Leisure Jackets
Of course, you have to be able to just throw something on from the closet on your way out the door on a Saturday evening. While typically it’s best to have a few go-to outfits that you know you look great in, a jacket is more up to chance. Bomber jackets have been one of the year's top-selling fashion items, with more than 61,000 different types of bomber jackets launched in the U.S. and U.K. for men, women, and children. You can easily find bomber jackets at your favorite retailers carrying items for big and tall men, so decide to invest in one this winter, before the fad runs out. However, most are expecting that it’ll keep on going strong, as it has for a few years in a row. Don’t think you have the bad boy look down for a leather bomber? Class it up with some streetwear — think casual jeans, a buttoned shirt, and your favorite loafers. You can also go with a more preppy design, as in a statement bomber jacket. Go beyond your normal jacket colors and pick a vibrant hue, or look for a fun touch of color in a gold zipper or some added pockets. For more inspiration, just check out any recent paparazzi photos of hot male celebs like Joe Jonas, Adam Levine, and Scott Disick. They’ve all been spotted sporting the trend.
4. Embroidery Madness?
Along the same lines of casual leisure wear and making your style your own, jackets with patches have been a touch and go trend for a while. However, Donatello Versace unleashed a great patched jacket in her fall men’s wear collection, prompting the New York Times to proclaim that “embroidered madness” was finally here for the long haul. While you may think jackets with patches may draw too much attention to your frame, think again. These fantastic leisurewear items can be just what you need to spice up your closet. Who knows? You may just fall in love with the trend and keep it up long after the mainstream has settled down. Besides, when you find a piece you love, and that looks good on you, you should stock up, so you have enough to easily last a few seasons.
5. Structure is Key….
Resist the urge to buy “comfy” clothes that are made for a more casual set. T-shirts, tanks, sweatpants — even if you see someone like Kanye West pulling them off successfully, most small guys can’t pull them off with the panache of a celebrity. If they can’t do it, the big and tall guy with the more challenging style issues definitely can’t do it. Instead, look for clothing items that have a lot of structure. Pants with creases, quality fabrics, good tailoring and vertical lines can go a long way toward giving your body shape and definition, without overpowering it with a bunch of lumpy fabrics.
6. ….Even in the Bedroom
Yes, even in the bedroom, structure is key to what you’re wearing. Sure, if you’re all by yourself, there’s no need to put away the sweats and t-shirt that you find most comfortable for snoozing, but if you live with a fabulous woman or have a gorgeous gal coming over, you want to have something you can pull out that looks put together. It’s definitely possible to find sleepwear that gives you the same clean lines and definition that a well-tailored suit gives you. Look for flattering patterns (so probably skip the plaid), and matching sets. A monogrammed touch never hurt, either!
7. Don’t Overlook the Shoes
You may be thinking that no one looks at a tall guy’s shoes. Unfortunately for some, that’s just not the case, and sloppy, unkempt and downright ugly shoes can make you appear slovenly, lazy and unfashionable. Obviously, your shoes say a lot about you as a person. Since big and tall guys are generally shoved into a generic box when people judge them by their appearances anyway, make sure that your shoes say the right thing about you. For formal wear and suits, go with a nice Italian leather, handcrafted and handmade pair of dress shoes. You can either have yours custom-made in a variety of European shops, or you can occasionally order them online. Tennis shoes are also becoming more popular, but you’ll want to make sure you pair them with the right outfit - something that’s not totally casual, like workout clothes, but rather something that’s a bit dressed up, like jeans, a button-up, and a cool jacket. Just like cufflinks and pocket squares, your shoes can be the added touch that shows the world exactly who you are.
8. The Colors of the Rainbow
Don’t feel like you’re stuck to dark, light-absorbing, so-called “slimming” colors just because you’re bigger than most. Go with vibrant and eye-popping hues to announce your arrival and grab onlookers’ attention (in a good way!). One of the biggest, most popular players in the summers’ fashion shows was cobalt blue. A striking shade that can really make an impression, this is a color you’ll want to integrate into your wardrobe immediately. Another big player on the color scene this year has been vermillion red. The totally bright pop of color is great when it’s used correctly. Pair it with a more understated shade, such as dark denim, a dark-wash jacket or a white cardigan. If you’re headed to work, add it to your suit with a pair of preppy socks or in one of your long ties. Don’t be afraid to show off your love for other, different colors, though. Just about any color you love, you’re sure to be able to find a flattering clothing item in that shade. When matching colors, a big trend for all men right now is the tonal look. While different from the monochrome outfit idea, this, instead of making your entire outfit one color, revolves around different tones of the same color.
7. Try Some Bling
For anyone, not just men and not just big and tall men, the standard holds true that you should wear jewelry that’s proportionate to your body type. Slim, trim, and short men should stick to a more delicate type of accessories, so as to not look overwhelmed, while larger guys should go for the big guns. Try a wider watch, a large tie clip for your extra long ties, a pair of sparkling, crystal cuff links for your french cuffs, or a thicker leather band if you’re opting for a more casual, rugged bracelet. If you’re wearing rings, whether as just an accessory piece or your wedding band, you’ll also want to go for something wide in this instance.
8. Polka Dots, Paisley, and Patterns — Oh my!
Patterns are a big part of choosing your wardrobe, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the patterns that are the most flattering for you. Some are more well known and some are more recognizable, but one rule holds true for them all. If you’re mixing and matching patterns for fun (because it can make any outfit look great), make sure that you’re using a mix of big and small patterns. You don’t want them all to be the same size. This can make your outfit look really busy, almost like an optical illusion. Instead, put thick lines with small polka dots, or a checked shirt with a tie that has tinier checks. You get the idea. For big and tall men, it’s better to go with patterns that do not include horizontal lines. So, avoid things like gingham and plaid. However, knock yourself out with vertical lines. Pin-stripes and seersucker are both fair game! Also, don’t be afraid of floral prints. They’re a pretty big contender this year and a look that sticks out in a fabulous way.
9. Top It Off
We’ve talked about all the important accessories — jewelry, shoes, long ties, cufflinks…but there’s one last style piece to grab before you head out the door. Headwear can be hard to pick, but it also says that you’ve gone the extra mile in putting together a statement outfit, something that’s important for bigger and taller guys to do. Definitely, skip over the fedoras for something with a little bit more pizzaz. If you do go with a fedora, make sure that it’s felt. Otherwise, go with whatever fits your outfit best. Maybe it’s a Panama, maybe it’s a simple baseball cap. Maybe it’s even a bandana. If it looks haute couture and came from the runway, you can probably pull it off just as well as the next guy.