Tips for Heavier Guys featuring Sergio Arteaga
July 2nd, 2012
We’ve been meaning to add this feature to the “Dress Your Body Type” series for some time. When I met Sergio, an NYC school teacher who revamped his wardrobe with the help of TheStyleBlogger, I knew he was the right guy for the job.
Sergio was born and raised in Inglewood California and until a year and half ago his style was admittedly “all flashy sneakers and oversized urban clothing with branding all over the place.”
“I stumbled across Articles of Style via a popular sneaker forumn (shout out to NikeTalk) and it changed the way I look at clothing… The most important thing I learned from Dan is the importance of fit, fit, fit, fit! As a bigger guy it’s even more important to find the proper fit; too big and your clothes just add size to your frame, too small and you can look like a sausage.”
Alex and I met up with Sergio to shoot a few of his go-to looks and put together some tips for larger guys.
1. Good Morning Class
Sergio’s right, the most important thing is that your clothing fit properly, regardless of your body type.
Yes, as a larger guy, you can wear a slim fit!
Most guys who have a larger stomach than chest make the mistake of buying clothes that are oversized in order to “hide” their bodies underneath them. You’re not fooling anyone, this only makes you look bigger than you actually are.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should be buying clothing that is labeled “slim fit”. Think of it this way: you may need larger clothing, but you don’t need larger allowances (the difference between the size of your body and the size of your clothing). Your clothes should contour and “skim” the body, smoothing out your shape without pulling or looking tight.
Buy full-cut, and have your tailor take it in
Your best bet is to buy full-cut clothing that fits properly in primary areas (collar size and sleeve length for shirts, shoulders and body length for jackets), then have the rest of the garment shaped by your tailor to contour your body.
Larger guys typically run hot, so don’t forget that undershirts can help absorb moisture, and make sure you are investing in lightweight fabrics to keep sweating minimal. Heavier fabrics can also ad unnecessary bulk to your frame. This look is a great example: linen jacket, short-sleeved short, properly-hemmed chinos, sockless with a summer hair cut.
Don’t forget the details
Accessories like a pocket square and lapel pin can draw attention to your chest and shoulders, and thus away from your belly.
2. Parent/Teacher Conference
There are too many trade-offs with off-the-rack clothing, especially with suits. These days there are “custom” options for just about any budget.
Suiting Tips for Larger Gentlemen:
– A longer jacket will visually elongate the body.
– Darker colors are slimming, as are pinstripes.
– Try to keep your jacket buttoned as much as possible when standing, it shapes the silhouette.
– A deep button stance will create a stronger “V” shape, accentuating the chest and masking the belly.
– Go with a wider notch or peak lapel to draw the eye upward and proportionally cover your broad shoulders.
– Leave some room in the trousers so you’re not accentuating the girth of your upper body, but you don’t need a big sloppy break at the bottom.
– A strong shoe with a solid heel will help anchor down your look. I really like wingtips with a substantial sole for larger guys.
– Slanted pockets, in theory, draw the eye downward and are slimming on the physique.
– Use a ticket pocket to fill some space in the midsection.
– Your pants do not need pleats. If they’re made for you, flat front trousers should be plenty comfortable.
– Go with double vents. The jacket can be cut a little slimmer in the hips since side vents pulling open are much less obvious than a center one splitting. It also keeps a clean drape across the back when your hands are in your pockets.
– Odds are, you’re tough on your clothing. Opt for a heavier, more durable cloth but lose the lining to avoid overheating. A second pair of trousers may also be a good idea as they tend to wear out faster than the jacket.
– Keep your shirts simple and elegant. Think solid color and subtle stripes.
– Spread collar shirts should be matched with larger tie knots (like a windsor or half windsor), and both are ideal for a large neck.
– Larger guys often have shorter necks, have your shirts made with a shorter neckband
– Bigger guys typically have flat hips and seats, which causes their pants to fall down unless they are cinched unaturally tight around the waist (which accentuates the stomach). Try using braces to float your waistline – they’re generally more comfortable, and stylish too.
3. Class Field Trip
Keep your casual looks simple and refined, and try to avoid bold patterns or statement colors. The idea is to keep the attention on your face.
A simple lightweight knit can smooth out your shape. I recommend low cut v-necks because they frame the face in a more flattering way than a more restricting crew or turtleneck.
(This goes for everybody) – don’t overstuff your pockets. Keep it streamlined, without bulges. If you have too much to carry, invest in a quality bag. In which case, I highly recommend these beauties.
One last tip from Sergio: “Marry a beautiful woman! That way the attention is always on her, not you. My gorgeous wife is the main reason for my transformation…she has great style and I simply want to dress to impress everyday because she deserves to see me at my best.”
Thanks for reading and special thanks to Sergio for participating!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.