It's not easy being a big dude with style.
Clothes off-the-rack don't fit, shopping is a pain, and compromises have to be made all across the wardrobe.
That said, it can be done, with style and grace. My man @Sartorial_En_Plus (real name David Robotham) proves that a gentleman can be sharp, handsome and attractive no matter his size or shape - with the right knowledge of menswear. After all, knowledge is power in all endeavors.
Here are a few things you can pick up by observing Mr. Robotham in action.
1. Go Custom
We've said it time and time again, you don't need a lot of clothes, you just need the right clothes. You're better off wearing the same perfectly-fitting suit every time you need to dress formally (probably a solid navy for versatility), rather than having a collection of cheap garments that don't fit. Quality over quantity!
2. Float the Waist
For guys with bellies, it's always a tough decision: to belt the trousers (tightly) under the gut, or wear them at the true waist (just under the naval). The problem is, larger guys most likely don't have the hips to properly hold trousers in place, which means your belt has to work overtime (a tight cinch only creates accentuated "love handles"). Robotham "floats" his waist using suspenders, thus keeping his natural torso/leg proportions in tact.
3. Honor Thy Vest
A lot of bigger guys think a vest is going to make them look bigger... First of all, stop trying to look "smaller" and focus on looking great in the body you have. Nothing looks sloppier than a sweat-through shirt billowing up around the waist. Hide all of that mess with a dapper waistcoat cut to flatter your body - not "hide" it.
4. Remember the Little Things
Robotham is a master at the small touches - accessories like collar pins, tie bars, pocket squares, bowties, etc. This attention to detail makes him look smart, sophisticated and polished.
5. Pattern Mixing
Any magician knows that distraction is the key to pleasing the audience.
6. Top it Off
Hats are a very transformative accessory. The only guys who benefit from a stylist hat more than big guys are bald guys... More on that later.
7. Re-Think The Button-Stance
I love this one-button jacket with the super-deep button stance. There are competing tailoring theories here: 1) put the button stance higher up on the ribs to avoid the low belly and create a greater suppression VS 2) cut the button stance as deep as possible to lengthen the lapel lines, even is the "waist" of the jacket is technically larger... Personally I've never seen #2 pulled-off this well.
8. Embrace a Simpler 2-Piece
Jackets can get hot, and restrictive. A waistcoat with lapels is a fantastic alternative, it keeps you "buttoned up" while nice and cool.
9. Every Gentleman Needs a Great Dinner Jacket
What is that - velvet?!
10. Beef-Up the Textures
As a larger guy, naturally you're going to be harder on your fabrics. Leave the "super 160s" to the skinny fashion boys, and look for something sturdy that can put up a fight... Robotham is a master of the tweed & flannel combos, perfect for a London Winter.
11. Barber on Speed Dial
A fresh haircut - high and tight on the sides - is one of the best things you can do for your style, no matter your size. Mr. S_e_P always keeps it fresh, all the way down to the manicured beard.
12. Under The Hood...
Okay, I'm not sure about this one. I've never worn sock garders - but if you have problems keeping your shirt tucked-in and your socks standing tall...these can alleviate some pressure.
Who are some of your favorite instagram style stars?
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,