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Shopping Tips for Big and Tall Men

Rohini Mohan Mar 4, 2020
Knowing how to pick the right clothes from the big and tall section can make you look smarter, slimmer, and feel good about yourself. Here are some shopping tips to help you along the way.

Did You Know?

In 1911, Frank Marowitz opened Frank's Big & Tall shop in New Brunswick, NJ.
Thankfully, with the advent of time, fashion has widened its designs to accommodate the big or/and tall man. Not so long ago, men of larger-than-average build had no other option but to get their clothes stitched by tailors and specialty stores.
This was a necessity especially if the man needed to get clothes that matched his standing in society and were in keeping with the trends of the time.
However, even though clothes for big and tall men are easily available today, it is equally important that you be aware of what looks good on you, and buy accordingly.
The most important factor to keep in mind while shopping for yourself is that the clothes you buy must make you feel great and look stylish. Here, we will lend some beginner's tips on how to choose clothes wisely the next time you go shopping.

Size Up Yourself

Quit trying to simply look at a clothing and assume it will fit you. In all probability, you will end up buying something that is 2-3 sizes bigger than your actual body size.
It would be worse if you ended up with something that was too small or tight for your liking. It would be prudent to be aware of the measurements of your chest, waist, neck, sleeves, and inseam. Note these down someplace or even better, memorize them.
Secondly, keep a tab on these measurements to keep up with any weight changes. The biggest advantage of knowing your measurements is that the next time you go shopping, you will know exactly which section to look for and which sizes to seek.
Thereafter, you can narrow down your options to the sizes, colors, and designs that complement your fashion sensibilities. You will be saving yourself a lot of time and making your experience a lot more enjoyable.

Find the Perfect Fit

It is common for big men to believe that wearing baggy clothes helps cover the bulky aspects of their body. However, most end up buying extremely loose clothes that make them look even bigger than they actually are.
On the other hand, buying tight-fitting clothes only attracts more attention towards the bulky areas. This is a typical catch-22 that such men face while shopping.
However, there is a middle path―that is to buy clothes with your measurements in mind, and to buy clothes that are neither too large or small, and fit well. Since being tall is one of the assets you're blessed with, use that to your advantage by choosing clothes and colors that complement your height.
The clothes you buy must make you look sleeker and still be extremely comfortable to wear. Thus, go in for long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Wearing shorts as a casual wear is not recommended, as it tends to visually split the body into half and makes the body look bulkier.

Fair-weather Fabrics

Choose fabric that is comfortable to wear, easy to maintain, and gives you a sleeker look. For warmer weathers, go in for well-tailored cotton dress shirts that makes you look sharp and are affordable. Other stylish options to consider are classic poplin, twill, and Oxford shirts.
As for cooler weather, go in for woolen suits that have sharp shoulders. Buying a shirt/jacket with sloppy shoulders will make your upper torso look more rotund. When it comes to trousers, go in for pleated trousers and denim jeans.
However, make sure that you buy trousers that make your waist and hips look leaner. Smooth slacks are a great addition to your wardrobe and can improve the way trousers look on you. Avoid heavy clothing as these will accentuate your girth and make you look bigger. So, avoid heavy sweatshirts and cargo shorts, and instead, opt for lighter casual options.

Be Color Conscious

The color of your clothes can make a world of difference to how sleek you look.
As is common knowledge, black is considered as the universal slimming color. That being said, you have all the right to dabble with more colors. Depending on the shape of your body, color coordinate to bring more focus on the leaner aspects of your body, while making the bulky areas look slimmer as well.
Either you can opt for a single color for both the suit and trousers, or you can mix and match. For example, if you are heavy on top, wear a darker shirt and combine it with lighter trouser.
To elaborate, if your shirt is a darker shade of brown/navy/red, wear it with a trouser which is a slightly lighter shade of tan. On the other hand, if you're bottom-heavy, go in for a lighter-colored shirt and combine it with a darker trouser.

Be Prudent with Patterns

When it comes to selecting clothes, the best and safest option is to stick to plain patternless clothes. However, knowing how boring that can get sometimes, you can opt for dress shirts with vertical lines that are fine and not bold.
The second thing that can be done to add some extra zing to your attire is to use lightly patterned waistcoats, ties, mufflers, and scarves.

Belt Out for Suspenders

Belts are not practical for men who are round and broad at the waist. An ideal alternative for a belt would be suspenders which are not only convenient to use and effective in their purpose, but also extremely stylish if worn tastefully.
Depending on your budget, you can either go in for trousers that have in-built suspender anchors, or you can always get them fixed by the tailor. Another feasible alternative is to buy clip-on suspenders or fit suspender buttons on your trousers.
Remind yourself that when it comes to dressing fashionably, you will need to mix things up, take risks, and make mistakes, until you find a style that you can claim as 'truly yours'!