December is a busy month. Lots of shopping, party planning and family coming over, so it’s understandable that you’ll want to look your best. But what if this year, instead of buying the same loose sweaters and black t-shirts, you go for a truly exceptional look? Don’t worry, you won’t need to hit any designer shops unless you really want to. These tips are more about the sort of looks that help to flatter a bigger frame.
Make a Solid Impression with a Long Overcoat
The overcoat is your shell in the winter. You will be showing it to everyone, so you should spend some time finding a good match. Instead of buying a short coat that will leave your belly exposed, go with a full-length model. It will cover both your stomach and buttocks, making your torso look longer and creating a slimming effect. Choose a model made of wool or cashmere which will be heavier and won’t bulge with your bulges. Oh, and avoid coats with belts.
For more freedom of movement, you can pick a double-vented coat. Which is a very British look. Picture yourself crossing the street in it. It’s a foggy night, and you are heading out to dinner with friends. No stress, no chills, no chunks showing. Just the warm feeling of Christmas.
Try Out a Slim Fit Sweater
We know. When you hear slim fit, you think tight around your arms and belly, rolling up, and making your day suck. But that’s only because you’re envisaging a cheap slim-fit t-shirt. This year, invest in a cashmere or wool sweater that was designed to outline your shapes. Don’t order it online, go out and try as many as you need until you find the one that feels comfortable around your waist but fits more snugly around your chest and arms. If you can spot a V-neck, it’s even better, as it will make you look taller. Buy three!
Here at MAN v FAT, we encourage you to wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. But this doesn’t mean that you need to look sloppy. A slim-fit sweater combined with a simple pair of trousers and a blazer can be the perfect outfit for a more casual office Christmas party.
Swap the Belt for Suspenders
You need your belt to keep your trousers on, but you must admit there’s nothing comfortable about it. It usually slips off your stomach, and the buckle buries into your skin leaving you with the dreaded red buckle rash.
Suspenders are, without a doubt, a better option. They no longer cut your middle, so your trouser front falls in a smoother line, giving you a more elegant look. If you think you can’t pull them off, wear them as they were intended: hidden under your shirt.
Choose Darker Colours
Going for clothes in purples or reds will only succeed in making you look like a fruit. And bright-coloured trousers usually look cheap regardless of if you are skinny or fat. Try dark blue or black jeans and go for a chocolate brown or charcoal grey jacket. Stay away from busy patterns. It may feel like a good idea to pull an all-black look, but it usually isn’t. Playing with shades helps frame your body and adjust proportions to look better to the eye. Generally, you want to emphasise the longer part of your body shape as it makes you look taller overall.
Shop for Thick but Lightweight Fabrics
Thicker fabrics drape better. So, for the Christmas party this year, go with an Oxford cloth shirt or a flannel top. Twill, denim, or cotton also work. They have a firmer structure and won’t hug your body, highlighting any less-flattering curves. Although they are thicker, they stay light, so they will not add unnecessary bulk to your body.
Complete Your Outfit with a Scarf
Winter is the perfect season to wear scarves and keep the bitter winds away from your neck and chest. Here’s where you can experiment with colours and patterns. If you want to wear yellow, you can. Red, green, light blue, orange – follow your intuition. The scarf will draw attention toward your face and away from your belly.
Wear it wrapped around your neck like Brad Pitt, in a Chelsea knot like David Beckham, or simply hanging freely down your body, like the always classy Al Pacino.
Finally – make it a new year’s resolution to find a trustworthy tailor…
Broadly speaking, clothing manufacturers still hate bigger guys. Unsurprisingly then it’s hard to find clothes that will fit you perfectly. Even after hours spent shopping, you may still end up with a pair of pants that is too long or a coat that fits you around the waist but doesn’t quite match the length of your arms. Tailoring everything to your size will give you a cleaner, more stylish look. And it often won’t cost you more than £15-£20 to ensure that you have a garment that fits perfectly. Ask around for a good tailor and look sharp for this New Year’s Eve party and beyond.