The times are changing. Over the years the world has become more and more progressive, and it’s evident in the changes in fashion trends. Styles come and go like a revolving cycle. However, there’s one fashion trend that has noticeably evolved over time and has shown no sign of retreat: the welcoming of plus-size style.
The acceptance of a wider variety of body types into the sphere of fashion has become a societal norm. Gone are the days of clothing companies marketing exclusively to slim, fit body types. Plus-size fashion has become a fashion world staple, and as long as someone knows how to style themselves according to their body type, they can stand out in their day-to-day life.
As a plus-sized man, I grew up and spent most of my life under the philosophy that plus-size fashion didn’t exist. Stores would market plus-sized outfit sets, but no matter how much my mom reassured me that I looked “very handsome,” I just didn’t believe it. I thought the ability to pull off stylish outfits was something that was earned by slimming down and adhering to the standards of commercial appeal.
Although that is certainly an approach — one that would probably pay off in the long run — it’s not the only answer for feeling confident in your clothing, and being plus-size alone should not prohibit anyone from dressing fashionably.
The biggest issue that many find when trying to pull off fashionable outfits while being plus-sized is that you have to go into it with a different mindset. You can’t just put on the same clothes that your fashionable, fit friend rocks on a daily basis. You have to plan out your clothing in accordance to your body type.
For plus-sized men, here are a few tips to get yourselves looking sharp and feeling good:
In the realm of plus-size fashion, layering is your friend. Not only does it allow you to combine the best objects in your wardrobe into one killer outfit, it also adds substance and dynamics. Single-layer tops tend to accent body curves more, and more often than not, they don’t portray the person’s body in a flattering way. I like to layer a denim jacket over a simple T-shirt or hoodie for a sharp yet casual everyday outfit, or combine it with a sweater and a button up for the perfect combination of casual and confident.
Men’s fashion trends have shifted from baggier pants and clothing of the ‘90s and 2000s to slim, tight-fitting pants, including casual pants, jeans and dress slacks. However, even today, it’s common to see bigger guys wearing baggy clothing. I have definitely found myself doing this before, and the philosophy is a bit backwards. Some bigger guys believe that wearing baggier clothes makes them look more proportionate and hides unflattering curves. But bulkier clothing just makes you look, well, bulkier. I’m not telling you to go out and squeeze yourself into the first pair of skinny jeans you can find, but finding pants that meet the balance between comfort and mobility while not looking like ski pants is essential for any plus-sized guy’s wardrobe.
Fellas, I have some troubling news for you. No matter how comfortable it may be to wear your pants below your stomach and let the muffin top hang out, it is one of the least laudatory things you can do while dressing yourself for the day. I used to follow the philosophy that wearing my jeans below my gut was the way to go, as wearing them any higher looked like I was prepping for flood waters. Don’t go out walking around pretending to be the next Steve Urkel, unless that’s your thing (in which case, rock it). Instead, I found a better solution to allow my pants to hang at a proper length and not cover up my boots while still allowing my pants to sit higher on my waist. Most of my clothes come from Old Navy, and their plus-size pants have a higher waist on them. This allows me to wear the pants above my gut, which makes the transition from legs to chest a lot less abrupt and looks a lot more complementary to your body.
Believe it or not, the most important piece when pulling off an outfit isn’t an article of clothing. It’s your confidence. You can have name-brand clothing and a wardrobe hand-picked by the world’s best fashion designers, but if you aren’t confident about yourself in those clothes, it isn’t going to go over well. I still fight with this, and I’m sure my friends are tired of me constantly questioning whether I look good on any given day. You have to be confident in yourself and your style choices, and if you leave home loving yourself and your outfit, others will too.