Suits for Larger Guys – The Guide
Big Dude has you Covered
A good suit can make you look good and feel great, no matter your size. A smart staple, the suit is no longer saved for the odd wedding or funeral, but is adorned more regularly than not. Whether for a business meeting or a job interview, a dinner date or just work, a suit is a flexible piece that is essential for the modern big man. Take a look at the most common suit styling faux pas we came across here and read on for how to solve them!
Common Suit Faux Pas and How to Fix Them
How to Wear a Suit – 8 Quick Styling Tips
Collar: If a jacket collar is too tight, when you move your head side to side, the collar will drag and create a crease in the fabric. Too large and there will be a noticeable gap. As a general rule of thumb the jacket collar should lay flat to the shirt underneath, without any significant gaps between the layers. As we are discussing collars, the shirt collar is also something to be aware of. Ensure that the collar is snug around the neck, but not tight. You should be able to easily insert one finger in the space between the neck and the fabric. Any tighter and you run risk of feeling chocked or creating an overlap of skin and any looser creates a casual, less formal look.
Shoulder: All in all, the shoulder of the suit should mimic your arm and meet the sleeve where your arm reaches your shoulder. If the suit is too small, the seam that connects the shoulder to the sleeve will sit too high and create tight ripples on the arm. Similarly, if the jacket is too big and the seam sits mid bicep, a baggy, bumpy sleeve will ensue. These issues can be solved quite easily by consulting a tailor or looking at alternative sizes. However, if the arm is twisted, the sleeve pitch may be off. If this is the case, it is probably best to try something else as this is more difficult to fix and may require the sleeve to be removed and rehung. So, to get the perfect look, ensure that the shoulder of your suit lays flat and you are good to go.
Lapel: As a general rule, match the width of the lapel with the width of your tie – it’s all about balance.
Pocket Squares: Draw attention to your chest (and away from your belly) with pocket squares. Although traditionally seen as very formal attire, more recently they have come back into everyday fashion and allow you to experiment adding that little extra to your suit. Choose different colour and pattern combinations here and don’t be afraid to go bold and bright.
Button Closure: The button of the jacket should close without strain. When trying on the jacket look for sides that meet neatly together, lapels that fit closely to the body without falling too far forward and edges of the jacket that do not flare out. If you can visually see an X shaped crease on the jacket with it buttoned closed, the jacket is too tight and it may be worth looking at trying the next size up. Whether a two or three buttoned jacket, the bottom button is always left unfastened and when you sit down, get comfy! – undo your jacket.
Cuff: Show ½” of your shirt cuff. Any more and you run the risk of looking like a magician.
Length: Ideally the suit jacket should end just below the bottom of your trouser seat. However, with shorter styles and cropped jackets being introduced as of late, the rules are ever changing here and personal preference is king.
Trouser Break: The trouser break is another choice demanded by personal preference. Relating to the fold at the cuff of a trouser, a medium break is traditionally the most popular. However, modern styles dictate that short breaks are very ‘now’ and a full break can come across as very baggy, but again it’s up to you.
Looking for more fashion tips for the large guy?
Check out our Top Fashion Tips here.
Suit Do and Suit Don’t
So now we know how a suit should fit, let’s take a look at a few dos and don’ts in the suit world.
Don’t invest in a shiny shirt.
Not only do they belong in the 70s, but the fabric can crease easily and cause shadows resulting in the illusion of extra bulk. Instead, opt for darker suits. Navy or charcoal are preferred over a black ensemble unless you are on your way to a funeral or formal occasion, but styled well a black suit can work in any situation. As well as elongating and slimming your frame, darker suits compliment a wider range of colour combinations allowing you to experiment with your day to day look.
Don’t pair a classic suit with flashy, over-the-top footwear.
Classic oxfords or penny loafers are preferred, but if you do wish to make a statement, a subtle snakeskin print shoe will work. If you can’t stay away from a zany pattern or bright colour, add originality with a pair of interesting socks.
Do choose a jacket that is just the right length.
A good rule of thumb? Choose a jacket where the bottom hem falls naturally at the end of your fingertips. Similarly, trousers should also be just right. Aim for a leg length that causes a subtle ‘break’ or crease at the top of your shoe.
Do balance your outfit.
If you choose to wear a tie with your suit, find one that is the same width as the lapel of your jacket to create a balanced look. If you are a tall guy, consider investing in a longer length tie if necessary and aim for the point to fall within 5cm of your belt.
Looking for Tall Guy Fashion Tips? Look no further.
Looking for that final bit of inspiration? Take a look at our favourite outfits, shop the look and rock your suit, big man!
Got a Date?
Shirt – Shoes – Suit
If you are heading out on a date to a restaurant, show or even a blind date, impress them by rocking up in a suit. A suit may not be the best choice for a picnic in a park or cinema trip, but will certainly impress. Go for something smart and understated with a mix of charcoal, grey and black. The Dr Martins ensure that you will also stay comfortable all day and show off your sense of style too.
Extra Tip: A gift could be nice, but otherwise you’re good to go!
Dinner and Drinks?
Shoes – Shirt – Suit – Jeans
Heading out to dinner one day this week? Wear a smart casual ensemble and head out to the bars after dessert. Team this tan jacket with a classic white shirts and a pair of dark denim jeans. Finish off the look with a pair of brown brogues for a classic, smart casual style.
Extra Tip: Bring a big appetite!
Maybe a Wedding?
Suit – Shoes – Shirt
If you have a wedding coming up and you’re not too sure of what to wear, head for your trusty suit. We love this light grey suit. Not as formal as black, you won’t have to worry about blending into the grooms party and as for colour combinations, grey offers you plenty. Add a light grey shirt underneath the jacket and lift the colours with a pop of bright royal blue. Simply team with smart shoes and enjoy the celebration.
Extra Tip: Add a bit of colour in a royal shade. Blue, purple and red are winners here.
So there you have it, Big Dude’s guide to suits.
Shop the look and take a peak at our full range of suits for larger guys online at Big Dude Clothing. See you there!