There’s little like a suit for making a man feel his best. And that’s never truer than for guys who are taller or broader or bigger than the average man. Well-chosen tailoring can do amazing things for your frame, adding structure and sharp lines to rounder shapes, and helping built shoulders or longer torsos look in proportion. Sound good? Here’s what you should look out for.
The right fit is important for any suit, but if you’re a bit burly it’s even more so. There’s an instinct to use extra fabric to cover well-built or larger bodies. The opposite is true. You should wear the smallest size that fits comfortably. And don’t be afraid to consider different fits. You can wear a skinny fit. You can wear a regular fit. The decision should be based on your taste, and not your size. We’ve tailored all our fits so they’re perfectly proportioned to suit bigger frames. But as a general guide, you want to go for the trimmest suit that feels good to minimise the fabric.
Once you’ve got the fit sorted, turn your attention to the details. Again, it’s all about balance. Taller guys might consider choosing a two-button over a one-button suit to more evenly punctuate longer jackets. Another good trick is to look for a jacket with a lower break. Having this point – where your lapel meets your first button – lower will make it sit more in line with the natural waist of a longer torso.
Elsewhere, choose a mid-width lapel so it’s in proportion with the width of your jacket. The same goes for your tie: you’re best to pick one with a decent-sized blade, rather than a skinny one, so it’s in scale with the amount of shirt fabric on show. And finally, slanted pockets will help to make a thicker torso look slimmer by leading the eye in and up your frame.
There’s a popular belief out there that you shouldn’t wear pattern if you’ve got a bigger frame. We disagree – everyone should embrace pattern. The key is to keep your proportions in check. Stripes are fine, even the horizontal variety, but look out for scale. A chunky Bengal stripe has the potential to take on comedy proportions on a bigger body. Stick to finer stripes for a cleaner finish. The same goes for checks, florals or other patterns – the less busy, the better.
When buying shirts, look for an extra-long version so it doesn’t keep slipping out the back of your trousers every time you sit down or move around too much. And while it might be obvious to say pick a bigger neck size – ours go up to 21″ by the way – it’s also worth thinking about the lead edge of your collar. You’ll want this outside edge that frames your tie to be a bit longer so the collar is in proportion to a larger chest.
If you’re a tall guy, you’re going to have to put extra consideration into where your trousers end. Look out for longer lengths or have a tailor let down your hems for an extra few centimetres. If you’re a bigger guy with shorter limbs, a well-proportioned hem will elongate your legs rather than cut them off in an awkward spot. Again, a tailor is your friend here.
It’s also worth noting that the trend for cropped trousers is not ideal for those of very long legs where it can look like your trousers have shrunk. Best to get a professional to tailor your trousers to a flattering length. And a final piece of advice: keep your pockets free of junk. This is true for men of any size. It ruins the lines of your suit and disrupts your silhouette – and not in a good way. Keep it streamlined.