How to Dress Well as a Man With a Heavier Belly

7 Style Tips for men with a heavier belly

Newsflash: not everyone is blessed with a naturally fit body type or the endless motivation (and time?) to throw around weights in the gym daily. So if you’re a man who carries most of his weight in the midsection of your body, you may just find yourself looking for style tips and ways to dress best for your body type and possibly disguise the belly. And no, this doesn’t mean you need to compromise – promise. Here are 7 easy style tricks for men with a belly to look and feel their best.

Pay attention to fit

It goes without saying that the clothes should fit well. Don’t settle for less: opting for the slightly too wide, or worse, slightly too tight size will not work. To achieve the best fit, it’s important to avoid wearing garments under tension, especially around zippers, buttons, and seams. Tension can result in unwanted folds, making you look firmer. 

Your clothes also shouldn’t pinch while moving, so always check how they fit when you sit down or bend your knees. Don’t consider this as a cue to solely wear oversized fits from now on – the rule is fitted – not extra slim fit. 

Find yourself a tailor

Most garments you find in-store and online are made to fit the majority of bodies, from slender teenage guys to tall men, short kings, and well-trained athletes, plus men over 60. And that, while everybody (literally) is different. This means you’ll probably need some assistance in finding perfect-fitting clothes in a fit that enhances your body type. I usually suggest my clients opt for a regular to slim fit cut.

The easy but oh-so-functional solution to this is finding a skilled tailor you trust (preferably one who has an atelier in the neighborhood). Have your garments tailored, or visit your new best friend after purchasing new items to adjust them perfectly. I know this will cost you some money and time, but this also means you will never have to deal with discomfort, bad buys, or half-assed fits ever again.

Quality over quantity: spend your money wisely

Are you less confident about your figure because of your belly? The key is (actually, no matter the body type) to invest in good quality clothing. An inexpensive T-shirt will look fine on a slender teenager but unfortunately doesn’t work for everyone. In lieu of opting for the cheap way, commit to investing a bit more. You’ll want to look out for natural and sturdy fabrics that will last over time. Think of cotton in a twill weave and denim. 

Make sure to avoid garments made of synthetic compositions as these are likely to look cheap and, at the same time, might cause unpleasant sweat odors. You’d probably want to avoid bulky fabrics with a massive look and feel. Think heavy-knit wool or puffer jackets. Your go-to substitutes for lower temperatures are thin-woven wool sweaters made from materials such as Merino or woven cotton.

When in doubt, try double denim

Wearing denim items is a great option for men with a heavier midsection. The fabric is typically less revealing and sturdy. Another benefit of choosing denim is its firmness: this ensures that wrinkles won’t get in your way easily, simultaneously saving you time from ironing your shirt, for example. To make the most of your wardrobe as a man with a bigger build, ensure it consists of a few reliable denim staples. Think of building blocks that go with anything, such as denim jeans in dark blue, mid-blue and black, a denim overshirt or jacket, and a denim shirt.

Embrace the art of layering

To me, an outfit that consists of different materials, structures, and colors (in moderation) is worth a million bucks. This goes up for heavier-set men too. Mix up your garments and add depth to your look to achieve a visually appealing appearance. While ton-sur-ton (or: monochrome) looks can be the cream of the crop, breaking up your silhouette is a powerful tool to disguise a belly, too. 

In practice, that goes like this: pair olive-colored tailored trousers when wearing a dark blue Merino wool sweater. Then, add a worker jacket in twill or a woolen blazer in even darker blue. This will prevent your body from looking hefty. Another possibility is a cardigan, worn open over a T-shirt in a different color—or a printed shirt with a plain jacket, and so on. Diversity in clothing structures helps create a slimming effect by lengthening the vertical line of your figure.

Less stress, opt for stretch

Do you prefer fitted garments, but only when they fit comfortably? Thanks to the invention of stretch, that’s a breeze. Luckily in recent years, there have been remarkable strides in the field of stretch fabric technology. The notion revolves around wearing well-fitting clothing that offers a slight give rather than opting for tight garments that stretch excessively. Stretch ensures the clothing fibers are softer, more flexible, and offer enough flexibility throughout the day.

Especially in denim jeans, stretch plays a big role these days. The advantage of a bit of stretch is that denim can now form to your body and reduce the ‘muffin top.’ Dress shirts with stretch are a great pick.

Add accessories

One reason women love accessories is the fact that they fit regardless of clothing size. Guys, take note. A good collection of accessories can be of good help when building outfits. Accessories add personality and can be the finishing touch to your daily look when worn in moderation. Think cool sunglasses, special sneakers, or an interesting belt. Are you wearing a suit or business casual attire? Add a pocket square. But don’t overdo it. Going too wild on color and patterns might outbalance your look.

When you feel good, you look good

Let me give you one piece of advice that goes beyond what fits or patterns suit your body type best: never settle for less, and never compromise. The first important rule is always to wear whatever makes you feel confident and comfortable; this should be a non-negotiable.

Need some help with that?

Look and feel your best and build the stylish, functional wardrobe you’ve always dreamt of. Dress your best, effortlessly, in clothes that reflect the authentic you. Let’s elevate your personal brand today with Virtual Men’s Personal Styling.

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Start dressing better today.

Get my FREE E-guide: Define your Personal Style 101 to create a stable base for your ideal wardrobe.