Plain cloths with a matte finish are best — the big man in a shiny suit appears redolent of a glistening whale. Stout
gentlemen should gravitate to dark colours, as lighter hues have a magnifying effect. A preponderance of black is
best avoided, however. Charcoal greys or midnight blue are far less likely to leave you looking like a lumbering
The heavier guy should approach double-breasted suits in much the same way as a bottomless brunch buffet: with
caution. The most slimming configuration of DB is the 6x1 (fastening on the bottom button), the style championed by
Cifonelli. Here, the deep V shape created betwixt the swooping lapels elongates the torso, giving the impression of
both extra height and lower weight. Nevertheless, a single-breasted two-button coat is a safer alternative for the
husky customer. Consider a three-piece, the waistcoat will help hold the belly in.
Insofar as suit detailing goes, if you’re not skinny, your lapels (and tie) shouldn’t be either. Inset pockets are
preferable to patch, as the latter can broaden the hips. The fit needs to be precise — not too tight, which will
accentuate bulges; not too voluminous, which will only add to your bulk.
The portly man’s well-fed tummy often protrudes over a flat-fronted trouser, making a slightly roomy pleated pant
that sits at the natural waist a more comfortable, flattering choice. Keep jeans straight, trim but not slim-fit,
and in dark selvedge denim. Nix the belt, which draws attention to the body’s swollen mid-section. Braces /
suspenders present a visually pleasant vertical line and help trousers stay atop the belly.
With woollens, stay away from chunky knits (particularly turtlenecks) as they’ll add real bulk to your build, and
choose a lightweight, flattering V-neck sweater. V-neck tees are slimming, too, as is wearing your shirt unbuttoned
to the breastbone. Your shirts should have point collars, which create the illusion of length in a round face —
spread and cutaway collars, meanwhile, will only serve to widen the appearance of your visage.
If, despite following this advice, you still appear somewhat rotund, remember that in many cultures, carrying a few
extra pounds is seen as a sign of prosperity, indicating that you can afford to indulge your every appetite. With
head held high, wear that weight proudly, celebrate abundance — and order up another serve of foie gras crème