Fantastic Man Piles On The Pounds
6 inches is an extremely relevant measurement for today’s gent. Not because of that well known stat, but because of one that, although largely ignored can have just as much influence on the male prowess; the waistline.
Why 6 Inches? Well the average sample size of clothing and the correlating waist measurements of most male models is 28/30″, in stark contrast the average UK male waistline measures in at a slightly more rotund 34/36″. I know ‘average’ is a thoroughly dirty word, but is one that best draws attention to the issue that the fashion industry seemingly ignores the bulging bellies of the masses – I have seen a shouty larger-lout style ad voiced by Jonny Vegas, that takes inspiration for it’s sales pitch straight from the terraces (the name of which escapes me, but I know you can buy hideously cheap looking polo shirts there), and there is the shop which I once considered to be an urban myth, before stumbling upon one branch in Oxford Street many years ago; High & Mighty. Other than that, you could be forgiven for thinking that fashion for the average gent has lost its way.
The hefty issue has been thrown into spotlight by the Dutch style bible ‘Fantastic Man’ (that is to say the men’s spotlight – thanks to Sophie Dahl, Evans, Mark Fast and the like, women have been gabbing on about plus size fashion since the dawn of spanx). Their newest issues features a six page spread with the premise of ‘A series of stylistic suggestions for bold summer fashions to be worn by gentlemen of a quite marvellous shape’. Revealing trunks, short shorts and horizontal stripes are modelled by gents selected through street castings and who, by no stretch of the imagination, would fit the stereotypical ideals of the traditional male model; whether that be the buff and bronzed man as favoured by labels such as D&G or the skinny urchin look championed by Dior and Kenzo.
The magazine’s creative director, Jop Van Bennekom, says ‘We have been thinking of doing this for a couple of years, and it has taken a long time to find the right men, and get clothes, because they are not sample size’. Indeed the larger man seems to present a quandary for the fashion world; fashion is built on fantasy and aspiration. I’m the first to admit when shopping at Topman I buy into the idea that their jeans will catapult me back to my teenage years – only this time around I’d be rock star cool and whippet thin, but there comes a point when the reality of buying clothes and wanting to look good, not matter ones size, comes into play. Here Fashionbeans presents the brands that embrace the bulk and clothes for those of a more cuddly disposition.
Remember these top tips if you are on the larger size:
- Horizontal stripes (unlike the old wives tale says) are far more slimming then vertical ones.
- Layering is key – by breaking up the vertical lines along your torso a slimming effect is created.
- Go for fitted – buying baggy clothes will just make anyone look bigger than they really are.
- Colour block – keep colours dark, muted and simple and ensure they are teamed with clean cut lines; there’s no need for fussy detailing here.
- Think about proportions – steer clear of items such as hi-top trainers or long line tops, which can easily stunt a potentially long and lean look.
The edgy urban clothiers, with a dark and dangerous look, rather surprisingly go up to a 36″ waist (particularly try runner fit jeans as the twisted seams also fit larger) in their trews and shorts and an XL on top – grab these fresh summer pieces for a strong seasonal look:
Catering for all, the hip high street store carries some of it’s lines up to a 38″ for down below and an XXL for on top – check out these picks:
With over 900 brands, the broader gent has a lot to choose from, with some lines going up to a 38″ waist and 46″ chest. Have an ogle at these:
Editor Addition: Specialist Shops:
For those males who need to go above XXL or even 38″ waists there are a number of specialist shops online which still stock some designer brands and hard to get hold of sizes. You can try one of the following:
If you find or know of any other shops which do great quality clothes (high street or designer) then please just drop a link in the comments and we can get a great list together in order to make it easier for plus size males to look their very best this year.