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When you're a portly man, you really have to pay attention to your fit. The problem is, it's very hard for you to find a good suit that fits you.
Now when you buy a suit off the rack, you have to bear in mind that what happens when they size it just gets gradually bigger and smaller all over. That means if you get a large suit that fits around your belly, it's also going to be longer and wider in the chest. While you can shorten sleeves, you cannot shorten the length of the jacket because otherwise, everything looks disproportionate and especially the buttoning point gets too low which makes it look like you have short legs and everything looks unfavorable.
If you are big and tall, it's relatively easy because there are specialized stores that provide suits for you. If that's the case, you can go off the rack and go to your alterations tailor afterward.
If you are not tall but have a bit of a belly, you should really invest in a made to measure program or ideally, bespoke because you'll get much better results. Here are a few key points to pay attention to when you buy a suit:
1. Single-breasted, not a double breasted because that makes you look wider.
2. Skip the belt. With Suspenders, the pants will look more flattering & it will be more comfortable.
3. Pleats because they give you a little more room which not only makes everything look more proportional but it's also more comfortable when you sit.
4. Go with a vest but you have to make sure that the rise of your trousers is high enough so the vest covers the waistband of the pants otherwise, it looks odd.
5. Shoulders. Ideally, you should feel where your shoulder bone is and that's where the shoulder should end or just slightly extend. Again, this is a problem off the rack, also the shoulders get wider then you look like a football player and it makes you look even bigger than you actually are.
6. Avoid having overly tight garments especially on your buttoning point, you don't want to see any X wrinkles because it's a clear indication that the garment is too tight.
7. In terms of lapel width, I suggest you skip the skinny lapel because it just doesn't go with your built.
8. As for ties, you should go for a classic, 9cm, 3 1/2 width because it works better with your physique.
9. Always skip the middle vent because it's more likely to gap on your seat and then looks unfavorable. Go with 2 side vents that give you more room, looks more dapper, and you'll be more comfortable.
10. In terms of colors and patterns, I suggest you start out with solids because you don't want to wear something that is too flashy.
11. For shirts, a classic white or light blue is a perfect place to start. Later on, maybe you add some pink but always make sure to keep it pale and never go with strong colors because it will harmonize well with your darker suits. Customized shirts or made to measure shirts are very affordable and you can find them online starting at 30 bucks. of course, at that price, you really have to make compromises about the fabric quality but since fit is the most important thing, you can start there if you can't afford more and then slowly work your way up.
12. Get a slim, classic collar. Why? because it gives you a slimming effect. On the other hand, a widespread, cutaway collar makes you look bigger than you actually are. Go for something more substantial, bigger that is not too spread.
13. When it comes to tie knots, you should go for something medium sized, maybe a four in hand, oriental with a thicker interlining, or maybe a half Windsor but stay clear of the double Windsor.
14. Shirt Cuffs should fit tightly against your wrist and that you show about a quarter to half an inch of cuff, makes you look very dapper and if you want, you can also go with cuff links.
15. When posing for pictures, stand slightly at an angle because it will have a slimming effect on you.
16. Up your look with accessories such as a nice pocket square, or maybe even a boutonniere.
17. You should invest in a proper pair of Goodyear welted Oxfords or Derbys.
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