Menswear cuts don’t often favour the bigger-built man. This is especially difficult when it comes to finding a well-fitting suit – muscular men often have broad chests and shoulders, and waists that are significantly narrower. This is coupled with thicker thighs and thinner legs.
Stylist and fashion director Siya Beyile says the well-built man’s best bet is to invest in a tailor. But there are a few things to keep an eye out for when buying a suit off the rack.
Here are four expert tips on how to go about suiting up:
Go for a broader lapel jacket
“If you have broad shoulders, go for the 1930s style suit, the Great Gatsby type of suit. These are suits with bigger lapels; a smaller lapel makes you look like a big guy in a tiny suit, while the bigger one makes you look more complete and well fitted,” Beyile advises.
Stay away from double-breasted suits
“A double-breasted suit often looks too tight on a muscular man, like he can’t breathe. It’s better to go for a single-button suit, and remember to fasten only the top button if you do decide to button it up.”
Trousers often need to go to a tailor
“Where trousers are concerned, the muscular man will have to have them tailored. Retailers don’t often account for big thighs, so it’s unlikely that he’ll find the perfect pants in a store.”
Alter the sides of the jacket
“With big shoulders and legs and a thinner abdomen, make sure that tailors accentuate the size of the suit so it doesn’t look saggy or boxy. It’s important that the jacket is slimmed down slightly on the sides so it doesn’t look like it’s hovering.”
THE GOLDEN RULE
“If you can’t lift your hands above your head when you try on a suit jacket, then it’s too small,” Beyile says.