The Complete Guide to Suits for Big & Tall Men
by Teni Wada
Let's face it, first impressions count, and a man in a suit can present a powerful image if played right. The reasoning is very simple: When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you look good.
Finding the perfect suit can be tough for anyone, but big and tall men face certain challenges that this guide will help you overcome. For the big and tall man, finding the perfect suit with optimum comfort is possible once you know your measurements, and what pieces suit your frame and body type.
Does the suit make the man, or does the man make the suit? No matter where you stand on this debate, one thing is perfectly clear- a man in a well-fitting suit is truly a sight. He commands attention and exudes confidence.
So, how do these men do it?
It’s all in the details and in the fit. No matter your style or fashion sense, a good fit can make or break an outfit. However, big and tall men are faced with an especially daunting challenge when it comes to finding a quality suit that fits. Just follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be giving James Bond a run for his money!
Measuring Your Size
To begin, you’ll need your measurements. Not a vague size like “Large” or “Extra Large.” We’re talking about actual measurements here. Ever seen someone getting fitted for a custom made suit and how intrusive the process seems? That’s because the measurements for your chest, waist, inseam, wrists, hips, neck, and so on vary widely from person to person.
On top of that, different brands have different means of denoting sizes and sizes can even vary within the same brand. This is why it’s imperative to have your physical measurements on hand when shopping, especially if you’re shopping online. While nothing beats physically going into a store and trying on clothes (or a custom-made suit), let’s be honest here: time is a luxury better spent on things that matter to you.
Finding the Perfect Jacket
Now that you’ve got an idea of your measurements, let’s take a look at the two main components of a suit, the jacket and the trousers. These two pieces can be completed by the right accessories for the perfect look.
Ultimately, when shopping for your suit, you’ll want to purchase a jacket, trousers, and shirts that fit the biggest part of your body. Have these pieces professionally altered to give you the best fit. These alterations may add up, but consider it a long term investment that is guaranteed to give you the best fitting suit for your body type.
Before you start shopping for your suit, keep in mind these rules for patterns and materials. Big and tall men are already physically imposing - go for simple patterns that will soften your presence. Opt for solid color jackets with a visible weave and light-colored striped shirts over busy prints and patterns.
When looking for a jacket, you want to avoid three major pitfalls - a billowing, oversized jacket, pinched shoulders, and a jacket with short sleeves. You want to make sure that your jacket has adequate room in the shoulders, chest and arms. Again, if you have your measurements on hand, it will be easier for you to compare your measurements against the measurements of the jacket.
If you have a big chest and flat stomach, go for a jacket that fits loosely around your chest and will fit nicely over your stomach.If you have a round stomach, go for a straight silhouette jacket with loose fitting sleeves and low armholes.
Pants Fit to Size
While today’s trends might suggest that high waisted trousers and pleats are old-school, the truth is these features are very flattering, especially for big and tall men. In addition, you want make sure that your trousers have a long rise, or room in the crotch.
Always wear trousers at your natural waistline to create a flattering streamlined look that lengthens your legs. If you have a large, round stomach, opt for suspenders over a belt. This way, the fabric of your trousers won’t bunch up for an ill-fit. Tall men can play with belts to break up their height and draw attention to your midsection.
Completing the Look
Now that you’ve found your jacket and trousers, it’s time to complete your look. Finding the right accessories is the final step that will cement the look of your suit. Don’t be afraid to play around with your briefcase, shoes, and even socks to personalize your look. Go for wider ties, wide lapels, and watches with a larger face. These accessories best complement your body type.
Let’s take a final look at the tips and tricks presented in this guide for finding the perfect suit for big and tall men. The first step in finding the right suit is all in the measurements. Next, you need to find a jacket, trousers, and shirts in subtle patterns and colors that fit the biggest part of your body. These pieces should be altered to fit the rest of your body.
A well-fitting jacket should frame your body and have adequate room in the sleeves and shoulders. Trousers should be worn at your natural waistline and have enough room in the crotch. Complete your look with large accessories and you’re set!
After studying abroad in Tokyo, Teni Wada returned to pursue her dream of working in the Japanese fashion industry. She’s spent 5 years working for fashion brands and in the iconic Shibuya 109 shopping mall. In her latest role as a content creator, she now incorporates her fashion retail experience to write fashion and style tips, as well as Japan shopping guides. While her Twitter is filled is baseball and parenting memes, you can find out more about her Tokyo life at babykaiju.com or on Instagram