For a lot of guys, man boobs are a nagging source of shame and self-loathing.
There are a number of reasons why they appear. Often it's because of a hormone imbalance called Gynaecomastia, where high levels of estrogen causes breast tissue to form. Other times its due to an over-indulgence in fatty foods and alcohol.
But whatever the origin, 'moobs' can make us paranoid about our fashion choices. After all, it's hard to feel confident and comfortable with a fleshy albatross weighing on your chest.
To help out, we decided to consult Thread personal stylist Kasia Katner and find out her expert tips for hiding man boobs and regaining some sartorial confidence…
1 | FIT
"Avoid the extremes when it comes to fit," says Kasia. "Anything too fitted will only enhance the curves of your chest – but if you go too far the other way you'll end up adding volume, which will make you look bigger all round."
To that end, aim to gift your chest a little room from the fabric (but not too much, lest you look like you're wearing hand-me-downs.) If necessary, buy a size up and get the shoulders and waist tailored down to your specifications. That way it'll feel bespoke, but not constricted or chest-hugging.
2 | STYLE
"Generally speaking, shirts are a better choice, because they have more structure," says Kasia. "They'll sit better than t-shirts, which tend to cling."
Opt for a denser fabric over clingy or sheer fabrics, which will only draw attention to your moobs. Heavier weaves like twill or oxford cloth are a better choice than thin poplin.
3 | COLOUR
White shirts are more likely to display evident moob shadow than a blue or grey number, which will better blend with the shade.
"Darker tones are certainly flattering, but don't feel like you have to avoid lighter colours. Especially if you choose the right fabric."
4 | DETAILS
This is where it gets a little more complicated. "Pockets can go either way. They can provide additional structure to a shirt and this disguise the problem area, but then bulky, heavily detailed pockets will only draw attention to the chest." The lesson is: choose your top pocket wisely.
Visual trickery can also be of help. "Smaller patterns are really helpful as they create an illusory effect," says Kasia. "They draw the eye to the pattern, rather than the body shape."
5 | COMPRESSION
No, it's not a girdle, so stop panicking.
This is a last resort, but compression vests are widely available, cheap and do a great job of comfortably suppressing heavy chests under everyday clothes.
Their low, scooping necks mean that they'll never be spotted (unless you're a 'four buttons undone for the ladies' kinda guy), and even if someone sees it, most budget offerings look almost identical to a performance sports vest.
Of course, you could always try whittling them down with our expert manboob-busting fitness guide.