The average man spends the better part of his youth figuring out how to dress well, only to get to middle age and find that – quite literally under his nose – his body has changed the rules of the game completely.
Yes, gentlemen, we're talking about your belly.
Whether you're naturally a larger guy or just haven't quite nailed down jogging yet, there's no shame in packing a few extra pounds around the middle – within reason, of course.
But it is worth knowing how to dress in way that we could call "compliments your shape", but really mean "makes you look slimmer".
Here's six easy steps, until that fitness regime finally kicks in.
1 | Avoid loud prints and patterns
Plain clothes can feel boring, but if you’re broad or bigger chested, loud patterns like stripes and pin dots will draw unwanted attention (unless theyr'e really discrete). A notable exception is neckwear; a striped tie can emphasise the length of your torso, making you look leaner.
2 | Embrace autumnal colours
Dark colours doesn't mean looking like a teenager Cure fan; embrace autumn’s rich shades like mustard, burgundy and bottle-green, which are colourful but won't draw loads of attention to your belly.
3 | Wear more black
Darker colours are slimming, so switching your jeans for black denim, like these ones from Uniqlo. They suit everyone, and will keep your lower half looking more slender. Pair with a dark denim shirt or a blue button-down oxford.
4 | Chunky clothes will make you look chunkier
At this time of year, thicker fabrics like cord trousers or chunky cardigans might seem appealing, but they’ll add more bulk to your frame. Choose lighter knitwear for layering, like a merino wool cardigan, and stick to chinos, which will look more flattering.
5 | Don’t break your body up too much
Wearing different colours, shades and tones all over your body will just draw attention to each individual bit. Sticking to subtle shades of one colour, like blue, or limiting yourself to darker shades will keep you looking more pulled together.
6 | Learn which brands fit you – and which ones don’t
Getting clothes that fit your frame instead of hanging off them is crucial to looking neater and more slender. But it’s worth remembering clothes that are too-tight will highlight your saggy chest, too. Do your research, figure out what brands make clothes for you, and stick to them. Cos and J Crew both do slim, flattering fits, and don't be afraid of Topman, whose typically tight shirts and trousers now come in a more classic, roomier fit.