Dressing Your Man

Crystal Hohenthaner

Crystal Hohenthaner

Being a true fashionista is difficult for anybody, but sometimes big strong men have extra trouble. Some women, usually girlfriends, desire to help. Whether you are a man who has no idea how to start dressing yourself or a woman who doesn’t have clue how to dress a man, here’s a little help.

For most men, the first obstacle to finding fashionable clothing is the dressing room. Lots of fells don’t want to try clothes on. It is absolutely impossibe to find clothes that accentuate your best qualities if you don’t try them on – in front of a mirror.

Another obstacle to dressing well is the myth that bigger is more comfortable and therefore better. Clothes that fit can be comfortable too!

On Top

A lot of men who are larger only like wearing shirts that are very oversized. Wearing oversized clothes usually just makes a man look larger if he is large or thinner if he is thin.

A better way to deal with being large is to layer. An undershirt that is a litte tighter than its overshirt will smooth and camoflauge some body flaws.

Layering a woven shirt over a tee-shirt or a woven shirt under a sweater is an effective way to camoflauge negative body points.

The combination of camoflauging the negatives and accentuating the positives of a fella’s body is the key to dressing well.

In order to pick out clothes that accentuate a man’s best qualities you need to decide what those are. If you don’t know what body part to show off here’s a hint – for most fellas their arms or chest are worth accentuating.

To accentuate shoulders, and specifically nice deltoid and trapezius muscles, raglan sleeves, as shown in picture one below, do the trick. Raglan sleves are also known as baseball-style sleeves and are generally a color that contrasts with the rest of the shirt.

In general any contrasting elements or detailing will draw attention to themselves and the area of the body it is on. For example in photo two below, the stripes on the sleeve draw the eye from our model’s face to his biceps and triceps.

If a man decides to highlight his chest, horizontal stripes across the area do the trick. So do horizontal seams, sometimes termed football seams, as pictured in potograph three below. Photograph three also depicts a horizontal logo detail that, because of it’s curvilinear shape, draws attention to the shape of a man’s pectoral muscles.

In general detailing draws attention to an area. That means that it is important to try not to draw attention to an area a man dislikes. For example, if his waistline is a little larger, don’t tuck in his shirt and give him an eye-catching belt with a bright buckle.

Most of these principles apply to jeans and pants as well.

On the Bottom

Detailing draws attention. That is the long and the short of it. That means don’t buy pants with a lot of detailing if you don’t want to draw attention to them or that area of your body.

As everyone knows, the staple of pantswear for the college-age man is jeans. Lately jeans have evolved into a real fashion statement, with a plethora of washes (that means colors) and details.

Jean detailing is mainly categorized by types of distressing. Faded stripes surrounding the fly are called whiskers and jeans with whiskers are said to be whisker washed. If you don’t like how wide your hips are, whiskers will not make you happy. If you are thin in that area and you want to draw attention to it, go whiskers.

Many jeans nowadays also have faded patches down the front of the thighs and in the butt. If you want to draw attention to those areas, for any reason, go for the jeans with the faded detailing in those areas.

Chevrons, or fade marks that appear behind the knees and radiate from the seams of the inner and outer thighs, are details that can either draw the eye up and down and all around your man, but they also can halt the motion of the eyes. It all depends on the directions the chevrons point. Be sure they look good before you get them.

Distressing caused by sanding the jeans along the seams, hems or pockets until they appear white is a very popular efect that makes jeans look vintage.

My favorite distressing detail on jeans is the front crease. Some jeans are creased, the way an expensive suit would be, and then the crease is distressed so that it is lighter than the rest of the jean. This detail can accentuate a man’s height or, sometimes, make him look taller.

Jeans are the most important piece of clothing a nonprofessional college-age person should have. And men need pair that fit in order to look their best.

Fit does not mean fits around the waist, although they should fit around the waist. Fit means fits in the but. Guys like comfort and they often think that big means comfortable. Many also like to wear jeans lower than their waist. This dreadful combination has the effect of making it look like a fella has dropped trow in his trousers.

The rear is the place a good pair of jeans needs to fit best. This means the crotch of the jeans has to be in a man’s crotch. There are plenty of low-rise jeans out there to make this a possibility without sacrificing comfort. Furthermore, lighter weight denims are way more comfortable than traditional denim.

Unless you have a lot of patience don’t try to decode the denim mystery without a trained professional. That means ask for help.

There are three stores in Sioux Falls where they have highly trained denim staffs: the Buckle, Express, and the Gap.

I suggest you don’t go into the Buckle unless you are ready to buy because they will try to sell you the whole store. Be sure to tell the clerk what you like and what you dislike.

There are some classic denim fits that certain body types can and cannot wear.

Foremost in jean shopping is this – NO TAPERED JEANS. They don’t look good on anyone and a lot jeans out there are tapered but have a tricky name on them to make you think they aren’t tapered, like “baggy” or “loose” on them. Don’t be fooled — these names mean to big in the butt and too tight at the ankles.

Boot cut jeans are a safe bet for almost anyone. They accentuate all the right things on a guy.

Stovepipe or wide-leg jeans are the same size around the thigh as they are at the bottom. They can be flattering on larger guys because, generally they look the way boot-cut jeans look on the average guy. Wide-leg jeans also look pretty good on really tall guys who are rather thin and need to rebalance their silhouette with some width.

There is one more jean that is coming back into style for guys – the flare. Flares and semi-flares never really went out — my dad’s been wearing them all along — but now cool people are wearing them again too. This is a really tricky cut because it can make you look curvy like a woman. Most guys don’t want this.

Consider your style and the statement you want to make before you commit to buying a pair of flares. Maybe try a pair from a second hand store first so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a possible fashion mistake.

All Over

Accessories are starting to be big for guys again. My favorite is the leather bracelet. Accessories are all about what you think looks good, there are very few rules.

There is, however, one rule. If you wear a belt it has to match your shoes! For this reason every guy should have two pairs of semi-dress shoes (like Doc Martens), and two leather belts – a black and a brown of each

I also personally think every guy should have a pair of semi-dressy sneakers, like a pair of white Adidas or K-Swiss. Sneakers are really only considered dressy if they are clean and if it is summer.