Plus-size suit dressing: How to dress for going back into the office
Suits come in all shapes and sizes, but knowing how to style one as a plus-size man can be a challenge. From understanding the right fit to nailing the perfect colour palette, plus-size suit dressing certainly is no easy feat — especially if you’re heading back into the office.
Let’s be clear here; it’s not always easy for men with larger frames to find quality clothes that are equally figure-flattering and stylish for the office. Luckily, at Slater Menswear, our expert stylists have rounded up their top tips for how to dress for going back into the office as a plus-size man.
Regardless of where you work, you should still be dressing to make a good impression as soon as you step into the office. Whether you’re in a creative space, corporate tower or anywhere in between, dressing for your job can be a big influence on how your colleagues and clients perceive you.
Harris Tweed Tailored Grey And Brown Check Blazer — £145
Onesix5ive Straight Leg Jeans — £19
Tipped Pique Short Sleeved Polo Shirt — £39.00
If your line of work is a tad more casual than others, then you can easily add a pair of jeans and a polo shirt into your daily wear. Simple yet stylish, a blazer and jeans combination brings an additional level of polish without having to sacrifice comfort for professional style.
Whilst your choice of suit is down to personal preference, the easiest way to present yourself in a professional, office setting is by being confident in what you wear. Dressing down a suit by adding a pair of straight-leg jeans and a crisp polo shirt creates a modern and timeless look. Not to mention straight leg jeans can help to make you look slimmer by evening out your leg proportions.
Sleek yet laid back, a blazer and pair of jeans is a winning combination, no matter the season. Finish the look with a pair of brown brogues to add a little bit of stand-out style to your outfit.
Business casual office
Sawyers & Hendricks Check Tailored Tweed Blazer — £75
Eterna Modern Fit Classic Shirt — £45
It’s not quite a full suit and tie, but a business casual office may need to add a dash of tailoring to impress from time to time. The key to nailing the classic business-casual look is by choosing to dress down certain elements of the outfit. Disregard ties and opt for an open button look for a laidback suit look.
As a plus-size man, it’s important to incorporate a complimenting colour scheme into your outfit. To allow for a more fitted look, a classic dark coloured tailored blazer that sits nicely across the shoulders, arms and chest, is easily matched with a crisp white shirt.
To make sure you’re completely comfortable in a lighter colour, make sure your white shirt fits properly around the underarms and chest. You don’t want to have any pulls or creases with an ill-fitting shirt.
*Placeholder* Charlton Grey Charcoal Pinhead Two-Piece Suit — £69
If your day-to-day is suit and tie attire, well-chosen tailoring can make you look and feel your best, whatever your stature. As well as doing amazing things for your frame, adding structure and sharp lines to a rounder shape can help add definition and streamline your look.
A perfectly tailored suit should help broad shoulders or longer torsos look more in proportion. As an instinct, bulkier men tend to use layers or fabrics to cover up — but this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s important to consider every option when it comes to a tailored suit. Opt for a jacket that has a break in the lower back, this allows for extra room and movement as well as creating a taller stature.
If you need a helping hand in understanding how a suit should fit, read our handy guide on everything you need to know about suit fits.
Opt for lightweight fabrics
Bugatti Classic Collar Linen Shirt — £39
Whether your preferred look is smart or casual, lightweight fabrics are an essential component that allows for a wide range of different outfits. Light yet sturdy fabrics are an ideal choice for heading into the office. Too thick, and the material will add bulk to your shape and make you appear larger; too thin and you’ll be exposing every lump and bump. A lightweight shirt in either linen or cotton fabric makes for a practical and comfortable option for everyday wear.
Magee Premium Wool Mix Two-Piece Suit — £259
Natural framing is a great way to add a more defined shape to your look. The key in doing so is by using structure. Structural suits, blazers and trousers will add a more ‘squared’ effect from the shoulders down and automatically give shape. Avoid double-breasted jackets as these can typically bunch and pull around the sides when too tight. Instead, opt for a streamlined finish with a single button jacket.
If there’s one thing that makes a worthy investment, it’s a pair of well-fitting trousers. For the bigger man, a pair of slim-fit trousers with a tapered leg is traditional yet still versatile enough to showcase your sleek style. The tapered style also creates an elongated leg, thus making you appear taller and slimmer.
Colours are important
Charlton Gray Navy Single Breasted Blazer — £85
There’s nothing more timeless than a quintessential black, navy or grey-toned suit. When worn the right way, these suits are essential for the office. These refined and traditional tones automatically make you appear slimmer as it draws the eye to the lighter colours of the body and avoids any pulls or wrinkles in the suit due to their darker colours. Avoid garish and contrasting colours that will make you stand out and draw attention to an ill-fitting suit.
For a classic, elegant touch, keep your palette refined with darker tones like maroon and olive, or delve into the warmer tones of khaki and brown to add a splash of sophistication for the office whilst still experimenting with colour.
Don’t be afraid to involve patterns
Pattern can be a powerful thing and when used right, it can make a basic outfit stand out. On larger physiques, bold and busy prints can draw the eye to any ill-fitting styles and creases in the shirt, as well as giving unnecessary bulkiness and size to the wearer.
Instead, if you’re wanting to experiment with patterns, it’s important to think classic and straightforward. Small prints such as thin pinstripes and checks can add height to your overall stature and can enhance many looks.
How to dress for the office
Now you know how to dress for going back to the office, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Shop our wide range of big menswear to find the perfect plus-size styling that makes you feel comfortable and confident. If you’re looking for some extra guidance, head over to our style inspiration hub for more expert fashion advice.