How to Be a Fat Man, Dress Well, and Not Look Dumpy-Part 6 of 6

Illustrations by Brian Parra

This is the sixth of a six part article about factual fashion advice for fat guys.  Read Part 12, 3, 4, and 5.

GLOSSARY
Know what you are talking about the next time you head to the store!
 
TERMS D'ART
Big-Generally refers to large-sized clothes, sizes XL-6XL+, but is also used to specifically indicate clothes like shirts cut with extra room or girth around the torso. "B" is commonly used in the size designation to denote a big cut, thus a 2XB is a 2XL shirt cut with extra girth around the torso.
Big & Tall-A category of clothing, usually used to reference men's clothing (the women's equivalent is often called, "Plus Size") that generally spans regular sizes XL-6XL+, big sizes XLB-6XB+, and tall sizes MT-6XT+. Big & Tall retail locations usually also carry portly, short and extra-long suits, extra-long ties, large shoes, extra long belts, undergarments, lifestyle accessories and orthopedic items for large and tall men.
Tall-Clothing cut for tall men, 6'+, sizes MT to 6XT+,- typically with longer sleeves, torso and tails, lower pocket placement and slimmer cuts for a more proportional look. Tall pants generally have high rises and longer inseams. "T" is commonly used in the size designation to denote a tall cut, thus a MT is a medium shirt with taller proportions. There are some Tall clothes that are also designated as Big, to indicate that they also have extra girth around the middle, in addition to being proportioned for a taller guy.
 
MEASUREMENTS in US UNITS
Chest-When standing straight with arms at one's sides, the distance in inches around the widest part of your chest, inside your arms.
Inseam-The distance in inches from the crotch down to the hem of pants.
Neck-The distance in inches around the thickest part of the neck, where a collar would be worn.
Sleeve-The distance from the collar, over the shoulder and straight down to the wrist, typically expressed in two inch increments, indicated as 34/35 or 35/36.
Waist-The distance in inches around the middle of one's torso, above the hips usually just below the navel.
 
SUIT CUTS
Long-Cut for an average-proportioned man, height 6'0" to 6'3"
Portly-Cut for a man whose chest and waist measurements are less than 6" apart. Portly suits also come in Portly Long and Portly Short.
Regular- Cut for an average proportioned man, height 5'7" to 5'11"
Short-Cut for an average proportioned man, height 5'4"-5'6"
Slim-Fit-This refers to a slimmer lapel and how the suit creates a slim look when buttoned, affecting the look of a wide chest and a slim waist. This is a style-trend and not a traditional suit cut. It's included here because of its current popularity and common confusion with suit cuts. Yes, big guys can wear slim fit suits.
X-Long -Cut for an average proportioned man, height 6'4"+
 
TAILORING & FIT
Blind Hem or Invisible Hem-A specialty stitch used to finish the bottom of dress slacks so the seam thread is not visible on the outside of the pants.
Break-The amount a crease will deviate from a straight vertical line as the cuffs of slacks fold over the tops of shoes. This is an established look that involves subtle placement and angle of the hem from back to front and not the same as slouchy pant legs.
      Full Break
-An almost complete fold-over of the front crease of a pant leg as the opening of the bottom of the pant leg completely covers the top of the shoe; popular for Zoot Suits and other styles that affect tall or baggy looks.
     Half Break
- A moderate fold of the front crease of the pant leg as the opening at the bottom of the pant leg mostly covers the top of the shoe; popular for business and casual looks.
     Quarter or Slight Break
- A slight fold of the front crease of the pant leg as the opening at the bottom of the pant leg covers the top of the shoe; also popular for business and casual looks. A good look for most big guys.
     No Break
- No visible fold or deviation from a straight vertical line of the front crease of the pant leg, as the opening at the bottom of the pant leg touches the top of the shoe; popular with military and work uniforms and tuxedos. Suggested for guys with very short inseams to avoid any unnecessary volume or bagginess.
Carrot-Fit Jeans-A style of jeans with a baggy seat and hip area and an extreme tapered leg, often with a side seam that twists as it goes down the leg. The EXACT OPPOSITE of what fat guys should be wearing.
Crease-A pressed fold in fabric that creates visible straight lines in clothing. The most common are creases down the front and rear of dress slacks.
Crotch-The bottom seam of your pants, between the front and seat, between the legs.
Cuff-
Dart-A sewn up fold of fabric used to create shape in a garment. A common use for darts is in the rear of dress shirts or body of suit coats to make them more form fitting.
Gig Line-The straight vertical alignment of the tucked in shirt's placket, the right edge of the belt buckle and the opening side of the pants fly.
Hem-The finished bottom of shirts and pants.
Hidden Elastic Waistline-Elastic sections built into the waistline of some slacks, designed to expand and contract at the pockets where it's not noticeable and does not create visible gathering typical of elastic or cinch-waisted pants.
Plain Bottom-Dress slacks that are hemmed without a cuff, using a blind hem.
Placket-The doubled-over strip of material, where the buttons and buttonholes are, running down the front of button-down shirts.
Plain Front-Dress slacks and casual pants that do not have pleats along the front waistline.
Pleat-A fold of fabric doubled back on itself and sewn on one side to allow for movement in non-stretch fabrics. Typically found on the back panels of shirts and the front of pants. Pleated-front pants are not a good look for guys with big bellies.
Proportion-The relationship of the size of body parts to one another. To maintain visual proportions as it comes to wearing clothes, as one aspect of size is increased, the rest must also be scaled up to a similar degree.
Pull-Unsightly folds, creases and areas where fabric does not lie flat and smooth, created when clothing is too tight or ill-fitting, especially when the placket is spread apart, leaving gaps in between buttons or pant pleats being stretched open to their limits.
Rise-The distance from the crotch up to the waist of pants. There are typically three rises designations: Low, Medium, and High.
Regular-In general, a cut of various articles of clothing meant for an average-proportioned person, regardless of size. When trying on clothes with lots of cut options, like jeans or dress shirts, start with the regular cut, and consider other options like relaxed seats to address the ill-fitting parts of regular cut clothes.
Relaxed-Extra room through the hips and seat of pants.
Seam-The line created when two or more parts of fabric are sewn together.
Seat-The rear of your pants, where your bum goes.
Stitch-The particular style of sewing with thread to create a seam for certain looks or functions.
Straight Leg-Pant legs that do not widen or taper as they descend from the knees to the hem.
Suspender Buttons-A set of buttons, sewn on the inside of the pant's waistband to fasten button-on suspenders, which are generally regarded as more formal and secure than clip-on suspenders.
Tail-The bottom flap of shirts and jackets.
     Long Tails-Rounded bottoms of shirt hems long enough to avoid becoming untucked.
     Short Tails-Rounded bottoms of shirt hem that can be worn tucked or untucked.
     Square Tails-The straight bottoms of a shirt hem meant to be worn untucked.
Tapered Leg-Pant legs that decrease in size as they descend from the knees to the hem.
Unfinished Hem-Dress slacks sold with unhemmed bottoms so they can be custom tailored to the client's inseam, preference for cuffs or plain bottom pants and break.
Vent-A folded opening on the rear of suit coats and sports coats to allow for movement.
 
FAUX PAS
The Chubby Eye of Providence-The triangle of belly flesh exposed when the bottom of one's shirt hem, past the buttons, spreads apart. This happens when the waistband of the pants are worn too low and the lowest button on the shirt, well above the waistband, can't hold the two sides closed. The eye is always watching.
Dumpy-When one's clothes are poorly worn, ill-fitting and weirdly proportioned, giving the impression the wearer is slovenly and bigger than he truly is.
Dunlop's Disease-When the belly bulges, or done lops in the vernacular, over the belt buckle. This common faux pas is the number one reason fat guys look terrible, as it causes a major distortion of body proportions
Ed Grimly-Character portrayed by Martin Short from SCTV and Saturday Night Live, known for cow licked hair, playing the triangle and pulling up his pants too fucking high.
Mom Jeans-Ill-fitting jeans that aren't the right cut for a particular man's shape, despite seemingly being the right "size." This look is characterized by jeans that create weird shapes, are too loose, or too high.
Nouveau Gras-French for "new fat," a term I just made up, and like its inspiration, Nouveau Riche or "new rich," these people have just earned their status as a fat person and don't know all the rules for how to dress themselves.
Plumber's Crack-Exposed butt crack due to untucked or too-short shirt tails and too low pants.
Superman Pose-The ubiquitous tendency for guys to raise their hands up in the air when they are trying on suits coats, even though no one ever asked them to do that.
 
Read Part 1234, and 5.

 

 

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