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Men's Style Hacks on How to Look Slimmer

As a rule of thumb, you want your wardrobe to compliment your body - what you don’t want is for it to make you appear frumpy or disproportionate in any way. If you consider yourself on the heftier side, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that’ll help lean you out, so you look slimmer and more proportionate. As a wardrobe consultant, I’ve helped style an array of body structures and gained quite a few tips over the years on how to help the more rotund man look his best. Interested in knowing more? Then keep on reading!

Go for Darker Tones 

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before – and for good reason! Darker tones are your best friend and one of the best tactics to help you appear slim and trim. Seek out dark colours such as navy, black, deep green, and chocolate brown to help mask problem areas like curves or bulges. For the ultimate body masking hack, go for a full-on monochromatic look. This trick will make you look longer by wearing tops and bottoms that don’t compete with each other. When there’s a hard break between your top and bottom half, you’ll read shorter and wider than you actually are. 

“Keep your clothes simple, streamlined and in darker toning colours e.g., a navy bomber jacket with vertical jet pockets (avoid patch pockets), clean wash jeans, and dark brown trainers. This keeps your eye gliding up and down the body, giving the illusion that it’s taller and slimmer,” says Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper, Sarah Gilfillan.

Laird Utility
Laird Utility

Make Sure Your Clothes Fit Properly 

It can be tempting to wear bigger clothes to cover up parts of your frame you’re not keen on, but it’s actually counterproductive. Ill-fitting or big clothing can look sloppy and throw your proportions completely out of whack. The main thing you want to do is find pieces that fit you best straight off the rack, then take them to your tailor to get them perfectly fitted to your body. 

“Make sure your clothes fit you well and are cut for your size. Buying clothing you love and taking them to a tailor is a game-changer. Baggy or ill-fitting clothes tend to highlight a larger frame negatively. Dress tonally and avoid sharp contrast between the top half and lower half of your body. Contrast between the two cuts you in half making you appear wider, shorter and draws attention to your waist. Dressing in similar shades of the same colour is flattering and will also make you appear taller. Also, ditch the contrasting belt, it has the same effect,” says Men's Style Consultant, Nick Hems.

Go with Bigger Prints 

Maybe you’re tired of the same old solids and want to add some oomph to your look – good idea! The trick is to make sure the pattern compliments your stature. Any type of wide stripe will only make you look wider, and any type of horizontal stripe will just make you appear bigger overall, so steer clear of those. Also, skip the smaller patterns as they create too high of a contrast which only ends up spotlighting your rotund-ness, I suggest going with a print large enough to compliment your body. 

Keep Your Jackets and Sweaters Open 

Any of your day-to-day jackets like a bomber jacket or button up style sweater should be left open. This will help you maintain that longer leaner silhouette. You might think I’m wrong, but trust me, keeping your jackets zipped or buttoned up will only create unwanted mass in that area, drawing the eye directly to your midsection.

Seek Out the Right Fabrics 

The wrong materials won’t do you any good. Really thick or heavy fabrics will instantly add extra pounds and create unnecessary heft — on the contrary, thin fabrics will stick to your body, highlighting things like a saggy chest or a protruding belly. Do your research and find out which brands work for you and keep them as your go-to. A good tip is to seek out mattifying materials that’ll help smooth you out. 

“When a man feels his silhouette would benefit from visually appearing and feeling slimmer, there are style hacks to achieve this; using lighter fabrics to eliminate unnecessary bulk, applying straight and narrow cuts in jackets, wearing coats that are longer in length to elongate the torso, and most commonly, styling pieces with vertical stripe detailing,” says Film, TV & Personal Stylist, Nick Howard-Lanes.

Add on Layers 

Adding on a well-fitting jacket or blazer can definitely work in your favour, but it has to be done the right way. There’s a myth going around that stacking on a bunch of layers will help you look leaner. You don’t want to do that because the more layers you have on, the bigger you’ll appear, so stick with two layers max. Try wearing a cardigan underneath your blazer but be sure to keep the inner layer buttoned while the jacket keeps unbuttoned. 

"Try wearing jackets that are oversized in the shoulders but with tapered sleeves. This helps to balance your proportions. Avoid wearing baggy or skinny clothes, and stay away from ill-fitting clothes. Off-the-rack clothing never fits correctly and often makes you look bigger, so it's worth visiting a tailor to achieve the best fit for your body. Avoid white or cream colours, especially if they are slim or tight-fitting," says Personal Stylist Kolin Ekeocha.

Brandi Titkos

Los Angeles-based Brandi is a wardrobe consultant who regularly helps professional gentlemen attract the right opportunities in life through improving style and increasing confidence.

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