Sunday, 9 December 2007

Are fat men allowed to have style?

Oh I do enjoy a lazy Sunday surrounded by newspaper supplements, pastries and strong black coffee as the outside world looks uninviting, grey and cold! During such a scene I came across an interesting article in Style titled 'Pity the fat boys' where Simon Mills explores the notion that British men are increasingly overweight and badly dressed, mainly because they are fat. It seems that larger sized men don't have the same level of help on offer compared to their female counterparts, they aren't described as curvy or voluptious but instead at best called 'porky'.

Within the article he discusses how fat men have limited options in the style front, with most turning to oversized sportswear. Ironically clothes meant for athletes are loosely adorning beer bellies and moobs across the country. On the high street and online where can men who wear xxxl+ buy their clothes? On a quick google search it seems that a large number of stores that cater for such men are located in Wales and a quick visit to their sites didn't make me wish I had that build but at least there are some options out there in fact it made me feel quite the opposite!

Can you think of an style icons for men that weigh more than 15 stone? I can't think of any, can you? I suppose you can look at rugby players (who aren't overweight but certainly larger) for some inspiration. Jonny Wilkinson is far from overweight but always looks well presented in Hackett (who he is the face of). There are however plenty of example of men in the media glare losing weight. My favourite is Karl Lagerfeld. The famed couturier Lagerfeld was determined to lose weight, not because he was obese or suffered from health problems, but because he wanted to wear clothes designed for younger, slimmer men - clothes designed by Hedi Slimane to be specific. His vanity paid off: he lost 80 pounds in a year on the "Spoonlight program.

An extremely rotund Lagerfeld using the fan well to cover up multiple chins.

Slim Lagerfeld, still wearing lots of black but using far less material!

All is not lost though if you aren't skinny...

Larger sized bald man courtesy of the sartorialist showing how portly men can still look good. The secret here is the fit of the suit and his use of accessories!

It seems that from my research if you want to wear high fashion and designers the answer that constantly comes up is to change your lifestyle and work a little harder. If that all sounds like hard work then why not find the clothes that suit your body shape and stay healthy. Please avoid wearing sportswear in sizes that are far too big. Wear well cut suits and darker colours.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Will there ever be a style icon for fat men? Do fat men have it harder than fat women?

Further reading:
Style tips for fat men
Karl Lagerfeld's Diet book
Skinny jeans article
Big Fat Problem?

This is definitely a topic I want to come back to at a later date, once I have chance to mull it over a bit more. I think that it's harder to find a style icon for the larger chap because it's harder to find style icons for larger people full stop. A chap I do like the style of whenever I see him in the street/the local is Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow. I have failed miserably to find a decent picture to illustrate this point however... maybe one day I'll pluck up the courage to ask for an interview. He tends to stick to vaguely tailored pieces, most often seen in a shirt (God, I sound like a stalker) and in quite flattering colours. Overall, I think that what you have to remember is that when shopping for a larger figure, the basic rules regarding colour and wearing something that makes you feel happy still apply... and at least that's a place to start.

Largerfield still scares me though, big and small.


MR style said...

karl was so ugly when he was big even disgusting

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Karl for losing the weight and honestly, what better motive is there than Slimane's enrapturing design?

Karl may look the epitome of sophistication but it's-in a way-heartening to note his bitter, cantankerous comments on competition haven't died with the excess weight!


Anonymous said...

wow I completely forgot he used to be fat


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