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Quick Tips for Dealing With Weight Fluctuations and Men's Clothing

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Section: Tailoring and Clothing Maintenance - Blog

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It can be challenging to dress sharp and feel confident when you’re dealing with weight fluctuations. If your clothes fit too loosely, you may feel sloppy and ill-dressed. However, too tight clothing not only constricts your movements and comfort; it can restrict your mood and performance as well. Here’s some quick tips for dealing with weight loss or gain so you can look and feel great all the time.

Weight fluctuations are commonplace; most men will face such challenges at some point in life. However, if not handled properly, you could end up wearing ill-fitting clothes. Weight transitions can be expensive – regardless of whether they are planned or not. Here's your game plan for dealing with those ups and downs in your weight so you always look and feel great.

Preferred Method

Find a good tailor who can help alter clothing to accommodate weight changes.


While tailors are limited by their skill, the amount of excess fabric in a garment, and the limit of the garment's proportions, some tailors can adjust jackets down two full sizes without incident.

General Guidelines

  • Buy fewer clothes and wear those in your wardrobe more often. Invest in mix and match, interchangeable garments so you get maximum mileage from your current wardrobe. Additionally, buying less clothes saves money.
  • Purchase classic clothing, simple in colour and pattern, and timeless in cut. You can wear these on numerous occasions; this cuts the expenses of purchasing outfits.
  • Avoid trendy clothing. If you think your weight might fluctuate, keep your old clothing, especially if the clothes are timeless styles. Then, rather than buying new clothes to fit you if your weight changes, just wear those garments. Weight fluctuations can occur several times over the course of a lifetime so you'll always be prepared.
  • Invest in a good quality pair of braces for those times when trouser fit is problematic.
  • Lower quality fabric can be perfect in some situations. For example, a jacket will cover business shirts and trousers. Business shirts and trousers also have the least amount of give and will have to be replaced sooner than a jacket. Therefore, once your weight has stabilised for six months or so, invest in quality fabrics and build.
  • Thrifting can supply bargains if you can find quality items that can be altered to fit your frame.

Gaining Weight and Menswear

  • Shirts: Men's business shirts are usually made to fit men with healthy midsections. Areas where the shirt will usually feel tight include the neck (it might be hard to button the top button) and the shoulders (your shirtsleeves could feel shorter). In such cases, you can give enough ease to button the top button by moving it by half an inch. A collar button extender could also offer some relief. For dealing with sleeve length, consider having longer cuffs cut and attached. However, this won't work for anything more than ¾ inches.
  • Jackets: These offer the most flexibility to handle weight gain. This is because jackets usually have three or more areas where excess fabric can be let out. However, make sure the jacket has sufficient fabric so it can be let out if needed. Further, jacket proportion is a constraint. The jacket shoulders usually cannot be extended, even though the sleeves and the jacket back can be opened. Also note the front length of the jacket. A protruding belly can make the jacket rise considerably from the front, thereby making it unwearable.
  • Trousers: These are limited by the placement of their back pockets and the amount of excess material sewn into them. For men who tend to gain weight, consider wearing pleated trousers more often. These keep the excess fabric out of the way when not in use. They also allow the fabric to stretch out whenever needed. Large men could also consider wearing suspenders.
  • Shoes: Weight gain affects your shoe size. Therefore, expect more wear on your shoes and your foot size to expand.

Losing Weight and Menswear

  • Shirts: You can adjustbusiness shirts by re-cutting the shirt, if you're losing weight. Collars can be removed and re-cut too. However, you can reduce the collar size by simply moving the collar button by half an inch.
  • Jackets: Jackets can be made smaller. However, there is a limit to how much you can reduce and adjust. For example, pockets, lapels and shoulders are all made to a specific size. If you adjust the canvas they rest on, it could disturb the balance of the jacket. The maximum a jacket should be altered to is two sizes down.
  • Trousers: The back pockets and bringing in the backside remain the constraining factors when it comes to adjusting trousers. If you do bring in the backside, the pockets move to the centre. Therefore, consider buying trousers with side straps or a built-in elastic band. A quality leather belt with a removable buckle could be an asset in situations like this. If you are purchasing a men's suit, we recommend that you purchase two sizes of trousers in the same fabric as your suit. This way, you will have a suit that can fit you perfectly for two contrasting weights.
  • Shoes: Shoe sizes tend to decrease after a large weight loss. Stretched shoes you wore after putting on weight will no longer fit you. Further, they cannot be made smaller either. Hence, you will need to invest in new footwear.

As you can see, although dealing with weight fluctuations can be frustrating, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. If you'd like more advice on how to look and feel sharp and confident in any situation, pop by our Sydney showroom or schedule a private consult. Our style specialists are trained to help you select the best attire for any occasion or affair so you always look damn good.

Original idea for article from Antonio Centeno, author of the internet's most actionable men's style guide. We recommend a read!

Image Credit © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime.com© Daniel Nagy | Dreamstime.com


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