2010 July 8

Apparently, men are more body conscious than they were a decade ago.  The evidence is in the mannequin: Homme Nouveau have a shop window dummy that’s just 33 inches round the chest, and Burberry’s new window man is similarly spindly. All this in a time when the average Brit man has a 39 inch waist – yes, waist, not chest!

So how do you manage to look like the slender chaps whom fashion is designed for?  It’s the same problem that has beset women for decades: clothes are not designed for average sizes and are modelled by genetic rarities who are taller and slimmer than 90% of the population.

1.    Skinny jeans work for almost all men, even the extremely chunky, but you need to make sure that if you are less than slim, you cover up the waist, which can look porky, with a loose fitting V necked T-shirt which slims the body even further

2.    Hoodies with a zip rather than a front pocket are slimming and elongating – pick navy blue, grey or black if you’re not the slimmest chap, but go for red, white or beige if you are skinny and proud of it.

But if you are proud of being a big chap, don’t despair. It seems that a ‘robust’ body shape is more popular in times political uncertainty or economic stress – because culturally we are more likely to value men who look as if they can take care of themselves and of others too. Play up your beefy status with bright polo shirts and round necked T-shirts with stripes or ringer details to show off your bulky beauty.

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