Well Dressed/Well Fed

21:02:00

I'm discussing something on the blog today which I don't like to talk about; that metaphorical elephant in the room (and this I how I can feel at times)


Weight

I've never been skinny. I've always been an eater and with that comes the inevitable accompanying size. Words such as stocky, chunky and solid have been used by myself and others to describe me and I just accepted it. I don't exercise and I am no longer sticking to a controlled diet. 

Photo taken in March at my White Stuff style evening

Around 4 years ago, I lost over 2.5 stone by attending Slimming World meetings. Over the course of 3 months, I steadily lost weight at a reasonable and attainable rate and thought I had it cracked. It wasn't rocket science; just eat less crap.

At my slimmest on holiday in San Francisco in 2014

I managed to maintain the weight loss for around a year before old habits began to creep back in. I became lazy and stopped preparing food from scratch and I would add the odd chocolate bar (or 2) to my work tea break.
My nice new wardrobe of clothes I had bought in celebration and reflection of my slimmer self became increasingly limited as I had to dig out older pieces from when I was heavier.

Jumping back to present times and I'm currently at the heaviest I've ever been. I've sized up my clothes and with that, lost a lot of interest and spark in my style.

It's strange that the physically larger you get, the relatively more invisible you become.

I keep my self-deprecating sense of humour as best as I can as I know I've only myself to blame for my weight gain. I can't seem to keep motive and momentum at the minute to stick to healthy eating and I can't bring myself to engage with the social aspect of something like Slimming World. I am guilty of eating emotionally and eating when I'm bored.
Consciously, my blog & social media photos rarely feature full-length shots unless I have prepped myself with a jacket or adjusted my shirt. I've become a master in cropping and adjusting photos to draw attention away from my belly....

The point of this post is to answer the question:


Can a man be well dressed and well fed?

I'm not encouraging or defending size, but I want to get back to the core statement I wrote when I started my blog.  Finding clothes to express your personality and and clothes to fit and make you feel more confident or comfortable.


I'm still a total high-street fan but find it becoming more an more limited in its ranges for men who aren't a 32" waist or a 38" chest.

Case in point, last year I was approached to take part in a campaign by a well known menswear retailer who actually specialise in clothing for larger men. Their challenge was to find the perfect pair of jeans; my shopping nightmare.
It failed; neither jean style was right for me and I just had to return the items and forfeit.

The problem is that many stores automatically assume bigger = taller.

I am only 5'6" and would fit ideally into a marge (my make-believe size sitting between a medium for length and a large for comfort)

My self has changed since I started my blog. It has become more casual and more of a uniform to me; perhaps this is maturity and knowledge in what I know suits me and what I feel I can carry well.
If you know what works for you, you are one of the lucky ones who can dip into and steal from the trends rather than being dictated by them.
I've moved from the dapper/dandy look that was popular a few years ago to one inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian minimalism. Work wear, pared down street wear and iconic menswear classics. A colour palette populated with the versatile shades of navy, grey, beige and khaki.
  • Selvedge denim and stretch chinos. My oddly proportioned legs don't suit straight legged trousers so I stick to stretch as they sit better on my frame and look better with my selection of footwear.
  • Cotton or flannel shirts; Oxford by preference
  • T-shirts are block colour or graphic print. I've abandoned logos and novelty
  • Boots and simple trainers. While I still am a huge brogues fan. I wear them more selectively. Simple does not mean boring; while the colours can be bold, the design remains minimal.
  • Lightweight jackets have replaced blazers.
Some of my top tips:
  • Get to know your size. This can mean trying on in shops (a pet peeve) or becoming a regular returner; buying and trying at home until you know what size and shape suits.
  • Get to know a good tailor/alterations store. Adjusting sleeve and inseam lengths, tapering trousers, venting (or letting out) shirts can all make a huge difference to your silhouette.
  • Don't dress in head-to-toe black. I attempt this regularly and don't think it ever works to make you look slimmer. If anything, you are a more distinct and defined outline.
  • Do not hide yourself in sportswear. Yes, it's comfy but by it's very definition, it suggests athleticism and those of us who don't engage in sports do not benefit.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. Age, size - even gender- is relative when it comes to style. If you feel confident, you will look confident and you will be wearing your clothes rather than the other way around!
But I will continue to work on building and refining my personal style; taking inspiration from other male bloggers and influencers. The trick is to adapt what will work for you from their looks; making it your own.

Is this not the true definition of style?




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