Plus-size panache: tips for larger women and men
Carrying a bit of extra weight? Don’t make heavy weather out of summer dressing
Cover up. Months of wearing cardigans and jackets to cover your arms means wearing a strappy sundress and little else seems totally bizarre, but believe me: while nobody is looking at your arms, they will notice rivers of sweat pouring down your forehead.
Even think about support underwear. You may be unused to leaving the house without your tummy- tucking knickers, but once the mercury hits 25 degrees, they will result only in discomfort and yeast infections. Give your body a break.
Layer. Skirts and shirts or T-shirts are fine when it’s cool outside, but there’s nothing worse than feeling constricted and restricted around your midsection.
Menswear: ‘Where am I supposed to buy clothes – in the shop for giants?’
A recent survey by Hibernian Health found that 61 per cent of Irish men are overweight, compared with just 38 per cent of women – meaning boys may be having as much, if not more, difficulty dressing for the warm weather. As George Hook (right) once asked me: “Where am I supposed to buy clothes – in the shop for giants?”
While a lot of menswear brands cater for large sizes – Marks & Spencer, for example, caters for up to a 50-inch waist – being a larger man, in fashion terms, is tough. A woman can cover up with swathes of fabric and floaty dresses, but for men, especially in a corporate environment, a shirt tucked into a pair of slacks conceals very little.
Advice? Like your female counterparts, invest in natural, breathable fabrics. Think more safari than gangster chic, and try a light, short-sleeved shirt, untucked and paired with linen slacks or cotton trousers. Stay away from T-shirts, which are often heavy and sweat-inducing, and belts, which will only encourage the overheating of your waistband.
Shopping for him
Marks & Spencer (marksandspencer.ie) caters for men up to a 50-inch waist.
Mr Big’n’Tall in Goatstown (01-2988002, mrbigmenswear.com) stocks waist sizes from 44-80 inches
Jacamo (jacamo.co.uk) stocks sizes S to 5XL and waist 34-54 inches, from labels such as Ben Sherman and Penguin.