Is there anything worse for a man’s sartorial confidence than manboobs?
Manboobs are our nagging scarlet letter. Unsightly. A work-around no man ever asked for.
A large percentage of dudes can blame it on gynaecomastia, a medical condition where abnormally high levels of hormones cause the breast to swell. But for most men, let’s be honest: we can only blame ourselves and last night’s pizza-beer run.
But fear not, gentlemen of the moob, there is hope. Below, five tips to help downplay the all-dreaded manboob and slim down your chest. Just don’t ask us where we got the intel ... it’s from, uh, some guy we know.
Focus on fit
Men with larger chests tend to go one size big to accommodate for the extra room. Refrain from the desire to go baggy — it does your figure no favors. Just because it’s comfortable doesn’t mean you don’t look like you’re definitely trying to hide something. On a more obvious note, don’t buy anything too fitted, either.
You want something that fits comfortably in the middle. Easiest way to do that? Go custom. Or bring your existing shirts to your tailor. They’ll be able to stitch up other areas — shoulders, torso and sleeve length — while giving your chest the room it needs. Your goal is to elongate your frame for a more polished, self-assured look.
Make sure your shirts carry weight
Sheer and lightweight fabrics should always be avoided. In other words: be wary of T-shirts, especially white ones, and their transparency levels. They’ll only draw more attention to the contours of your body, especially if you’re on the move. What you want are shirts with structure. Think fabrics with dense weaves like twill, wool or oxford cotton.
Black is your new best friend
Not only black, but darker colors in general. They help hide shadows and won’t make your chest too obvious.
Mind the details
General rules of thumb: don’t wear horizontal stripes. Do wear vertical stripes. Don’t wear large patterns that draw the eye to your figure. Do wear small patterns that draw the eye to the shirt. Do button up your shirt to the second button. Don’t ever button it all the way. Air ties are a bad look for the manboobed, full stop.
If all else fails, compress it all in
Smartly layering your clothes (if you live in colder climates) is the easiest way to downplay your moobs. A simple cardigan or jacket goes a long way. But if you find yourself in a situation where you’re gonna have to bear some skin, don’t be above compression shirts. You can wear them underneath your clothes and they’ll keep everything in place.