Help Me Dress Myself: Covering up a Few Extra Pounds

A stylist explains how to easily hide a little extra weight just by choosing the right outfit.


Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Meg Gallagher, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’ll be looking at how to hide some extra body-luggage underneath your clothes.

Step #1: Avoid Tees and Clingy Sweaters

“T-shirts and banded bottom sweaters [that is, sweaters with an elasticated waist] tend to cup the torso,” Gallagher explains, which will draw unwanted attention to the belly you’re already feeling self-conscious about. As an alternative, Gallagher suggests wearing button-down shirts. Just make sure they’re fitted and sit at the hip—if your button-down is too long and bulky, it will only accentuate the problem.

Speaking of button-downs, Gallagher mentions that tucking in can be slimming if the shirt itself is a little baggy. That said, if you’re an especially big dude, it can sometimes emphasize your gut if the fabric presses up against your skin. In that case, it’s best to leave your shirt untucked.

Step #2: Wear Dark Colors

“Darker colors like black, navy, charcoal and burgundy are more slimming and flattering than lighter colors, because they absorb light rather than reflecting it onto your flaws,” Gallagher says. Additionally, our eyes perceive dark colors as receding and light colors as advancing. In simpler terms, that means light-colored clothing makes the area it’s covering appear larger and more prominent, while dark-colored clothing will make the area it’s covering appear smaller and slimmer. Wearing all black, FTW!

Step #3: Stripes = Slim

“A vertical stripe, like those on a pinstripe suit, is elongating,” Gallagher explains. Which can help to create the illusion that you’re slimmer than you actually are. She does, however, stress that it’s important to avoid bold stripes—say, two or three inches thick—as they force the eye to move horizontally across the body, having the complete opposite effect.

Step #4: If All Else Fails, Put on a Jacket

“Any garment that has some kind of structure to it, like a sport coat or a military jacket, is slimming,” Gallagher says. “Especially those with an open front that creates an elongating line down the middle of your body.” That’s because vertical lines force the eye to gander upwards and downwards—rather than from side to side—making you appear to be taller and slimmer than you actually are.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—email us at We’ll have Meg answer it in an upcoming post.