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Tips on Buying Clothes for Big Guys

I received an email from a PGG reader asking some tips on how fat or chubby guys can get into style. Read his email here.

“Hi Chris! I just want to commend you for a nice blog you have and I need some help in choosing fashionable clothes for fat/chubby guy like me. I am wondering where can I buy fashionable clothes for myself. Because when I go to F&H, People are People, Refill, etc.. there are no clothes that fits me. Can you help me? Thanks in advance.”


Thanks Ash for your email and for the compliment. As you wish, here is my response to you. I have provided here some tips to help you and the other big guys in choosing comfortable and stylish clothes.

1. Don’t buy too loose or too fit.

When chubby guys buy clothes, they have a tendency to buy either clothes which are too fit or too loose to prove that they are not too big. However, I think this is a wrong move in choosing clothes.

If you happen to be a chubby guy, go for clothes which are one size bigger than your actual size BUT choose a slim fit version.


Let’s say you go shopping for a shirt. You know that you are a size XL. So what you need to do is to find nice clothes on size XXL which are SLIM FIT. Once again read: SLIM FIT! So what will happen is that you will end up buying clothes which are just about right for your size and since it is slim fit, it will make you look slimmer.

2. Vertical Patterns

If you have attended Psychology 101 you should remember a topic their called visual illusions. During my freshman year in college, I clearly remember my Psych professor teaching us how to wear good clothes which will make short guys appear taller, fat guys appear slimmer, skinny guys appear bigger and so on and so forth.

I will not go over all of them. But what I remember is that, if you are a chubby guy, you should avoid horizontal prints on clothes because it only will make you look bigger and yes, fatter. Instead, what you should do is to wear vertical prints because the length of the prints will produce an illusion that you are taller and slimmer than you actually are. Choose a variety of vertical prints and not just plain stripes. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to find your wardrobe full of vertically-striped clothes would you?

3. Buy from shops like…

…Jag, Lee, Penshoppe, Bench, Human, RRJ, Tribal etc. They have tons of stylish and inexpensive clothes available up to XL (and in some cases even XXL). I also recommend that you go shopping for clothes in department stores rather than stand-alone shops for variety and for size availability. And if you can find American and foreign brands like TopMan, Van Heusen, Izod and Von Dutch – it would be much better because American sizes are naturally bigger.

You mentioned in your email some brands that you like. However, People are People, Folded & Hung, Refill, Mint, Oxygen and other similar brands rarely have BIG sizes. Yes, their clothes are very modern and chic but their target market is for slim guys. So I suggest you go for the previous ones I have mentioned.

4. Try MaxWear at SM Department Store

If you have some time, try to drop by SM Department Store one of these days. They have a section there called MaxWear and they have a wide variety of inexpensive clothes for big men.  Check out a few photos below:

They have plenty of clothes for both casual and formal wear and most of the designs are the latest ones which you will also see from the other brands.

Anyway, I hope you and the other guys will find this post useful and helpful in a way. If the other readers have some tips also, please don’t hesitate to post a comment below.

Want more tips on men’s fashion? Subscribe to Pinoy Guy Guide by email or discuss more about style at the PGG Forums.

Hi, my name is Chris and I am the founder of Pinoy Guy Guide. As a guy living in Bonifacio Global City in Manila, Philippines, I have a strong interest in writing about men's fashion, lifestyle, pop culture and gear for guys.


  • Hey Chris, Thank you for this one. It really help me in choosing the right clothes. Can I wear checkered clothes(polo) and slim fit pants?

  • Thanks Chris for the tips and for this article. I’ll avoid wearing horizontal stripes shirts from now on and start looking for vertical pattern shirts so I will look slim a bit.

  • the author seems to have the right ideas in mind, but i don’t think he really answered the guy’s question. he focused so much on the “how” rather than the “where” side of the question. i have to admit that his advice is sound (especially about ordering one size larger, and getting vintage or slim fits… that’s pure genius)… but the guy asked WHERE can he buy clothes.

    oh yeah… he said “maxwear”… but COME ON!!! max wear is lame. for some silly reason, SM seems to think that chubs love in dull colored plains and plaids all the time. just like anybody else, a fashionable chubby guys likes color and good classic designs.

    another thing too… maxwear DOES NOT have a good concept of what plus size is. PLUS and EXTENDED sizes range anywhere beyond 50inches for chest sizes, and should have adjusted arm holes for extra arm girth. they DON’T have that. i should know, because i’ve been there… and i’m plus size, and i know they can’t cater to my needs.

    most stores locally don’t carry plus or extended sizes… in fact, it’s an under-serviced market. the only commercial store i know that carry something near my size (which is a 2XL american size based on nautica, and 3XL-4XL local size, chest size 52-54 inches) is Marks and Spencer. Even brands that are known in the US to carry plus and extended sizes don’t bring their wears locally… like the GAP, and NAUTICA (Nautica just recently stopped sending american sizes to their local stores last year).

    it’s understandable though; asians are smaller, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for bigger guys. it’s frustrating really. in the end you eventually end up exploring online stores. american eagle’s online store (www.ae.com) and aeropostale (www.aeropostale.com) is my favorite since they carry my size in inventory, and they have great designs (i go to the GAP too… they nice designs every now and then, and they have great polo shirts); and there’s Casual Male XL (which ships to the Philippines too). here’s the problem though… INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING (which is usually $50 / Php2000+ … just as pricey as the stuff you’re buying). what’s worse, some online stores don’t ship internationally — so you’ll have to have family to ship to in the US who can ship it to you in turn.

    hope this information helps those who, like me, are happy the way we are, but would just like the big corporate eggheads to realize that not everyone in the Philippines is sized like pygmy dwarfs.

  • i have been following PGG for a few months now. in my opinion, the sm max wear brand would be good for casual wear; most of the items are of plain patterns and conservative cuts. but if you really want nice clothes for you, do what our lolos used to do: go to the sastre and have your shirts and pants tailor-made. local tailors charge less than 1k for a pair of pants and shirts depend on the design. I’m a bit chubby myself and clothes off the rack don’t seem to fit right (shoulders jutting out, chest area right but waist area ballooning). What happens is that i have to go to my friendly neighborhood tailor and alter my clothes. Why not go straight to the tailor instead, right?

    and a reply to ash:
    wearing a checked polo with slim fit pants is possible, provided that the checked pattern is more on the vertical rather than the horizontal; better limit the color scheme to monochromatic or two-tone. another is that when wearing slim fit pants, make sure that the fit doesn’t make you look like you stuffed longaniza in your legs.

  • Wow.. this was a great tips! My husband used to be a bigger man and we are really having a hard time choosing a shirt that will be just right for him not to look so big while wearing it.

  • For a big guy or chubby guy.
    don’t wear slim fitted pants, buy straight cut. or just buy any pants that you want that can still be tailored (alteration) for better fit.

  • @Hypermanic
    Sabagay tama ka jan,be happy kung big guy ka=D

    Pero di ba pwede ang pasadya na damit para sa inyong malalaki?
    Para naman kung my hnap na size e dun nlng dn

  • Hey there! Just shopped kanina in SM Cubao Dept. store and I must say Maxwear items are decent-looking enough in terms of style (though really, you can’t help but think that indeed there are other styles w/c look “cooler”) but as per the size and comfort, it’s pretty good for a very affordable price. Got a pair for Php519.50 lang (from Php650 I think siya).

    For other brands that offer big sizes, SM Dept. store also has this “Ultimo” brand that caters to big guys as well. I just bought also a collared shirt from Arrow, XL, pretty okay na – not too lose not too fitting, though sometimes you might want to try XXL (luckily on sale, not too expensive).

    IZOD also had these nice plain pants in gray and khaki colors for a size 40 (in Gateway, they’re put on sale) and Nautica as well (same style of sale as IZOD) and it stays true to what’s said here. One could also try either Paddock’s, Colours and CDN for pants or shorts which may have large sizes.

    For shirts, ‘yun nga Maxwear, Ultimo (a bit mor stylish), Arrow has some big sizes, go straight for JAG Jeans (try the Farmer’s Plaza or Ali Mall branch it’s usually on sale there), Dickies, FUBU, Bench din actually and the general department store for a lot of variants. As for Penshoppe, I don’t recomment going there anymore as their “XXL” isn’t really an XXL (I don’t know the proper explanation/terminlogy for it) or something like that.

    Hope my sort-of-long entry helped.

  • A big thank you Chris!… I Just bought couple of weeks ago at the MAXWEAR SM NORTH EDSA…. I got mine…… 6 shirts, 4 polo shirts and 5 pairs of formal wear (polo and pants) and 7 fashionable shorts…. I feel more comfortable and confident

  • Wanted to add a few comments. Being 6’3″ and 220 pounds, living in the Philippines can be difficult to locate clothes to fit.

    Nike makes large sizes, some times they can be located on sale, recommend solid black colors if you have table muscle.

    New Balance fits well if u have wide feet and high in step. SM carries this brand.

    Be careful riding NB in the rain on a motor bike.

    SM has the best clothes for big and tall guys. I’ve tried the tailor route, the jeans’ dye faded after 6 months.

    When you purchased your new clothes at SM get the best cheeseburger n fries in the Phils…at Friday’s in Ayala in Cebu.

    Get a nice window seat..n watch all the beauties pass by..who knows..you may get a smile.

  • VERTICAL stripes have been recommended for short and fat guys from time immemorial, BUT wala naman akong makitang may nagbebenta ng ganito EVER! If you know one brand/shop pls. paki lagay dito na may vertical polo shirt na binebenta. ang nakikita ko lang is the long sleeves formal office wear shirts. non for casual shirts.

  • kathoey – it does not necessarily have to be stripe vertical lines. vertical patterns will do.

    As for shops, try Wrangler. I think I saw some the other day. Hope this helps.

  • hi there, this thread is a big help. any updates on stores and locations where we can find clothes for big and tall guys like me? by the way im 6’3″ and stocky 260 lbs

  • i agree ;)) u go to southmall or any mall near at your place and look for ultimo or max wear 😉 because they provide the best and goof casual formal wear 😉 even i myself all my formal wear are from ultimo casual was from max wear 😉 and the best part was all was cotton ;))

  • I’m really happy that many people find this article really helpful. I was the one who sent this email 3 years ago and now I’m happy with the clothes I wear. His tip on buying one size bigger but choose slim fit is a winner. Whenever I buy slim fit long sleeves, it fits perfectly! Thank you Chris for helping us out in choosing the right clothes! Kudos!

  • Ash – yes, really glad that you sent the question to me. I’m happy too that I have answered yours (and a lot of other people’s) question through my write-up here.

    See you around.

  • i am from the usa and need to find size for my shirts in the philippines here i wear a 2 xl tall so what size would that b in the philippines

    thanks for the help

    the Goofmystir

  • My partner is a big guy and I’m in a stump of what to get him for xmas. He told me boxer shorts would be good and I’ve no idea where I could any here. I’ve seen XL sizes and rarely any XXL, both of which won’t fit him. He’s most probably a XXXL or above. Any suggestions?

  • he usually gets his clothes overseas. was kinda hoping i could get one here since i have a limited budget, but thanks 🙂

    guess abroad and online is the only way to go till he sheds some

  • Im a 5’11 guy who is an xl-xxl for regular cut shirts. Whats frustrating is that all the clothes in manila now are slim skinny anorexic cut which makes even their xxxl inadequate. Maxwear and big men used to have really good looking clothes but now their stuff is really ugly. Like really ugly. Going to rob or sm is now moref rustrating as ang panget ng fitting nila. The only place where i get to buy decent clothes eh marks and spencers… Pero its super mahal naman like 2k for shirts and stuff. Uberly uber frustrating. I know that the best answer is to just lose weight pero pano while am still in the big side??? I very well cnt wear a kumot while am laboring to be thin. Ahh the frustrations of being chubby in d pilipins..

    But enehooo after my rant heres my tip :
    What to wear / how to wear

    -layering- buy the dress shirt of your dreams and use it as a pamatong nalang. Wear a dark color (contrasting or complimentary colors) tshirt then roll your dress short long sleeves till before your elbow. Tuck the tshirt and wear a nice belt. Pair it with straight cut or one size bigger skinny khaki or jeans

    -you can do horizontal stripes for as long as the stripes are bigger and its in your chest area. Avoid slim stripes.

    Invest in a good jacket or coat or jumper. It works wonders trust me.

    Shorts – dont buy the maluwag shorts. Opt for a straight cut slim cut shorts that falls an inch below your knees for a slimmer effect,

    Shoes – no to clunky shoes please. Buy slim slightly pointy shoes for a longer silhouette. Wag lang masyadong pointy ull look like a penguin.

    Polkadots are ok just avoid big polkadots

    Plaid – if you must , stick to complimenting or monochromatic plaid print. No to contrasting plaid print.

    Invest in mahal / good fit pants khaki and good fitting basic shirts in plain color. Lakas maka mukhang mayaman /mabango.

    Try to do the chest put stomach in army posture. Nakakapayat.a

    Confidence is the key!!!!

    Where to buy and what cut to choose from if you are a xxl-xxxl in regular cut.

    Marks and spencers very good cut ask for xxl or size 17.5 in regular. 18 in slim is tooo maliit. Not proprotionate to the 17.5 na regular.
    Memo, ask for the regular cut /executive cut. They carry till xxl and totoo ung xxl nila
    Zara – for long sleeves – tailored fit best suits the chubby guy. They carry till xxl
    Paul smith – tailored fit
    Fred perry – tailored fit/regular fit theyc arry till 3xl
    Collezione – till 4xl
    Arrow – regular cut. However lately they havent been selling lots of regular puro skinny slims
    Daniel hecter – tailored cut regular cut. Their xxxl is equivalent to an xl na mejo lose ng onte.
    Ben sherman – regualr cut / tailored cut: fair warning mejo snug cla. Their xxl feels like a slightly lose large
    Rustans – madami dito.
    Bench – for polo shirts ask for regular fit / slim fit. Vintage fit is mas maliit. For their long sleeves dont even bother as all their shirts are slim fit. Ang xxl nila feels like a maluwag na large
    Dansen – carries till 4xl but puro slim skinny cut ….
    Onesimus – for office barongs. Kingsmen small ang cut nila pero ok lang din.

    Places to avoid for the preservation of self esteem

    F&h (rolls eyes)
    Cotton on (unless ur an xxl that cn push an xl)
    F21man (unless ur an xxl that cn push an xl)
    Tyler (unless ur an xxl that cn push an xl)
    Penshoppe maldita oxygen solo

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  • My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as well
    check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.

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  • I, for one experienced and still experiencing this kind of situation. From L to XL after 2 months. Its true that u add 1 size larger than ur original size when choosing clothes. And also, be patient in looking for clothes that fit ur size. And remember, sometimes going for the latest trend in fashion doesn’t only cater to slim guys, we can too! But choose something comfortable parin. Mataba ka na nga, baduy ka pa, wag ganun. So lets be fashionable plus sizes. Nice article Chris!

  • Carl – you’re correct. It would be awesome if you will be stylish no matter what your size is.

    Welcome to PGG btw. 🙂

  • Honestly, I am around 280 and am only 5’10. It is quite hard to find clothes that fit well across the chest. Ultimo and MaxWear do have nice selections but only time to time. and as of around last week the nice clothes in Max Wear have become really pricey.

    I recommend Greenhills Shopping Center, it is basically and air conditioned tiangge it is well worth the time spent.

    Also this store in Glorietta 3, I think, near Dad’s and Kamayan Burrrp and they have some pretty rad designs.

  • Our go to brands for hubby is Max Wear and Ultimo. The latter is a bit pricey but worth it esp. for office and formal attire. For Tshirt, Worship Generation also have plus size.

  • these are all good stuffs.. even the comments are helpful..

    i’ve trying to fix my style for some time now. this really helps.

    thank you very much.

    and i would like to recommend any guy out there to watch this alpha m channel in youtube. it really helped me alot aswell.

    just give it a shot.

  • Hi Chris, So after reading everyones blog. Is there any place here in the Phils or online you might suggest for me to buy big mans clothes. No on SM Maxwear they are to small even there largest of there largest is to small I need a 5 or 6 xxxxxL Long got any ideas.

  • Big and tall in landmark department store have big sizes. 3x but you should try and fit the shirts first because the sizing in the Philippines is not standardized. I’m 5x in other brands like stayknit but the 3x in landmark is even bigger. Hope this helps.

  • can u suggest what best for me? 5″6′ 200 lbs. got some idea of wearing some long sleeve checkered polo, black pants and a pair of converse all star, for a casual wear event. thx in advance

  • Hanzy101 – that sounds nice. make sure that the long-sleeves are casual and the black pants are black jeans.

    You can try some from H&M.

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