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Are you a big guy that wants to look fat and sloppy? If so, I’ve got some killer tips for you. If you’re a big guy just don’t give any thought to your pants and belt and you’ll look like a giant frumpy dumpling. Or at least that’s true in my case.
In fact, we could probably simplify this even further and say that, to avoid the dumpling-syndrome, you should really just pay attention to your belt. Poor waistlines with rumpled up pants, untucked shirts, and (heaven help me) a giant plumber’s crack are almost always the fault of a poorly chosen belt.
As a big guy, you are probably aware that you can’t get away with using and wearing items made for “regular-sized guys”. The problem is, most belt companies think that the best belts for fat guys should be made the same as belts for skinny guys, just longer. Wrong!
Belts for big guys and guys with big bellies need a few special characteristics if they are going to: a.) keep your pants up, and b.) be comfortable and stylish!
I have spent way too much time looking at belts, thinking about them, and trying them on at local stores. In the end, I came up with a solid set of characteristics that I believe will help any big guys choose a belt. However, if you don’t really care about the criteria we used to pick the best belts for fat guys, just pick one of these, my top five choices. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
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If you’re looking for additional CCW options/belts for big guys, you can find those here.
How to Size a Belt for a Big Man
Despite many people being confused about how to properly size a belt for a man, it is extremely easy. Simply choose a belt that is 2-4″ longer than your off-the-rack pants size. So if you wear pants with a 40 waist, buy a belt in a size 42-44″.
If you are unsure of you pants size (or wear mostly pants with a stretchy waistband) there are two additional methods you can use to determine the size of belt you need:
This method is as simple as finding and measuring a belt you already own. The problem comes with knowing which points to measure. If you guessed that you need to measure from end to end you’d be wrong. You need to measure the part of the leather that actually fits around your waist. So, measure from the point where the belt attaches to the buckle (not including the buckle) to the hole you typically use. Most belt sizes are measured from the buckle to the middle hole. So if that span gives you a 42″ measurement, get a 42″ belt.
Perhaps this is the more obvious of the methods, but to find out what size of belt you wear, simply measure your waist where a belt would sit. This is typically more accurate than simply going off the waist size of your pants because pants sizes can vary from brand to brand.
If you’re ever in doubt about the size of belt to buy, leather belts can typically be trimmed very easily (as can nylon/canvas belts if they don’t have a sewn end). If you mess up the size, check out this video on how to trim a belt to fit.
Best Everyday Belt for Big Guys
If you’re looking for the best belt that a big guy can get, you just found it, and it’s made by Main Street Forge.
The “Bootlegger” is a full grain leather belt which comes that that is made of such high quality leather that it is warrantied for your entire life!
Main Street Forge makes their items out of the kind of leather that you pick up and immediatley know that it’s quality. And if you’re worried about buckle breakage? Don’t be. The buckle is easily replaceable by any belt-owner and is covered under the warranty.
So who wouldn’t want this belt? Well, unfortunately, while I do consider this to be the best belt for big guys, it is only available to fit waists up to 50″ Additionally, it is not very dressy. If you regularly wear suits, you’ll probably want to find a more high-gloss option to pair with them. However, for everyday wear and business casual, this is a great fit!
If you can’t afford a belt like this, don’t worry, there are other options (although they won’t last as long). However, it is less money upfront that most designer belts and, if you consider that it could last you the rest of your life, it becomes the most cost-effective long term option!
The Belt Leather Dress Belt for Big Men
If you are morbidly obese or need a dress belt for a big belly, this is the best option on the market. It is 1.5″ wide (as wide as most belt loops with take), made of stitched full grain leather, and comes in sizes as big as a belt is useful for. If this belt won’t fit your waist, you’re probably going to rely on stretch waists or suspenders to keep your trousers in place.
While the leather seems to be slightly lower quality (judging by my highly scientific “feel-test”) than the Main Street Forge belt it is obviously a very high quality accessory. I’m a big fan of both its high-quality construction and rounded buckle that won’t cut into your belly while wearing it.
Strongest Casual Belt for Big Guys
Nylon webbing is one of the strongest belt materials available and its break strength can be as high as 5,500lbs per inch of width! Hopefully, you don’t need 5,000 pounds of force to keep your pants up.
The main trade-off of choosing a nylon belt over leather is the last of structural integrity. While the nylon has an extremely high break strength, it is much more likely to deform under your belly or if you side fat hangs over your pants. While this may actually be more comfortable, it typically lets your pants look a bit lumpier. Also, the tension buckles that come on nylon belts are simply not as effective at keeping your pants up and need to be regularly tightened throughout the day.
Because of these drawbacks, it’s hard to dub a nylon belt as one of the belt belts for big guys. However, when the overall value is considered, it’s pretty hard not to justify owning at least one!
5.11 makes tactical gear and is known for its high-quality construction. The buckle on this belt is comfortable and a large step above the typical d-ring tension fasteners typically found on nylon belts. So if you need a big man belt for you off days when you head to the beach or are just hanging around, this is a great option!
What Makes a Good Belt for Fat Guys?
Finding the best belt for big guys is a little more complex that just getting one that will fit around your waist. The example I always use is shoes for fat guys. Sure, we hefty dudes can wear regular shoes in our size, but we blow through them like crazy. As a big guy, you will do much better financially and durability-wise to spend the extra coin and get a heavy-duty option.
So, in short, the best belt for fat guys will simply be the highest quality belt you can find that fits you. Forget paying for a designer brand or high-end name either. We want a belt made of full-grain leather, as wide as will fit in your belt loops, and a strong buckle with rounded edges (to preserve our big bellies).
If you want a belt that will last, you might end up spending a bit more for a bit that you’re used to. However, if you’re focused on a belt what provides all value and no name-brand up-sells that you should be able to get a belt that will last you for several years without breaking, deforming, tearing, etc.
If you are wondering what the best color of belt is just remember: belt to shoes, socks to pants. If you typically wear brown shoes, get a brown belt. Truth be told, you should probably have belts in a couple colors.
Belts vs. Suspenders for Big Guys
Another fashion option for fat guys looking to keep their pants in place is to bypass the belt option all-together. Many big guys tend to avoid suspenders because they feel they are stereotypically fat and, unfortunately, they have a point. Suspenders typically tend to be the domain of very dapper and handsome fellows with beards, and fat guys. However, there are a few scenarios where I feel fat guys should utilize suspenders every-time.
- With a suit. If you’re wearing a blazer, sport coat, or a full suit, suspenders will complete your look and keep your pants in their proper place.
- With sweaters or sweater vests. I high recommend sweaters and sweater vests to big guys wanting to smooth out their physique and can suggest coupling either of them with suspenders.
In short, if you’re dressed up (or have a way of covering the suspenders up) go for it! Not only do they have the advantage of keeping your pants up, but they place your pants in the proper place so you look taller, leaner, and more “put-together.”
Wait, the proper place? Yes, read on….
Belt Fashion: Where should fat guys wear their pants?
If you’re a fat guy, the most powerful thing you can do to improve your looks and boost your self-confidence is to accept that you’re fat. Here’s a secret, there is nothing short of a compression undershirt that you can do to fool people into thinking you’re skinny. You’re far better off to dress in a way that looks nice and put together rather than resorting to ridiculous tricks to hide your belly/moobs/etc.
So, if you’re a big guy, take my advice and go with the following three tips. They will make you uncomfortable but, if you fail, your fine new belt will just be wasted!
- Buy fitted pants in your size and wear them at your waist. Forget baggy pants that sit under your belly. This just makes your belly look bigger, your legs look shorter, and you look dumpy overall. Get a pair of paints with a waist big enough to fit around your waist (meaning tucking in your belly) and have them tailored through the leg.
- Buy extra long shirts and tuck them in. One of the quickest ways to look fat and unkempt is to have your shirt come untucked and expose your back, butt, or belly. I’m not overly tall but I always but shirt in a long or tall size so they can properly cover my belly and will stay tucked in.
- Get a great belt. Having the pull your pants up constantly will make it extremely difficult for the first two tips to make much of a difference. The proper big-man belt and dress shoes will make a world of difference in upping your style game and helping your feel better about your size.
So quit asking yourself, “how should a fat guy dress?” and start asking, “how would a fashionable guy dress?”
So, get the pants, get the shirts, scroll back up to get a belt, and rock your new look!