Jacketless casual wear for large men in the tropics?
September 9, 2011 3:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm a large guy in the tropics. How do I dress smartly without having to put on a jacket or a coat?

I'd like to upgrade my casual wear. But a lot of the sites I see giving advice about dressing better just doesn't apply in the tropics. Coats? Jackets? Not where I'm living, bub; heat, smog, and humidity are my daily constants except for a few crisp weeks in January. I want to see examples of smart casual wear for large men, ensembles that aren't too warm for summers in Manila or Jakarta. Any ideas?
posted by micketymoc to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Linen, seersucker and poplin.
posted by brujita at 3:54 AM on September 9, 2011

In Manila I've seen plenty of larger men wearing shirts made out of basically the same material as barongs, only without all the fancy embroidery. One of those and a cotton undershirt seemed to be the most common option. You can probably have several made for not too much money.
posted by brilliantine at 4:29 AM on September 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Are Batik shirts ok where you are? I havent put a link in because it seems easy enough to google.
posted by evil_esto at 4:31 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: May I just clarify - I'd like more Western styles to wear. Barongs are, at best, office wear and not really something I can wear to, say, a night out with friends. And while batik seems OK, I haven't seen a cut or style that would answer my requirements.
posted by micketymoc at 4:55 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: ...hate to overmoderate, but I'd also like to see images of recommended ensembles. I know what kind of fabric works in the tropics; I don't know what styles to wear them in. Thanks!
posted by micketymoc at 5:01 AM on September 9, 2011

Big and tall linen shirts.

Are you willing to get things tailor-made? That might be your best bet for chino-style pants.
posted by brujita at 5:45 AM on September 9, 2011

How about a guyabera?
posted by Carol Anne at 6:37 AM on September 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

Large how? Broad shoulders? Long torso? Round/protruding midsection? Long legs? Body-builder arms? If you are tall, but thin, that's different than if you are short and fat. A little more description would help.
posted by greta simone at 7:07 AM on September 9, 2011

I wore guyaberas and lightweight chinos constantly as a 6'4 320lb guy in Florida. It doesn't make you look small but it does make you look "assembled" as it is a familiar look: big guy in a guyabera is passé.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:48 AM on September 9, 2011

Western but summery, like this?

Shirts that have a boxier cut and are a bit fitted look great on guys. My uncle (age 38) is a big tall guy living in a hot climate. His dress shirts are cut this way and he always look strikingly nice when he steps out. I think straight lines on the bottom-sides and tight in the sleeves look great because the shirt is not billowy and baggy, which is sometimes difficult to dodge if you're broader than the average bear and trying to keep cool. This type of shirt, or even this, if you can pull it off, with the style of pants from the first photo = perfect summertime style. Fitted and lightweight shirts look sharper than "tails" and pointy collars, and they show off the fabric better. Not to mention the sleeves flatter the arms. Even Bill Maher looks kind of sexy wearing one.

I'm not a man, but I love dressing my man-friends up. Good luck with your wardrobe update.
posted by JLovebomb at 9:10 AM on September 9, 2011

My DH just bought some Tommy Bahama suits on sale at Nordstrom, they fit him remarkably different than most "hawaiian" shirts he's ever worn, they drape better and are way more flattering. I think it has to do with the cut (more tailored) and the fabric (silk blend, I think). I think in hot climates, if a shirt fits well, a jacket, coat isn't necessary.
posted by snowymorninblues at 11:10 AM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: greta simone - short (5'5"), round, big belly.
posted by micketymoc at 5:27 PM on September 9, 2011

Tommy Bahama has camp shirts in linen in all different shades and sizes; they look nice with chinos or khaki Dockers and are cool and comfortable. Nice day-into-evening wear.

I'm also partial to safari shirts; pair them with your jeans.
posted by misha at 6:58 PM on September 9, 2011

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