A Fat Man Dresses For Work

Alan Creedy CPA

Alan Creedy CPA

“My name is Alan and I am overweight!”

Last week I was shocked when someone said to me, “Alan, you are always well dressed and so professional looking.” It really took me aback. I certainly don’t see myself that way.

But I DO see myself as a professional who has a responsibility to myself and employers (when I wasn’t self employed) to present a professional image. Too often I see people with my same problem in funeral service who look absolutely terrible. So here are some lessons I have learned on the way.

Lesson 1: You will have to spend more on your work clothing than thinner people. Joseph Banks isn’t going to work for you. I am just below the upper size limit at Brooks Brothers. It costs more but it makes a difference in how clothes hang on me.

Lesson 2: It may be embarrassing but big men’s stores “get me” and are very helpful.

Lesson 3: We can’t wear pleated pants because they blouse out and look like jodhpurs.

Lesson 4: We can’t wear suspenders because they frame the problem and make us look much much worse.

Lesson 5: When we wear a tie our shirt collars should be the non button straight type that have a normal spread. Button downs on a fat man wearing a tie will blouse out too much.

Lesson 6: When we go business casual it is the opposite. We need to wear button down collars so they won’t spread out and look sloppy.

Lesson 7: If you are over 16 collar size get extra long ties. The end of your tie should come to your belt line even if you can’t see it.

Lesson 8: Wear suit coats that button and keep them buttoned when you stand. The better the quality of the cloth the better it will “hang.” Never go cheap. If you are bigger than a 48 chest go custom made.

Lesson 9: Your shirt collar size should allow your forefinger and middle finger to be inserted between your neck and the shirt. Rule of Thumb: a shirt collar should fit well enough to remain buttoned all day without discomfort but not so large that it looks too big.

Lesson 10: Buy shirts with your specific arm length. Outlet store sizes of 34 / 35 are always 35, for instance, and will show too much cuff when you have your coat on.

Lesson 11: Never wear a shirt that is small enough to pull on the buttons it just exaggerates the problem. A custom made shirt is only about $30 more than a Brooks Brothers shirt and lasts longer.

Lesson 12: Wear comfortable shoes with laces that will take a shine. Women especially notice how a man takes care of his shoes and will immediately correlate run down, unshined shoes with poor hygiene and slovenliness.

Lesson 13: Tuck your undershirt into your underpants it will give you a smoother look to your shirt.

Lesson 14: If you wear non – iron shirts iron them anyway.

Lesson 15: Bow – Ties. I love them but they are a no – no unless your first name is Ronald and your last starts with M and you like french fries

Lesson 16: Don’t wear loud clothing that draws attention to your body…see lesson 15

Lesson 17: If you wear eyeglasses find frames that reduce the size of your face instead of accentuate it.



By |2018-01-25T20:03:40-04:00October 19th, 2015|Blog, General Topics, Leadership, The Creedy Commentary|11 Comments


  1. Beacham McDougald October 20, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I take exception to #15. My name ain’t Ronald, I don’t eat fries, and I’m wearing a bow tie 😉 I’m also “newly” skinny!

    • Alan Creedy
      Alan Creedy October 20, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Beacham, you are tall and relatively thin. it works for you.

  2. Thomas M. Folkert October 20, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Be comfortable being the person God made you to be. Most of the things you list are good reminders for all of us when it comes to dressing professionally, no matter what our size.

  3. Howard Beckham October 20, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Great advice. Important to dress as best as you can based on your budget. ( If I shopped at Brooks Brothers, and I wish I could, I would own only one suit). Shined shoes are a must, though I do look at comfort since I am on my feet a great deal.
    I started a few years ago wearing bow ties. And years I know I am over the “ideal” weight. I do it for two reasons: 1: It seems to have become a brand identifier in the community. 2. I have a lot of lovely ladies pay me a complement on how much they like my bow tie. At this stage of my life I rather enjoy that.

  4. Dale Clock October 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Alan, I too am a little bigger than I should be across the middle and completely agree with most of your statements. I have been wearing sweater vests lately because it keeps me from having to re-tuck in my shirt every time I move (it also keeps my wife from hollering at me about that issue) , plus then you can wear suspenders underneath the vest. L.L. Bean is the only place I can buy an 18×33 dress shirt without a special order and they are great fitting, long lasting shirts. Now if I could just find a reliable supplier for shoes that fit my short wide feet without paying $250 a pair I’ll have it made.

    • Alan Creedy
      Alan Creedy October 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      thanks dale, interesting insight about sweaters. sorry, can’t help about the shoes but look for next week’s blog. it may help.

  5. Jim Will October 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Alan, You once told me that people dress the way they feel about their self. You must feel very good. Since I’ve lost so much weight, I had to buy all new shirts. You sure can tell the difference between a Brooks Brothers shirt and a Mens Warehouse shirt. But, being an old retired guy, Mens Warehouse make up most of my new shirts. Then again, shorts and a T-shirt are daily wear in Florida. Jim

  6. Thomas Givnish October 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Alan, the best advise I can give is find a good tailor. Regardless of body type if the suit or shirt doesn’t fit properly it won’t look good. 99% of all suits purchased need some alteration. Take it to a tailor and have it fitted properly. Also, invest in a pair of black and brown high quality shoes! Yes, invest! They’re initially expensive but can be re-soled many times and even returned to the manufacture for refurbishment. Alden and Allen Edmond make quality shoes that can, with proper care, last a lifetime. Go to a store that sell these brands and have your feet properly measured. You’ll be amazed at how comfortable they are and how long they’ll last.

  7. The Lesson of the $300 Shoes October 26, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

    […] Last week’s blog sparked a lively conversation on and offline about clothing. From those conversations I think it might help to add one more insight. […]

  8. Jeffrey Gill July 3, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

    For overweight man like me, do I wear a trouser above, straight to a belly button, or one inch below of a belly button?

    • Alan Creedy
      Alan Creedy July 4, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      for reasons i can’t explain this depends on your body shape. some of us are cursed with a shape that will only allow the below the belly button position. best solution in a dress situation is to wear suspenders which, in turn demands you keep your coat on.

Leave A Comment