Brawny, stout, or burly: larger grooms look HOT

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Chris matched his groomsmen with argyle sweater vests, flat-front pants, and dickie bows. Photo by Jessica Nelson

Our offbeat grooms come in all shapes and sizes and we wouldn't want it any other way. In fact, our groom gear tag should be great fodder for some personal fap boards on Pinterest. But one post in particular sparked a great comment from reader Sillygirl:

This is all lovely for guys who can pull off the skinny-as-a-rail look, but I have a rather big guy who is not built for vests, and jackets are tough. Ideas?

We decided to dig into our archives for groom (and androgynous) styles that can work on all body types. Note: not all of these men are above average size, but they are all wearing styles that are big and tall-friendly.


Photo by Light Love Laughter Photography

I don't see one dude here at Ricard and Marica's wedding that doesn't look amazing in his jacket. There are a few things you can do to make jackets work well on larger frames. Look for slightly squared shoulders, which will balance you out. Two- and three-button blazers have an elongating effect, which will make you look taller and more streamlined. Side vents in the back of the jacket will give you a little more wiggle room too (since you might end up boogie-ing down, right?) And lastly, empty your pockets of bulky items like cell phones and overstuffed wallets.

Sweaters and sweater vests are usually a super comfortable alternative to jackets, and a v-neck especially puts the focus on your upper chest. This includes cardigans! Wear them, love them, send me photos.

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Photo by Natural Element

Dylan and his groomsmen chose pinstriped suits, which matched the Roaring '20s theme and made them all look super snazzed up.

Photo by Abbey Hepner Photography

Sarah's groom Ross chose a jacket with squared shoulders that fits him really well. Don't be tempted to get a baggy jacket or you'll end up looking a little ruffled.

Photo by Through a Cracked Lens

Laura's groom Sam went for broke by choosing this amazing greatcoat. It fit their theme and his physique perfectly.


Photo Session
Kat and Scott pose with abandon. Photo by Erin Michelle
Photo by Jim Brownett

Jo and Dan are on the kilt bandwagon and so am I… to say the least. All three of these guys look amazing.

Photo by Annie Kohl

Anne wore a kilt at her and Meghan's wedding too, which shows this style works on everyone!

Jason seeing his bride for the first time
Photo by Kari Bellamy

Jason and Sheila had a Medieval-style wedding, so his flowy shirt, corduroy kilt, leather vest, belt, and bracers are a total win. More proof: Ariel and Dre know this look works for everyone. HOT!


Photo by BG Productions

Daniel and Sauce are both rocking matching ultra-colorful suspenders and bow ties. Don't be afraid of wearing bright or light colors. As long as it fits you well, it will work. If you're still not sure, keep bright colors and patterns isolated to your accessories.

The Wedding
Photo by Kate O'Brien

Natalie's groom Nick proves that cream is the new black. There is no reason to limit your choices to only dark colors, especially when your partner is also embracing fabulous colors.

Photo by Tatiana McGuire

I am loving Jim's goldenrod tan suit at his and Megan's wedding. Plus, the vest + lots of buttons combination is bound to win the day.

Costume, Steampunk, and Renaissance weddings

Photo by Laura Linder Photography

If you're planning a Renaissance wedding, you basically hit the jackpot for awesome garb for larger guys. Corseted arms and legs, tall boots, flowing tops, lots of vests… there is a lot that can work for you. Ashley and Justin both looked era-appropriate.

Photo by Laura Linder Photography

Their groomsmen wore these lace-up peasant-style shirts, which look totally comfortable and a little pirate-y.

Photo by N'Sight Photography

Evangeline and Corey's garb was modeled after 10th Century Norse Vikings, whose long, belted style seems to work on all body types.

8x10 Bride and Groom Full Length to Print
Photo by Stephanie Ashby

Shannon and Tim had a steampunk theme, and the long coat and vest combination looks fabulous on Tim. I love the belt detail too.

The guys
Photo by Cheryl Bolton-Reuter

If none of our options feel like a fit, try throwing on an accessory and rocking the shit out of it, like these hats at Katie and Kellan's wedding.

Are you an offbeat groom or a partner looking to kit out your larger groom? We want TIPS!

They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:

  1. The most important thing is that fit clothes fit well. A guy's clothes should be altered just like a lady's dress. My partner is on the larger side, but has very broad shoulders and chest, and a comparatively narrow waist, so shirts HAVE to be tailored to look good. Also, square shouldered jackets for the win! That's totally what makes his suit look amazing. I'm definitely a fan of larger guys in good suits that fit them well. It's just so dashing.

    • Off-the-peg suits almost always need extra tailoring – even on the mannequins, they sometimes need pinning up and around. Sadly most guys won't sit still very long, or be patient/picky enough to get the alterations done (I know most Irish guys are…), but it does make a huge difference. My guy's been trained well – I've frantically sewn a costume for him that fitted much better than the one I'd forgotten to pack, so he knows how to stand still and avoid getting stuck with a pin. 🙂
      Also, he was a groomsman for his best man so he understands how it works now. I thought he looked great in a waistcoat/vest, but he's a little conscious about his belly – which isn't even that big, but meh. I've told him I'll take it and stuff it into my bra! :p

  2. YAY! For my husband and his men as the top photo 🙂 He loved the outfit he picked out for all of them and they were comfy all day long!

  3. I had the opposite problem. My husband is a little dude, and often Mens "small" suits make him look like a kid wearing his dad's clothes. I was especially set against a suit jacket, and we eventually decided on the vest-only look. We got the vest taken in for a good snug fit, and he ended up looking sharp instead of shabby. Phew.

  4. I always appreciate you guys' commitment to awesome weddings with people of all sizes and shapes. 🙂

  5. My incredibly cute husband is fairly short and a "lil'bitfat" in the belly area. He hates wearing jackets because he feels like they always make him look shorter and wider, since he usually has to go up a size in the shoulder to accommodate his deliciously chubby belly. For our wedding, we bought him a three-piece suit that fit well in the vest, and had the pants and jacket taken in a little. The jacket isn't my favorite thing, or his (so he didn't wear it, but it's not a bad idea to have a dark suit around for a funeral or a hit man costume), but the vest looked great and was very slimming. It made him look streamlined and hellla cute.

  6. And I really can't say enough about having a suit tailored. In addition to looking better, I think it made my husband feel like a fancy man, and that was fun for him.

  7. GOD. DAMN. IT. This is the reason I love OBB so much. Where oh WHERE THE EFF have I seen a post like this? UM…NOWHERES. I'm going to refer this post over & over for my BBD (Big Beautiful Dudes). THANKS!!!!

  8. One thing no one's suggested yet is old school morning dress with tails and the whole nine yards. The cut out in front and the tails elongate everything (and personally, I think it takes a larger build to pull the look off without a LOT of custom tailoring).

    Also, I think the OP said no to vests for her Person, but I wish she'd reconsider. Vests are awesome and come in a huge range of sizes (plus, the easiest/cheapest thing to have made).

  9. We are getting a custom made black velvet blazer my big guy – he is always so uncomfortable in suits, but still wanted to stand out as the Groom. In fact, his jacket, will cost more than what my dress does, but he'll be able to keep it and wear it again forever!

  10. It's already been said before, but women spend a lot of time/energy/effort on ensuring they look great, but I think that ought to be the same for grooms too. Hunt around, try on different things, get it tailored.

    All these men look freakin' badass!! They are wearing their outfits LIKE A BOSS! And they looks awesome for it.

  11. I am so loving this post. I remember reading Groom outfits tag (In particular, the one linked) and being really disappointed (Like SillyGirl) that my tall and brawny guy would never be able to pull off those looks. But these men, they're all rocking, and I love it.

  12. Great post!
    My handsome husband, who has huge shoulders and arms and broad chest but isn't very tall, went to a fine department store. The experts in the menswear department suggested the best brand/style for his body, and the store also did the tailoring. This option isn't cheap, but he picked a classic suit he can wear over and over again, and the whole process took less than 45 minutes!

  13. Awesome post! My man is just.. big. 6'2" and around 240 lbs and he looks super dapper in his weddingsuit.

    Another thing to mention is to get a tie that is appropriate for your man's size, whether large or otherwise. If you're going for the skinny tie look, a traditional skinny tie will look awkward against a large chest, but there are some that are slightly larger but will give the same effect. So if your wedding party consists of mixed sizes, the ties should be different for each guy, so the look matches. Does that make sense? 🙂

  14. Thanks for the compliments! I'm one of those big & short guys, so I had a terrible time finding a suit that actually fit well, and that sounds like a common problem.

    I read in comments on another article about custom made suits ordered online. I ended up ordering my wedding suit from, and it was gratifying to have a suit that didn't look like a sack on me. While I'm sure there are people who won't be comfortable buying a suit online, or one made in India, I wanted to mention it as an option.

  15. Oh yeah. My hubs is 6'5, bearded, and hot hot hot! We had a summer wedding, and he rocked his light grey suit. I agree with the comment about big guys and skinny ties though- make sure accessories are size-appropriate.

  16. All i can say is that i am beging my (fingers crossed as i am proposing on 12/2/12((my birthday))) Boyfriend to dress like Sam. He already has the great coat…..<3 love it

  17. Double vents, always double vents (it allows the body of the suit to lay better in the curve of the lower back, plus added accenting on that butt.)! Welt pockets with the flaps in for a streamlined look (less visual information). If a suit has more than one button, the bottom button is always left unbuttoned (they are tailored this way). Flat front pants over pleated, pleated puts volume at your waist.

  18. My fiance and I are researching either renting or buying a kilt for him and possibly his groomsmen and dad. I noticed some places rent kilts, but I have the feeling he's going to opt to buy one with the specific Dunlop clan colors. Anyone able to share their experiences getting kilts? I noticed there's a lot of specific details that go into the traditional highlander formal wear. It's a little overwhelming. Anyone rent the jacket and other accessories but buy the kilt?

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