Once upon a time you were in shape. It was a glorious time, a time when you could saunter to the gym whenever you liked and closely monitor the stuff you put in your body.
But since that first kid came into your life, things have never been the same: Your once abundant free time is now taken up by princess tea parties and/or tee-ball practice and/or being passed out on the couch from pure exhaustion as your kid watches four hours of My Little Pony on Netflix. Eating is a problem, too, because now in addition to your own meals, you’re constantly finishing off those final chicken nuggets or that half-eaten bowl of macaroni and cheese that they didn’t finish.
In the end then, all you’re left with is a serious case of dad bod. But don’t worry: You can still rock it with style.
A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
How you dress is going to be the most important aspect of looking good in your dad bod. If you’re in formal attire like a suit, stylist Todd Hanshaw says, “You want something to accentuate your shoulders, and definitely single-breasted.” Those double-breasted suits, he explains, are going to draw attention to your belly (plus, they’re kind of dated anyway, so it’s a good move to ditch that look altogether). Stick to straight cut pants — by pairing those with a single-breasted suit and a belt that doesn’t draw attention to your midsection, it’s “going to create a very straight line,” says Hanshaw, “and you’ll look great!”
The biggest mistake Hanshaw says he sees is with jeans. “You want to avoid that old bootcut jean. It looks sloppy, and it’s going to give you a weird shape,” he cautions. Instead, go with a straight-cut jean as that will give you the straightest line for your profile. And if you’re a bigger dude, avoid the skinny jeans unless you’re going for the muffin-top look.
Despite the popular opinion that black is slimming, Hanshaw says that this only applies to photographs or at a distance, so unless you plan on staying a football field away from company, color is going to matter very little in person. “You can wear whatever color you want, just pay attention to how it fits you,” he says.
With shirts, Hanshaw says that you don’t want anything tight on the belly so that it shows off your squishiness, but also not super loose like a football jersey, as you’ll just look like a slob. Hanshaw also says to avoid shirts so thin that they cling to your physique. Pick something with “a little weight to the fabric” instead, he advises.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Calories
“If you’re posing in pictures, look past the camera by picking a focal point beyond the camera,” says Hanshaw, explaining that this will bring definition to your face. It will also make it look like there’s something really important on your mind, instead of revealing that you’re still thinking about that raccoon that scaled the UBS building.
For your stance, you want to stand facing the camera and put your weight on one leg, which will prevent your stomach from seeming like the widest part. Finally, whether in a picture or not, you have to stand up straight. “Standing straight makes you look stronger and more confident,” Hanshaw explains. “People will see your confidence, not your stomach.”
And even if they do see your stomach, fuck ’em: After all, if Batman can have a dad bod, anyone can.