Again we pause for the forgotten man

Esquire, March 1935: “Last month we got ourselves in very solid with a large number of citizens, or vice versa, by stopping to reflect, via one of these fashion pages, that somebody loves a fat man. So again we guide the gentleman of girth, even unto such a relatively skittish department as that of spectator sports wear.

“Chubby, on the left, models a slenderizing outfit consisting of a fly front covert cloth topcoat in natural tan, worn with a grey diagonal cheviot tweed, a blue and white even stripe cotton flannel shirt, a black silk crochet tie, a green felt snap brim hat, brown suede shoes on a town last, reddish capeskin gloves and the omnipresent red carnation.

“Tubby, on the right, less convincing now than when his coat is buttoned, wears an outfit that shows the same tendency to emphasise all the long lines, accentuate the sharpness of the collar points and the taper of hat crowns, trousers and sleeves.”

I hate to disagree with the editors of Esquire, but I think both men could do more to elongate their looks. Tubby should wear a deeper V-neck, slimmer trousers and get rid of the turn-ups. Chubby could also remove his turn-ups, and a fly-front coat is not particularly slimming. It creates a solid expanse of cloth without the relief of buttons.

Do keep your jacket buttoned though. Otherwise what’s the point of tailoring?
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What if you’re a tall (6’3″) fat guy? Do I really need to look MORE tall than I already am?

vir beātum

Splendid stuff, but unfortunately Chubby and Tubby have become Obese and Morbidly Obese. Some things just don’t look good in any light, and nor should they, or else where is the incentive to get better?


I agree, deeper V & never any cuffs on my pants. I’m a big guy that’s on the way to being a not so big guy but I still try to dress well. I have to admit, dressing well is a really expensive thing to do for a big guy. Health & longevity is the #1 reason I’m losing, but being able to dress well is a REALLY close 2nd.


Compared to nowadays, for the average man, it’s a nice and bold combination of colours – tan, black, brown, green and red.
I don’t know about “chubby” and “tubby”, maybe so for the hungry ’30s. It’s clear Esquire never forsaw what would become of the average waistline over the next 75 years!

I keep my jacket buttoned about half the time, but not my fly-fronted topcoat unless it’s really cold. Since as you remarked it creates a block of unbroken colour. When it’s cold though, I’m more interested in function.


Disagreeing with advice from 1935? Aren’t you a rebel! 🙂


Everyone speaks of slimming lines and so forth. Is there an instance where “thickening” lines (I don’t even know if that’s the correct term) would be appropriate?

It just seems odd; Chubby and Tubby need fixing, but is a waif-thin man always correct?


If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

VB you’re a cretin.


So rather than an illusion, actual bulk is added. That’s interesting. Thank you, Simon.