Male bodies come in a diverse range of shapes and sizes. As straightforward a statement as this may seem, though, it isn’t immediately apparent from the images fed to us by the fashion industry, which tends to portray men as uniformly tall, slim and athletic, and with barely an ounce of subcutaneous adipose tissue (otherwise known as body fat) in sight.
There’s a perfectly rational explanation for this. Put clothes on stereotypically good-looking models and there’s every chance that the clothes will look good, too. But sweeping aside body diversity in the pursuit of some aesthetic ideal risks leaving anyone who doesn’t fit the industry mould, and larger men in particular, feeling excluded.
And, to be clear, that’s the majority of us. While fashion designers chase their fantasy vision of what a man should look like, back in the real world, the data tells a different story. In the UK, the average waist measurement is around 38 inches, while the average chest measurement is around 42 inches. Despite this, medium sizing is still, in most cases, defined as a 32-to-34-inch waist and a 38-to-40-inch chest.