Sweaters can be a great option for fat guys and big dudes. However most of the time, sweaters are completely overlooked in favor of looser hoodies, open cardigans, or similarly fitting winter wear.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Fat guys can not only make sweaters work for them, but they can also look darn good while they do it. Sweaters are a solid step up from your traditional hoodie but still plenty casual for daily wear.
As is often the case when it comes to looking good and being big, there are a few considerations that have to be made. Bigger guys need a sweater that isn’t going to bunch up and get tight in the wrong spots. Instead, we need a sweater that complements our natural shape rather than work against it.
We’re going to take a closer at everything fat guys need to know about finding the perfect sweater but if you just want to skip ahead and see what made the list you can see my fat guy favorites here:
- Best Overall: Amazon Essentials Men’s Big & Tall Crewneck Sweater
- Best Sizing Options: KingSize Big and Tall Knit Sweater
- Best Fleece Sweater: IZOD Men’s Big and Tall Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt
- Most Unique Style: Boulder Creek Big & Tall Patch Sweater with Mock Neck
- Best V-Neck Sweater: IZOD Big and Tall 7-Gauge V-Neck Sweater
- Best Ugly Christmas Sweater: SSLR Men’s Ugly Christmas Sweater
- Best Cashmere Blend: Kallspin Cashmere Wool Blend Relaxed Fit Sweater
- Best Turtleneck: Liberty Blues Shoreman’s Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater
Now let’s get into it!
What Do We Mean By Sweater?
Okay, don’t roll your eyes at that headline!
I know that asking what a sweater is might sound dumb but it’s worth some quick clarification because there can be a lot of confusion about what qualifies as a sweater and what doesn’t.
So let’s get a quick working definition out of the way so we’re on the same page:
A sweater is a long sleeve, knitted garment that is completely closed in the front.
That means you won’t find a cardigan, a hoodie, sweater vest, or any other “sweater-like” garments on this list…just sweaters!
What Should Fat Guys Look For In A Sweater?
As always, big guys have different requirements when it comes to finding clothing that fits and looks good.
Trust me, you can have both.
Let’s look at what fat guys should consider before picking out a sweater and keep in mind that this is the same criteria that I used when creating this list.
There are an absolute ton of necklines to choose from when it comes to sweaters and we’ll include quite a few of them on this list. The classic go-to option is the crew neck which is simply a rounded neckline that works for any guy- fat or not.
But where things start to get a little more interesting is when it comes to V-necks.
Many bigger guys shy away from V-necks and this style doesn’t always have a great reputation amongst fat guys. Probably because it’s been taken to the extreme by skinny hipsters with comically deep V-necks.
That look isn’t just a bad idea for fat guys but it’s a bad idea for anyone. A V-neck that’s too deep ends up looking effeminate and while it’s difficult to say at exactly what point this effect happens, you’ll know it when you see it. Sweaters aren’t the only garment with this problem and it’s something to watch out for when it comes to tank tops as well.
In reality, V-necks can be a great option for fat guys as they can add some depth and contrast to a rounder (AKA fatter) face. It’s the same effect that a nice pointed collar on a dress shirt can give.
Most of the sweaters on this list will focus on crew neck but I’ll also throw in some V-neck choices too.
Turtlenecks are another option and these can be a bit more difficult for fat guys to pull off. Thinner turtle necks are the way to go here and anything too bulky can skew your proportions in a bad way. Instead, I’m a big fan of the mock neck which is similar to a turtleneck in that it’s a longer collar but it’s split to give some openness.
Simply put, the mock neck is like taking a turtleneck and splitting it in two. The result gives you the formality of a turtleneck with the comfort of a traditional collar and it’s what I suggest over most traditional turtlenecks.
However, we’ll have a few turtle necks on the list too but if you go that route make sure you check out this quick video as they can be a little more difficult to appropriately style compared to a traditional sweater:
There are even more options when it comes to fabric type and you can really get lost here.
We’re keeping things simple and most of the sweaters on this list feature straightforward cotton cuts or synthetic blends with some extra variety mixed in.
For fat guys, cotton is usually a good choice since it will allow you to breathe. Obviously, you’re wearing a sweater to stay warm but at the same time, you don’t want to turn yourself into a walking sauna. As a big guy, I’m almost always the warmest one in the room so breathability is something I need to consider even during the winter.
We’ll take a closer look at the materials when we review each individual sweater but if you aren’t sure just stick with cotton or blends and you really can’t go wrong.
Sweater Pattern and Color
I’m not a fan of restricting fat guys to only certain patterns. Not only because that doesn’t make for fun clothing but it’s also not usually worth it.
For example, you may have heard that fat guys can’t wear stripes which is completely wrong for a long list of reasons. But that’s one of several broad stroke style rules that don’t work when it comes down to the individual guy.
So as a rule, I try not to pin big dudes down into a specific style.
That being said, bigger guys will usually prefer the way they look in darker colors and patterns but some of that will depend on what else you’re wearing.
When it comes to patterns, I actually prefer horizontal stripes and usually avoid patterns that may be distorted by my big belly. Of course, I’ll make an exception for a solid Christmas sweater!
Obviously, a sweater for fat guys needs to fit and you won’t find any sweater on this list that’s smaller than 4XL and most are available in at least 5XL or 6XL along with a 9XL option.
Unlike many other garments, you won’t find many sweaters offering different fits like athletic or husky. You will have big and tall options though which can be great for big dudes.
But the main thing to remember is that in most cases you will be wearing something under your sweater. That means you have some room to size up and may need to. Not only do you want to avoid a tight fit that hugs your belly but you also want to make sure you have room for your base layers.
Best Sweaters For Fat Guys
With the background information out of the way let’s dive into our favorite sweaters for big guys starting with our best overall!
Best Overall: Amazon Essentials Men’s Big & Tall Crewneck Sweater
- Sizing up to 7XL with some tall sizes available too
- 13 different classic color and pattern combinations
- Great reviews across the internet from big guys over 400+ pounds
- 100% cotton offers a great balance of breathability and warmth
When we talk about a best overall pick, we’re looking for a sweater that will work for 90% of fat guys and 90% of situations, and this simple sweater by DXL is exactly that. Even though it’s marketed as an Amazon Essential brand, it is part of the DXL brand that has a strong reputation in the big, tall, and fat community.
With sizing options up to 7XL and enough length to comfortably cover big bellies, this sweater should work for guys well into the 400+ pound range. This sweater is also made of 100% cotton while still being easy on the budget. Usually, cotton costs more and if you’re looking to save some cash you need to go for some itchier materials- but not here.
What I really love about this sweater are the color and pattern choices available. When I find something that actually fits, I want to double down and pick up a few colors of the same style. That can sometimes get a little boring but with this sweater, you have a wide range of options that go from a super casual grey to a more formal light blue along with several distinct patterns to mix it up even further.
When it comes to thickness, this sweater is light and perfect for fall or a base layer in colder weather.
You also have a whole pile of positive reviews across the internet and more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon alone.
It’s hard to go wrong with this sweater and while it might not work for the most formal of occasions it can handle everything else you throw at it. You can read more reviews from big guys, check out all 13 styles, and see today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Sizing Options: KingSize Big and Tall Knit Sweater
- Sizing up to 9XL with tall sizing up to 6XL
- 6 simple, classic colors that look great on big bodies
- Ribbed knit look offers a more formal look without going over the top
- Relaxed fit for extra comfort without looking bulky
While all the sweaters on this list are big enough for big bodies, the folks at KingSize take things up another level by offering up to 9XL sizing and plenty of tall sizing options along the way too.
That means fat guys of just about any size can make this work and “smaller” big guys that prefer a baggy feel will also be able to find what they’re looking for too.
But as you already know if you’ve read any of my style guides, I’m not about sacrificing looks for sizing, and with this sweater fat guys don’t have to. While you may not have as many styles to choose from as the best overall pick, you do have 6 great colors that look amazing on big bodies.
If you’re looking for a full outfit, I highly recommend the black, burgundy, or olive with a well-fitting pair of jeans.
The ribbed pattern combined with the heather pattern gives these sweaters a somewhat formal look while staying easy on the budget.
The only downside here is that this sweater is 100% acrylic. Some fat guys won’t care but others will prefer a more natural fiber or at least a blend.
Acrylic is plenty warm and won’t bunch up like other fabrics. It’s also loose enough that it will adapt to a big belly and limit tightness in spots you don’t want to be tight.
But the downside is that acrylic can shrink under heat, so you’ll need to be careful when washing this sweater. Besides that, and personal preference, there’s not much to worry about here.
You can read more reviews from other big dudes, check out the color options, and see the best price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Fleece Sweater: IZOD Men’s Big and Tall Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt
- Sizing up to 5XL with tall sizing available
- 15 vibrant colors with something for everyone
- Super comfortable fleece makes a great base layer
- Great length for big bellies
One thing that I love about sweaters is that they’re cozy- at least they should be.
Okay, that might not be the most masculine thing I’ve ever said but at 400 pounds and well over 6 feet, I think I can get away with it. And it’s okay if you want a cozy sweater too!
That’s where this comfortable fleece sweater from IZOD comes into the picture. Fleece is one of the warmest and most versatile fabrics around but most folks know it by the smooth, comfortable feel that it has in blankets, mittens, and of course sweaters.
Fleece is also popular in the outdoor world as a breathable and moisture resisting mid-layer garment which will be just as handy for fat guys that want to stroll around town.
IZOD is also a bit of a sleeper brand in the big and tall world. We’ve seen them on a few other lists, like our favorite polos for fat guys, but they aren’t nearly as popular as they should be when it comes to clothing for fat guys. IZOD is consistently producing great clothing for big bodies and this fleece sweater is no different.
This sweater offers a super simple design with no ribbing or special knitting but is still formal enough for a church event or nice brunch. Your color choices range from dark reds and black to bright and vibrant blues which means you can find the perfect match for your style.
Even though these sweaters only run in sizing up to 5XL, they have a relaxed fit that means they run a little large. Keep that in mind if you’re in between sizes.
You can check out all 15 colors, read reviews from big guys and check the best price on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Unique Style: Boulder Creek Big & Tall Patch Sweater with Mock Neck
- Sizing available up to 8XL
- Faux suede on elbows and shoulders give this sweater a more unique look
- 4 button collar and mock neck allow leaves plenty of flexibility to your style
- Elbow padding and ribbing give this sweater an almost rustic look
If you’re looking for something a little on the unique side, then it’s worth checking out this sweater from the folks at Boulder Creek.
While elbow pads aren’t extremely uncommon it’s the combination of elbow and chest/shoulder suede that makes this sweater stand out. I also think that placement of the faux suede across the shoulder and chest works as a great accent for big bodies.
The brown suede really draws attention up to your handsome face and also compliments big bodies.
The braver folks out there might go for the navy but I’d generally recommend the stone (which is an off-white) or black colors with a standard pair of jeans.
The combination of a mock neck and four buttons leaves a ton of room for additional style options and depending on the shirt you wear underneath you can increase the formality of this sweater or make things more casual.
While it’s not the type of sweater that you can stock up on, like some of the others on this list, it’s a great option for your overall rotation. You can check out more reviews, take a closer look at the faux suede padding and see the best price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best V-Neck: IZOD Big and Tall 7-Gauge V-Neck Sweater
- Big and tall sizing up to 4XL
- 11 colors to pick from with everything from dark red to bright blue
- Subtle but stylish V-neck that's perfect for big guys
- Comfortable cotton and acrylic blend
For our best V-neck sweater we turn back to the folks at IZOD and their subtle, simple but stylish V-neck sweater. Instead of fleece as with our other IZOD pick, we’re looking for a comfortable blend of cotton and acrylic that’s both lightweight and easy on the budget.
The biggest downside is that the sizing for this particular line is limited to only 4XL sizing. However, at the time of writing IZOD seems to be going through some kind of shift with this line of sweaters and you can find bigger sizes (up to 5XL) on Amazon by clicking here.
If you’re open to a deeper V-neck you can check out more 5XL sizing options from IZOD by clicking here. However, I would not recommend going for a V cut that deep unless you’re planning on wearing a nice dress shirt or something else underneath.
But back to this sweater.
We’ve already mentioned but it bears repeating that the v-neck design is a great option for fat guys. The v-neck cut lengthens your overall look and it can really frame your face. However, go too deep with the V and you end up with what looks like a women’s garment and the moobs to go with it.
That’s not a problem here and this shallow V-neck gives you the benefits of the look without the risk of looking silly.
I’m also a fan of the slight taper on the waist which can help give you a leaner, more framed look.
You can see all the colors, read more reviews and check the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Ugly Christmas Sweater: SSLR Men’s Ugly Christmas Sweater
- Sizing available up to 4XL
- 19 weird, ugly (in a good way) and unexpected patterns to pick from
- Comfortable and soft which can be wear with some novelty sweaters
- Easy-on-the-budget which is important for an item you won't wear every day
What would any list of sweaters be without at least one ugly Christmas sweater on it?
What started as a serious garment has now become its own artform and the ugly or novelty sweater has a culture all its own.
But just like Rudolph, fat guys are usually left out because small-run novelty shirts and sweaters just don’t have the sizing options we need.
While it won’t work for every fat guy, the folks at SSLR have introduced 4XL sizing in their Christmas sweaters which is a huge step up from the usual 2XL sizing options you see with novelty sweaters.
If 4XL does work for you, you also have 19 different style options to pick from across their two Amazon listings (you can click here for the second one). These styles range from only slightly ugly but still classic (like the one pictured above) to downright weird like Santa golfing on the moon.
So you can turn the ugly/weird dial all the up. Or you can go for a more subtle but still funny approach.
Even better, these are actually good sweaters. Usually, novelty wear is all about the joke and little else but these acrylic sweaters are comfortable, warm, and truly functional. We’ve already included one acrylic sweater on this list and while the material isn’t for everyone, the stretch and flex of acrylic is a great fit for most fat guys.
On top of that, these sweaters are easy-on-the-budget which is perfect for something you’re going to wear only a few times a year. Of course, you could rock your outer space Santa year-round if you want but it’s safe to say that it isn’t the norm.
You can check out all the style options to pick from (including Santa Hanging with a UFO) along with the latest price by clicking here.
Best Cashmere Blend: Kallspin Cashmere Wool Blend Relaxed Fit Sweater
- Sizing available up to 4XL with tall sizing available as well
- 12 colors and styles to pick from including both V-neck and crew neck options
- Cashmere-style but easier on the budget
- Relaxed fit is perfect for fat guys
Cashmere is one of the highest quality materials you can find and a true sweater classic.
As is often the case, many fat guys are often a little left out and you’re going to have a hard time finding a cashmere sweater that’s available in 6XL sizing.
But the second best option is a cashmere blend. In this case, a blend of both cashmere and wool makes this sweater breathable, moisture resistent, lightweight, and most importantly comfortable.
It also looks darn good too and you’ll save a ton by going for a blend instead of 100% pure cashmere.
If you read reviews across the internet, you’ll see few folks complaining that this sweater runs big- and it does. While this is a downside for skinny or average-sized guys, it’s a positive for fat dudes and big guys since the relaxed fit leaves some extra breathing room for a big belly.
There’s also some extra room around the underarm. That means less contact with the shirt and your pits which is always a good thing.
Another reason I’ve added this particular sweater to the list is that from this one listing you can choose between both V-neck and crew cut styles making this your one-stop shop for whatever style you prefer.
That also leaves you with a lot of options depending on which style/collar combination you go with and this sweater can work very well for more formal occasions with the right dress shirt underneath.
You can check out all the collar, color, and style combinations along with the best price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best Turtleneck: Liberty Blues Shoreman’s Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater
- Available in sizes up to 8XL including several tall sizes
- Comfortable, sturdy and warm turtleneck that isn't over-the-top
- 4 classic color options
- Made from 100% cotton for extra comfort
Even though it wouldn’t be my starting point, turtlenecks can absolutely work for fat guys and big dudes.
But what you don’t want to do is completely remove your neckline. Not only is that a bad look for big guys, but it’s also honestly not a great look for anyone.
With this sweater from Liberty Blues, that isn’t a problem and this turtleneck comfortably folds over to give you the warmth and style you want without making your look…well strange. Because it folds on itself, instead of standing straight up, it’s also a lot less likely to get floppy because there’s not much worse than a floppy turtleneck.
The sweater has some of the largest sizing you can find with available sizes going up to 8XL. While some fat guys in the 3XL range will be able to find more turtle neck options, if you’re on the bigger side of big then this is the way to go.
Turtlenecks are typically considered a bit more formal which makes this a great option for big guys that have a more formal event they need to attend.
Overall, a solid sweater option and a clear winner in the somewhat limited turtleneck category. You can check out all the color options along with the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
The pullover sweater is one of the most versatile and classic garments around but most fat guys seem to avoid this classic look.
Sure, sweaters can cause some extra tightness on the tummy but if you pick up the proper size and the proper cut it’s not something you have to worry about.
The goal of this list was to save you the hours of research that it takes to actually find the right size and with just a few clicks you can look good.
So what do you think?
Which sweater did you go with?