If you're one of many men living with “man boobs” (aka gynecomastia), you probably feel pretty self-conscious.
You want to dress sharp but the problem is exasperated when you wear fitted clothes and it's even worse in the summer because you wear fewer layers.
Don't worry though – with a few simple clothing tricks, you can dress in a way that minimizes the appearance of “man boobs”.
In this article, we'll show you how to how to hide Gynecomastia with clothes.
We'll start with the causes of causes man boobs, and then we'll show you how to dress to conceal them.
In this article, you'll find:
What Causes Man Boobs?
Man boobs on a slim-to-average guy are a sign of hormonal trouble. This condition is called Gynecomastia, and you should see your doctor for medication. If the moobs have been there for more than a year, there's probably scar tissue, and you may need surgery to get rid of it.
Bodybuilders who take steroids can also develop Gynecomastia. Your body thinks you have too much testosterone and tries to reduce the level by a process called aromatization.
The best solution: don't take steroids. They're very dangerous and can do a lot worse than give you boobs. But if you're going to take them, do your research and pick one that doesn't aromatize. Taking estrogen blockers can also prevent this condition from forming. However, if you've had it for over a year, it's the same deal. You may need surgery to get rid of it.
If your weight causes your man boobs, it's not technically Gynecomastia because what you have there is not boob tissue, just fat. The good news is that you're unlikely to need surgery, although some guys opt for liposuction. Exercise will help, especially chest exercises like push-ups, bench press, chest press, and dumbbell flies.
However, there's no such thing as ‘spot reducing fat. The only way to reduce fat is all over. If you decide to lose weight, you'll probably lose most of your belly before losing your boobs. Until they catch up, they may seem MORE noticeable by comparison. Be mentally prepared for this, and remember that it's temporary.
In the meantime, this is how to hide Gynecomastia with clothes.
How To Flatten Man Breasts
To flatten things down, you want something called a ‘gynecomastia vest‘ or chest binder. (You'll also hear them called compression shirts, but not all compression shirts are chest binders.) It looks like a tank top. Here's how to pick the best one for you.
Don't go cheap. Good vests start at $20-30.
Some go down to your waist; they're less comfortable but more reliable. Others cover only your chest. These are fine for some guys but tend to ride up on others.
Watch out for sweaty polyester vests – go for cotton, microfiber, or moisture-wicking fabrics instead.
Your color options are likely to be black or white – white ones are less visible under clothes on light-skinned guys but make your chest look bigger without clothes. They also tend to get discolored quickly.
These vests come with a rule: only wear them for 8 hours at a time. You can bend this rule a bit, but you can expect muscle, cartilage and bone damage, and fluid on your lungs if you wear this garment around the clock. NEVER sleep in a gyno vest, and ALWAYS take it off if you're having trouble breathing. A regular fitted undershirt or compression shirt will be safe the rest of the time.
Don't use Ace bandages. They tighten every time you breathe, and you WILL hurt yourself. Guys have ended up with broken ribs from doing this.
When you've found a vest that works for you, buy more than one. Otherwise, you'll have to spend a lot of time washing it and going without it while it dries to avoid getting stinky. Wash your vests regularly, but don't wash them with hot water, bleach them, or put them in the dryer. Doing any of these things will damage the elastic.
How To Hide Gynecomastia
Even with the right underlayer, you need to get the top layers right to create a flat chest.
The aim here is not to look board flat but to give the impression that you have a solid set of pectorals. Keep the following guidelines in mind.
#1 Best Shirt Colors And Patterns For Gyno
Wear dark, matte fabrics. The less light something reflects, the harder it is to make out its shape.
Avoid patterns. They draw the eye and are visibly distorted by what's under them.
However, shirts with vertical stripes will help (or even better, V-shaped diagonal lines echo the masculine V silhouette).
Random patterns also help by breaking up your silhouette.
#2 How To Hide Gynecomastia With Clothes
Don't be tempted to wear baggy clothes. They make things worse, not better.
Wear weaves, not knits. Knits (including t-shirts) hug your curves. Weaves don't.
If you're going to wear a t-shirt and you're in reasonably good shape, an athletic fit t-shirt works better than a regular fit. It gives the impression that what you've got under there is all pecs.
Vests, i.e., waistcoats, are your friend. The stiffer fabric gives you a flatter shape. Casual vests for everyday wear also tend to be more matte than formal ones.
Jackets, buttoned or unbuttoned, are also your friend as long as they're not straining over your chest. The dreaded X-crease is the giveaway sign of a lousy jacket fit.
A casual shirt unbuttoned over a dark t-shirt is MORE concealing than a buttoned one in warmer or less formal situations.
Wear a necktie when you can get away with it. It's one big vertical stripe. A tie tucked into the front of your vest gives you a reasonable excuse for having a little bulk there.
Wear bold statement pieces, such as two-toned suede shoes or a steel watch to draw attention away from your chest.
Improve Your Posture To Hide Gynecomastia
If you've been living with man boobs for a while, you may well have developed rounded shoulders from unconsciously (or consciously) hunching forward to hide the evidence.
Understandable, but it isn't doing you any favors. Hunching adds a flaw to your appearance instead of taking one away, and research shows that good posture boosts your testosterone.
So once you've started dressing to look flatter, start standing up straighter. You'll probably feel as if you're sticking your chest in people's faces, but if you practice in the mirror, you might be surprised by how good you look. Standing up straight with your shoulders back gives you broader shoulders, which helps counterbalance any bumps on your chest and make them look more like pecs.
What if you put all these hacks into practice, and your chest still doesn't look perfect?
Learning how to hide Gynecomastia with clothes begins with your overall style and confidence. The better you present yourself, the less your chest will matter. You don't have to look perfect to look stylish and masculine. It's called Real Men Real Style, not Perfect Men Real Style – and man boobs don't stop you from being a real man.
Disclaimer: The above content does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
FAQs: How To Dress When You Have Man Boobs
Is it possible to completely hide man boobs with the right clothes?
While clothing can't completely eliminate the appearance of man boobs, it can significantly downplay them and enhance the overall silhouette.
What types of shirts are best for men with man boobs?
Shirts with structured materials, vertical stripes or patterns, and darker colors can help minimize the appearance of man boobs. Also, avoid tight-fitting shirts which can accentuate them.
Are there any specific colors I should lean towards or avoid?
Darker colors like black, navy, or deep green can help minimize the appearance of man boobs because they absorb light rather than reflect it, creating a slimming effect.
What about patterns? Should I wear them?
Yes, patterns can be your friend. Vertical stripes, for instance, can create the illusion of a longer, leaner torso.
What should I look for when shopping for a suit jacket or blazer?
Look for suit jackets or blazers that are well-structured and slightly loose around the chest area. They can create a smoother silhouette and downplay the appearance of man boobs.
What type of undershirt should I wear?
Compression undershirts are designed to temporarily reduce the appearance of man boobs by flattening the chest area, making them a good option.
Can layering help?
Absolutely. Layering adds visual interest and can effectively disguise the shape of your chest. Opt for lightweight materials to avoid bulk.
How can accessories help?
Accessories like scarves or neckties can draw the eye away from the chest area towards the neck and face.
Are there any exercises that can help reduce the appearance of man boobs?
While clothing can help disguise man boobs, combining this with a workout regimen focusing on the chest area could help reduce their appearance.
What about polo shirts?
Polo shirts can work, but opt for those in a heavier fabric that don't cling. Also, consider ones with a busier pattern to distract the eye.
What role does the right fitting play in disguising man boobs?
A proper fit is essential. Clothes that are too tight will accentuate man boobs, while clothes that are too loose can make you appear larger overall.
What about sweaters and cardigans?
These can work well, especially if they're v-neck, as this style can help elongate the neck and draw attention away from the chest.
What if I feel self-conscious about my man boobs?
It's perfectly natural to feel this way. Remember, everyone has parts of their body they feel less confident about. The right clothes and a confident attitude can make a big difference.
Are there any medical treatments for man boobs?
Yes, there are treatments available, including medication and surgery. However, these should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Can losing weight help reduce man boobs?
Yes, if your man boobs are largely due to excess body fat, losing weight can reduce their size. However, you can't spot reduce fat, so it will involve overall weight loss.