Uh-oh, we might've opened a can of worms.
Previously on “Ask Esquire,” someone asked about nipples, and we answered! And soon after, we were inundated with inquiries about how to solve a boatload of, uh, manly style and grooming problems: navel dirt, toe jam, curly hair, armpit hair, other kinds of hair, furry slippers. Who knew you had so many issues?
Actual conversation at Esquire HQ:
Editor No. 1: Guys, someone is asking us about moobs! They said we should forget about nipples because moobs hide the nipples.
Editor No. 2: Okay.
And that is how we arrived at today's topic. A very concerned man with an overgrown pair of non-functional mammaries asks, “Hey Esquire, what should I wear to hide my moobs?”
In the name of reportage, we observed the flesh balloons of men all week (the alternative, going on Google Images, was like stabbing our eyes), and, wow, there are so many kinds!
There's Paolo, and his lay flat as pancake. No problem there. There's Eddie, and his had a rounded quality at the corners. Getting warmer. And there was this guy on the elevator, and his were full, pendulous, and pointy. Perfect.
We studied more, uh, subjects, but had to stop when an inexplicably irate lunch buddy confronted us. “Hey, man, my eyes up are here,” he said, pointing to his face. “But you also have eyes there,” we replied, pointing to his chest eyes. Next day, we gave him an undershirt. We are friends again.
The Struggle Is Real
Big ol' man biddies (we're sorry!) can be caused by genetics or when, you know, you decide to eat everything in sight. Naturally, fat has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is the breast.
But moobs can also be medical concern. According to menshealth.com, enlarged breasts in men can be caused by the development of glandular tissue. That's called gynecomastia, which can be caused by too low testorone levels or too-high estrogen levels, among others.
It is a real issue that affects real men like Reggie M., who bravely shared a few of his concerns with us:
“Sometimes a guy's [orbs] are bigger than a girl's, but we don't wear a bra. How do we deal with them?”
“Also, the sweat that forms under the moob (the undermoob?) is foul. It shows on the shirt, and it's worse than armpit stains!” We suggest baby wipes.
Outside of medical intervention and good ol' exercise, you can mask your double whammies with wise style sense. Here's how:
What Not To Wear
1| Not a T-shirt, whose loosey-goosey softness offers no support to wobbly bits.
2| Not knit, which is clingy as hell, and will only cup the full shape of the moob.
3| Not white, which is like training a spotlight on your body pillows.
What To Wear
1| A shirt or jacket works. These have structure and thus offer moobs a measure of support. Styling tip: An unbuttoned jacket or an open shirt, worn as an outer layer, visually cuts the body, along with the moobs, in sections. Also consider this thing called a shacket.
2| A thick weave is best. Think rigid fabrics like oxford or twill, whose tight construction creates sturdy planes that sit better over the body. With the right fabric, you can even break Rule No. 1. That's why some T-shirts look okay with your moobs, while others make you look like an advertisment for milk.
3| The visual trickery for bodacious bodies apply. Narrow vertical stripes hypnotize people into seeing up-and-down lines, making you look leaner. Small patterns also confuse them, diffusing the mass of your breasteses. And black is like a shadow that conceals the truth. Of course, it is not advisable to employ all at the same time.
4| Correct fit solves all. Notice how a big man in a bespoke suit looks better than a thin man in sloppy off-the-rack threads? Too tight and you magnify the moob problem. Too loose and you actually add volume. But a made-for-you coat (or even an altered shirt) addresses the situation. Head to your nearest tailor.
How About We Wrap It Up?
Found these: the Zoned Performance V-Neck Undershirt by Spanx (and yes, the secret weapon of your wife or girlfriend also makes solutions for men). Think of this as like an athletic compression T-shirt that holds (flattens) both chest and torso to create the look of firm moobs and belly.
But, of course, a great and quick solution comes with trade-offs. First, this will set you back P5,350 at Rustan's.
Also, how do you explain your awesome body wrap to a lady friend when the two of you are about to get busy? Awkward.