Not a question a man wants to ask himself.
If you’re one of the many men living with this problem…
You REALLY want to know how to hide it.
Dress right, and you’ll be shocked at how good you can look.
I get quite a few questions about this issue, and with good reason. It’s one that can really drain your confidence and make you dread the approach of warmer weather. Read on and make this the year you can actually enjoy spring instead of sweating in layers.
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 man boobs are caused by your weight, 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 you lose your boobs. Until they catch up, they may seem MORE noticeable by comparison. Be mentally prepared for this, and remember that it’s temporary.
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 ones start at $20-30.
- Some go down to your waist. They’re less comfortable but more reliable. Others just cover 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 if you wear this garment around the clock, you can expect muscle, cartilage and bone damage, and fluid on your lungs. NEVER sleep in a gyno vest, and ALWAYS take it off if you’re having trouble breathing. An ordinary 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, in order 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 stripes, which echo the masculine V silhouette).
- Random patterns also help by breaking up your silhouette. This is one situation where I’ll recommend camouflage print, at least in casual situations. It does what it says on the tin.
- 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 bad jacket fit.
- In warmer or less formal situations, a casual shirt unbuttoned over a dark t-shirt is MORE concealing than a buttoned one.
- 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.
Watch Your Posture
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. This is understandable, but it isn’t doing you any favors. Hunching adds a flaw to your appearance instead of taking one away, and it’s actually been shown 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 to 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? Just work on 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.
If you’re ready to take your style to the next level, check out my premium men’s style courses.
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Disclaimer: The above content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.