From Santa Hollywood

Insight into Christmas, the Holidays and the World of Santa Claus

Santa’s Proper Day-to-Day Appearance

posted by SantaTim On February - 24 - 2009 159 COMMENTS

Santa Tips and Suggestions – March 2009

“Santa’s Proper Day-to-Day Appearance”

– By Santa Hollywood

One of the most difficult tasks I have is trying to tell a fellow Santa that his appearance is lacking. As not only an instructor, but an employer and recruiter, I sometimes have the task of sitting a Santa down and telling him of his problem. As I said, it is not easy. But I have learned, that in addition to giving a critique, I should try to offer a solution or solutions, to remedy the problem, thus helping the Santa.

For most of us this is a very awkward task. But sometimes we really need to be a friend, and tell someone about their appearance.
Sometimes my critique is based on the quality or cleanliness of a Santa’s Suit, or his accessories. And sometimes it is just letting him know to shower and shampoo more often (daily), use a good deodorant and breathe mints.
But most often it is a Santa’s everyday “non-Santa” appearance and wardrobe that I must object to or critique. It is what the average Santa wears the other 364 days of the year. Too many of our fellow Santas seem to let themselves go, or they return to being just another guy.
And sometimes it gets even worse! He becomes a “Bubba-Santa!”
Yes, the infamous, “Bubba-Santa.” This is the fellow who, on an average, tips the scales between 280 and 350. Yet he still claims to have a 36 inch belt line! This is the man that tends to wear funky old denims or shorts with his stomach hanging way over the top, and an old shirt that just barely covers the navel.
And Whoaaaa . . . . The view from behind is often, not too pleasing either. Often when moving about or bending over, the “Bubba-Santa” flashes everyone near-by, with a little of his “plumber’s cleavage.”
It is the above situations that have prompted me to be one of a few, who want to help Santas look better, year-round. A Santa can look big or large. But he doesn’t have to look ‘fat!’
What has surprised me the most, is that many Santas have reached that age in life where they are usually very comfortable in what they are wearing. They have no worry, that others may have concerns about his appearance.
One of those little goals, or mission that I have decided to take on, is to help other Santas look better, no matter how short or tall, big or small. I can usually help a Santa by showing him the right kind of clothing to wear. Of course I do have a vested interest, as I sell Santas suits and casual clothing on my web sites. But, I also want Santas to think for themselves and to be on the look-out for clothing that will fit their lifestyle, their pocket book, and still look good.
If you know of a Santa that falls into the image I have given above, then I urge you to pass this note onto him. And remember, that you are doing this as a friend and someone who loves them.
Your Image 24-7-365.
They say that clothes make the man, and whether you have a real beard or not, if you are a ‘big’ man you should really take an interest in how you look. So here are some suggestions that I hope will help you in looking better whether at work or play.
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A Santa should have a clean silhouette or profile. That is the outline of his body from his chest to the floor should be a smooth line. It doesn’t matter his weight or size, but the lines should be smooth. There should be no sign of excess pouring over the waist of the pants and no sign of a spare tire under the shirt or in the pants. Your clothing should cover any imperfections you have.
Don’t wear tight fitting clothing. One of the biggest mistakes larger men make, is as our size changes, we don’t change the clothing we wear. We keep thinking we are the same size we were five, ten and even twenty years ago.
Bad fitting clothing, that is too tight or the wrong size can often give you the appearance of being fat and sloppy.
No matter what your size, if you have proper fitting clothing in the correct sizes and styles , you will have a shape or profile that is smoother thus enhancing your appearance and making you much more pleasing to others.
Trousers and pants should fit correctly. The waist and seat of your Trousers should not hang too low or be too baggy. Whether it is dress slacks or denims, wearing them correctly, and in the correct size, will make an immediate improvement to your look. Yes, we bigger men do want to be more comfortable and do need a little bit more room, but if you buy correctly you can find great looking clothes
First of all, the waist of the pants should be around the navel or the middle of your belly. Not below the belly! And certainly not up around the chest. And if keeping your trousers up around the navel is a problem, then a pair of suspenders is both proper and necessary! (More on suspenders below)
There should be plenty of room in the crotch, seat, thigh and knees. Sometimes these are called ‘Relaxed fit.’ Most dress slacks will have pleats in the front and this gives you some of that extra room that you need.
The cuffs or bottom of the slacks should be about 1” to 1 ½ inches from the floor, maybe with a little break on the top of the shoe . It you wear boots, the length can be up to 2 inches. Having the correct cuff length, allows the trousers to hang straight and gives your leg a much straighter and clean line.
Now here are a couple of hints for slacks. Don’t wear slacks that taper. It makes you look extremely top heavy. It you want to look a bit taller, less top heavy, and even look trimmer, buy trousers that have “stove-pipe” legs . Sometimes these are called “Cargo Pants,” “large opening” or ‘boot-top.’
Trousers with ‘stove-pipe’ legs are fuller as they drop from the thigh. They are not bell-bottoms, but they have a straighter line from the thigh to the floor giving you a better profile and you look less top heavy. You can find good slacks and denims in most big and tall stores, in sizes up to 70 inches.
Shirts should be a bit larger and looser. The greatest error most men make in wearing a shirt, is wearing one that is too tight or fits too close to the body. This is especially true for a big man.
Nothing looks worse than seeing the bulges or that ‘spare tire’ folding over your belt line.
Even if you are a 6X I always recommend that your shirt have a nice, loose, comfortable fit. I also recommend that you make sure the shirt has an extra long tail. This is true for dress shirts, sport shirts, work shirts and even t-shirts. The longer tail is especially important when you bend over. It hides the “plumber’s cleavage.”
Are you an ‘inny’ or an ‘outy?’ Do you wear your shirts tucked in, or do you like wearing them out? No matter which way you wear a shirt, there are proper techniques that will give you a better look.
A few of the ‘big’ Santas that I know, are former football players, policemen and firemen. These guys often don’t have the usual ‘spare-tire’, and seem to still be a bit more ‘fit’ than the rest of us. Thus, they are candidates for wearing their shirts tucked-in.
However, the key determining factor is whether they have a nice clean, and smooth profile. When you tuck in a shirt, you generally tighten up the belt or waist of your trousers. But you don’t want the belt to cut too deeply into the waist. Santa should not have an hour glass shape at the waist. The line or flow of the shirt should continue straight down to the line of the trousers, with no bulges or deep cuts.
And if you do have those bulges or deep cuts, then you may want to consider suspenders and even wearing a vest.
Now for those who like to wear their shirts ‘out,” remember the larger shirts are more comfortable, and can camouflage body imperfections. For many larger men, wearing the shirt ‘out,’ can hide the ‘spare tire’ and add to that smooth profile. It is also very comfortable. You can also ware suspenders under your shirt and have a looser fit around your waist.
Belts and Suspenders. Of course Belts are the most practical for day to day use. But for comfort and for keeping everything in place all day, suspenders are a wonderful alternative.
Suspenders allow you to have a looser fit around your waist. They hold everything up and keep everything from slipping down during any type of activity or work. Professionals from all walks of life have found that suspenders are a great asset to your wardrobe. And they can add some color and fashion style at the same time.
The proper way to wear suspenders is to have the front straps going down at a straight horizontal line. They should not come down and then spread out, around the stomach, to the sides. Again, the straight horizontal line adds to your clean profile.
Suspenders come in different sizes and lengths. Remember the bigger the man, the heavier style of suspender that will be needed. Suspenders also come with different types of clips or button attachment. The choice is yours. The button attachment is a bit more businesslike.
Clips on the other hand allow for ease of changing the suspenders from one pair of trousers to another. You can also order larger, clips for heavy pants or pants with draw-string waists, similar to what you have in most Santa Suits.
Some men do not like wearing suspenders as they feel it makes them look too old. Well, here is a little secret for you. The very well dressed man, many entertainers, men who want to make a statement, often wear a vest, which covers the suspenders. (Read about vests below)
As I mentioned above, belts are still the number one item for holding your trousers up. Especially for the younger crowd. When wearing a belt, remember that the belt should be in good condition and that your pants should not be rolling down or over the belt. If this is happening, you either need a stiffer belt or need to consider wearing suspenders.
And yes, you can wear a belt and suspenders at the same time, although it is not necessary.
How a Vest can add to your appearance. I mention vests a few times above, as something that can do a lot for a man’s appearance. Not only does a vest hide suspenders and that ‘spare tire’ or hour-glass waist, a vest can help to create a smooth body line from chest to the floor. Just think of someone dressed up in a tux. A vest is one of the best kept secrets for the professional man.
And vests do not need to be saved for just dressy or formal occasions. There are all kinds of vests for different occasions and in different styles: casual wear, camping, hiking, biking, western and more.
Wearing a vest adds just a little bit, but that little bit can make a whole lot of difference.
What Colors should a Santa wear. There are some of us who love to wear red every day. There are some who are happy when they finish the season and can hang up the red suit. And there are still others who must keep the peace with those they love, and obligingly the wear other colors outside of the holiday season. (And of course, there are those lucky designer bearded Santas who can turn into a Clark Kent, after the holiday season.)
Other than the traditional red suit, a real bearded Santa, with his white hair, can wear almost any color: Black, navy, denim, khaki, or ?? The secret is, in how you wear the colors.
Even if you are dressed all in Red or navy or khaki, if your lines are smooth and straight, you will look better.
If you look at Kenny Rogers and other men with white hair, a black wardrobe looks great. Solid colors often make someone look thinner. And Black is universally thought of as the most useful color for camouflaging your weight and size and for making someone look smaller or thinner.
Black and denim Slacks and Pants are the most common with Khaki, a close third. These colors look good, compliment almost any shirts no matter what color or pattern. . . This applies to shirts and t-shirts.
The correct choice of clothing and colors, can definitely help you look better.
Shoes and boots. There is not much to say about Shoes and boots. The important thing is that, whatever style you wear, it should not only be comfortable, but it should match or compliment the clothing you are wearing. Even Crocs and Birkenstocks are acceptable for many wardrobes. I even know Santas who wear Birkenstocks with their ‘Santa Casual’ wardrobe. Most importantly, whatever you wear, it should be clean, neat and polished. Never be caught wearing dusty or dirty shoes, boots or tennis shoes.
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In closing, I want to encourage every Santa to look his best. I will keep trying to find clothing for the “Casual Claus.” But I hope you will keep looking too! Join me in helping Santas everywhere to look better.
Tim “Santa Hollywood” Connaghan
Celebrating 40 years in the Red Suit, Tim Connaghan is Santa for the Hollywood Santa Parade, a consultant and has been seen by millions on Dr. Phil, Deal or No Deal, Today Show, Tonight Show, Mad-TV, Kraft, Nabisco, J.C. Penney, Old Navy, Coca-Cola, and more. A “24/7/365” Santa, he owns, and He has been featured or interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Time, Fox News, Nightline, and other media. For details:
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