Sad but true: Shopping can be hard work. For men, for women – for everyone, really. Buying new clothes can be especially taxing, however, on men of larger means (I’m talking bones, not bank accounts). For any larger guy who’s ever cursed the lack of options in the Big and Tall section, you know it should be easier for bigger guys to find clothes they love.
I got the skinny on dressing a bigger body from Lindsey Davis of plus-size men’s style site chubstr.com. Read on for her advice to bigger guys struggling to shop for their size.
If a $100 shirt fits you like a $10 shirt, its quality doesn’t matter. Fit is key to keep in mind when looking for new clothes, maybe even more so when shopping the Big and Tall section. Most clothes aren’t made to accommodate the unique fit each body needs – especially a bigger one. “Pay special attention to the fit,” Davis says, “and get as close to perfect as you can, then head over to your tailor and get each item altered to complete that perfect fit.” You’ll spend a little more to make your clothes fit right, but the extra time and effort will pay off in confidence and compliments.
As Davis points out, most Big and Tall shops are going to charge a little more in general, so it pays to pay attention to how the clothes you like are made. “You don’t want to shell out a ton of cash on a shirt that’s going to show signs of wear after the first run through the spin cycle.” Once you get the fit right, a well-made garment will last you longer (and mean fewer shopping trips).
Since we’ve already established how hard it can be to find plus-size clothes, it makes sense to buy more than one of whatever you find that you like. “When you’re shopping Big and Tall you’ve got fewer options,” Davis says. “It’s a problem we’re trying to remedy at Chubstr, but until we do, we recommend that you pick up at least two pair of those jeans you love that fit well.” She points out that you never know when certain styles, cuts and colors are going to be discontinued, so you should stock up when you find those foundation items like denim, plain dress shirts, chinos, etc., that you love.
Color and patterns
One “Don’t” on this list? Don’t shy away from bright colors and fun patterns. As Davis says, “If you like color, wear color. If you see a pattern you like, go for it.” Everything in moderation, of course, but it’s a myth that larger guys have to wear all black, or that the largest pattern you can get away with is a pinstripe.
Even with these tips, shopping can sometimes be a discouraging process. If searching for stylish pieces in your size is getting you down, give yourself a break, Davis says, and head over to the shoe department. Or check out accessories like watches, wallets, belts, suspenders and socks. “Think of the foundation items you’ve found in your size and ask yourself how you can add a little of your personal style to that plain white shirt – it could be as simple as an interesting belt buckle or a brightly colored pair of socks.”
Above all, try to have fun when shopping and stay true to your style – no matter your size. Brands don’t always make it easy for big guys to have a positive experience buying clothes, but Davis says you can fight against this challenge by getting creative and keeping your own taste and comfort in mind. Also important to remember? You don’t always have to come home from a shopping trip loaded down with bags full of new clothes. “Don’t be afraid to leave a store empty-handed if you’re just not feeling it,” Davis says. “There’s always tomorrow and another shop on the horizon!”