Addressing Some Issues With Men’s Big & Tall Clothing Stores
Large men, put your hands up!
Keep your hand up if you’ve had difficulty shopping for complete outfits.
Wow, see? Look at all of those hands. Don’t worry, I’m right there with you. As somebody who struggles with weight fluctuation, and is around 5’8” on a good day, finding clothes that I like and that fit when I’m around an XXL+ is rough.
I remember moments in grade school where a good sweatsuit or tracksuit would both mask my muffin top and provide comfort to my husky physique. Unfortunately, as an adult, we don’t have the luxury of dressing that way outside of our home for extended periods of time without being submitted to an episode of What Not to Wear.
There’s a pretty big void in the retail world for larger men’s clothing. We have the big and tall section of department stores and a few dedicated XL stores that have clothes that are either too expensive, fit like a tarp, or are extremely tasteless. So, here we are with a look at the current clothing landscape and some key things I’ve encountered.
Niche small clothing boutiques that focus on plus size men
A lot of times I will piece together an outfit but still need “one more thing” to top it off. Sometimes it’s something practical like pants and sometimes it’s something needed to mask the bulk around my stomach like a vest. If you double-click into an outfit and take a look at the undergarments, underwear for larger men is usually plain. Luckily there are companies like Bearskn who are expanding cute underwear into a larger man’s world. They make a series of underwear for men up to 5X. The underwear isn’t just big – they’re cool and their website and ads show real beefy men. There are not many companies out there embracing the world of men’s plus size clothing let alone actually showing plus size men in their photos. I haven’t tried them mostly because I’m lazy but they’re on my list. My wish is for a bunch of companies that focus on specific items in a large man’s wardrobe just like Bearskn.
Subscription box services for large men
I’ve tried a lot of the popular subscription boxes out there. I like to see if they can miraculously find clothing that fits my body. As mentioned, my weight fluctuates a good + or – 30 lbs. throughout any given year. So, when I order, I adjust my clothing size for XL or XXL and if they allow detailed measurements, I update those as well. Across the board, a few things fit, but most do not. It just amazes me. One time I took over 30 minutes measuring myself for Bombfell and after receiving my first box, and then my second box, then my third box, it was apparent that all of that measuring was for nothing. Those clothes had a particular size on their tag but they were not that size. The sad part is, I really liked a lot of the clothes too.
Now after doing more research, I found a service that caters to larger men – The Winston Box. It says they range in sizes from XL to 6XL but I’m not sure that I’m ready to be heartbroken again. Just joking, I love self-torture. I just signed up and I’m excited to report back on how the clothes fit. Though I haven’t tried The Winston Box yet, I’d highly recommend that larger men try them out before any other men’s clothing box subscription.
Big box support
Though inconsistent, big box retailers tend to have cheap, good options. One of my favorite places to shop for clothes is Target. The brands they carry typically fit pretty well, but if you’re looking for pants, you have to get there as soon as the products are stocked. I think a lot of guys have caught on to this diamond in the rough. Also in the big box big clothing arena is Walmart. I don’t typically shop at Walmart but I’ve definitely gotten a few pieces of clothing there. The only other store that has a variety worth looking at is Kohls. I’d say the same thing about their selection, make sure you get there when they stock so you can find the cut that fits you. So big box retailers have options, it’s just a matter of how many pieces of theirs you like and if they have your size. I think these companies are some of the best ones to ramp up in this area due to the diverse clientele.
Dealing with the big let down
There’s a great blog out there for larger men that has featured clothing lines. One of those clothing lines was ASOS. By entering your typical shirt size on the ASOS website, it would tell you what size would best fit you best based on others who ordered. This was it, I had done my research, and I was sure that this was my time to get a bunch of clothes that fit in bulk. I was so excited to finally get a set of professional clothes that were my style. Fast forward to receiving all of the clothes. I opened this huge box filled with layers of garments packed nicely in plastic bags. One-by-one I tried the clothes on. My happiness swiftly buckled into a pit of sadness. Out of three complete outfits, only one blazer sort of fit. Everything else was way too small when they were labeled XXLs. And yes, I did measure myself.
Across the board, if you care about your style as a larger man, you have to put in a lot of work. Sometimes that work will pay off and sometimes it won’t. The best dressed larger men curate their outfits from any store that they can think of unless they’ve hit a sweet spot by finding a company that carries clothes to fit their particular shape. I’m at a point in my life where I have a handful of things that I wear to every occasion, it’s pretty drab, and sad.
So, if there are any people or businesses looking for their next best thing, I offer to you the idea of stylish clothing for larger men. Get in touch with me directly, I’ll share more of my mundane shopping experiences and tell you specificially what needs to be done.