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T he energy at online clothing store Asos hits you as soon as Bigger dude looking enter its art deco London headquarters. The place is youthful, noisy, overwhelming. It is also proudly democratic — in the sense that it wants to offer fashionable clothes for everyone. I am keen on this euphemism because I am one of those bigger men: 6ft 4in tall; 40in-plus waist; carrying a lot of extra poundage. My mother kindly Bigger dude looking me as big-boned; others would say fat. Either way, for me shopping has always been an unpleasant and often pointless experience — a procession of garments that, even though they proclaimed themselves large, came nowhere near fitting me.
I gave up shopping for clothes about 20 years ago, apart from the occasional desperate foray to find something that would just about do. They were, in every sense, distress purchases, and I had adopted a uniform: all black, uninspired, unchanging, shapeless, boring.
Hence this visit to Asos, which over the past couple of months has been extending its menswear ranges up to 6XL, to reflect the size that many blokes actually are, rather than what high-end deers might prefer them to be. The key, says head of menswear de Nick Eley, is to offer plus-sized buyers exactly what is available to everyone else, but cut in such a way that it caters for different body shapes — tall and skinny, broad and athletic, big and tubby.
One problem has been finding models for the new sizes. Parchment initially hated the idea of modelling, but eventually came round, and has now switched careers. You can also look good. In future, I will have more choice, because last month it also launched a Big and Tall rangeextending its sizes across lines. It will offer every size up to 4XL, which equates to a 55in chest and a 48in waist, more than big enough even for me.
Research suggests that one in five men are looking for a broader offer of bigger sizes. The average male waist size in the UK has been rising over the past few decades and is currently just under 38in. At Bentalls department store there is a large section housing deer clothes for men, but finding any waist sizes above 38in in jeans or moderately trendy trousers is well-nigh impossible. I wander down Regent Street in central London one evening to see what I can find in my size in some well-known stores.
In Desigual I do find an XXL shirt, which is white, semi-transparent, has an ugly pattern, barely fits and makes me feel like a third-rate crooner on a cruise ship. Gap has nothing bigger than an XL; an assistant tells me I should look online. In J Crew the biggest waist size is 38in and Bigger dude looking biggest chest size 46in; again, an assistant says I should go online for bigger sizes up to 40in waist and 50in chest.
Calvin Klein has nothing bigger than a 38in waist in jeans and an XL in sweatshirts. Despite the reluctance of some retailers to change, something is definitely stirring. It is symptomatic of the way the market is moving that the N Brown Group is putting resources into its Jacamo brand — which caters for all sizes but is best known for clothes for bigger men, and is modelled by former cricketer Freddie Flintoff — rather than its long-established specialist store High And Mightywhich is saddled with a fusty, older-man image.
I will only believe it when trousers with a 35in leg are routinely available in stores. She has called in lots of clothes for me in these new, bigger sizes — denim jackets, striped T-shirts, trendy shoes, neat coats with furry collars. She is big on colour, layers, panache. Clothes maketh the man — even the big, rather ungainly man. There is just Bigger dude looking problem: they shrink when I wash them.
A fortnight into the new me, I am back in the terrible uniform of the old me. Initially I feel really good about this — the sheer act of spending a lot of money does give you an ego boost — but then I catch sight of myself in profile in a mirror, and feel I bear an uncanny resemblance to Oscar Wilde, but after his spell in jail: barrel-shaped and worryingly clapped out. This fashion business is not easy. Prospects are improving for bigger men, and in fact all men are showing a greater interest in fashion, leading to more demand.
Sender says obesity is also increasing faster among men than women, especially among young men. Some might wonder whether retailers should be catering for people like me, given the rampant rise in obesity — the Peterborough-based company Bad Rhino proudly goes up to 8XL and specialist suppliers in the US go up to 15XL. Are they acting like fizzy drinks manufacturers and feeding our addiction? By offering larger sizes and providing choice, suppliers are not normalising obesity but enabling obese people to wear fashionable, well-fitting clothes and to feel better about themselves.
He also believes social media is changing attitudes. Nobody wants to feel excluded. In terms of social media encouraging retailers to offer more choice, the UK is following the pattern in the US. In Bruce Sturgell founded Chubstra website that aims to help big men dress well and Bigger dude looking good about themselves.
He set out to find places where big men could shop fashionably and put them online, alongside tips for confident living. Companies are popping up that offer extended-size clothing that people actually want to wear. I feel really lucky that this thing that started out as a blog to call out brands for not offering bigger sizes turned into something useful. For the moment, the new me is on hold. As well as fatness, I realise, part of my problem has been laziness, about both looking Bigger dude looking stores and being willing to browse online.
It is hard for bigger men to dress well, and only those willing to work at it will succeed. In the past, the market has let big blokes down, but this particular big bloke used that as an excuse to give up completely. The transformation begins today. Start with a department store that stocks a wide range of brands, from high street to deer.
Think of this as the groundwork to a long-term operation. The extra admin is offset by the saving on delivery often higher spends equal free delivery. A bold T-shirt or sweatshirt breaks up black. You can tell the difference. Overshirts are great at this time of year; heavier than a shirt but less structured than a jacket, they work over jersey, shirts and thin knits and under a denim jacket. Wear open ideal if something is slightly too snug.
Navy blue always looks chic, whatever size you wear. Choose a dark wash, on a selvedge denim. A straight leg is more slimming never bootcut. Skinny is out. Bigger men have never had more options. British men are getting taller, larger and broader — and the high street is finally catching up. Photograph: Asos plus at Asos. Stephen Moss. Bigger dude looking 22 Apr Reuse this content.Bigger dude looking
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How To Dress For Your Body Type When You’re A Big Guy