Despite the life portrayed by all the beautiful people you follow on Instagram, not all of us are flexing our biceps on the Mediterranean, flaunting our abs in the Hamptons, or brandishing our sleek, tanned bodies on a beach this summer. In fact, a study by the Centers for Disease Control released at the end of 2018 shows that “mean weight, waist circumference, and BMI (body mass index) in adults have increased over the past 18 years. Conversely, mean height did not change in many demographic subgroups and, in some groups, was lower.”
The good news is that a growing faction of the men’s apparel industry is churning out clothes that look good on larger frames while still keeping up with current trends. In the past few years, it’s even recognized that there’s a difference between “big” and “tall,” treating clothing proportions differently and appropriately.
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One point, though: After doing the research for this story, we do need to do a callout. While brands may be following through on their commitment to making larger sizes, they are not always representing the demographics in their online imagery. It just would be awesome for a big guy to be able to really see himself represented on the page.
Thorn & Co.
Thorn & Co. is a brand-new collection from e-commerce retailer Combatant Gentlemen. The line specifically addresses the fit and style needs of bigger men because it was created by a big and tall guy, Scott Wicken, the brand’s Fashion Expert and Content Director. The grouping includes three style offerings — business, casual, and short sleeve — all at an approachable price, ranging from $55-$280, and in sizes up to 4XL. This classic suit has all the bells and whistles of modern tailored clothing, including an easy-to-care-for-and-wear wool, polyester, and spandex blend with four-way stretch and liquid-resistant protection.
Besides The Foundry casual collection, JCPenney also commits to the market with collections from Shaquille O’Neal XLG, Dockers, licensed sports fan gear, and classics from the retailer’s own Stafford collection. We like this classic bomber in a 100% cotton stretch because it can you double duty as a casual warm-up thrown on with sweats or jeans and dressed-up for a casual office when paired with a collared shirt and trousers.
MVP Collections was founded by a literal MVP, Mo Vaughn, former three-time Major League Baseball All-Star, who won the 1995 Most Valuable Player award when he was with the Boston Red Sox. This minimalistic Crystal White sweatshirt is made from luxurious 100 percent cotton French Terry. Keep it clean, pairing with white denim, or let it be the balance to something a little more colorful like the brand’s destruct wash moto shorts.
A great casual alternative to jeans with a spare silhouette, these cargo pants feature a grid check pattern and are a soft cotton blend with a bit of stretch for easy movement and fit. They’re great for the office and perfect for a night out on the town. Just don’t get carried away with stuffing those pockets.
This cool, breezy shirt is perfect for a summer Friday in the office that transitions into a weekend escape. It’s pre-washed 100% cotton, so it’s super soft right out the package and features the fine craftsmanship you’d expect from any L.L. Bean product, including triple needle-stitching on the shoulder and durable double-needle stitching throughout, as well as rugged buttons — carefully stitched to stay put — and button-through patch pockets.
Bonobos built its reputation on great pants so you’ll want a pair of these for every day of the week. In fact, they’ve already thought of that, featuring colors like Monday Blue, Tuesday Black (shown), Thursday True Khaki, etc. — the day of the week is even embroidered on the inside waistband. Won’t that make mornings easier? They’re a cotton blend with 3% stretch.
This jungle print is on-trend for the season, but it’s dark hues and classic silhouette mean you’ll be wearing it for a while. Wear it with dark jeans or throw on under a khaki suit for dressy summer affairs. Though it comes in up to a size 7XL, it still features a modern fit, hugging the body a bit closer.
Classic five-pocket jeans from a classic denim brand, these Levi’s offer a tapered fit that’s complementary to most guys’ bodies. They also feature a bit of stretch for comfort and ease of movement. They’re perfect to throw on with a sport coat for the office or a classic white T-shirt on the weekend.
This polo shirt is so simple and classic you’ll want to get one in every color. No embroidered animals to confuse the issue (in fact, you can easily have this one monogrammed), Lands’ End keeps the focus on a cotton and spandex blend for comfort in a shirt that’s hefty and practically indestructible. It’s garment-washed, so feels great right out of the box, and features a tradition, relaxed fit.
Kenneth Cole’s new Awear-Tech collection is building in the kind of high-tech performance fabrics and treatments that you’d expect from something out of an outdoor catalog. This wool-blend jacket features technology that is triggered by your body temperature to either warm or cool itself, depending on the situation, speeding evaporation and cooling itself when you sweat and retaining heat when you need it. It also absorbs odor molecules that are removed when cleaned. Stretch mesh fabric is integrated throughout to ensure maximum mobility and comfort. It’s a classic jacket, but go ahead and grab the separate pants and vest for a complete suit option.
Still not sure what’s going to work for you and your body? Sign up for The Winston Box and let their stylists make the decisions for you! Choose from Trendy, Casual, Classic or a mix of styles. Subscribers receive a monthly curated package based on their size, style profile and the current season.
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