Mens fashion – let alone plus size clothing – is frequently ignored, but as a recent BoF article outlines, menswear is big business right now. Projected sales look super healthy as concepts of gender and formality have realigned post lockdown.
Of course, bigger guys want to look great too, but the problem, much like in womenswear, is that fashion brands tend to focus on a slimmer silhouette.
This isn’t intentional prejudice against big men – slimmer/smaller men are also frustrated that high street retailers stock predominantly for 34-40 inch waists.
The issue is of stock cost for retailers, but it’s created a gap in the market that savvy eCommerce brands exploit, making huge numbers of items in sizes to suit [nearly] all body types.
Are there any mid range, high street and premium brands where bigger guys can also find clothes that fit them and that look stylish? Yes there are. Here’s a list of seven:
Sport Budget – Shein
Chinese behemoth Shein must take some of the rap for the demise of UK eCommerce cheapy Misguided. What do they care? Plus size follows their youth/sports leaning, and at prices that compete with even Primark and some genuinely nice designs, it’s worth a look even if you’re only an armchair sportsman.
Mature Budget – BoohooMan
Tab quickly between Shein and Boohoo’s landing pages for a tequila shot blast of colour and energy that is all Boohoo. There’s also fun to be had in plus size suits and formal wear, while the cheap prices mean you can experiment to your big ol’ hearts content.
Mid Priced Casual – Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy has lost European ground in the last decade on a few fronts. Much like contemporaries Gap and Calvin Klein, the Ivy League and denim ideal has shifted towards street and lux. That may be about to change as men seek utility in clothing to suit shifting scenarios. Hilfiger keeps it simple with high quality fabrics. And it’s still huge in the USA.
Premium Style – Hugo Boss
If Boss seems interminably lost in a premium power struggle with Michael Kors, then you need to pay more attention to its menswear collections, where it’s genuinely the number one stockist of premium designs. Boss is all about cut. Avoid the logo-centric pieces – that sort of thing went out with tobacco advertising – and focus instead on class formal wear and polo shirts.
Sports Logo – Nike
We just had to. Fact is, Nike have most bases covered and the family’s arms are open wide to men with a plus size physique. Sure, their website still pushes the Adonis-like ideal, but the reality is, most of their happy customers don’t look like that. Sweats and tops are classy. Go for black to create a slimmer looking profile.
Formal Budget – Suit Direct
Suit conversations tend to focus on tailoring and quality materials. These are all important if you’ve go the cash to splash, but fit is always the most important factor when choosing a suit, and that’s especially true if you’re a larger guy. With literally thousands of suits to choose from [plus plenty of physical stores] you can spend half a day at Suit Direct deciding what actually looks good on you. If fluctuating weight is an issue, then consider a second suit too.