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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you don't want to read a thread for us portly gentlemen, then go ahead back to the main forum screen and read the multiple theads about "fitted shirts", and "skinny jeans".

Otherwise, here goes...

You should know this about me. I am a portly guy and have been since I stopped playing football after college. I have always worked out, and still do, strenuously, I might add. I consider what I eat before I eat it, and do take steps to eat a healthy diet, although I will also inhale a big red juicy steak now and again. I am just big. I have a big frame, with braod shoulders, big chest, big butt and big thighs, and I always have. Now that I am about to hit the age of 50, I am the owner of a big gut too. That part has been growing for the past 20 years. I am comfortable with who I am, and while I do continue to take steps to keep things under control, I am resigned to the fact that I will be a fat guy for the remainder of my life.
No problem...It's a fact.

So with a 56'' chest, and a 50'' waist, I turned to the "big guy's stores" decades ago and have had suits, shirts, sport coats, and dress slacks, made to measure for years. I have used quite a few MTM brands over the years including Joe Banks, Palm Beach, HS&M, Tallia, and Jack Victor, to name a few. Currently I find myself using Tom James quite a bit, which I like (in spite of the rather rough treatment TJ gets on many threads in this forum). Admittedly, I had to find the right "consultant" from TJ to get things right, and I do buy from their high end lines (Ventura, Sartoria, and H&S Bespoke), and, yes, there is a price premium for the at home or in the office service, but I am a busy guy, and I do appreciate them coming to me, and their service is second to none.

All that said, the purpose of this thread is to get a discussion going among those of us that are horizontally challenged, about what we wear, how we wear it, what issues of fit and style are particular to us, and what are good sources of clothes and accessories for us well-rounded fellows. Also what common info. is out there that is just plain wrong. Things like fat guys should not cuff their pants, or wear hats, are just silly notions. I do both, and both add to my look in a very positive way. I even occasionally tie a bowtie around my 20" neck, and it sits proudly under my double chin in a very Churchillian way.

Clearly I am a clothes hound. I love fine cloth and classic styles, but it is also nice to be able to purchase more casual clothes and accessories off the rack. So here are some questions and thoughts:

Casual Cotton Trousers: I like Savane with pleats and cuffs. What other suggestions are there?

Jeans: Levi 501's relaxed fit. Have not found a good brand of dressier jeans that fit; any ideas?

Sport Shirts: Joe Banks has some, as do Paul Frederick, and RL/Polo, but I have not found a really good selection, so I usually have these made by TJ.

Knit Shirts: RL/Polo has lots of solid colors in 3XB, but watch the horizontal stripes and bright colors, fellas. I also like Axis, Cutter& Buck.

Belts: Trafalger, I have also had a few special made by AE to match my AE shoes. I ordered the AE belts through TJ, though, and probably paid a big mark up. Has anyone found a way to order custom (Big) sized belts directly from AE on line? Any other suggestion for belts?

Long Ties: Extra long ties from PF, also Trafalger, JB and some made to order from TJ (ouch expensive). Any other ideas?

Wide Shoes: Mainly AE, some from J&M.

Casual Coats: Claiborne

Over Coats: Made to measure from Cardinal of Canada.

Scarves: Anybody found a source of extra long cashmere scarves?

PJ's and Robes: Rochester Clothing's (on-line) own brand.

Underwear: Big selection at Rochester Clothing (on line).

Beachwear: RL/Polo, Tommy Bahama.

Best On-line stores for Big Guys: Dann On-line, Rochestor Clothing, Westport, PF (shirts), JB (shirts).

Best brick and mortor Big Guys store: Austins (Timonium, MD and Fairfax, VA)

Calling all big guy clothiers...Please respond with web addresses, addresses and information.

Big guys: please share particular clothing problems/ issues/ questions.

Thanks fellas...be big, be bold, be confident!!!
 

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i'm portly and tall- 6'4". when i go try on suits and things, i just go portly. i don't have a problem with the length because i think people make jackets and sleeves too long anyway. portly fits me fine. i don't wear long ties, either. normal length works for me. they reach near the bottom of my gut so i don't complain. i do have trouble finding shoes in the width i need and sometimes the correct size. i also have trouble finding shirts because my neck is kinda thin, and the rest of me is not, save my wrists. when i find a 3 or 4XLT shirt, i like how it fits me except for my neck, which has a little space that's hardly noticeable. i may return later with more.
 

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I have to admit that I am a big fella also. Our sizes are the roughly the same. I have found myself in 20 inch neck shirts and 48 pants and 56 chest.

I like the finer things also but some of the finer things are hard to find in these numbers.

Challeges: I have always found it very hard to find pants. It never seems to fail when the stores have a sale the 48x32's are always gone.

Belts are also a huge challenge again the larger sizes it's hard to find anything with quality.

Jeans: I hate them. Jeans arent for the big fella. They always fall of the butt and I end up stepping on the cuff. I wear chinos. Old Navy has their relaxed fit trouser up to 48 inch waist. If you must. Try the Levi's 550's they are relaxed fit with a little more room in the leg. They go against the "Skinny" jean trend but arent the urban mega wide leg pant.

My big guy clothing sources.

Marshall's: Good selection of casual wear. Usually find Lauren items there. Also find nice things from other manufacturers as well.

Old Navy: Larger sizes online in both shirts and pants.

Dillards: Lots of Polo items and I like their store brand Cremieux. Gotten plenty of complements on their shirts.

JCPenny's: Their Stafford executive shirt is nice and a big value when on sale. I also believe this is where I got the Levi 550's

I have to admit though I am tired of being so big that I can just go into a "regular" store and buy stuff. I've gotten waaaay too big too much gut over hang and have started going to the gym. A big motivator is the fact that my clothes dont fit right.
 

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Great thread! I'm somewhere between 6'3" and 6'4" (let's call it six three), 265 plus pounds, and cannot fit into most of the wonderful clothes that are discussed here. Having said that, I am glad that we former athletes and members of the military have SOME choices when it comes to gentlemanly clothing. Some great choices in your original post, and thanks again to Andy for reminding me of that section of his site!
 

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I might be a big guy: 6'3", 255 lbs, 18" neck, 48L jacket, but I have a delicate 40" waist. This means that I have to have all my jackets taken in at the waist. I find that most stores carry what I need, if at the larger end of their spectrum. Unfortunately, this also means that few such items are manufactured, and that I find few "steals" in clearance sections, stores like TJMaxx, or Ebay deals. (I'm cheap, what can I say?)
 

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Tips from my tailor

I'm 6'1" and 235#, 46" chest and 43" waist. It's the large waist that creates the problem. I have my suits made and the tailor has added a few features that help create a slimmer look:

I'm not slim, don't even try to look like I'm wearing a slim fit Italian suit. I'm 56; accept that my days as a slim young man are over.

Pleats facing inward. When outward facing pleats expand they make the pants look baggy. Inward pleats keep the line cleaner.

Wear braces (suspenders) with trousers at the natural waist. Trousers don't fall down below the belly eliminating the sloppy look and the braces keep the trouser creases looking straight and slimming the look.

Two button coats with the buttons about 1" lower than usual. Partly a style choice, but it also elongates the upper torso and reduces the appearance of a belly.

He also works with the should width and waist suppression to give the right balance.

Vertical patterns. I find that solid dark colors add the appearance of mass.

MTM Shirts solve the dilemma of wearing a shirt that looks like a balloon or a slim fit shirt that bulges. MTM are not a whole lot more expensive and you also get a much better choice of fabrics.

I am fortunate in that the local tailor is very good and is very reasonable on prices. Not bespoke level work but more than adequate for me.

Overall, I find that just keeping everything neat and in its place does a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the early posts to this thread. I knew I was not the only one out there that is hard to fit. Thanks, Andy, for your post and link. Lizardking...great post. By "inward pleats" do you mean reverse pleats? My man from TJ always suggests triple reverse pleats for me, and they seem to hide my ample gut to some degree.

I am glad you mentioned braces. I do wear them sometimes and I always have brace buttons sewn into my trousers. I can wear normal sized silk braces, but the brass adjustment hardware ends up very low as I slide them down to make more room. So XL braces work better. I use Trafalger XL braces and buy them from Dann on-line.

Also, TJ always sews a very tacky, seemingly rubberized, strip inside the waist bands of my trousers. This strip is about .25 to .5 inches wide and runs along the entire circumference of the waist band except for at the fly closure. This strip hugs my shirt tail like glue. I never have pants falling down or shirt tail issues. I wish I had invented the thing.

I too always get suits and jackets made in the two button style. I am intrigued by the idea of lowering the buttons. I will have to experiment with that one.

Also I am particular about fly closures on my trousers. Two buttons plus a hook and eye. One button for the end of the waistband tab, the hook and eye in the usual place directly above the zipper, then a button and cloth tab that is inside and below the waist band. This last closure tends to hold my lower gut in and tends to be slimming.

Also I have had my more recent trousers made with the hip pockets pulled well forward of the side seems and placed just behind the pleats. These vertical slashes seem to disguise the paunch somewhat.

Keep the comments and info coming, Fellas.

I would like to hear from tailers and clothiers on these matters as well.
 

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Yes, reverse pleats. I use a single reverse pleat. Take a look at Thurston braces, they are a good alternative. I also find that it is just a lot more comfortable with braces. To get the rubber shirt holders to work for me I need the belt tightened up. With braces the trousers just hang from the shoulders and everything stays in place. Braces with a suit looks nice. Braces with jeans create the Farmer John look; haven't solved that problem yet. :icon_smile:
 

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Checked the label on one of the six foot Cashmere scarves I got on a trip to the U. K., but found no manufacturer or vendor data. I'm sorry to say that I can't remember where I picked them up, either. At least you now know that they do exist.

Here's a source I found that looks pretty good, but I can't vouch for them as a customer:

https://www.scotweb.co.uk/sr_abegg_gents_arran_large_scarf?display=all
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Woodenchair...I do sincerely appreciate your opinions, and I do agree that the this forum's main topic would not lend itself to a discussion of jeans, however, I am sure you would agree that the main topic of this thread is not jeans, and that the topic of jeans in this thread is one that is secondary. I would also point out, as an aside, that if you were to perform a search of this forum, of the word jeans, you would find a thirteen page list of threads that contain that word, hardly insignificant in my opinion.

I am more curious about the meaning of your sentence "...the word is fat...". I do believe I used the word fat copiously in my opening post in this thread, however there are so many other colorful words in our language for the word, I try and choose the one that has the most precise tone, color, and connotation. For example, among clothiers the word portly has been used for suits, jackets, and trousers, while the word big has been used for more casual clothing, and wide is used for shoes. I could think of plenty of other words that might be used instead of fat, depending on the context like; flab, lard, proud, gross, grand, jelly, soft, round, rotund, massive, monsterous, husky, lard-ass, jelly roll, tub o' lard, and so on. I prefer the word fat. It is straightforward and neutral. I have seen, in this day and age, some people shy away from the word fat like it is some dirty or inpolite word. I really don't get that. Fat is, well, fat.

What was it that you were trying to say in your first sentence?

Respectfully, sir, I created this thread for a helpful and robust discussion of fashion for us fat guys, and would appreciate helpful and constructive replies, although one could easily criticize this reply as outside such criteria and I will stand duely corrected if so criticized.
 

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I did read the following in Emily Post, 1942, earlier when I was replying to another thread. It may be useful to fat men; the topic is fat women:

'Two things the fat woman should avoid: big patterns and the stiff tailor-made.'

also:

'Fat women should never wear eccentric clothes or clothes in light colors.'

'The tendency of fat is to take away from one's gentility: therefore, anyone inclined to be fat must be ultra conservative--in order to counteract the effect.'
 

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I did read the following in Emily Post, 1942, earlier when I was replying to another thread. It may be useful to fat men; the topic is fat women:

'Two things the fat woman should avoid: big patterns and the stiff tailor-made.'

also:

'Fat women should never wear eccentric clothes or clothes in light colors.'

'The tendency of fat is to take away from one's gentility: therefore, anyone inclined to be fat must be ultra conservative--in order to counteract the effect.'
I can not see these being true, especially the "ultra conservative" crap. i'd rather be a fat dandy than a fat conservative dresser.
 

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For casual/work clothes, I have had good luck with Duluth Trading Company.
Most of the clothing they make is geared towards people who work in the outdoors, so it is all long wearing and tough as nails. I have quite a few of their polos for casual/weekend wear and tons of their tees. The t-shirts are made extra long in the tail so that they don't come untucked when you move, and the polos have gussets in the underarm so you can reach above your head without untucking. I also have a shirt jac which is a staple of my weekend wardrobe in the spring and fall. The sizing normally runs to 2Xl Tall or 3XL Reg (which is what I wear at 6' with a 58 inch chest).
 
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