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Big men's clothing thread

WalterSobchak

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I'm starting this thread because I'm wondering what brands and particular items of clothing the larger members have found that work well for them, so that those of us in my situation know where to find things that we wouldn't otherwise be able to. I'm 6'4", 280 lbs, 49-50" chest, 42-43" waist, 19" neck, 37" sleeves, size 14D (USA) shoes.

Concerning suits, I've only owned one suit, which fits me very poorly, and I intend to get another one custom made as soon as I can afford to, which unfortunately might be a while. I don't think there's a RTW suit jacket on this planet that will fit me acceptably well even after alterations after having tried on many different brands, at least among those that produce a 48L or 50L.

For pants, the biggest problem aside from the clothing not being made in my waist size is that my thighs are fairly muscular and that anything with an appropriately sized waist restricts my movement a great deal in the legs. I usually wear chinos on a day to day basis when the weather isn't too hot, and found that Dickies flat front double knee fits well. My waist is somewhere between 42" and 43", so I buy 42" and they fit perfectly after a couple washes. If I want something a bit more upscale, Tommy Bahama pants fit well with my build. As for actual dress pants, I've never owned a pair aside from suit pants (which fit me well enough to wear after alterations), but I'd imagine if I wanted a decent pair I'd get them custom made. The only jeans that fit me are urban brands, though I'll probably need to read through the SW&D forum for other ideas. Swim trunks have proven to be the most difficult things to find, since almost every pair I've tried is way too restrictive in the legs when I need the most freedom of movement. Again, Tommy Bahama works, but in this case only if I stick with their big and tall line. The pair I have has a 47" waist, luckily this works with a drawstring.

As for shirts, I have no problems most days as I normally wear a T-shirt, but if I want to dress up, I run into trouble. Nordstrom's house brand, John W. Nordstrom, makes dress shirts in 19/37, in very nice fabric for $100, but the selection is pretty boring, usually only offering basic white and blue straight collars in this size. In addition to that, the fit is very loose, so I'd only wear one under a suit. If I wanted something else, such as a black shirt with a spread collar in a more trim fit, I'd most likely need to find myself a shirtmaker, preferably one that would allow me order single shirts since my funds are limited. Sport shirts are even more problematic. Even though a 2XL T-shirt is usually loose and comfortable, most 2XL button down shirts are not and barely allow me to move my arms, and 3XL is difficult to find. Custom shirts would not help here, since I like to wear attention-grabbing shirts with wilder designs (think Etro, etc.), which may run counter to the tastes of most here, but that's usually what I look for. I know that some of the major designers do MTM but the price is probably exorbitant.

Ties are a big problem as well, since it's difficult to find most of them over 62" long, with 65" being ideal, and when I do, it's not likely that I find them at a good price. Shoes aren't too difficult to find in a 14D if I'm patient, but socks are. I've been wearing gold toe socks, but I'd rather be able to wear decent wool or cotton socks if I could find them in a larger size.

So, if any other larger members have similar problems with finding clothing, I and undoubtedly many others would like to hear what has worked well for you so far.
 

deadly7

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Originally Posted by WalterSobchak
As for shirts, I have no problems most days as I normally wear a T-shirt, but if I want to dress up, I run into trouble. Nordstrom's house brand, John W. Nordstrom, makes dress shirts in 19/37, in very nice fabric for $100, but the selection is pretty boring, usually only offering basic white and blue straight collars in this size. In addition to that, the fit is very loose, so I'd only wear one under a suit. If I wanted something else, such as a black shirt with a spread collar in a more trim fit, I'd most likely need to find myself a shirtmaker, preferably one that would allow me order single shirts since my funds are limited. Sport shirts are even more problematic. Even though a 2XL T-shirt is usually loose and comfortable, most 2XL button down shirts are not and barely allow me to move my arms, and 3XL is difficult to find. Custom shirts would not help here, since I like to wear attention-grabbing shirts with wilder designs (think Etro, etc.), which may run counter to the tastes of most here, but that's usually what I look for. I know that some of the major designers do MTM but the price is probably exorbitant.
MTM shirts can vary in price. Look around here for some recommendations of online MTM stores (moderntailor comes to mind) that sell for < $100. You'll find no love here for wanting to wear crazy shirts, though.
 

dsmolken

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I'm not that big (only a 46 inch chest and 5'10&quot;, can still fit into most XL shirts except at the neck), but there's two things I can hopefully help you with.

Shirts that are too big around the waist and fit OK elsewhere are easily altered, worth it even if you wear them with a suit as long as you plan to take your jacket off at some point. I get that done with maybe a third of my shirts, should probably do it with all of them tbh.

For loud SF-unapproved sport shirts in 3XL sizes, try urban brands. Mark Ecko, Coogi, LRG etc. Those often go up to 4XL or even 6XL. A store like DrJays should have a couple hundred in 3XL to pick from so you might find something and again, you'll probably need these altered. That whole market seems to be dying with rappers wearing Polo and Gucci nowadays, though. Also Axxess and Jared Lang shirts are very loud but in a different way, and both go up to 4XL. Those might be somewhat Etro-ish more often.
 

WalterSobchak

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As for online MTM, that might be a good option for some. I'd prefer to avoid it myself, because I'd be afraid of getting a shirt that doesn't fit right, possibly due to my own error, and I'd much rather deal with a tailor in person. I'd also want to see and touch the fabric. My guess would be that a $50 MTM shirt would have fabric of lesser quality than I'm used to with the $100 Nordstrom shirts, and more like that of a Men's Wearhouse shirt, I could be wrong though. I could probably have a swatch sent to me to confirm that.

For altering dress shirts, if I found ones that fit at the neck, chest, and arms well, then I could get the waist altered. Usually, though, at that size, the selection is quite limited, both in terms of fit and of color and style.

It's funny that you mention Coogi and those type of brands, since I have a bunch of them. I don't have to worry about having them altered since I'd never wear one tucked in and the loose fit seems to look good with them. I didn't even mention them because I didn't think anyone here would be likely to wear anything like that, but it's good advice if someone with similar tastes stumbles onto this thread. thought to post here. It's a completely different look than what I was talking about, though. I was referring to something more like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Versace-Coutur.../dp/B001Q257SQ
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/ca...=prod101700003
http://couture.zappos.com/n/p/dp/68616913/c/3998.html

I'd wear any of those shirts untucked with a nicer pair of pants or tucked with a suit. Obviously they're not appropriate for every situation. The prices of those examples seem ridiculous to me but for someone of more average size, they could look around and probably be able to find good deals. I don't know where shirts like that even exist for big men, though. I figured they'd be relatively unpopular here as well but there might someone who know how to go about getting them.
 

82-Greg

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For suits and shirts, you will have to go the made to order route to get anything that approaches decent fit. I use English-American tailors in Westminster, MD. There are numerous other sources that may be local to you.

There are two online stores that may help:

Rochester
Westport

For ties try:

Sam Hober
Big Shot Neckwear
The Tie Bar

I have the same problem with pants. Usually, I end up getting a pair a size or two larger than what I need, then getting the waist and seat taken in to accommodate my thighs. There are some on-line shops that will custom make jeans, khakis, casual shirts, etc. Before you go to these, see a reputable tailor--even quite a few of the Hong Kong visiting tailors do good work (for example, MyTailor.com). Get your measurements done by a professional, and then adjusted by fit before you order directly off the internet on any of the made to order sites.
 

HarleyBob

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I take an 18 - 18.5 x 37 shirt. I have found that ordering from Modern Tailor is a great way to go. I have the same problem, I can find OTR shirts in my size, but they are pretty boring. Once you have all the basic colors covered, you can't find much else. I enjoy ordering from Modern Tailor and I order about 3 shirts a month. The best thing about it, is that with OTR shirts, they are really baggy but when I order them, I can get them to fit me without much extra. You really should try them. I confess, it took me 3 tries before I got them just how I like them, but MT was great to work with and even gave me a credit to help with the next order. Good luck.
 

kmwrestle

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Im in the same boat
I am a 19 36/37 dress shirt
58R Jacket
48w pants

I goto rochester clothing like mentioned above. I also will goto Mens Wearhouse. I know thats a little taboo around here but they usually cary some selection of big mens clothes, its cheap, and they are everywhere. You just have to get past the salesman trying to sell you more than you want. Finally I say show me the shirt ive repeatedly said i didnt need. Then make him find it and pull it out in my size, then i say "nevermind i dont want it" then he gets the picture and rings me up.
 

dganderson

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Check out Rochester Clothing. You can also find some larger items on the Brooks Brothers website.
 

Fatman

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I have this problem with OTR shirts too. If I buy the largest size I can button the top button, but it still chokes me, and also it fits like a tarpaulin. If I buy the shirt that fits, the two ends of the collar band don't even overlap.

I ordered a modern tailor shirt using measurments from a fitting shirt, adjusted the size of the collar and had them make it super long so it stays tucked in. They even do a first shirt for $20 now so you can dial in yor fit.
 

WalterSobchak

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I'll probably end up trying English-American, possibly for a second suit to be used for business and such, after I have a suit made that is better for other uses such as restaurants. H. Freeman suits look like they'd belong to the first category rather than the latter. Still looking around for a tailor that can make a suit like I'd want. I'm sure I'll find something eventually since it'll be a while before I could afford one.

There's a Rochester store not far from me, I don't usually wear big cut sizes for anything other than swim trunks. But I'll definitely go through the website again though and see if anything interests me, same with Westport. Maybe I'll at least find some socks.

Buying larger size pants and having them taken in at the waist is exactly what I did when I got my suit (garbage from Men's Wearhouse) years ago, I should probably keep that in mind when I buy jeans, and doing that may make buying OTR dress pants a possibility. Although, if finding 42 inch waist is hard, the trick becomes finding something made in a 44 or 46 inch waist that I like. Keeping that in mind might open up a few more options, though.

I've seen Sam Hober's site before, looks somewhat interesting for basic ties that might not be available elsewhere, I might end up buying one at some point. Big shot neckwear...just a bit too long for me but sounds good for those bigger than me. As for Tie Bar, the prices are very good, but how is the quality? I know my expectations can't be too high with those prices, but what other ties are they comparable to in fabric and construction?

Concerning modern tailor...seems to be worth a try. For those have ordered from them, is it possible to get good fabrics? Having to pay for the first few shirts that fit poorly until I get the measurements right concerns me, obviously not so much as getting a suit but still a gamble. I wouldn't mind considering the first $20 shirt a sunk cost if I knew that after that I'd get well-fitting shirts.
 

scomer

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6'7" here. I feel your pain. Here's what I've learned: 1) First, tie your tie like this: . This knot can save you quite a few inches and get away with shorter ties. I can manage a Kiton or Isaia just fine with this technique. You have to give up on "XL" ties to really get anywhere. They're almost all hideous. 2) Brooks Brothers has custom-order shirts on their online site in tons of fabrics that can be made to any measurements. Won't solve your wild-pattern need, but works very well for dress shirts, even if you want a 38" french cuff or whatever. 3) Nordstrom has "XL" socks that fit size 14 well and are of fine quality. I don't see them online, so check out a store. 4) MTM Suit is the only way to go. Most anywhere you can get a MTM suit will make you MTM pants as well. Try Tom James if you're budget strapped. Hope that helps...
 

WalterSobchak

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I normally tie a half-windsor, I'll have to borrow a standard tie to try that knot and see what difference it makes. It's more than just a few inches short, though. Last time I wore a non-XL tie (55&quot;, I believe, 10&quot; short of my ideal length), I had only a few inches of the narrow end coming from the knot. I don't know how acceptable that was, but I'd imagine not very. When browsing eBay for ties, for example, most of the XL ties are hideous, and so are most of the standard ones. Of course, there are much less XL ties to be found at all. Perhaps your knot could help me use the so-called XL ties that are only 60-61&quot;, though, which would increase my selection somewhat.

I'll definitely look at the socks next time I go to a Nordstrom's. I thought about Brooks select shirts before, but I wondered if for $150+ per shirt I'd be better off with MTM shirts from a reputable local shirtmaker, aside from the typical minimum order constraints, and I'd possibly be able to get them in a style unlike that which Brooks Bros. offers, not to mention avoiding alterations costs if I need to have the body taken in.
 

WalterSobchak

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Also, Tiecrafters seems to be well regarded here for cleaning ties, and they also claim to be able to lengthen ties. I can't imagine how they would go about doing that. Is this something anyone has had done?
 

bbhewee

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For ties, Drakes of London offers a MTM service, where you can choose your blade length and width, interlining weight, and pick the fabric from their catalogue.
 

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