@bigdudeindenim answers the 10@10

HOW DO,

Ah dudes. Hope your well!
Yes guys were on with the 10@10’s again!
Sitting writing this is kinda comforting! I’ve missed it!
Everything started right here and now the “SupplyCo” is up and running I can’t wait to get stuck back in (even if it has took a few weeks longer than expected to get back up and running)

We have some top dudes lined up and we’re gonna kick off The precedings with Mike, the denim communities totally badass @bigdudeindenim

Totally cool and very knowledgable Mike will soon be working with us on clobbercalm.com to produce some killer features! Something else for us to look forward to!!

Anyways without further a do, it’s time to sit back, relax, crack open a bev (I’m still on this sodding detox) and enjoy the thoughts blue blooded brother Mike as the @bigdudeindenim answers the clobbercalm 10@10.

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MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE MENSWEAR

NAME: Michael Bandy, AKA @bigdudeindenim
AGE:36
LOCATION:Los Angeles, CA
OCCUPATION:Customer Service/Dispatch

1. So Why Instagram?

The combination of being able to post a photo with some written anecdote or commentary, the ability to tag users/makers, as well as the solid hashtagging features makes it a pretty solid format for connecting with people who have similar interests. Combine that with the ability to interact with other members of the community via comments and messaging. Then put it all into a phone app that is easy to use on the go and…. winner winner chicken dinner!

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2. Why Denim, Boots, Workwear, Ruggedness?

I have always liked jeans and boots and workwear inspired clothing. Even before I started wearing better made clothes, I was buying utility shirts and flannels from places like Old Navy and Target. Boots from Skechers and Eastland. Then one day I decided I wanted to up my denim game. That was kind of the turning point for me. Went from some cheap American Eagle jeans to some Railcar Spikes selvedge denim jeans. From Eastland boots to actual Red Wings. And now I am better dressed and my wallet is far less cumbersome. 😉

One of the things I love about quality made goods is how they change and progress over time. The patina on my Red Wing 875’s and on my Pigeon Tree Crafting leather bracelet, the signs of fading on my denim. Wear and tear on these pieces make them more interesting and just as aesthetically pleasing as new. If not more so.

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3. What are your thoughts on the rise in popularity of “Instafashion” and the community it is creating?

I suppose like many things it’s a double edged sword. I doubt I would have had the same amount of success finding things I wanted to wear in my size without Instagram. I will also say that as a bigger guy interested in fashion, I was apprehensive about how well the community would receive me. Fashion, even workwear is not made for larger people generally. But I have to say. I have met some of the best people through this community. Everyone from those who wear the clothes to those who make the clothes have been extremely supportive and receptive to what my IG page is about and to me in particular. We even have a group called #LADenimHangs which meets once a month or so to hang out. Sometimes we have specific events we are attending, sometimes we just make plans to hang out and drink some beer. Either way we always have a great time and the conversation spans a myriad of topics, not just denim and workwear. Of course we talk about that a lot too. ☺

The only negative I can see is that as the popularity of this niche style rises, it becomes less niche. Quality goods will always be quality goods, but as the popularity rises I can see lower quality manufacturers attempting to cheaply emulate the look and style of some of the higher end clothing out there. Conversely when you have an abundance of companies selling quality goods at a standard-ish price point, all it takes for a new company to be different, is to charge twice as much.

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4. Top 3 brands to shop and why?

Railcar Fine Goods – For me I would have to say Railcar is my number one. The combination of exceedingly well manufactured clothing that is stylish and made in sizes I can wear puts them at the top of my list. They also make everything in-house which is really cool. And I think their prices are very good for what they offer.

Red Wing Heritage – Red Wing makes amazing boots and I currently have three pairs of them. I have a pair of Wolverine 1000 miles which are great as well, but Red Wing offers so many compelling styles and variations that I am constantly wanting more. They have a solid and rich history making quality footwear and that experience and attention to detail really shows in their Heritage boots. Plus once you get past the break-in period (which has never been too bad for me) they are crazy comfortable.

EncampmentCo – For my third I will throw out a wild card. EncampmentCo is a newcomer on the scene. As of right now they make two types of jackets. A Type III style denim jacket, in indigo or black selvedge. And a waxed canvas jacket. They are really well made in house at their shop in Wyoming. They reached out to me as they wanted to offer an XXL jacket that would actually fit an XXL guy. Something that would accommodate for a slightly larger midsection while maintaining a sleek silhouette. They nailed the fit and I am happy to have worked with them on it. For me it is a big step and a huge personal accomplishment when I can work with a brand to accommodate us larger guys and I really appreciate them working with me on that. I think they are definitely going places in this community and I look forward to seeing them grow.

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5. Where’s your favourite place to shop these brands?

Railcar Fine Goods has tons of great stuff. Not just their own goods, but also Red Wing boots, and other products that are all top quality. They are very close to where I work so I will stop in fairly often when I am purchasing anything from them. Steven and Taylor and the crew are all really helpful and exceedingly nice people who go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I also get my hair cut at the Railcar Barbershop attached to their storefront and Andy is a super cool dude and one heck of a Barber. Railcar pomade smells insanely good too.

Withered Fig is a new company carrying some great brands and products. Richard the owner (@doppki on Instagram) is a really nice guy who definitely goes out of his way for his customers. Great products from a great small business owner. Gotta love that.

Ebay is a valuable resource for me as often the newer styles don’t fit as well as more vintage stuff. I have been able to find some nice vintage flannels from Five Brothers and Osh Kosh that are really well made (made in USA). And an XL actually fits me well in the vintage styles usually. Flannel’s never really go out of style so even after 20-50 years, these vintage products still work well for me.

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6. When did you decide to voice and share your love for your threads on social media?

I never would have thought to do so until my girlfriend suggested it. I was discussing how cool some of Brent’s @whaleyworld photos were. I myself do photography (mostly landscape/nature) and I really enjoy his compositions and photographic style. My girlfriend suggested I start posting photos as well. We discussed what my goals would be in doing so. For my profile it was two fold. First, being a larger guy in this niche style made it difficult to find clothes I liked that fit. So I wanted to find apparel companies that made clothes in my size, but also to show apparel manufacturers that don’t carry my size, that there is a market for it. Us bigger guys and gals care about style too and if they make it, we will buy it. Secondly, I figured I am probably not the only big guy/gal out there who wants some nice selvedge denim jeans or a shirt or jacket and can’t find sizes that fit. So I hope to help those people out and show them that there are options for us and that we can rock the look too. Of course I also wanted to just plain share my passion for the workwear style and I love that aspect of Instagram.

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7. What’s the secret behind your great images; Who takes them? When are they taken? How do you capture the magic your followers enjoy so much?

Well I have a background in landscape photography so dramatic light is mostly what I look for. Being pretty decent at editing, both on my computer and on my phone helps a lot. I take the majority of my photos, but my girlfriend has been very supportive and helpful and will often take some of the photos for me. Mainly the ones I cannot take myself as I am the subject. I use my iPhone on a good number of my photos but I also often post photos taken with my Nikon DSLR. On my computer I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and on my phone I use Snapseed and VSCO.

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8. What feeds do you like to follow and check in on? Who should we check out?

There are so many amazing Instagrammers out there, but if I had to narrow a few down:

@whaleysworld – Brent has an amazing sense of workwear inspired style and his photos are very natural and organic feeling. One gets the sense of comfort and warmth in his photos and I really appreciate how he uses natural light and minimal backdrops to his advantage. Brent’s house must just be set-up for awesome photos! Plus he has an insanely photogenic dog who does a solid job posing for some really cool photos.

@vinyl66 – Carter does a really impressive job utilizing natural light and minimal backdrops for a high-key and bright feel to his images. He composes his shots really well. Plus he has great style and is a really nice and supportive member of the community.

@whoisjohnnn_dough – Ronn has a great sense of style and loves his bulldog, his sexy Triumph motorcycle, boots and denim, and a good Old Fashioned. Plus he has some rad tattoos! A solid follow for sure.

@denim_and_whiskey – Christian takes some great photos and has an awesome sense of style. He is often drinking (what I assume) is coffee in his photos. And I love coffee! Plus the dude has mastered the “looking down and away shot”! Seriously. No one does it better.

@mertpina – As a Father to an almost 3 year old son, his page is straight up #dadgoals for me. His feed has tons of photos of he and his son’s raw/selvedge denim and shoes and boots, etc. I love it and I cannot wait to get my son his first pair of raw denim now!

And of course mad love and props to my LA Denim Hangs crew. Definitely check these dudes out: @joe_pizarro @j_aralar @vedgesus @selvedge1 (honorary member) @pigeontreecrafting @denimhound @jcleatherworks@denim_schmenim, @inthosejawnz and @japanese_buffalo . Sincerely some of the best people out there!

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9. What tips would you give new starters on Instagram to help them get there feed off the ground and successful?

I would just say be true to who you are. Post the content you like to post and make sure to make use of hasthtags. Also many users will follow you because they like your style, and often they will want to know what clothes you are wearing, so make sure to tag the companies you have on. Finally reach out and make friends within the community. I speak to people all over the world on a regular basis because of our mutual interest and passion for the style. These relationships are far more fulfilling than the number of likes you will get on any photo or the number of followers you have.

10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island, you can take 1 outfit (4 items) and 1 drink ONLY with you. 
What would they be? Who made them? Why are you taking them?

I would have to say my Railcar Spikes X001 jeans as they are really well made and comfortable. My Red Wing 875’s as they are my most broken in pair.

My Lucky Brand flannel I got used off of eBay recently as it is the ideal medium weight and fits perfect. And my EncampmentCo 30-30 selvedge denim jacket. It is a 15 oz weight so it is warm, but not hot, and it is insanely durable and made to put through the ringer.

To drink I would definitely say some good coffee. Maybe from my friend @coverartcoffee or from @arcaderoasters. I love bourbon and beer quite a bit, but I cannot live without good coffee.

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MIKE awesome brother! You’re a fine example of what keeps the denim community together!

Some top tips in there brother! It’s been an absolute pleasure as always!

Watch this space for future hook ups between myself and Mike. 😉

Now moving on, if you haven’t already get ya self across to clobbercalmsupply.co! It’s our new retail site and this week we are giving away free accessories and Tee’s With all jean orders on jeans. Cool eh!
You just purchase the usuall way through the site and I will bob a freebie in the package before it’s picked up for delivery! Easy!

Have a tip top weekend folks!
Thanks for stopping by!
Much love
Ben @clobbercalm.

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