Wishing you all a top Wednesday, part of a cracking week so far..?
We’d like to introduce a new monthly feature here on the @clobbercalm site as tonight marks the inaugural edition of a post on bigger fits. An idea that was floated with Michael aka @bigdudeindenim seemed to fit (pardon the pun) a gap in our blog catalogue so here we are!
I shall now hand the mic over to Michael aka @bigdudeindenim as he gives us a little “intro to the struggles and goals of a chubby denim head”. Enjoy!
I am a big dude. I guess you could say I am fat, which doesn’t bother me unless you say it as an insult. Or like Eric Cartman from South park would say, I am festively plump. My usual jeans size is 40 with an actual waist size of 42”. Growing up my weight would fluctuate quite a bit. Today it is pretty consistent. Unless I exercise for an hour or more daily and eat well, I am pretty much always a chubby dude.
I am not too bothered by my size though. More so by the difficulty in finding quality clothing that fits me. Strangely enough, even though heritage workwear was traditionally sized larger, modern style has seeped into heritage fashion enough to make fits and sizes smaller and slimmer. And there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the fits. Which can make things confusing to say the least. Many great clothing manufacturers vanity size their jeans and pants, but shirts and jackets are often very slim and rarely true to size. And even those companies that vanity size their jeans/pants rarely make them large enough to fit me, let alone anyone bigger.
Now don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the problems a small business faces when considering where to cut off their manufactured sizes. Many factors come into play. Most clothing companies outsource the manufacture of their goods to other companies. And in doing so, they generally must commit to a certain number of items in each size to make it cost effective. Now if they order the larger waist sizes (38,40, etc.) and they don’t sell very often, they are effectively losing money on those sizes. The less profit made, the less chance they can continue to innovate new products and maintain quality on their current offerings, etc. So…if they see a profitable market for the larger sizes, they can justify the initial cost of manufacturing said sizes. But if not, they can’t.
Which is where I come in. Or at least I try to. The main issue I had when I decided to step-up from Levi’s and American Eagle jeans to quality selvedge denim was finding clothing companies that carry my size (size 40, or a 42” actual waist). I was lucky in fact to find just that at Railcar Fine Goods. Railcar is a small American business who does all manufacturing in-house. This is especially convenient when it comes to a wider variety of sizes. It effectively enables them to make as many or as little of any size they choose to make, more or less whenever they choose to or need to make it. Railcar in fact manufactures jeans up to a 45” actual waist and can even do custom sizes larger than that. The only downside is that on the larger sizes, you occasionally have to wait for them to cut and sew your denim, but the wait is worth it, I assure you. They also happen to be based in Monrovia which is not far from my home and very close to where I work. It was a match made in indigo heaven for me.
Now that I have found some companies that make quality clothing in sizes that fit me, I am working on spreading the word. Not just to clothing companies (although I assure you, I am on top of that as well), but to other big guys/gals like myself. Since I have joined Instagram, I have met some awesome people (both in person and online) and have enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of a community that (though it focuses on a niche style in the fashion world) is nothing but welcoming and helpful.
But occasionally a fellow larger sized person will message me and ask for recommendations or opinions on clothing, fashion in general, to ask about brands, or just to say hello and thanks. And I find that especially fulfilling. I want to set an example for people like me. To let them know, “You too can rock the heritage look if you want.” And…. This tells me there is a market for us larger sized people. It may still be a small community of large people, but we are out there and we also care about fashion.
I hope this gives you an idea of who I am, where I am coming from, and what I am all about. If it all works out, I will be posting fairly regularly with my thoughts and experiences, recommended companies for us larger folks, clothing reviews, etc. And all of it will be from the perspective of a big dude in denim.
If you have any recommendations, suggestions topics for discussion, sizing and fit issues, or anything you want to hit me up about, feel free to reach out. Find me on Instagram. I am the one with the fairly self explanatory handle: @bigdudeindenim
~ Big Dude in Denim 24-1-18