Originally Posted on August 9, 2005
I’m a big man. I can’t help it, I was born this way. My baby fat is still part of my figure as are my blue eyes, elongated nose and small round head.
As a triple extra-large person living in an extra large world, one size has not been fitting all. Remember the picture from the 2002 Chicago Auto Show when I was attempting to sit in a MINI Cooper? Some of you laughed at it and wondered why I would dare fit my fat big bear body in a “pregnant roller skate?”
I am not alone. As much as we try to overcompensate our overall body image with an obsession over dieting and exercise, the USA is still an overweight nation. In 1978, no major department store carried any pant size above a 42 waist. Now, you walk in Marshall Fields or Herbergers and you get sizes up to 48 waist and shirts up to 3XL. Even discount stores, such as Wal-Mart and JC Penney sell clothes into those size ranges.
Muscle bears also have a problem with size. It’s not that they can wear “normal” size pants, but finding shirts to fit their huge pecs and biceps can also be a task.
What’s a big fella to do? How do we live large in a society that seems smaller than us? Well, first, you need to know that you are comfortable in your own skin and that you have the choice to change it or not. Stealing a line from Oprah Winfrey, “living with integrity” means living with yourself as you are right now.
Now that you have affirmed your own skin, you need to adorn it!
A man needs to present himself well through the way he wears his clothes. This is a good rule of thumb to live by. However, some of us may not care about how we present ourselves sometimes. For example, sometimes our shirts end up riding up one’s furry belly. Personally, I don’t mind seeing some chubby flesh now and again, but some of you don’t like that. Well, if you have a problem with the way your belly pops out at people, get clothes that stay over your belly!
In other words, get clothes that really fit you!
A visit to a Big & Tall shop may be in order for us larger folks, but it should not be a default. I found that shopping around between a Big & Tall shop, a major retailer that sells larger clothes and a discounter helps in a way any man find the right clothes to fit his life. You can have an Abercrombie & Fitch or Gap look at any of these places in your size without the label.
There’s nothing wrong with fitting several sizes and seeing which ones work. Keep in mind that you have to wash these clothes and they can shrink in the washer. Purchase your size wisely.
In all, you have to look good. If not for yourself, then perhaps for your significant other or any man who wants to be your significant other. Looking good means feeling good, right Oprah?