Ever wonder what the Big & Tall fashion game is like in Mexico? We spoke with Alejandro Rosales to learn more about the Mexican plus size industry and how he plays a role in it. Ale Rosales is a man of many talents who splits his time between his work as a blogger, stylist, social media consultant, and designer. He gives us the scoop on what it’s like being a bigger guy in Mexico and how he hopes to see the plus size industry evolve.
What inspired you to get into fashion and what do you hope to accomplish?
The need to find plus size clothes [with style] inspired me. There was a moment in my life when I realized that I wanted to look good because it made me feel better about myself. I looked for more options to wear and realized it might be a good idea to publish everything in a blog for anyone who identified with me.
I would like to become a reference point in Mexico and Latin America. I’ve always thought leaving something good for the world is a part of the mission we all have in life and helping other plus size men to boost their self-esteem and find their identity through clothing is something amazing!
Is there a story behind the name of your blog, “Barbudo Polar”?
I didn’t want to use my real name because when I started the blog because I was also writing for another website. I had a long beard back then, and I identified with bear culture. My body isn’t very hairy and my skin tone is very light so a friend told me, “you’re more like a polar bear” because you’re so white. The name was born from the play on words: Barbudo Polar= White and bearded fat man.
What is the Big & Tall clothing industry like in Mexico?
It’s a bit complicated to find plus size clothes because not all brands renew their clothes every season, so you always find the same selection in the plus size department. I have seen changes in the past 5 years with more options [becoming available], but they are still limited. Another problem is the structure of plus size clothes; a lot of times the clothes are big from all sides so you have big back widths at the same time as big sleeves, a big waist, and “elephant” leg pants. On Barbudo Polar I always recommend tailoring clothes so they fit to the body.
The good thing is that as time goes by, more foreign brands like ASOS will ship to Mexico, which makes finding plus size clothes a little easier.
Do clothing brands in Mexico understand the need for extended sizes?
It’s complex. Although Mexico is a country with one of the highest rates of obesity, there is not really a big & tall industry. There are brands that still refuse to stock plus size clothing.
There are small efforts by some brands that are opening the way [for others]. I have managed to get independent designers to make clothes for me and a few other big men who were interested. It surprised those designers to see customer interest in plus sizes.
Are there any shops dedicated to big & tall clothing in Mexico that we don’t have access to in the US?
The important stores in Mexico that have plus size clothes are Liverpool, Sears, and Suburbia, and those stores are all over the country.
What would you would like to see more of in plus size clothing?
I would love to see more clothing related to seasonal fashion like collections for spring/summer and autumn/winter. It would also be great to have more presence in fashion shows. I have been fighting to get more visibility for big & tall men in media.
Tell us about your style!
My style is a little disheveled and more urban. I like feeling comfortable so sometimes I wear clothes that are a few sizes bigger than my normal size. I love wearing sneakers and I recently discovered that some pants made with lycra are very comfortable to wear during the day. From time to time I like being extravagant. For a while I had a fixation with sparkly shiny jackets. I would wear a silver jacket over black and that outfit drove me crazy! Lately, I’ve been more casual, though. I move in a monochromatic palette and sometimes a tone that stands out.