Why Are Retailers Ignoring Plus Size Men?

Where are the plus size men's brands?

Where are the plus size men’s clothing brands?

It’s a problem that most people reading this have been aware of for a good portion of their lives, and now the rest of the world is discovering it: retailers are ignoring plus size men. I spoke with Toronto’s Globe and Mail about this very issue in an article that was published earlier this week. Sure, there are brands that carry extended sizes for men, but they aren’t easy to find. Here’s what I told The Globe and Mail:

“A lot of bigger brands are offering clothing in extended sizes, but they’re not really talking about it. They might have a link on their site, but they’re not going out and really promoting it,” Sturgell says. “They’re definitely not showing models that look like me.” Both Ralph Lauren and Eddie Bauer, for instance, have big and tall options, although neither has received a significant marketing push. But they are at least among the few companies offering on-trend clothing for plus-sized men with a youthful sensibility, compared to the many independent big-and-tall stores, which have limited style options.”

Why Hide the Plus Size Men’s Clothing?

Why aren’t companies better promoting the fact that they offer extended sizes? There’s a misconception that big men don’t care about the way they look, so they’re not interested in buying stylish clothing. With the resurgence and growth of the men’s clothing industry in recent years, that’s obviously not the case. It’s not only skinny guys looking for and buying clothes, right?

ED from Parker & Pine in a Dress Shirt
ED from Parker & Pine

There are some bright spots, though. Brands like Parker & Pine are trying to do something not many other brands are doing: creating products specifically for plus size men. DXL is starting to carry more options for a younger demographic. In the near future, we’re going to see more brands specifically offering clothes with style for guys like us – we’re just not there yet. If you look at the growth of the women’s plus size industry, it’s only a matter of time before guys start to get the love.

What’s the Solution?

Is the problem being solved? The pessimist in me says no. The optimist sees the seeds of progress being planted. After all, look at Chubstr. We’ve got a growing, vibrant community of people who want tips, resources, a cool place to shop, and who want to share their style with the world. It’s not a bad start. Read my full interview with The Globe and Mail right here.

Why do you think brands are ignoring plus size men? Tell us in the comments below. 

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