Chubstr’s goal is to help big men find, create, and share their style with the world. We bring you new and interesting resources to find clothing and accessories in your size that you’d actually want to leave the house wearing. Most of the time, this means that we’re sending you to a variety of websites to find the things you might like. While this is usually a good way to go about creating or adding to your style, there are times when you need clothing more quickly than a website can ship to you. I ran into this exact situation over the weekend, as I needed an outfit for an important last minute meeting. I couldn’t wait for overnight shipping, and nothing in my closet felt quite right for this specific occasion. I knew that I needed to head out and go shopping.
Let me first admit that I don’t like to shop. I’m impatient when it comes to lines, I don’t like running from store to store to put together an outfit, and I tend to get pissy when I go to a store to try on something and find it doesn’t fit. There’s nothing as frustrating as trying to fit into a pair of pants that claim to be your size, only to find that you can’t get them buttoned. For these and many other reasons I tend to skip shopping locally, however—as I learned this weekend—there are times when it is necessary. My experience lead me to devise a few tips that can help you in those moments when you just can’t avoid the local shopping trip.
Have a Plan: Don’t just go out and shop because you need clothing. You’ll walk around aimlessly looking for things you’re not totally sure of and never find what you really need unless you just happen to stumble across it. Think about what you need to purchase—do you need new work outfits? Are you going on vacation? A date? Think about what you need and make note of it. That’ll give you some direction when you leave the house to shop.
Know Where You’re Going: Though this goes along with having a plan, it’s important to think about on its own. You probably know your city and you know what stores offer clothing in your size —don’t waste time checking shops that don’t carry things that fit. It’s just frustrating and makes your entire shopping excursion take that much longer.
Try Things On: Don’t eyeball it. Most of us need to try something on before purchasing it. How many times have you looked at something that you thought would fit only to get home with it and find that it didn’t? Before you know it, you’re headed back to the store to exchange it. Try things on so you can figure out what looks good and how it fits. I often find that things I don’t like hanging on the rack are things that I love once I’ve tried them on. It’s also a great way to try different styles before buying something that you’ll end up never wearing.
Don’t Worry About Size: As I said earlier, it can be frustrating to go to a store to try on that size 46 pant and find that it doesn’t fit when all the other size 46 pants you have at home fit perfectly. It’s vital to realize that almost every brand handles sizing differently. Though I generally wear a 3X in shirts, if you took a look in my closet, you’d see sizes ranging from XL to 4X that actually fit me. It doesn’t matter. It’s just an indicator to help us find things in a size that fits—no more and no less. What’s important is that you find clothes you want to wear in a size that actually fits you well. When you get that, you’ll notice the entire shopping experience becomes a little more bearable.
Take Your Time: Shopping can take awhile, and you should expect it to. If you’re doing all the things I’ve suggested so far, you’re going to be shopping for quite awhile (especially if you need to buy a lot of clothing). That’s okay. You’ll end up with new outfits in the style you want, and that’s what it’s about, right?
Mix and Match: I used to shop with the intention of finding a full outfit in the one or two places I visited. While you can do this, it’s not always the best way to create interesting and versatile looks. In our interview with actor Harvey Guillen earlier this year, he talked about shopping for individual pieces with the intention of using those pieces to create a full outfit down the road. If you see something you love and have to have, but you don’t have a full outfit to go with it at the moment, that’s okay. Buy that piece and keep it in mind the next time you shop. You’ll find something to complete that look in no time.
Give these tips a try and you’ll be able to find clothing in your size and style. Do you have any tips for shopping locally? Share them with us in the comments!