We get a lot of reader questions here at Chubstr. Most are people asking where to find a patterned button down, jeans that fit, or a great looking suit. Lately there’s been an increase in questions about something I thought was pretty basic: the perfect big and tall t-shirt. It turns out, most big and tall tees on the market aren’t made to last. There’s a company making high quality tees for big men in sizes 3x to 6X, and 1XLT to 4XLT, called Big Boy Bamboo. Founder Andrew DiMino talks about creating the brand, making the softest tee you’ll ever wear, and why buying a premium t-shirt is worth it. ALSO:head to the end of the interview for a Chubstr-only discount.
What made you decide to start Big Boy Bamboo? I was on a Caribbean cruise and at one of the ports, I went into a store selling bamboo t-shirts. They were some of the most comfortable I’d ever tried on. I knew people made clothing out of bamboo, but I had never really tried one for myself. I put one on in the store, and it was the most amazing thing. I basically wore the shirt for next two days, and then, at our next port, I bought even more bamboo shirts. I figured somebody must make them for big guys here in the states. After a little research, I found that nobody actually did. That’s when I realized that I should make bamboo shirts for big boys, thus, Big Boy Bamboo began.
What makes your shirts different from the basic, throwaway tees on the market? We made sure our manufacturers went above and beyond. Big guys are harder on their clothes, so it was important that we make sure that our shirts were solid, and that they would last. I have one guy who has washed his shirt at least 40 times now, and it has not faded at all. I still wear sample shirts we originally had made, and they look great. It’s all about reaching a certain standard that I just don’t see in the market right now.
Big Boy Bamboo shirts will be the softest tees you’ve ever worn, or we’ll buy them back.
Why was it important to you to use actual big guys as models in your product photography and advertising? Big guys dont get a lot of respect. I’m tired of seeing brands sell big and tall and not feature the people they are actually trying to market to as models. Our first model was Jason, who is a 6X and looks great in the shirts.
The cost of your shirts is higher than your average t-shirt, but then, so is the quality. Aside from that, why is Big Boy Bamboo a worthy investment? We make our t-shirts in China because that’s where the pandas are [laughs]! If we made them in the US, it would have tripled the price. We found the best manufacturers there and got to work.
If somebody wants a cheap tee, they can find one anywhere. Big Boy Bamboo was made to be premium quality, and a great fit. You can tell just by looking at it. Plus, higher quality means it’ll work with other things you’ve got in your closet, from a suit jacket, to activewear. They are versatile shirts.
Do you plan to expand your product line in the future? As we continue to make clothing exclusively for big guys, we want to expand beyond tees to socks, long sleeve, boxers, polo shirts, and more.
I want to know what customers are looking for. What’s missing for big guys in the market? I’m not a guy sitting in an office coming up with a clothing company to make money just for the sake of making money. I wanted clothing for myself and every other guy who has to struggle in the department stores.