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Believe it or not, Shaquille O’Neal knows how hard it can be to find clothes with style that actually fit. It’s one of the reasons he wanted to create the upcoming Shaquille O’Neal XLG big & tall clothing line. We sat down with Shaq to talk about what’s missing in the big & tall market, why he wanted to collaborate with JCPenney on the collection and his one important style tip for big guys. 

Shaquille O'Neal XLG Big & Tall Interview

Photo: JCPenney

As a bigger guy yourself, is there anything you feel is missing from the big & tall market?
I’ve been traveling a lot since 1992. Sometimes I over pack, sometimes I under pack. When I under pack, I’ve got to go to the store and buy a shirt and I’m like “I’m not wearing that.” Then I’m looking around the store and seeing that this is how they treat us big people? They want to give us the plain stuff while the little guys get to wear sexy, designer patterns on their shirt? This has to stop.

This line is for the big guys who want to look and feel sexy and now they can afford to do it.

There’s more of us than there is of them. Skinny guys are starting to become the minority. I been a big guy all my life and I think us big guys should stick together. This line is for the big guys who want to look and feel sexy and now they can afford to do it.

Shaquille O'Neal XLG Big & Tall Suits

Photo: Chubstr

How many times you want us to wear a solid, pale, stale color? The beige jacket? The cheap looking black tie? We want patterns. My friend over there? He’s got on a smoker’s jacket. Never seen a big guy in a smoker’s jacket. He looks like Pitbull over there. We want to do stuff like that. I can do that, but it costs thousands. I want you guys to be able to do it – the fans that read Chubstr – the average, everyday big man who works 9-5.

Shaquille O'Neal XLG Big & Tall Interview

Photo: JCPenney

What made you want to work with JCPenney on the Shaquille O’Neal XLG line?
I’ve been going to JCPenney all my life. My parents took me there. Not everybody can spend $1500 – $2000 for a blazer. JCPenney understands the big & tall customer. I told them I wanted to do something that was very affordable. It’s awesome that you can get a full-fledged suit and shirt for around $200. I think the average, everyday man can afford to get one.

BONUS: Watch the trailer for Chubstr’s new video series, Behind the Brand!

The guy who pays $2000 for a suit, he’s gonna have a problem with the rent, the lights, child support. I think a guy can scrounge up $200, though.

Shaq & Bruce Sturgell from Chubstr

Bruce & Shaq at the Shaquille O’Neal XLG launch party

What tip would you give to a big guy trying to find his own style? 
My style tip for big guys is to be the freshest at work, be the freshest at the bar. Act like you’re going to get interviewed by your boss to get a raise. If you want to get a raise, you can’t come in looking crazy. If you come in looking sharp, your boss is gonna go “You know what? You’ve been working at Chubstr for 6 years. It’s time to make you the Senior, Senior Editor.” That’s my advice. I always tell people, dress like you’re meeting with someone super important.

The Shaquille O’Neal XLG big & tall clothing line is available in stores and online on 9/13 – Find it here when it’s available.

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