Inclusivity is the practice of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. What does this mean in terms of size and men’s style? It means the conversation must include plus-sized people and body shapes that do not conform to conventionally available sizes. Men (cismen, trans men, and anyone who chooses to identify as a man or present masculine) who have breasts, large hips and/or bellies, big thighs, small arms, large feet, are tall or short, or otherwise stand outside the spectrum of sizes offered by mainstream fashion brands; these variations in the human form deserve a place at the table of men’s style and fashion. We aim to take the issue of size and budget inclusivity in men’s style seriously.
I am a plus-size man. I have been since I was a teenager. Like many plus-size men, I have struggled with self esteem and my image, I have accepted my body as the vessel that carries me through life, I have lost and gained weight, and I fought for my own self-worth in the eyes of others due to my size. And I have done these things over and over and over. And the one thing that I’ve learned by being many sizes, from a Large to a 5XL, is that if I put in the effort to search, if I go a little out of my way, I can always find something to wear that makes me look and feel my best.
(Whether this extra effort should be acceptable is another conversation altogether.)
It is amazing that big and tall men’s stores (both brick and mortar and online) exist, it is great that they have become better over the last few decades about carrying clothes that are stylish and cut for actual large humans, but they have a long way to go and many clothing manufacturers may account for size but not shape: my 300+ pound body does not look like other people’s 300+ pound bodies. We call carry our weight differently and some styles will not work for some people, but all people should be able to find a style that works.
What’s important, though, is to know that you should be able to find a style, find real clothes that you can wear, that make you feel the best you can, physically and emotionally. Plus-sized and stretch options will be provided on this blog when possible. When available, we will provide links to measurement charts and notes on if a garment fits small or runs large.
— Editor’s note — I tend to include Amazon links for two reasons: an affiliate link helps to keep this blog running, but mostly because they have a lax return policy, which is something that is very important to me; you should never be ashamed to return something that doesn’t fit right, look right, or otherwise live up to your expectations.
Menswear is not the privilege of the elite; menswear is for all. There is no shame in making less money than your fellow man. The fast food worker feeds the hungry masses; the janitor makes the world a better place; the artists of the world who do not experience success make the world a richer and more worthwhile place anyway. There are a myriad of options at our fingertips, with more or less ethical choices depending on your priorities. A modest budget may require creativity, but that is what will make your style unique.
Style inclusivity for all budgets on this weblog means that less expensive options will be provided when available and preferred when the multiple options exists.
Size and Budget Inclusivity Benefits All
Menswear publications have long been a bastion catering to a certain kind of person: a certain size or tax bracket. That version of menswear deserves to be buried in the past. Menswear publications should be inviting and open with style guidelines providing a foundation on which to build in non-traditional ways. The envelope should be pushed and we aim to keep moving forward; it is only in this manner that we can become more open-minded and expressive as human beings.