The Big & Tall Guide to Style: Urban Gentleman Edition

After all the "please help" emails from urban gents around the country, I decided it had to be done– A Mini Style Guide for Tall and Husky Men. Husky sounds lame huh, okay umm… thick, big-boned, idk… big? Yeah, that's what they usually call it right, okay, so–

A Mini Style Guide for the Big & Tall and ohsoflyy.
First I'll start with tips for both then specifically give tall tips and big tips.

Note: It was hard to find good picture examples on the internet, so it took awhile to create pictures etc etc, and some of the pictures aren't exactly of "big" men, but they give you the idea. I'll try to visit a store with one of my big and or tall friends to show more precise pictures.

Like I've told many who have emailed me about the issue of finding clothes that fit their physique- the first thing you should do is find someone famous, who is about your size, and has a pretty good sense of style. For the tall you may want to use LeBron James, Will Smith, or Tom Brady as examples. For big guys you may want to use men like Cedric the Entertainer, Michael Knight (from Project Runway), or Joey Fatone (how he dresses more recently).

And it's also very very very important that you guys try clothes on– I know it's probably a pain in the ass, but it's a necessary evil if you want to look your best. I also suggest that you plan your shopping trips– go on a day like Tuesday or Wednesday… maybe even a Monday- on days that are slow so that the salespeople will pay more attention to you. Those are the days that they're in a more relaxed mood as well, so they're more friendly and chill oppose to being up-tight and slightly stressed. Which equals them being more willing to kind of act as your personal shopper, stores like Nordstrom are perfect for this treatment.

Tall Guys:

Big Guys:

Michael Knight is not really heavy heavy, he has added quite a few pounds since the show making him thick, a little pudgy maybe. But you would NOT know because he does a perfect job of camouflaging the extra pounds.


Cedric's pants here are a little baggy, but they're fine if you have alot to hide. I just think you should get them altered so that you don't have all that bunching on the bottom. You may have to buy a bigger size to fit your waist, but then the pants end up too long, usually guys just wear them baggy on the bottom, but you really should get them tailored. Many retail stores offer tailoring when you purchase clothes from them- high end stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks, and maybe even Bloomingdales.

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GUIDE for Big Guys

 

So you're a bigger guy- portly is probably the politically correct term. First thing first–be confident. You may feel a little self conscious about the extra pounds, but at this moment you have to deal with it so get comfortable with yourself and who you are. If you want to change then that's fine, but you have to dress your body for the moment. Now your problem areas are probably your stomach and maybe your… behind (booty, yanno lol). So you have to focus on masking those parts of the body and choosee clothing that will give you a slimming effect and more proportionate look.


pleated pants and pullover sweaters with ribbing
at the bottom are great for heavy-set men

 

Styles to focus on: cardigans, button-ups, dark denim jeans, vest, jackets, suits with side vents, layers, dark colors, pleated pants (no flat fronts unless well tailored), the combination of a light button up or polo and dark sweater or cardigan- gives the allusion of slimmer, and the mixture of textures to give your body a better proportion.

For Suits: always always always get suits with side vents and pants with pleats. Vented jackets gives you room and makes your rear look smaller- this is especially important for men with wide hips. It's not a pleasant sight to see men with suit jackets on and its hugging their backfat. Pleated pants give your thighs more room and makes your body more proportionate. Flat front pants are okay if you are moderately thick and your stomach is relatively small (it may have a slightly slimming effect). You have to invest in suits with vents and you have to get them tailored- its sooooo worth it. Your figure its not regular size so you can NOT just wear clothing, mainly formal wear like suits, straight off the rack.


side vents hide big/wide hips perfectly

pleated pants give you more room, especially for your thighs. If you don't want to do the double pleats, do a single pleat, but please stay away from flat fronts if you have big thighs or a really big stomach.

For Big Hips: if you hold most of your weight on the bottom half of your body, there are a couple of things you can do to help balance your shape. Wear these combinations: dark solid bottoms with patterned, dark bottoms with textured tops. The textured and patterned tops will even out your proportion and re-focus the eye to your top area, taking away the attention from your hips. Wear suits with vents (look at the suit area for more information).

For Big Stomachs: You basically do the opposite of the men with big hips… you wear combinations of dark solid tops and textured bottoms (like corduroy) or light bottoms (like khakis).

 

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GUIDE for Tall Guys


So you're tall huh? Well congratulations– many men would often prefer to be atleast a little taller- 1 or 2 inches maybe. Believe it or not you don't really have that big of an issue– you're tall, so just like tall women (models for example) you can wear anything (it just gets noticed quicker). Your problem is usually with the fit of an item and you'll have to get alot of your clothes altered. The problem area for tall guys are usually- pants or shirts being to short and if they do fit they're often too large or oversized.

vertical stripes and bootcut or relaxed fit jeans are great for tall men.

Styles to Focus on: vests, cardigans, flat front pants (mainly for tall slim guys), layers, patterned button ups, pin-stripes (thin vertical stripes) shirts– this elongates your torso giving you a more balanced look, bright colored tops and dark bottoms will also elongate the torso.

Like I said you don't really have a real issue, it's just more of a tailoring thing. But there are some things you may need to note– some tall guys have really long legs and short torsos, others have torsos that are too long and aren't as proportional to their legs. You just have to make sure your proportions are right- shirts and jackets shouldn't be too short or too long.

 
As a tall guy you have to be aware of how long and short your layered looks are. You shouldn't have a sweater that ends at your waist with an extra long button-up. If tucked out your shirt should end at the red line or it should be tucked in- which is the neatest.
 
Focus on the Basics, here's The Urban Gentleman List of Basics. These are the items every man, especially the big and tall, should definitely have in your wardrobe- they should be quality (the highest quality you can afford) and you should definitely get them professionally tailored.

1. dark denim jeans
2. dark suit- (navy or black)

3. dark cardigan (navy, chocolate brown, burgundy)
4. white dress shirt
5. khakis (pleated for big guys, flat front for tall guys)
6. dark solid quality vest (like Ralph Lauren)- preferably 2 button up and pullover 7. sport coat/blazer (neutral color)

Those items are the core of your wardrobe and I want to stress the fact that all of these items, except of the vest and cardigan should be tailored— yes the dress shirt and jeans and khakis should be tailored. Be careful when tailoring though, make sure the item is exactly how you want it before you give them the final "yes".

Good Looks for Big and Tall Men

These outfits are all Ralph Lauren and are styled to be sort of tight and small for the average man- so don't follow the fit in the picture, just follow the type of garments they are wearing. Cardigans are a must these days.

Specific TRENDS for Big Men: Preppy/Classically Simple Look, Jacket Fanatic
Specific TRENDS for Tall Men: Plaid, Preppy/Classically Simple, Jacket Fanatic, pretty much anything- just get it tailored.
Specific STORES for Big & Tall Men: Most stores have a big and tall section, and you should always begin in the big and tall sections if possible. Gap, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Casual XL (carries Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Levis), I found an online store for really big men: www.torrebigandtall.com. But you guys can virtually shop anywhere you just have to get it tailored.

Okay, I think the guide if complete for now. If you have more questions leave comments or send us an email info@theurbangent.com.

Cindy at THE URBAN GENTLEMAN

2008-2009 Men’s Fall/Winter Fashion Trends Guide

It’s finally here, the breakdown of the 2008 Fall Fashion Trends that will help guide you while you’re out shopping. Like I’ve said before men’s styles change at a very slow rate- which is great because you don’t have to worry about buying a slew of new threads to be stylish and trendy.
2008 Men’s Fall Fashion Trends

The Blue-Collar Worker

This trend is all about suspenders, workboots, jeans, and heavy coats. Original inspiration for this look comes from carpenters, coal-miners, steel workers, and other stereotypically manly careers.
Urban Gent Comments: I really like this look for everybody- all shapes, sizes, and ages. The “worker” look is very smart if put together correctly, but it can also be really sloppy since it mimics the garments of the “everyday construction worker”- so approach this trend with caution, lol… get it:-)

To Get The Look: braces (suspenders), boots, jeans, flat front khakis, flannel jackets, khaki blazers, vests, corduroy pants, and clothing that reminds you of “the working man” throughout the early 1900’s.

Designers for the Look: D&G, Adam Kimmel, Z Zegna, Club Monaco/J.Crew

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College Cool*

It’s all about keeping it basic on a seemingly college level. T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers are the name of the college game and guys like Pharrell inspire this look. With “College Cool”, your style blends and you often time wear outfits that look the same or are the same back to back- just like Mr.Willams.

Urban Gent Comments: Very doable, very cool. This style is better for someone who exudes confidence… because not everybody can pull off seemingly wearing the same thing a few days in row.

To Get The Look: very slightly fitted graphic tees, denim jeans, sneakers/trainers, trendy book bag, wayfarer shades, bright colored “saggy skinny” jeans, converse, aviators, vans, fitted hats

Designers for the Look: BBC (Billionaires Boys Club), LRG, Levi’s

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Eastern Inspiration

This trend is an ode to the East w/ a nod to Russia. It focuses on Russian-inspired winter apparel with other eastern styles in the mix. This look is all about over-sized coats, animals furs, and “oriental colors” such as orange and red.

Urban Gent Comments: I suggest only buying a few items that fit this trend because it’s not for everyone. Maybe a jacket and a scarf…

To Get The Look: jackets w/ fur collars, heavy sweaters, bright colored scarves, vest, fall colored suede pants, and any type clothing that makes you think “Russian Empire”

Designers for the Look: Ermenegildo Zegna,Gucci, D-squared

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Geometric Retro Nerd*

These days styles and trends seem to make marriages more and more- and two trends that have seemingly gotten hitched in Vegas are “the Nerd” and “the 80’s”, and I must say- they’ve made some superCool babies. This look is at the center of hip-hop, pop, and rock meaning that it’s at the center of the world. It’s all about bright clothing with clean edges worn in a preppy way.

Urban Gent Comments: This is the trend to follow if you want to be undeniably stylish. Just be careful to not overdo it because it’s easy to clash when rockin’ the Geometric Retro Nerd look.

To Get The Look: dark denim, bright colored shirts, colored fitted jeans, v-neck shirts, gold jewelry, pumas, jordans, thrift store finds, blazers, sandel-oxfords, vest, fanny pack/book bag

Designers for the look: American Apparel, Gap, LRG, Creative Reaction

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Classically Simple

This look builds upon the preppy look that has swept our nation by storm. But instead of being so stereotypically preppy this new trend focuses on the idea that “less is more”. The 1950’s is the era the emulates this look with perfection.

Urban Gent Comments: This is one of my favorite fall fashion trends. If you follow it you will certainly be the cleanest lad on the block. The trend is also great because the clothing is classic and will never go out of style.

To Get The Look: trousers, blue & white collar shirts (w/ collar stays), heather-grey coloured clothing, lace-up dress shoes, pea coats, trench-coats, eye-glasses, tie-clips, neutral colored ties (regular, skinny, and bow-ties), and anything that looks like it would be worn on the set of Happy Days or The Great Debaters.

Designers for the look: Ralph Lauren, Junya Watanabe, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, DKNY

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Jacket Fanatic*

Once upon a time a jacket was just a jacket, but nowadays jackets have set a whole new trend. This year stars such as Kanye West, Christ Brown, and Lupe Fiasco have made it clear that in order to be fly you gotta rock a badAss jacket. To view this trend up close just go to one of their concerts:-) These jackets, which are often custom designs, are usually similar to marching band, military, or varsity jackets. The color preference for these custom creations is bright-colored and the jacket should be made with materials other than cotton like patent-leather, suede, velour, etc…

Urban Gent Comments: This is probably one of the most pricey trends, and the average person would break their back trying to furnish their wardrobe to fit this look. So 3 really hot jackets in your wardrobe would be just fine.

To Get The Look: jackets, all kinds of jackets, the more unique the better, slight v-neck shirts, fitted jeans, limited edition sneakers/trainers.

Designers for the look: Gucci, D&G, Dr.Romanelli

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Best Designer for this seasons Trends: Dsquared

Designers Dean and Dan do the best job of combining all of
the seasons trends from the “Russian Look” to
“The Jacket Fanatic” to “The Blue Collar Worker”.

Best Star to watch for this seasons Trends: Chris Brown


He’s young, fresh, and cool. Hip-hop singer Chris Brown does the best job of displaying this season’s trends when on and off the red-carpet.

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Must-Have Accessories for the Season:

1. Arab Scarf- yes, it’s still in.
2. Glasses– you MUST have the ability to look intellectual at a moment’s notice.
3. Boldly Colored Fitted Jeans– Lil’Weezy, Chris Brown, Kanye West- they ALL rock em
4. Unique Jacket– it makes getting ready so easy- jeans, t-shirt, and a superTight jacket.
5. Gold Jewelry– if you still haven’t gotten a gold watch or gold chain you need to cop one.
(side note: Gaudy gold is slightly played, so your gold jewelry shouldn’t look costume)


*Exclusive Urban Gentleman Trends

The Urban Gentleman

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