The Problem With Being A Chubby Guy In A Slim-Fitted World

(Photo: Oleksandr Berezko/Shutterstock)

You know what sucks?

Walking into a clothing store pumped to pick up some new threads and discovering that the first 47 things you touch have absolutely zero chance of fitting you, not because you’re looking trying to squeeze yourself into something four sizes too small because “I wear a medium, dammit!” but because you’re a chubby guy living in a slim-fitted world.

This is my hell.

I’m not delusional. I don’t try to stuff myself into skinny jeans and “smedium” t-shirts, wondering why everything is so unreasonably snug. I’m 5’10” tall and hover right around the 230 pound mark, carrying the majority of my “extra weight” in my belly. I love clothes, but more and more, clothing manufacturers don’t necessarily love me and my brethren and sistren.

I’m not built for slim fit. I don’t taper in at the midsection; I get a little wider, a little more rounded. That shouldn’t mean I need to rock a XXL shirt that looks like a parachute on me in order to not worry about a potential fabric fire starting just north of my waist because of the friction between my undershirt and article of clothing suffocating it from on top. I shouldn’t have to go three sizes up in order to be able to sit down comfortably while wearing a button down to dinner with my wife.

With all the data pointing to North Americans getting bigger by the year, why in the name of all things sartorially right in the world are we moving towards even more of a slim-fit world?

I grew up as a little hip hop kid, obsessed with the music, the culture, the style, everything about it, so wearing loose-fitting clothing was never a problem. But I’m not 16 any more. I’m not even 26. I’m 36 and I don’t want to be swimming in shirts or looking like a kid playing dress-up in his dad’s blazer because all the clothes for guys that look like me have vanished into a see of Slim Fit options.

I’m not big or tall. I’m decidedly average in height with a few extra pounds, but they don’t have an “Average 36 Year Old” section these days. Everything is tapered and taken in. You’re either Slim Fit or Big and Tall and that’s bullshit because the majority of the population falls in the vast middle ground between the two.

For the record: there is nothing wrong with either of those distinctions and there should be amazing options available to everyone; this applies to females too. The cool stuff shouldn’t stop at a certain size. We all want to look as fly as possible.

There are going to be those out there that say, “Maybe you should work out more, eat better, live a healthier lifestyle and then you’ll be able to fit those slim fit clothes you’re rallying against” and they’re absolutely right. I could run more frequently, dine on fast food less often and be generally healthier and it would, eventually, reduce the size of my menacing midsection, but that’s a long-term goal and I’m looking at a short-term problem.

I need clothes that fits Current Spencer, not Future Spencer, and the options are becoming increasingly fewer.

Being 36 with a bit of a belly shouldn’t mean choosing between being slightly uncomfortable in the latest slim fit offering or rocking a shirt that hangs like I’ve cut a hole in a sheet and draped it over my head. If designers can make clothes that accentuate the physiques of healthy, physically fit dudes no problem, how come no one can do the same for regular guys that want to look good without drawing attention to the one or two areas that need a little work?

How come no one has figured out that Round Fit would be a bestseller? Instead of tapering in at the waist, account for a bit of a beer gut and you’ve got yourself a gold mine.

I’m open to suggestion and definitely taking recommendations – excluding “Lose some weight, fatty!” and “You should probably just not leave the house, ever!” type nonsense. If you’ve got a label you like, I want to know about it. If you’ve found something that works for you, hit me up.

My wardrobe needs a refresh and I’m tired of walking into stores and walking out feeling crappy.

Share your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @spencerkyte.

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