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Fashion becomes ‘big’ as men’s plus size market grows

"This situation allows DXL, the brand catering exclusively to the men’s plus size clothing to dominate. The company is seeing growing demand for trimmer fits across all categories. In bottoms, the company is seeing growing demand for slim-fit joggers in active wear/athleisure assortment and also adding more styles into tapered fit denim at every price point. The company is also adding trimmer fits in knits, sportshirts and dress shirts to create head-to-toe, trend-right looks. "

 

Fashion becomes big as mens plus sizeThis situation allows DXL, the brand catering exclusively to the men’s plus size clothing to dominate. The company is seeing growing demand for trimmer fits across all categories. In bottoms, the company is seeing growing demand for slim-fit joggers in active wear/athleisure assortment and also adding more styles into tapered fit denim at every price point. The company is also adding trimmer fits in knits, sportshirts and dress shirts to create head-to-toe, trend-right looks. It has in-house technical designers that focus solely on big and tall customers. With 225 retail and outlet stores, DXL sells mostly through brick and mortar stores and features a lot of high-end labels like Ralph Lauren. J.C. Penney and Bonobos keep their special sizes in separate areas.

Customisation for each client

Very few apparel retailers offer plus-sizes for men. However, companies like Stitch Fix,Fashion becomes big as mens plus size market customises its offerings for each of its client, big, husky, tall or short, using data and feedback. Earlier a 30-inch inseam was in demand, for example, however, as some customers complained about the pants being too long, StickFix created shorter options. Similarly, the styling service adjusted sleeve and shirt lengths for bigger men who aren't necessarily tall.

This attention to detail is nudging plus size menswear towards the inclusivity principle that is slowly being adopted by women's fashion. However, designing and manufacturing plus size clothes is tricky as it requires extra attention and work with suppliers. Especially for men, it requires pattern grading production, knowledge about neck size, sleeve size, shoulder span, waist and all-around fit. However, Holmes believes that this can be achieved by using creativity in patterns and fabric cutting.

Proving this right is Phillip White, a businessman dealing in oil, who tapped his own savings and credit cards, crashed textile and apparel conferences and brought his sketches to manufacturers. Within two years he launched his label, Phit Clothing, an inclusive line — from XS to 4XL — of activewear, swim and a jacket, with plans to add denim.

Social media fuels growth of plus-size market

White had to work closely with factories in order to make items across so many sizes, sometimes going back and forth to get them to understand his requirements. He believes there’s more work to be done in grading tights into 4X. However, he is determined to achieve this inclusivity with the help of social media which is helping men of all sizes to find the brands, including his, making the nicer, more current items they want to wear. He also hopes just as Ashley Graham has been the body-diversity trail blazer for women, men too will get their own plus size hero soon.

 
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