Admit, you sang that when you read it, didn’t you?! But it’s true, we women do love a man who can dress. Pressed pants, a smooth button down with a collar, some fly shoes, a nice watch and the right cologne will have a girl all up in her feelings! But it seems as if fashion for men of size is not as “readily” available as it is for women of size. So, with that said, let me roll out my top 5 sites to shop for the BHM in my life!
This site provides not only an extensive online inventory but has retail locations throughout the country. Here you will find brands such as Polo, Robert Graham, Levi’s and Nautica, just to name a few. DXL is moderately priced and offers regular sales and the “Free Shipping to the Store” feature.
Everyone knows Macy’s! But what you might not know is, they have a hella selection for Big & Tall men! Brands such as Polo and Robert Graham are staples on this site. In addition, you can shop their fragrance section for amazing deals on scents from Coach, Chanel, Versace and Dior, in addition to several others. They are affiliated with Finish Line as well, so their shoe selection isn’t limited to “dress” shoes. You can catch sales on everything from Nike, Rebook and New Balance. And what’s a nice pair of kicks without a dope time piece to bring the look together? Yep! You can find that here too! I personally love shopping at Macy’s! Especially in the fragrance section! Their associates are super helpful and work hard to develop a personal rapport with you. I have a perfume girl, but she helps me with purchases for my guy too and lets me know about sales in other departments! #winning
3. Ralph Lauren Polo
While this brand is available through multiple outlets, what a lot of people fail to realize, is sometimes, you can save mad cash by shopping directly on the site. Again, in addition to their clothing line, their men’s fragrance and accessories are top notch. Definitely wait to buy when there is a sale, otherwise you are paying those Polo prices. But don’t despair, you won’t have to wait long, sales are frequent!
4. Robert Graham
I have mentioned this brand previously, and there is a definite reason for that. These shirts are PHENOMENAL! What I love the most is the surprise contrasting pattern on the cuffs and collar! #bangin Bright colors, fun patterns and unless you shop on a sale, BIG prices. But as with Polo, the sales are frequent, and they offer deep discounts. I had a personal experience with this particular store a few months ago. I had ordered something special for my guy and it didn’t get here in time for the occasion I wanted to commemorate. I called the customer service line and explained my situation. They were INCREDIBLE! And for my trouble, sent me an electronic gift card for $100 off my next purchase! So yeah, these brands are pricey, but the customer service that comes with that price tag is well worth it!
If you are looking for a watch that is a conversation starter, this is the brand you want to shop. These watches just look like they belong on the wrist of a man of size. The trademark feature of these particular watches are their size. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The price can be a bit limiting as well. However, there is a huge variety of styles that make this a brand just about anyone can find something they like.
This list is by no means complete, but rather an overview of my favorites for men. I’d love to hear from you! Where do you shop for the big and tall man in your life? Comment below!
Sometimes, I forget I am fat.
I am 45 years old. Soon, I will be 46. I have been overweight for the past 20-25 years. I face the normal struggles other fat people do. Booth seating in restaurants is not my friend as the table digs into my fluffy midsection. Seating on public transportation is challenging due to the fact my bottom requires more than the 16”-17” allotted for each passenger. Now, with that said, sometimes, actually quite often, I forget I am fat! I know right now you are asking yourself, “how on earth does she do that, given what she just said?” The answer is, “because this has been my existence for the past 20-25 years.” I avoid booths, public transportation, and just about any and everything that will force me to deal with my generous portions.
Apart from fitting comfortably into a chair with arms, my size has never been something I considered debilitating. I’ve always “carried myself well” and dressed myself in a flattering manner. I’ve participated in sporting events…things like co-ed softball, 5k walks/runs, I even joined a dance class and go to the gym a few days a week. I go to amusement parks, concerts, public swimming pools, all the while maintaining a social circle comprised of predominantly, average sized people. I have never felt compelled to limit myself to fat friendly activities or past times. However, lately, something has changed. Absolutely EVERYONE around me has become image (specifically body) conscious. My social media timelines are inundated with low-carbies (those on the low carb diet craze), middle aged gym rats, plastic surgery fiends and filtered selfies of my friends, family and colleagues. Don’t get me wrong, I can fully understand and appreciate the quest for better health and an increased sense of vanity as we venture further down the timeline toward our “golden years”. My problem is, I didn’t know we were there already or that being fat and forty-something meant I was unhealthy or worse yet…unattractive!
For several weeks now, on the heels of this realization, a realization I liken to being “molly whopped” with a sock full of quarters, I have become embarrassingly insecure. I take less selfies because I see more gray hair and notice my crow’s feet and double chin more so now than ever before. I judgmentally examine myself naked and in doing so, have contemplated injecting myself with hormones touted to boost weight loss (when paired with a calorie restricted diet, so restricted in fact, I got hungry just THINKING about it). Why did this happen you ask? I will tell you exactly why! Because me, the confident, relatively well adjusted, natural born leader that I am, allowed myself to fall victim to the majority’s view on what is considered aesthetically pleasing. Thankfully, my survivor instinct is stronger than my victim mentality and I snapped out of the reality of the majority and back into my own reality. A reality in which no synthetic or grueling alterations are necessary to be beautiful and healthy!
Nothing makes me happier than to see my sisters succeed! Whether we’re long time friends or casual acquaintances, when I see a woman shine, I’m drawn to her light! It empowers me! It inspires me! It encourages me! I was ecstatic to come across a podcast by Dear Big Girls today...the message relayed is one I am an advocate of as well and that’s self love. Please do yourself a favor and find this incredible woman and listen to her message! I see you girl and I’m cheering for you!!!
“Ok.... overlook the nervousness.... but my podcast introductory episode is done and I'm freaking out!!! 😳
I'm going through SOOOO many emotions....fear, pride, excitement, hope, sadness, pure joy... just everything all balled up into one. 🙈
I wasn't even going to share it until it was listed everywhere, but screw it....I want to know what y'all think.
Be nice..... but tell me the truth. 😳
I'm so ready for this to get listed. It's only on Spotify so far and it may take up to a couple of weeks to get it everywhere.
Update: it's on Google Play, Stitcher, YouTube and Spotify.... now just waiting on Apple.
Here it is.... be nice.”
Are you Truckin' with us?
What an INCREDIBLE weekend we had in Ft Lauderdale! Over 180 men and women of the PSC (Plus Size Community) gathered for a weekend of body positivity and an environment of acceptance. The event kicked off with not one, but TWO party buses to South Beach Miami! Bashers enjoyed the night life on South Beach and the festive atmosphere the party bus provided. But the fun didn't stop there! Curvy Ventures provided an action packed itinerary for attendees. Everything from roaming room parties, a flip cup tournament, a vendor fair, mimosa bar, pool parties and a grand finale red carpet event made the list. If you are looking for a venue where you can be unapologetically YOU, this my friend, is it! This is more than another BBW group...this is a BUSINESS who's sole mission is to provide entertainment and travel opportunities for those who are not always prioritized in society. The staff of Curvy Ventures puts an absorbent amount of time into securing venues that are not only welcoming but also comfortable for their patrons. So what are you waiting for? Get on board with Curvy Ventures-you never know where we are headed next!!!!! #keepontruckin #curvyventures #bodypositivity
I have a personal policy, try something new once a month. The "what" I try new is varying...it could be a new genre of music, a new restaurant or food, a new look with my hair, make up or fashion...the importance in the "what" but more in the growing that happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. Well, this month, I did JUST that!!!!! Check out the video below to hear a little about my experience with the V-Steam!!!! 💋
Miz Cook speaks on true BBW & BHM admirers and common self esteem issues in the Plus Size community. Check it out in her Vlog below.
This Girl is on FIRE!
My feature this week is the vivacious, Kat Marrero. When I reached out to Kat and asked her to tell me about herself, to no surprise, her bio was filled with positive affirmations and confidence. She mentioned she always seems to be the center of attention and isn’t really sure why…from the outside looking in, it’s a no-brainier…this girl is on FIRE!!!!!!
She has a fierce hustle. Working two jobs and doing her duties as a brand ambassador for CURVALICIOUSHER, not to mention the fashion shows she participates in from time to time and her commitment to health that puts her in the gym 3 days a week. All of this and she still finds time to be a positive light to those around her.
She credits her work ethic to the example her mother set for her and her sister from a young age. As for her confidence? Well, that too was something instilled in her at a young age. Having moved around a lot, she found herself in new and not always welcoming places. But her sharp wit and self-confidence always left those who were inclined to bully in awe of her.
The secret to her success? A pep talk with herself every day in the mirror…” Girl, you are sexy and you are beautiful! Let’s make shit happen!” I don’t know about you, but I can dig it! A big shout out to Kat as we conclude Women’s History Month!
**Kat Marrero is the Social Media and Special Event Coordinator for Curvy Ventures Plus Size Entertainment and Travel
Together we shine brighter!
In honor of Women's History Month, as you may (or maybe you don't) know, I have decided to feature a woman of true inspiration, strength and triumph in my blog for the duration of March. I asked for nominations from a peer group I belong to and one particular woman continued to inbox me with nominations. If you know me, you know I am a firm believer and supporter of empowerment and uplifting my sisters. So when Felice messaged me, I felt as though she were a kindred spirit, someone who is cut from the same cloth as me. I absolutely admire the way she uses her light to shine on others, so I decided to feature her this week! I am pretty sure you will see her beauty through her bio below. Shout out to Felice and EVERY single one of you reading this who understand that together, we shine brighter! Don't forget to share this article on your social media pages! Let's continue to spread love, acceptance and light!
"I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, moved a few times as a kid, and struggled being the new kid. This probably helped to create my social anxiety, I tend to freeze up in large social situations even if I know folks there. I’ve learned in the past 2 years to push through that initial feeling of anxiety and panic, and use my role as a group admin to help others feel more comfortable. I also lived in Chicago & the south suburbs for 14 years, while getting my Master's in Social Work & Master's in Educational Administration, and I was a School Social Worker & Special Education Administrator there before moving back to Michigan after my Dad passed away.
I’m a fierce protector of others against every ism and a resilient survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Now I’m a proud warrior of a woman for size acceptance and justice and equity for all. I’m extremely proud to be Irish & Mexican American and I’m currently beginning research on my genealogy. I guess I’m officially not a newbie to the BBW community anymore since I joined in the fall of 2016. I've been encouraged and supported by Renee Thunda, the owner of Toledo BBW & now I'm coming up on my one year anniversary as an admin. Being in the size acceptance community has helped me develop a greater love and acceptance for myself and others. It has also brought the love of my life to me & he provides me more love and acceptance than I ever imagined could exist. I truly believe in positivity and being grateful for all the blessings that life brings you, including the lessons.
Overall, I believe my ability to overcome trauma and low self-esteem has been rooted in my faith, and also my belief that inherently folks are good people. We all have cracks and scars that we are trying to fill and heal from, why not gain strength from helping each other do that?"
Want more info on the BBW/Plus Size Community? You can find size acceptance groups such as Toledo BBW and Curvy Ventures on Facebook and IG.
Quality vs Quantity
I joined her team several months ago and in that short period of time I’ve seen the grace and tact with which this woman has handled situations that would try the patience of Job (I just channeled my Grandma with that phrase). Her philosophy mirrors that of former First Lady, Michelle Obama. “When they go low, we go high”.
Maria takes GREAT strides to provide a venu, be it online, on the open seas or at a hotel in sunny SoFlo, that is SAFE, welcoming and free of judgement and ridicule. The events that she hosts through Curvy Ventures are not the biggest or most highly attended events in the plus size community (not yet anyway!) However, Maria realizes what many others have failed to, it isnt about the QUANTITY of people at an event, it is about the QUALITY of people! From staff, to attendees, to vendors, Maria makes it her personal mission to provide a safe haven laced with great people and incredible memories. And that’s the key difference! Because if this Curvy Ventures grows daily!
Hats off to you Ms. Giugno! You’re definitely a mover and a shaker in the PSC, and on a personal note, I’m INCREDIBLY proud to call you my friend! Thank you for all you do to make the opinions of society less demoralizing.
I’d love to hear about a woman who inspires you! Share your thoughts below...and THANK YOU for reading! 💋
Woman to Woman
Happy Hump Day!!! If you’re reading this, 2 things....1) THANK YOU!!!! When I see the “views” on my posts or better yet, when you guys actually comment on a post!!!!! I’m tellin’ ya, it makes my little heart soar!!!! and 2) I hope you had an amazing day and an even better tomorrow!! Now that was uplifting right? You kinda got that warm fuzzy feeling, no? EXACTLY! It seriously takes so little of an effort to bring joy to people.
So with that said, I want to address something that I’ve seen A LOT of lately and actually experienced myself today. The millennials call it “throwin’ shade”, others refer to it as “hatin”. Sadly, it’s becoming an epidemic that is plaguing women across the country! You‘ve probably seen it yourself. Often the symptoms manifest as cryptic social media posts, hushed conversations and critical side eyes are also common. TBH, it breaks my spirit to see women tearing each other down when societal pressures are already weighing so heavy on us. On one hand we preach self love, but on the other, we say, “no, not like that”. And God forbid we see a confident woman displaying her self worth in photos or public announcements of achievement. Immediately she is categorized as vain or braggadocios.
I absolutely deplore this way of thinking and have made it my personal mission in life to shed light where it is absent. I will love my sisters, celebrate them, encourage them, inspire them and elevate them because I know, together we shine brighter! I hope you will join me!!!! Let’s break the cycle and get back to loving and supporting one another! 💋
I would LOVE your feedback and thoughts on this! 👇🏽Leave them in the comments below👇🏽