The Personal Uniform Conundrum

Dale Irby

sweater teacherDale Irby is not just any teacher. He is possibly the greatest teacher of all time.

What did he do to earn such a title you may ask? Well we are not referring to his un-wavering dedication to his students such as the likes of Antonio Banderas character in the movie Take The Lead.

No, we are talking greatness on a scale not seen since the infamous “Cafeteria Dance Off ” teacher of 2012.

Upon discovering he accidentally wore the exact same outfit two years running for his school staff photo, Irby decided to utilize this mistake and become a national hero.

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Mr. Irby has worn the exact same polyester shirt and vest for his staff yearbook photo for the past 40 years. Even his amazing 7o’s style mustache has remained almost untouched.

Now, while a bit of an extreme example, Mr Irby does present a curious argument for the ‘personal uniform‘.

While we are all for the freedom to express yourself through what you wear, it can be agreed that too much choice can, at times, become overwhelming. Especially for the big and tall men, it is not unusual to find yourself in a outfit rut, where the same tried and true ensemble is reused and rotated on a weekly basis.

We however put forward the question, Whats wrong with that?

steve jobsThere is something to be said for a man who has a uniform. It worked for Batman, Super man and even the late Steve Jobs created an iconic image of himself forever etched in the minds of millions, never without his black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans.

These men are examples of power, consistency and in the some cases, world salvation and we may be wrong, but we don’t remember anyone stopping them to question their attire?

With new social media revolution leading a new wave of peacockery, the idea of not having to create a new and outlandish outfit for their 34 Instagram followers every day might even appeal to some of the younger generation.

Now we are not suggesting the world goes home tonight and decide what their personal black turtleneck and levis will be, but perhaps there is some merit in the case for the simplicity and having one less decision to make of a morning.

As for our new idol Mr Irby, well he sadly retired this year, but he will forever stand as a style icon for years to come.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Pick Of The Week: The Boat Shoe

walking_image_croppedThe average person will walk thousands of kilometers in their life. Unfortunately, many of these will be walked in unsuitable footwear, more often than not, causing long term damage.

Take a moment to consider, with every step we take, our foot hits the ground with roughly three to four times our body weight. Multiply that number by an average 3,000 steps per day to get the total load in kilograms on your feet per day. For the big and tall men out there, this makes our feet more vulnerable to injury.

So basically, your feet are the body’s workhorses and whats the first thing you buy a good workhorse? Sturdy comfortable shoes (we imagine, as we personally have no workhorses to speak of).

Shoes that are too loose or too tight, can lead to stress on the feet, ankles, lower leg, hip, and spine. Over a period of time, ongoing pressure can lead to sever pain and injuries which may limit or prevent participation in work (not so disappointing), sports (little bit more upsetting) , and hobbies (now officially a problem).

So what do you need? Comfortable durable shoes of course!!

5-Perfect-Boat-Shoes-for-SummerPersonally, we cant go past a classic Boat Shoe. Sometimes referred to as deck shoes or topsiders, a good boatshoe is typically canvas or leather with rubber soles designed for use on a boat (hence the name). The leather construction, as well as the old school application of oil, is designed to repel water; and this combined with the highly durable stitching, equals one resilient  shoe. Boat shoes are traditionally worn without socks, a positive for those big and tall men out there who have grown tired of the fruitless morning ritual hunt for appropriate sock-wear.

Fun Facts & A Short History of the Boat Shoe

Boat Shoes made their first major appearance in the retail market 1935, when an America born yachting enthusiast and inventor Paul Sperry noticed a gap in the sailing market for a dedicated boat shoe.

Fun Fact: The story goes, that Sperry noticed his dogs uncanny ability to run easily over ice without slipping and decided to incorporate a similar pattern to the base of his shoe.

According to his website, Sperry used a knife to create his first shoes, in which he cut on the rubber soles with a herringbone or  ‘siping’ pattern, inspiring a shoe perfect for boating, which lead eventually to his own company.

boat shoe style

The true benefit of the Boat Shoes lies in its ability to remain both stylish enough to wear to work and impressive enough to not look out of place in formal situations. They are truly the most versatile of footwear and can be worn all year round. When you have found the right pair, it is worth the investment, as you are purchasing something of durability and quality and frankly, it gives you the right to not wear socks to your next wedding, so whats not to like?

boat shoe, big mens clothing, ron bennett, r.m williamsRon Bennett Big Mens Clothing stocks a prime example of the ultimate Boater. Made from genuine leather, these lace up boat shoes are the sheer definition of casual cool. Guaranteed to look great with virtually any weekend ensemble, R.M Williams have once again come through with a pair of shoes designed in the bushman spirit for the everyday Australian male.

So go on, treat your workhorses to a lil’ comfort and we promise you wont look back.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Gant: A Fourth of July Celebration

As the Fourth of July or Independence Day, arrives we here at Ron Bennett celebrate one of our most iconic American brands, Gant.

all american

A quick background into the celebrations of Independence day: The Fourth of July is a federal holiday in the United States, which celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83).

In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. Typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues, all  traditions we have come to know and love thanks to Hollywood movies.

To celebrate this year, we are shining a light on one of one of the worlds most iconic trademarks and one of our most popular brands here at Ron Bennett’s Big Mens Clothing, Gant, where we stock the brand exclusively for big and tall men.

Established in 1949, New Haven, Connecticut, Gant was quickly recognized as a skilled shirt manufacturer. To satisfy the many customers who wanted to make sure they were getting the same high quality every time, Gant begun labeling all shirts with a diamond “G”, and thus the Gant label begun, with supply hardly able to keep up with the huge public demand. The iconic label then went on to become the principal Ivy League stockist for the next two decades, with casual, clean, and accessible pieces.

the-chino_us_air_fors_khakiTHE FAMOUS CHINO: According to Gants own website, the history of the chino goes back to mid-19th century India. Harry Burnett Lumsden, a British Army officer stationed in Mardan on the Peshawar border, saw that his troops needed a uniform more suited for the region. He dyed his cotton pajama with a plant extract to produce a lighter-weight outfit that was not only more appropriate to the climate but blended in with the colors of the surrounding terrain.

During World War II, chinos became so popular with American soldiers, that many continued to wear them on their return home. Casual yet smart, the comfortable khaki pants were perfect for both work and leisure. Through the G.I. Bill, which enabled returning soldiers to get an education, chinos soon found their way into the colleges and became an essential part of the increasingly popular Ivy League style.

Here at Ron Bennett Big Mens Clothing, we love Gant for of their enduring commitment to crafting the highest quality menswear. Their big and tall collections effortlessly capture a classic style and are easily amongst the finest on the market today.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

Cabin Envy, Packing Essentials & Long Weekends

cabin porn 2 As the sun manages to make an appearance in Sydney today, residents tentatively venture outdoors umbrella-less for what feels like the first time in weeks.

Due to this recent bout of wet Winter weather holding weekends everywhere captive, we personally have been spending a majority of our time immersed in the pages of Cabin Porn. A site dedicated to man caves, quiet escapes and inspirational gentrified cabins. This should come with a warning, as you can easily loose a large chunk of your life sifting through the beautiful and remote array of shelters.

This particular man-spiration site got us thinking about travel and weekend packing, something usually avoided until the very last minute, which regrettably, can occasionally lead to realizing upon arrival that all you packed were three shirts (all dirty) and a pair of mismatched thongs.

This situation can become especially uncomfortable for the big man who has no other option but to borrow an unsuitable garment from a helpful in-law, or worse still, attempt to purchase something wearable from the only store open being a tourist corner store which appears to insist on only stocking classic souvenir shirts with a mildly offensive image emblazoned across the chest.

Therefore, we have complied a list of items which will ensure you are travel ready for any long weekend trip with minimal effort or thought required.

The Essentials for any trip: The shoes are the key here. Whatever the weather/climate you are expecting it will always pay to pack a pair of sturdy and comfortable, perfect-for-any-activity-shoes.

A classic cut boot in neutral colors will serve you well, as these can be worn with most outfits, classed up or dressed down as the occasion demands, while being comfortable enough to support any hiking that may be encounter.

The R.M Williams Craftsman Boot

Boot for blog

Also vital to any social situation, is suitable pant-wear. No one wants to be the guy freezing in ruggers when that unexpected downpour Plaidstarts. To ensure you are ready for any occasion, try packing a pair of both dark jeans and light shorts.

This will offer endless options, allowing you to mix your outfits up as the weekend progresses.

Throw in one neutral, classic style t-shirt or polo and one casual shirt (preferably of the long sleeved variety) and your almost set.

All that remains now is a versatile jersey or jumper option to throw over a shirt during the day and layer under a coat during the evening. Personally we have found a good thick grey knit to be timeless and once discovered, on high rotation in any wardrobe.

Invest in : A good quality coat will keep you looking sharp even in the most unexpected of downpours. It should shield you from wind and sleet, while being versatile enough to take you through Autumn and Winter. Pair with jeans on a casual, rainy day or opt for dress pants when you want a more classic, professional look.

Following this simple guide will ensure your long weekends away are ones in which you are stylishly comfortable, but most importantly, not required to wear something that smells like your father in laws old spice.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best