The Polo Shirt: 3 Ways to Wear It

bigmenpoloWEBThe polo shirt is a trans-seasonal staple every man should own, no matter your size or build – the polo shirt is a versatile item that anyone can wear. Here’s three ways to rock it:

Formal

Traditionally, the polo shirt is associated with being casual wear, but the beauty of the polo shirt is that it can be dressed down or up!

Dressing it up is quite easy, simply slip on a suit blazer on top of your polo as a replacement for the dress shirt. Just keep it sensible, opt for neutral solid colours rather than patterned styles and bright hues. Tucking your shirt in is optional, although not having it tucked in can make it look a touch more laid back.

Remember to make sure you visit the tailor to ensure your suit blazer and trousers are the perfect fit for you!

Smart-Casual

Did we mention how versatile the polo shirt is? If you need to look good but not serious, team the polo shirt up with a sports jacket, neutral colours are still best; think beige, grey and black and some straight cut trousers and you’re good to go.

You can add some light colours with your polo shirt or subtle patterns. Accessorise with a classic timepiece on your wrist to breathe some life into your look.

Casual

Need to go meet a friend for a quick lunch or grab some groceries? The polo shirt is perfect for those quick runs you need to make during the day. Just slip on the shirt with some straight cut black jeans or beige chinos – add a splash of colour to your look by opting for a blue or orange polo shirt, particularly during the warmer weekends.

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Casual Friday – how to avoid a wardrobe malfunction

Casual Friday guide for big & tall menFor most people working in a corporate or office environment casual Friday, also known as dress-down Friday, comes as a welcome reprieve from strict business attire. But as anyone who has watched the casual Friday episode of the US version of The Office will know, it can mean many things to many people and can so easily go badly wrong.

So what are the options and what are the do’s and don’ts to avoid a career defining moment?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. After all, the whole point of casual Friday is that it offers more freedom to express your individual style. It also depends largely on the industry or profession you work in and the culture of your specific workplace.

To maintain a degree of professionalism, many companies’ HR departments have drafted policy guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable, but here are some pretty obvious no-no’s.

Keep the beachwear (thongs, shorts, crew neck Tshirts and singlets) for the weekend. Also avoid runners and any kind of sports gear – though you might just get away with wearing team colours on the eve of a Grand Final weekend!

Casual Friday mistakes
Keep beachwear for the beach

So what can you wear?

As a general rule of thumb, if you choose casual for your top half, keep it a bit smarter below the belt. Alternatively, if you decide to keep it strictly business above the belt, relax a little with the pants.

So, one option is to mix ‘n match a more formal business shirt with a pair of jeans – particularly on jeans for genes day. But make sure the jeans are smart – avoid too skinny or too baggy and leave the old torn-at-the knees jeans for the weekend.

Geoffrey Beene and Nicholby & Harvard make a great range of 100% cotton business shirts in sizes ranging from 46 to 56. For jeans, choose between Chisel, Blazer, Gant and RM Williams. And if you want the ultimate in comfort, you can’t look past Brax and Eurex.

Casual Friday dress options
Casual Friday – above and below the belt

Another mix ‘n match option is to wear a more casual shirt with a pair of cotton chinos or even more formal dress pants. If this is your chosen option, best to stick with long sleeve shirts rather than short sleeve, even if it means rolling the sleeves up on warmer days.

Generally speaking, you should choose a slightly more classic fitting casual shirt. Blazer and Gant offer some great casual shirts for big & tall men. But if you need the room, RM Williams and Nautica will provide a more relaxed fit.

Of course the really big question when wearing a casual shirt, quite often foremost in the minds of bigger men: tail tucked in or left out? This really takes us back to the type of industry you are in and the company culture. If in doubt, take it to the TMO – ask your wife or partner.

In cooler months, a fine wool V neck sweater or vest and/or a smart sports jacket will work equally as well with all these options.

Regardless of which casual Friday outfit you choose, don’t ruin it with the wrong choice of shoes. RM Williams boots are a perennial favourite in Australia, but otherwise any smart pair of leather or even suede shoes will work.

Conclusion
Enjoy the opportunity to express your individual style, but make sure casual doesn’t become sloppy and maintain a degree of professionalism at all times. Finally, check your diary before dressing on a Friday morning… just in case you’ve scheduled a meeting with an important client or the bank manager and don’t let this happen to you…

Casual Friday gone wrong
But, I thought you said ‘boardie meeting’!

Big & Tall Man of The Week: Vincent D’Onofrio

vincentBorn Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio, June 30 1959 in Brooklyn, New York City. Standing at a full height of 1.92 metres, D’Onofrio cuts an impressive figure, one with many talents. Throughout his years in the industry, he has made a name for himself not only as an American actor but as director, film producer, writer, and singer as well.

Earning the nickname “The Human Chameleon” for his dedicated approach to character acting, the wide variety of parts he has played and the quality of his work have earned this big and tall man a reputation as a versatile talent.

Perhaps best known for playing Detective Robert Goren in the crime TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a role he has maintained for over the series history spanning 195 episodes comprising 10 seasons.

During his early years, D’Onofrio was a shy boy who spent “a lot of time in my room, staying in my head” and it wasn’t until he attended University did he step out to become involved in small community theatre productions. He made his stage debut in 1984 in the Broadway play “Open Admissions“.

Wayne J. Gilbert Photography © 2007However in the film industry, D’Onofrio’s career break didn’t come until 1987 when he famously portrayed a mentally unbalanced recruit in Full Metal Jacket for which he gained a world record 70 pounds for the role after being told “I want you to be big — Lon Chaney big,” by Stanley Kubrick during the film. 

On the red carpet, D’Onofrio favours light charcoal suits, always with a classic crisp white dress shirt to compliment the outfit. Get the look, with a wardrobe staple classic white shirt by Sons of Ron combined with a soft grey sports coat by our Bennett signature collection.

Choose a similarly minimal off-duty look and invest in a good quality polo, which will see you through spring. Bennett 100% Cotton classic solid coloured polo’s, with contrast colours on the inside stand collar great for leaving unbuttoned with a jean/chino or layering with a tee and cotton blazer, coming in a variety of plain colours and striped fabrics this Polo adds to your weekend look. Polo’s are a sleek summer piece and a must for this season. Be sure to check out our full range of T Shirts and Polo’s in an array of colours available online or in store.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

How To Do Minimalistic

tshirtThis month, we are taking inspiration from the design principles of this season’s latest trends, by choosing timeless basics that forever prove less is more. In a word: Minimalism.

This trend can often be misinterpreted as a statement style, which requires the wearer to be head to toe one colour, resembling something from a bad 80s sci-fi movie. This is not the case.

Today we will be demonstrating how every Big and Tall man can reap long-term rewards by investing in minimalistic quality wardrobe staples. We have included below, three styles which will assist the big man in mastering minimalist dressing, to achieve an eternally classic appearance and understated style which will surpass any seasonal fad.

In this way, minimalism is as much a timeless approach as it is a trend.

Business Minimalism: 

To keep your 9-5 wardrobe in line with minimalistic values, we have put together the ideal outfit, perfect for the office, work function or business meeting. This simple, yet powerful style with leave a lasting impression.

Keeping the colour palette simple, we have combined this Giorgio Morelli suit jacket in black, with a dark navy shirt by Blazer. Throw on a pair of matching navy dress pants by Cambridge and you are ready to go.

Weekend Casual:

white tshirtMeet your weekends with a stylish fresh approach to dressing. Combine a breezy short sleeved Gant shirt in spring appropriate white, with a pair of sand coloured chinos by Eurex for a minimal weekend look which will ensure you are the cutting edge of simplistic style.

Night with the Boys:

When heading out for a night with the lads, there is no reason to let your style slide. Tone it down a notch, but keep your principles firm. Utilise the flexibility of polo’s such as the new collection from G Cavalli. Choose a muted colour which you can match with a pair of shorts or jeans of a similar colour.

Use these three looks as guidelines for your future minimalistic wardrobe and embrace the simple life.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

Brand Focus: GANT

GANT brotherWith spring in full swing, we have just received a new shipment of one of our most popular brands, GANT. With all the spring colours finally in store, we thought it would be appropriate to dedicate today’s blog to this historic brand.

The History behind The Name: This iconic brand’s rich history stretches as far back as 1914, when Bernard Gantmacher arrived in New York City from the Ukraine. Empty handed, but determined, he enrolled at Colombia University, studying to become a pharmacist. To fund his education, he worked night shifts in the garment district. His first job was to sew shirt collars which soon proved to be a hidden talent. There he met his future wife, Rose, who was working as a button and buttonhole specialist and thus the foundations of their future were laid.

It was in 1927, when the couple moved to New Haven, Connecticut that Bernard set up business as a sub-contractor, making shirts for other labels. The couple were quickly recognized for their skill as shirt makers and became trusted partners for some of the most notable brands of the time. To ensure customers were getting the same high quality every time, Bernard started labelling the shirts with a diamond “G”.

After World War II, the couple’s two sons chose to join the family business and in 1949 they launched their own label, GANT of New Haven. Their key product, the GANT shirt was an overnight success. According to the Gants own history, an important feature was the button-down collar. Button-down shirts, originally an English innovation, where becoming very fashionable and GANT was the first to introduce such a shirt on a large scale to the US market.

gant history

Today, Gant represents a brand with one foot set firming in their heritage, while the other is set in the present, with its classic style and renowned quality, combined with a modern flare which keep the labels new collections fresh and appealing to new generations.

Whether it comes down to matching great looking shirts with jeans, or finding that perfect pair of casual trousers, Gant offers unsurpassed style and comfort with their superior craftsmanship and design, characteristics that have kept the Gant range of clothing at the forefront of men’s casual wear for over 80 years.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

Friday’s Big & Tall Man: Alec Baldwin

2013 Roundabout Theatre Company Spring GalaIts Friday and that magical time when we celebrate the style and achievements of a Big and Tall man. This week, we have chosen the enigmatic Alec Baldwin.

Born Alexander Rae “Alec” Baldwin III, April 3rd, 1958, Baldwin in best known today for his role in the TV comedy 30 Rock, in which he plays the power driven Jack Donaghy.

Baldwin has since received two Primetime Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Television Critics Association Award for his portrayal of this character.

Born and raised in Amityville, Long Island, New York, he is the oldest of three younger brothers, Daniel, William, and Stephen, who also went on to become actors.

Being a man with an impressive build, he played football in his high school years, but later found his passion lay elsewhere, in acting.

His first acting role came in the form of ‘Billy Aldrich’ on the daytime soap opera The Doctors from 1980 to 1982. Since then, he has enjoyed a hugely successful career in theatre, television and big budget movies.

jack-donaghyOff screen Baldwin can rock a suit like no one’s business. Always tailored to perfection, this big and tall man ensures he commands attention with dark navy pallets usually combined with a dark silk tie of either magenta or light blue. Off-duty, unlike his character Jack Donaghy, who wouldn’t be seen dead after midday in anything but a full dinner suit, Baldwin tends to opt for comfort over anything else, with a wardrobe apparently full of black t-shirts and dark jeans to get him around his hometown of New York.

Emulate this casual but powerful ensemble; combine this black Sons of Ron t shirt crafted from soft, lightweight 100%, with a pair of dark wash jeans and you have a flattering and commanding outfit to take you through your weekend.

For the best selection of large size t-shirts and polo shirts online, you need look no further than Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing for the widest and most sought after range available. We stock shirts for large men from some of the world’s most popular brands, giving you the option to buy our clothing online or in store. If you like you’re t-shirts big; you will find all your fashion for big men right here. A great looking t-shirt can set the perfect tone for an unbeatable ensemble and our large selection of polo shirts will help you create that perfect weekend casual look.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

The Origins of The Polo Shirt

There are many questions in life, which tend to pray on the mind in our most vulnerable hours. “How is that meeting going to go tomorrow”, “how can I fix my relationship” and “why are polo shirts called polo shirts?

We know, we have been wondering too! Which is why we decided to look into the history of this wardrobe stable for every big and tall man.

poloA Brief History: 

A polo shirt, is best described, as a T-shaped garment with a knitted collar, short sleeves, a two or three button placket (the neck opening) and is generally made from a knitted fabric.

But where and when was this knitted marvel invented and where does the horseback riding power-sport ‘polo’ come into play?

The story goes, that back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, tennis players were bound to wear official “tennis whites” consisting of long-sleeved white button-up shirts (worn with the sleeves rolled up), flannel trousers, and ties. Understandably, this ensemble was not ideal for the athletic nature of the sport, or the general comfort of the wearer.

This was until one day, a young tennis star René Lacoste, had the vision of creating an item to be worn which would allow for less restriction, designing a white, short-sleeved, loosely-knit piqué cotton shirt, which was the early version of the style we know today.

But where does the term polo come into play? Lacoste played tennis! Well, it appears when polo players heard of the revolutionary new design; they immediately adopted it for their own and used it exclusivly for their sport. In fact, Lacoste’s design was so dominant in the sport of polo that the term “polo shirt” became the universal name for his creation.

Premium PolosToday, polo shirts are used in a variety of sports such as tennis and golf but have also found their place as a staple garment in the non-sporting world, commonly used as the primary design for school and hospitality uniforms.

For the big and tall man, a good polo shirt provides endless options for ensembles and can be worn with almost anything. Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing has just received a new premium shipment of polo’s specifically designed with the big and tall man in mind.

We personally favour the 100% Mercerised Cotton G. Cavalli polo. Mercerising treatment increases lustre, strength and affinity to dye makes the cotton fibre resistant to mildew.

Apart from all these attributes this G. Cavalli polo also feels terrific on the skin. The natural fibre makes this smart polo very breathable suitable for a trans-seasonal piece that can be layered or worn on its own. The detailing on the collar draw the eye up, lengthening the ensemble, the G. Cavalli polo’s are the perfect addition to any wardrobe.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best