Our Big Man of the Week: Kevin James

kevin jamesBorn Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965, Kevin James is one of televisions most beloved big and tall actors.

As a man with an impressive presence, growing up James embodied the typical all American sports star image. Attending Cortland University he played the star fullback of the football team while simultaneously majoring in sports management.

However, at some point not too far down the line, James decided this was not the road for him, ditching the sports uniform of preppy polo’s and boaters in favour of joining a local community theatre.

kevin james 3This is where James truly came into his element and it was during one of these such plays he got his first taste of a comedic role, one he reportedly enjoyed so much he went on to join his brother’s (comedian Gary Valentine’s) improv group. James went on to enjoy a stand-up career for about 11 years and it was on the comedy circuit that he met fellow comedian Ray Romano.

While Ray had finally hit his big break with his own sitcom (Everybody Loves Raymond) it was only in 1992, after his appearance on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” James came to the public’s attention, highlighted by his performance at the 1996 “Just for Laughs” Montreal Comedy Festival. Widely regarded as his seaway into the mainstream media, this time in the limelight ensured a recurring role on Ray’s sitcom, and then eventually, his own sitcom “The King of Queens” (1998).

While he has found monumental success as an actor with a less than traditional build, James has remained a role model for big and tall men everywhere, never shying away from his size, even going as far as to draw attention to it with his classic wit, having been quoted:

There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap“.

kevin james 2

Achieve James look at your next formal event by combining a dark solid colour dress shirt like this CEO 100% cotton number in charcoal with an equally dark blazer to achieve the same style and sophistication James oozes at his movie premieres.

We personally recommend this jacket from Kent & Lloyd. Delicately crafted from a soft, durable wool blend and featuring a traditional two button front with two rear vents, this smart looking jacket is a high quality piece for the man who demands the best.

Our admiration for this proud big and tall man is essentially summed up by this fantastic quote we stumbled across, which we feel adequately explains why he was our pick for our big man of the week:

Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

Lessons We Have Learnt From The 90’s

On this day 24 years ago, the first episode of the television sitcom “Saved by the Bell” aired on NBC, kicking off a decade of fashion mistakes for generations to come, which started us thinking about the valuable lessons we have learnt, usually the hard way.

PANTS

The Bandanna

Back in the day the Bandanna, was the height of cool. Whether you were channelling your inner Tupac or a diehard Justin Timberlake (NSYNC years) fan, if you rocked a bandanna you were qualified cool.

But looking back, this is one fad which has not stood the test of time. There is a reason JT re-invented himself from the cornrow, bandanna donning man he was.

Lesson: Bandanna’s, worn ironically or not, will never be socially acceptable again. If you are looking for an accessory to add that extra flare to your outfit, choose a good quality tie which expresses your individuality without sacrificing your dignity.

The Double Reverse Pleated Pant
This one really does not require that much explanation. Especially for the big and tall man, such a loose, billowing pant is not a flattering look. This rule also applies to parachute pants.

Lesson: Stick to the classics. A straight leg pair of chinos will endure any fad

90s-fashions1Neon Windbreakers

Throughout the 90’s, windbreakers were so popular the streets were alive with the colourful palette of vibrant 90’s rainbows.

Lesson: Although it makes us a little sad to admit it, wearing every colour of the rainbow is not a sustainable look. But if you’re attached to the windbreaker look, try a less eye assaulting look with this reversible breakaway by Breakaway. Made from a soft, yet tough polyester blend, it features a full zip front and handy side pockets

seinfeldSneakers with Jean’s

Best epitomized by Jerry Seinfeld, this look does nothing for the wearer, other than make them ready to run short distances at a moment’s notice.

Back by popular demand, Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing has just received a new shipment of jeans by Blazer. Having recently celebrated their 25th year in the business, the Blazer brand is synonymous with stylish, practical everyday clothes for men.

When choosing jeans ideal for everyday wear, try and go for a pair with a bit of give. These terrific stretch jeans from Blazer are made from 98 percent cotton with 2 percent elastane added in for support. This quality fabric blend is guaranteed to keep the jeans in shape and provide superior comfort for years to come. Perfect all season’s jeans that will look great on a night out with friends or more relaxed weekends, they are both versatile and extremely stylish.

Just ensure they are paired with an appropriate shoe, either a classic pair of boaters, like this fantastic R.M. Williams pair, or if you are in for a day of intense walking choose a sensible pair of Ferracini casual shoes, which will provide a stylish alternative to the humble ‘Jerry’ sneaker.

The backwards Cap

If Will Smith taught us nothing else it was this: No matter what the situation, the backwards cap is always and will always, be cool.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Big & Tall Men’s Fashion Basics 101

Every Year, come August, runways across the globe are flooded with summer fashion styles which will soon hit our shores as the days turn from winter to summer.

But forget the trends, these come and go, what every Big and Tall man needs is a man-drobe he can depend on, stocked with basics which will ensure the foundation of classic and timeless style. It can be difficult to find clothing for big men which offer the kind of sophisticated style required by today’s busy professional, therefore, we have put together a list of items we deem necessary for the modern Big and Tall man’s wardrobe.

james bond1) The White Shirt.

In almost every James Bond movie ever made, the principle character is always at some point, wearing the hell out of a classic white business shirt. Be it done up to the collar, with a simple black tie for blackjack in Casino Royal, or casually pouring a drink for a Russian spy, there is no end to the uses this man-drobe basic will provide you.

Worn to work with a pair of light cotton business pants, or on the weekend with your favourite worn chinos, this look is works best with confidence. Our choice is this Gloweave item crafted from 100 percent super fine cotton, which features a two piece fused collar for added comfort and crisp appearance. The top stitched tailored seams make for a more sleek appearance and add strength and flexibility.

Vneck2) The Everything Sweater.

A simple, V-neck or crew neck sweater in a thin-ribbed, light or medium weight natural fibre will find its way into a regular rotation in any wardrobe.  This classic navy V-neck sweater from Blazer will have you feeling warm and stylish throughout the cooler months. Made from soft, breathable 100% cotton fabric, this item is our pick due to it being versatile enough to be worn with virtually any ensemble. Wear it over a smart collared shirt to create a refined casual look.

3) The Perfect Jeans.

You cannot go wrong with an, even, dark rinse wash pair of jeans. Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing has a wide range of jeans for big and tall men from the very best brands. We personally recommend these R.M. Williams pair constructed in Australia from robust denim and specially designed for a rugged yet stylish man. Worn with almost everything, Jeans are the ultimate staple.

Coat4) The Winter Jacket.

While winter may be fading, Mother Nature is regrettably not a tame woman and has a nasty habit of throwing icy curve balls when you least expect it. Therefore, we maintain there is always room in any man-drobe for a good winter jacket.

There are plenty of styles to choose from; double breasted, single breasted but we personally favour the classic black or dark grey double breasted peacoat.

Designed with unique features and built to withstand the forces of nature while staying soft, warm and breathable, this charcoal Bennett jacket was made in Italy from a soft, delicate wool blend.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Big & Tall Man of the Week: Liam Neeson

liam neeson styleWith his distinguishable Northern Irish accent and steely ‘don’t-mess-with-me’ glare, Liam Neeson has always been an idol of ours. With a broad frame, standing at an impressive 1.93 meters, Neeson is undeniably a big and tall man with a dramatic presence.

Born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, Liam Neeson’s career had a long road before the bright lights of Hollywood. Starting out as a forklift operator for Guinness, he tried his hand at a number of careers, including; truck driver, assistant architect and even amateur boxer.

In was only in 1976 that Neeson first became involved in the arts, joining the Belfast Lyric Players’ Theatre and making his professional acting debut in the play “The Risen People“.

takenAfter two years, Neeson moved to Dublin’s Abbey Theatre where he began performing regularly and was eventually spotted by director John Boorman and cast in his first high profile film ‘Excalibur’ (1981). But it was his breakout role in the unexpected box office hit ‘Taken‘ in early 2009 in which Neeson found a new surprise career as an action leading man.

After a brief sabbatical from acting to grieve the tragic loss of his wife, Neeson returned to high-profile roles in 2010 with back-to-back big-budget films, returning to his area of expertise in the action genre with films such as ‘Unknown’ (2011), ‘The Grey’ (2011), ‘Battleship’ (2012), and ‘Taken 2′ (2012), as well as the sequel ‘Wrath of the Titans’.

liam neeson 2Achieve Neeson’s iconic look by combining your favourite navy blazer with a casual pair of dark indigo jeans. We recommend this classic jacket by Blazer featuring sophisticated detailing that is ideal in creating a modern look. Crafted from soft, durable 100% wool, this two button blazer includes intricate crest emblazoned buttons, two rear vents and stylish black and white inner stitching. Pair with these dark wash R.M. Williams and you have an unbeatable combination. Built to last, these jeans are constructed in Australia from robust denim and are specially designed for a rugged yet stylish man.

Off the red carpet, Neeson distinguished his tall frame with casual button down shirts combined with jeansand more often than not, a coat fitted perfectly to his masculine shape.

It’s also nice to know, that even as one of the most distinguished actors around today, Neeson is still as humble as ever, being quoted saying:

“Some mornings you wake up and think, “Gee, I look handsome today.” Other days I think, “What am I doing in the movies? I wanna go back to Ireland and drive a forklift”.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

When Sweats Are Acceptable Outerwear

Ronald ReganWhat is the first thing you do when you get home from a long day at work? Say hello to your significant other or pet? Start considering what you can hustle up to eat? No? How about free yourself from the confines of your restrictive mandatory work-wear and into something a whole world more comfortable-like your trusty sweatpants.

At some stage in our lives we are all guilty of spending a little too much time in our favourite pair of trackies, but where do you draw the line? Maybe it starts off small, with a causal trip down the road for milk or bread, but before you know it you’re spending your weekends trying to convince the bouncer on the door that you have not wandered in off the streets.

Now, we know it’s tempting to live in a world of soft forgiving cotton 24 hours a day, but there are lines of self-preservation which should not be crossed. Doubly so for the big and tall man, who has a range of stylish and fitted options available to him thanks to stores such as Ron Bennett’s Big Men’s Clothing, rather than resorting to track pants on a daily basis. Unless you are Ronald Reagan, owning the look with a business shirt and tie tucked in; there really is no excuse.

So, this begs the question: When are sweats acceptable out-side wear? 

beckham

1) At early morning sports events as a sideline spectator. Take your style notes from soccer dads everywhere and take advantage of those early mornings which give you a free pass to comfort.

2) Around a campfire, preferably in a camping scenario. On the occasion in which you find yourself reclining around an open fire, it is perfectly acceptable to be donning full, head to toe sweats, as comfort and warmth in these situations is paramount to survival. Or perhaps less dramatically, it is a great excuse.

3) Walking a golden retriever while on a white sand beach. Don’t ask why, just picture it. A Labrador would also be acceptable.

Before anyone hits the streets tomorrow in an old pair of trackies because we gave our blessing for the above three situations, understand this: this is not a free pass to out-right slobbery. The out-and-about look here works because the new structured styles of sweats allow you to dress them up with something like a button down shirt—instead of just wearing a t-shirt.

CanterburyOur chief pick for any number of these events has to be the collection from Canterbury. Inspired by the “spirit of the game”, their range of casual wear uphold their fine tradition of producing only the most stylish and durable menswear.

Aimed specifically at those unwilling to compromise looking good for weekend comfort, the Canterbury brand has built a solid reputation for manufacturing the most practical and sought after range of men’s apparel available. From sweatshirt’s to track pant’s, polo’s to T shirt’s, Canterbury have you covered in every facet of the “game of life”.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Outfitted & Ready For Event Season

1950s-fashionSpring is fast approaching, which for the big and tall man, means finding appropriate outfits to match events mysteriously described as ‘smart casual’, ‘formal-casual’ and the most confusing of all ‘black tie optional’, which honestly begs more questions than it answers (does that mean I can wear jeans if I don’t want to wear a black tie?).

Therefore, we have put together an event season survival guide to help the Big and Tall man make a stylish impression at any occasion this season.

Our Pick of the Mix;

ShirtThe Shirt: This light blue Sons of Ron shirt ticks all the right boxes when it comes to creating a slick modern look. Made from 100 percent cotton and designed with the highest level of stylish versatility, it is guaranteed to make an assured impression at any wedding or work event.

Being formal enough to pass for almost all occasions, the versatility of this colour also allows a range of options for pants. We would personally recommend a light caramel slack for a spring wedding, or a classic black pant for a work event/more formal wedding setting.

The Pants: Anther favourite from Cambridge, these dress pants are delicately crafted from a Polyester and Wool blend; they sit comfortably on the skin and provide enough flexibility to last for years to come. Simple enough to be dressed up or down as the occasion demands, these leg warmers will keep you stylish and comfortable during those never ending speeches.

The Jacket: An essential part to any formal occasion or event is the jacket. Our pick is this jacketcharcoal Cambridge item, allowing you to exude all the style and sophistication of your favourite Bond character. Crafted from a soft, durable 100% Australian Merino wool with natural stretch, this charcoal pinstripe suit is designed in a classic fit to create a traditional silhouette.

TIP: Choose braces over a belt. Braces allow trousers to fall in a smooth drape instead of bunching it up at the top.

Key Rules to Keep In Mind: 

Fit: Important for every man, and doubly so for big and tall men: the fit of your clothing will determine the success of any outfit. If your frame is larger than average, ensure you keep your outfit simple and classic, so that it doesn’t become an overwhelming effect.

Colour: A good rule to live by for formal occasions is to keep the palette and patterns to a minimum.

Cut: The best clothes are ones that give a clear, clean, defined shape to the body. This rule puts suits, blazers, and sports coats at the top of your must have list. These items will frame the body and make it look neatly self-contained.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

The Bow Tie War of 2013

dr whoNow we understand, bow ties are quite a controversial topic, but we thought we would brave the fire and jump in regardless.

According to the New York Post, these contentious accessories have been up to their old tricks, and poor Justin Bieber just got caught up in the action. Bieber was reportedly involved in a fight concerning the neck adornments at a Southampton club over the weekend, which left his opponent bloodied and hospitalized. His crime? Allowing a waitress to borrow his bow tie and then asking for it back. The Post reported:

“The fight was all over a little white H&M bow tie. One of the bottle girls liked it, so the unnamed man let her put it on. Justin was flashing all these girls with his flashlight. The girl with the bow tie went over to Justin and the owner of the bow tie followed because he wanted his tie back. Then Bieber’s people got in his face . . . he eventually got the tie back”.

For this reason, we have decided it is time to let these accessory bad boys be and turn instead to our faithful companions, the classic tie.

TieFor the Big and Tall, finding the perfect tie is especially important, as correct proportion with the torso is key.

As a rule, broader men should avoid narrow ties as they will only serve to look out of proportion and make the wearers torso seem wider. Sticking to a classic width silk tie will slim your build, keeping the right proportions without further widening the physique.

Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing stock only the best quality and most practical ties specially designed for the big and tall man from some of the world’s most renowned brands, with styles and colour’s to match any ensemble.

Quality men’s ties can add a refined touch to any suit, giving you an air of sophistication during your work day, or a laid-back dash of elegance to an after-hours function.

Perfect for any function, why not make a bold statement at your next formal work function with a strong Navy number by Terruzzi. The additional length (around 168 centimeters) ensures the perfect length to avoid any proportion issues, while the smart tone will compliment a range of modern suit wear, while the stylish plain front delivers just that perfect splash of distinction. Or channel your inner James Bond in this jet black item, combined with a white shirt it is sure to impress.

While we will admit that the Bieber incident likely had more to do with ego anything else, it is undeniable the bow tie had a sneaky hand in the action, so neck wear enthusiasts everywhere: It is time to consider making the switch.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best