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 

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Spring Clean Your Look

This weekend we celebrated the first day of spring and thus marked that magical time of year when we begin to put away our heavy winter coats and pull our spring layers out of storage.

Spring Essentials:

Grey JacketAnything In Grey: This season, lighten up formal wear, by adding a touch of grey. A smart, sophisticated sports coat takes on a whole new meaning this spring with greys dominating the runway trends.

This Kent & Lloyd sport coat is constructed from 50% wool and 50% polyester blend, featuring an inner zip pocket for added security for your valuables. The soft check pattern blend of blue, navy, charcoal and stone, makes this a must have in your wardrobe this season. Easy to wear and match with almost any colour pants you have in your wardrobe, making it an ideal travel companion. This stylish sports coat is the perfect solution to add a dash of charm to your wardrobe this spring.

Lace up Boots: Once restricted to casual wear alone, lace up boots are seeing a resurgence this spring. No longer will they be left to the weekends, as today you have the freedom to march into work in these babies and stay comfortable and stylish throughout the season.  This R.M. Williams pair are sturdy and stylish with a nonslip composition sole and comfort innersole. They have a fiberglass shank, flat heel and chisel toe and come in chocolate colour, perfect to take you from work, to afternoon drinks in the park.
Spring boots

Chalky’ Polo’s: 

Chalky is the term we prefer to what your wife may refer to as ‘pastels’. This spring is all about these hues, so embrace the lighter path with items like this cotton tuck polo by Breakaway. Combine with sand coloured cargos for an unbeatable spring ready ensemble.

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. We have everything you need to create the perfect spring look.

Final Notes:

This spring, dare to add some colour to your usual pallet. Incorporate some bright blue with your casual jeans or cream cargos. You will find this dash of colour will do amazing things for your skin tone, hair colour, and overall appearance. Don’t dive in head first and deck yourself out in every colour of the rainbow, start small and choose one item to build your outfit around.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Fail-Safe Outfits for Every Occasion

Spring has officially sprung as of this weekend, marking the start of spring weddings, end of financial year work parties and soon before you know it, it will be Christmas function time. This of course means, dusting off those old-party outfits. To save you mind space more readily used elsewhere we have put together three fail-safe outfits for the three most common occasions you are likely to encounter in the next few months.

BlazerThe Work Event All Rounder

Work events present a unique set of problems as you what you wear says a lot about you, and in a business environment this essentially can make or break a workplace balance. Therefore, we have hand-picked specific items which will allow you to cut an impressive figure at any work/formal occasion thrown your way.

The most important element to this situation is a classic cut fitted blazer. This navy item from Ron Bennett featuring sophisticated detailing that is ideal in creating a modern look. Combine with fitted, suit pants, a lightweight neutral coloured business shirt and finish with a pair of confident and comfortable lace up dress shoes and you are ready to impress.

The Weekend Go-Too

When the weekend rolls by you don’t want to be wasting any precious time pre-occupied  with delving through your man-drobe to find something as impressive as it is casual.

Therefore we would recommend putting this unbeatable combination to the test. Try combining a pair of black cargo shorts (we like this pair by Bennett) with a casual polo like this blue number from G. Cavalli. Throw in some all-round comfortable and durable casual shoes and you have yourself a stand by classic ensemble which will see you through your weekend adventures. While it is true that a great looking t-shirt can set the perfect tone for an unbeatable ensemble, but if the weather turns cooler, keep a versitile jacket in mind which you can throw on to complete your look.

danielThe Casual Throw On

This outfit should be your reactive go-to when awoken by a less than impressed friend wondering why you are not already at breakfast like previously arranged. Knowing you already have an outfit ready to go, is just one less hurdle for you to jump on these such mornings.

To ensure this is versatile enough to get you through any situation, the safest bet will always be a great pair of jeans. We are particular fans of the darker washes, as they will hide all forms of sins, stretching your time between necessary washes. Follow the Daniel Craig’s example and add a simple white t-shirt and throw on a grey knit cardigan and your good to go.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

Sleeping In Style

pjamas for men, mens style, style for men, clothes for big and tall menStatistics estimate that around 31 per cent of men sleep completely naked, so you would be safe in assuming that selecting sleepwear is essentially a non-issue for most men.

If the occasion does dictate the need to cover up, usually any old college T-shirt and pair of boxers is considered sufficient as an ensemble. However, with the new fabrics and styles available today, this old fall-back is no longer the only option.

We decided it was time to weigh in with some stylish and most importantly, comfortable options to ensure every big and tall man can hit the sack in style.

The Basics:  

pyjamas for big men, sleepwear for men, sleepwear for big and tall menFirst and foremost, what you choose to wear to bed should be appropriate for the climate you’re in and above all it should be comfortable. This means if you are located in the tropics of Cairns, you should probably avoid wearing thermals made of synthetic fabric.

Which takes us back to a point we find ourselves making time and time again: it’s all in the fabric.

When seeking superior comfort after dark you should look for items which offer a subtle, appealing texture while remaining breathable. The next logical step is to choose your night ensemble based where you’ll be sleeping, or the “situation.” (Stay at the in-laws, vs. a night with a lady friend) and adjust sleepwear accordingly.

The Contenders: 

When it comes down to choices, boxers and briefs are the clear favourite. A pair of loose-fitting cotton boxer shorts is one of those items which every man should already own. They’re comfortable, inexpensive, easy to maintain, and unlike tighter boxers, they’ll leave plenty of room for you to rest peacefully. Wear these with either a tank top in the summer months, or a long sleeved t-shirt in the cooler seasons. It is always recommended to buy 100% Cotton where you can as this will allow your body to breathe while you sleep.

Another favourable choice is the classic Pyjama set. Slip into these Gloster blue striped pyjamas for luxurious comfort throughout the night. Made from soft cotton, polyester blend and featuring a left chest pocket and drawstring waist on the trousers, this practical pair of Pj’s is ideal for relaxing indoors and providing a perfect nights rest.

hefFinal Notes: 

1) Boxers: every man should own a pair if not several.

2) Silk may seem like a good idea at the time, but beware descending to Hugh Hefner-esque levels

3) The most important element is that you are comfortable, so if it turns out your more at ease buck naked, then maybe just invest in a good quality dressing down for appearance’s sake.

So go on, give yourself the gift of a peaceful night’s sleep with a pair of our high quality men’s pyjamas, or slip into a silky soft dressing gown as you sip coffee and read the papers on a Sunday morning.

Whatever your nightwear needs, Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing have got you covered.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best

Father’s Day Gift Guide

7_rick_ozzie_nelson_familyFather’s day has done its usual sneaky deal and is once again upon us. So, rather than be left unawares, we have put together a gift guide for every budget, which will ensure you find the perfect gift for the Big and Tall man in your life.

Under $50

There is something for every dad at Ron Bennett’s Big Men’s Clothing, with our range of options under $50 to suit every budget. Shield dad from what has been a colder than average winter, with a quality men’s scarf from Sovrano. Designing practical and luxurious knitwear since 1952, Sovrano have created a range of incredibly stylish scarfs with the modern male in mind. Each scarf is meticulously woven from the finest of fabrics and designed to complement any outfit. Whether thrown around a suit and tie or casual weekend addition, there is a Sovrano scarf perfectly suited to any occasion. The understated style and warmth will add that extra dash of class to any father’s winter wardrobe and you can trust that at the next outdoor/evening footy game he will be thanking you when he is warm and comfortable in the stands.

WalletBut if your dads not the scarf donning type, forgo the usual useless gadget he will no doubt throw away after a week and instead consider some pocket sized presents, like this classic leather wallet by Bennett.

Between $50-$100

If you’re looking to spend a little more this father’s day, why not invest on his behalf in a quality leather belt to see him through many years to come.

Every man knows that sharp looking, quality men’s leather belts can really set the right tone for an entire outfit, and Ron Bennett Big Men’s Clothing have belts for men to match any chosen ensemble. If he is looking for a large size belt to compliment the sophistication of a new business suit, or to simply add a dash of style to his favourite pair of jeans, we can help.

If your father is not the belt wearing sort, how about a classic style collared shirt. Sons of Ron have a range of colours and styles to choose from, guaranteed to breathe new life into his wardrobe.

Over $100

Bennet shirtHey big spender! If you are looking to make it rain with presents this father’s day, look no further.

The exclusive Bennett signature range of business shirts will add a dash of colour and refined sophistication to any father’s wardrobe. Woven in Europe from the highest quality 2 ply cotton and designed in a classic fit, this is the business shirt he has always been looking for. Soft, lightweight and breathable, it will keep him feeling fresh and looking sharp no matter how hectic his day gets.

Blog Writing by Alexandra Jones-Best 

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