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 

Buying for Big & Tall Men Gets a Whole Lot Easier

Christmas deals and new sizing charts released!

This Christmas marks a new beginning for big and tall men around Australia. No longer do they have to politely put up with clothing gifts that are several sizes too small for them. Buying for large size men has become a whole lot easier thanks to Ron Bennett Big Mens Clothing.

In the past, purchasing a new shirt or pair of jeans for the plus size man in your life came with a series of headaches. Big men can be shy about revealing their size so you often had to take a wild guess and buy clothing for them based on what size you think they are. This can lead to a number of problems. You may buy that T shirt or polo that is way too big, risking them becoming embarrassed at just how over-sized you consider them to be. Or you may buy the item of clothing that is several sizes too small. This can lead to further embarrassment when they try on the clothes and find they simply don’t fit.

When shopping online for clothes at Ron Bennett Big Mens, you can utilize our free sizing chart that can give you a better understanding of how big that man in your life may be. There are clear visual guides and even videos describing how to measure a big and tall man so you never need to face the awkwardness of buying presents that are too big or too small ever again.

size guide

This year, we have gone a step further and created the ultimate Christmas gift guide to suit your specific budget. Items are divided into three categories. The first is Gifts under $50 for those that are on a budget but still want some quality ideas for presents. This category includes Oxbridge short sleeve casual shirts, printed T shirts from Blazer and great looking Bennett shorts.

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For gifts under $100 there are Sons of Ron pique polo’s and printed cotton shirts, Bennett short sleeve cotton or linen shirts and incredible casual shirts from Blazer.

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For those willing to splash out on their large size man this Christmas and spend over $100, we have a great range of Nautica casual shirts, Gant jeans and a huge choice of high quality products from RM Williams to choose from.

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Buying gifts for the big and tall man in your life does not have to be a hassle. Take a look at our online store and discover how we are making this Christmas a breeze for you.

Big Men Migrating Online

Online shopping has given big and tall men the opportunity to shop discreetly in the privacy of their homes, without having to rush all over town to find large size clothes that fit.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show quite clearly that we are a nation whose waistlines are increasing year by year, with 50% more overweight Australian men than women. Despite these figures, Aussie plus size ladies are catered for much more than big men.

Big and tall men are often left in the dark and forced to endure the indignity of being turned away by the major stores.

All this could soon change, with online stores like Ron Bennett Big Mens Clothing offering mens wear designed specifically for the extra size male. Traditional bricks and mortar stores may be disappearing at an alarming rate, but if the analysts are correct, our shift to online shopping will provide Australian big and tall men new opportunities to find the clothing they want, at a size that fits.

Big men are fed up with being ignored by the major retailers. They want to find big t shirts that not only fit their size, but look great on them. Why should the big & tall man have to put up with inferior clothing by cheap brands at hefty prices?

At Ron Bennett Big Mens, we stock only quality brands. Large sized men can choose from such brands as RM Williams, Gant and Canterbury. Just three of the many popular brands in store or online.

Not everyone can dress like Matt Preston. Sure, he’s a big guy, but he has the advantage of being able to afford custom tailoring to keep him looking so stylish. Why can’t all big men be able to look as good as Matt Preston without having to pay top dollar? Ron Bennett Big Mens Clothing believe every man should have the opportunity to look great. No matter what their size.