Plus size models of both sexes have been in the news a lot recently. We’ve finally seen the fashion industry starting (only start, mind) to recognise that actually people do vary in shape and size, height and weight, and certainly from a female perspective, when women of a size 16 and above make up the majority of the population, that it’s a market just waiting to be tapped.
You hear that fashion industry? We fat people have money too you know.
But whilst in the USA I know of a fair few gorgeous gents of a plus size nature who are blogging, and hitting Instagram hard, here in the UK, there is a distinct dearth. And as a fan of a chap with a little extra, after all I am married to the gorgeous Mr GFB, that makes me sad.
So when Jacamo contacted me about a review opportunity, I had to say yes. No, you’re not going to see me, or even Mr GFB modelling them, because it turns out I know a fair few gents who were more than willing to volunteer to assist (funny that).
So the first of these types of posts – perhaps of many? Comments on whether I should work with more gents to do more like these are welcome – goes to Ben.
And if you recognise his mug, well that might just be because of his day job.
Until a couple of weeks ago, I knew only a limited amount about Jacamo; adverts featuring my adolescent hero Freddie Flintoff had piqued my interest somewhat, but I had yet to translate that awareness into exploring the full extent of the range they had to offer.
In hindsight, I can only reflect on what turns out to be a pretty huge oversight on my part. I fall into that (surprisingly common) size group of gents who are built on the slightly larger side, and who constantly tread a tightrope when it comes to being able to fit into designer brands. Envisage the feeling of constantly walking off the high street and making enquiries as to the largest size available, often to be told that “we can get your size in, but it will take a couple of weeks”, as if my inconvenience might amount to them having to personally visit the cotton fields to pick the requisite materials. It’s such a demoralising conversation to have with a shop assistant, who you feel just looks at you silently thinking, “go on a diet and then come back”.
This is where Jacamo comes in: they stock these slightly larger sizes. Whether you’re, like me, just at the top end of high street capabilities (44-46″ chest, 38″ waist), or exceedingly tall, or a bigger chap, this company has plenty to tailor to your needs, instead of making you feel like you are on the outside, looking in, when it comes to fashion.
I was given the freedom of the Jacamo website, with a remit to find a selection of clothes to create a staple wardrobe for the spring/summer season. I paired the items up with basic items from my existing wardrobe, to illustrate the simplicity with which these core pieces could be integrated into an existing collection.
The first thing to make comment on would be the exceptional and speedy service I received. I placed an order about three days before going away for an extended period, expecting to have some nice clothes to return home to. I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived two days later! The clothes arrived beautifully packaged and flat. I gave them a quick iron simply for the purposes of taking some photos; had I just been wearing them in normal life, they would have been absolutely fine to wear straight out of the packet!
Look 1 paired up a Voi Clothing black polo shirt containing tartan detail stitching, with a pair of bootcut jeans. For the broad-chested gent, I find a bootcut jean balances out the body shape really well and relatively slims out the torso. Everything fitted perfectly and felt of a high quality: the jeans would pair up as well with a blazer as the polo shirt I selected here.
Look 2: coloured chinos are the look the 2010s are going to be remembered for. They are NOT the preserve of skinny men, and there is NOT a cut off point where you have to resort to their slightly frumpier friend, the cord! It really depends on the cut. Here, I paired them up with my own formal shirt: a well-tailored jacket would work beautifully, but I wanted to show the cut of the trouser across the saddle and leg. They are really designed to flatter!
Look 3: no summer wardrobe is complete without a good pair of smart, well-cut shorts. These khaki beauties are just the ticket. They look smart, but have enough movement for the outdoor activity you might wear them for. Paired with my own denim shirt and espadrilles, they would go just as well with a gym vest and flip flops, or even solo if it’s time to top up that tan!
Overall, I find it utterly impossible to find fault with the service I received from Jacamo. The sizes tally exactly with what you would expect from the high street: everything fitted exactly as I’d have hoped. The cuts flatter the larger figure and I felt smart and confident in what I’d been sent. If ever Jacamo wanted to branch out into a customer stylist service, I can only imagine they would do a roaring trade; it’s truly remarkable how well they solve the sartorial problems confronting men of a “certain size”. I’ll certainly be shopping with them again, and I’d encourage you all to do the same.