Big & Tall Clothing – The Short & Stouts

February 26, 2018

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Short & Stouts

Plus size fashion is finally killin it. More and more companies are broadening their target market by extending their sizes beyond 2x, specifically for women’s clothing. As far as men’s clothing is concerned, the Big & Tall industry has been tapping into this plus sized market for a while now. But there’s one thing that’s missing. What do you wear from the Big & Tall section when you are more of a Short & Stout human?

I myself am 5’2″ and a size 28/5X, so I mean the real short and stout humans.

Think about it, there are short masculine fatties of all kinds; men, non-binary folks, trans men, and women who just dig menswear. But where do we shop whilst drowning in our blue jeans? Where can we go to find cute button ups where the sleeves aren’t down to our knees? The Big & Tall industry can be difficult to navigate at first.

JCPenney’s Big & Tall

When searching for big and short options, I’ve found that JCPenney has the most useful Big & Tall section. Although I do have to shop online as opposed to in-store which presents it’s own set of difficulties.

I get questions all the time about where I get my button up casual shirts. JCP really is my favorite option. A note to my fellow Big & Shorts: always check for the “5X BIG” versus “5X TALL” options! Sometimes they’ll be listed as “5XB” or “5XT.” This is a lifesaver. The collars are wide enough, the arm length fits much better, and the shirt will be less likely to go down to your ankles.

The downside of JCP comes up when we talk about jeans and pants. They tend to not have anything shorter than a 28 inseam. And if you’re like me, a 28 inseam is about two inches too long!

Good, but not perfect

So, I shop at Torrid and Lane Bryant for my jeans. I like Torrid and Lane Bryant for jeans specifically because they have variety. Finally! I’ve spent so much of my time scoping out various plus size sections only to find that they really seem to think that we super fats wish only for bedazzled butterflies on our asses, or sweatpants.

The best things about Torrid and Lane Bryant? They have skinny jeans! Yes, my fat ass DOES want to wear skinny jeans just like the rest of the planet right now. They’ve got those plain black skinny jeans that I can wear with anything, and they have fun bright red ones. They also totally have “Short” and even “Extra Short” options for jeans which is truly a gift.

The downside to these stores is that they’re really expensive. $80 for a pair of jeans from Torrid? These stores are not financially accessible to everyone. The plus size fashion industry knows we are desperate, and that they can make bank on us just trying to get our needs met.

People claim that it’s because it “costs more to make larger sizes, there’s more fabric needed!” I’m calling bullshit on that one. When you check out Walmart and find that a size 10 person can get a pair of jeans for less than $10, that doesn’t really seem to be a fair explanation for the excessive cost of plus size clothing.

ASOS Plus – Yes Please!

I’ve recently discovered ASOS Plus – which actually has quite a few items available in my size of 5X and even extends to 8X for a few items. The site differentiates between “big” and “tall” which I find promising. Pieces range from affordable to splurge-worthy, in my opinion, since they’re all super cute and stylish. Though not financially accessible to everyone, ASOS Plus is an excellent option for the short and stout, masculine of center, folks looking to add some clothing to their wardrobe that is actually keeping up with the fashion trends of straight sizes.

We are headed in the right direction! Short and stout people deserve clothing that fits and makes us feel good in our bodies. We deserve clothing that is accessible.


  • Maleah March 10, 2018 at 2:57 am

    Yes! My son inherited my somewhat average torso, no waist and short legs, as well as a fat body. Most of the time he prefers to wear shorts, but when he needs pants the 28” inseam is barely short enough, and we aren’t a sewing family. He also prefers to wear styles that are traditionally menswear which limits his choices.

    • JAprileo March 10, 2018 at 2:59 am

      This is so hard! I also dont have a “sewing family,” so I totally get it. I have found that women’s sections sometimes have a “boyfriend style” jean that can come in shorter sizes.

  • Liz March 12, 2018 at 7:35 am

    I’ve been going through and reading everything on your site tonight. I especially loved this. I’m genderqueer and wear a size 24/26/28 depending on brands and I’m 5’9″. I’ve been really wanting to wear more menswear since the career I’m perusing requires me to dress in a business/classy style. I think once I get my tax return I’ll splurge a bit and buy some button ups from JCP and slacks and jeans from torrid. Thank you for giving me this boost of confidence to wear what I really want.

    • JAprileo March 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Hi – This means so much to me. I’m really happy to help, especially a fellow queer! I’m fat and non-binary myself, so I understand the struggle of finding comfortable and affordable clothing. Definitely get to JCP and torrid with that tax return. You deserve clothing that makes you feel your most authentic self!

  • Rebecca March 18, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    I really wish AsosPlus went above and XXL in women’s clothing. It’s annoying that many companies size up to larger sizes in the men’s department than the women’s. Even my employer goes up to a 4 or 5x in men’s corporate branded clothing, but only a 3x in the women’s options.

    • JAprileo March 18, 2018 at 11:51 pm

      That does sound super frustrating! Its awful how we are more likely to allow space for fat men and masculine folks to exist over fat women and femmes. Its misogynistic and gross :/

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