Clothes Make the Man: I Hated the Husky Section!


For some it’s a pleasure while others see it as just a chore. It can also be terrifying. I’m talking about clothes shopping.

I don’t know if they still have them in department stores but I had to buy all of my clothes in the “husky” section when I was young. This was essentially a men’s section they put in the children’s clothing department for the fat boys. I was wearing a 42″ waist in eighth grade so there was no way I could fit into traditional kids’ clothes. Accordingly, most of my clothes weren’t in line with what other kids my age were wearing. [Great, just one more thing to set me apart from my peers.] I hated shopping for clothes at the start of each school year. My mom would just cart me off and we’d get it all done in one morning so that the trauma was minimized. For some, this negative experience continues into adulthood. I recently heard from one guy that simply lost it and broke into tears in the middle of the men’s department because he couldn’t find anything that fit.

For most men, buying clothes is a pop-in-and-just-get-what-I-need event or they buy online. However, this doesn’t stop retailers from marketing to men or those that buy their clothes for them. You can pick up any health magazine and see the most current trend being worn by a fitness model with a sub-30″ waist and 44″+ chest. While women have dealt with this for most of their lives, I think men are just now starting to feel similar pressure to look good. When you’re fit, buying new clothes might not be an issue (other than coughing up the dough) but when you’ve been buying your clothes in the big-and-tall section until recently, how do you make that transition?

As I started losing weight, shopping for clothes still wasn’t all that enjoyable because I had some vision of where I should be at any point in time. I’d pick up a large shirt and find I still needed an XL or my pant size hadn’t dropped. Though sometimes frustrated, I pushed ahead and eventually started seeing some progress. I started using clothes shopping as a motivator. I would regularly get a few new things in the smaller size so I knew I always had something that fit well and looked good. These first few new items were always a better brand (relatively expensive) too so there was a financial incentive to not go backwards. I donated my larger clothes as soon as I replaced them with smaller sizes. I felt I had “made it” when I took some shorts into the Abercrombie and Fitch dressing room and had to actually buy two sizes lower than I had expected.

So I share this with you as another example of some of the mental trash that can be taken to the curb once you have lost weight. I know guys that still buy clothes too large either because they simply haven’t thought to go to a smaller size or they’re still trying to hide their body. As you reach your goal weight and figure out what your new size is going to be, treat yourself to some new clothes that fit well. Take a friend or spouse/partner that knows something about style with you and have them give their opinion. You worked hard for the new body and you deserve to look and feel your best. Don’t let prior discomfort or lack of knowledge stop you from enjoying a simple pleasure of life.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

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