Bigger Men Can (And Should) Wear Slim Clothing

That full-framed guys can’t wear slim apparel is a popular notion. It’s also utterly ridiculous.

Can bigger guys were slim clothing?

Let’s get hypothetical for a minute.

Imagine Bill, 47, a successful investment banker in Fort Wayne. He’s a big guy, say, 6ft tall and 240 pounds, most of it around his middle.

He’s always shopped for bigger sizes in clothing, even when he was a kid.

When the slim trend became a global phenomenon a few years back, Bill abstained, despite his love for dressing well. He resigned himself to “classic” and “traditional” cuts, believing he’d look like an overstuffed sausage in “slim” or “skinny” clothes.

That look is for thin guys only, Bill thinks.

And anyway, he feels better in loose clothing. He can move comfortably (don’t skinny jeans choke your you-know-whats? He wonders), and more importantly, he believes he is cleverly concealing his size by wearing clothes that look “too big.”

So, day after day, Bill wears large suits that hang from his shoulders like a tunic, pool at his ankles, and crease repeatedly in the arms.

Then one day, at a business conference, Bill notices a man who looks oddly familiar. He was built like Bill, even looked like him…and…whayda know…the man is wearing an almost identical suit. How strange!

Bill At first wonders if he’s looking into a mirror, but quickly spots clear differences. The strange man’s suit doesn’t have excess fabric hanging from the ankles and waist. The jacket hem hits just above his upper thigh, and his pants have a clean quarter break just above his shoelaces.

Bill silently marvels at the man. Not only does the guy look incredibly polished—he looks like Bill, only 10 pounds lighter!

Bill grabs his phone and texts his wife to ask if she remembers the name of that menswear store they always pass by in Covington Plaza in downtown Fort Wayne.

Luckily, she does. A few minutes later he has a consultation with the store booked for the following week.

During the appointment, Bill tells the helpful salesman that he’s interested in slim clothing, but had, until recently, thought he didn’t have the right body type.

Everybody has the right body type, the salesman explains. “Slim means that the garment fits closer to your body, not ‘you have to be slim to wear this.’ You can wear a slim 38 and a slim 44. It’s relative.

The salesman then shows Bill a variety of slim-cut suits in Bill’s size. They need to go up a size with a few brands, but, as the salesman explains, this is common with slim cuts, even for skinny guys.

They find a suit in Bill’s size, but it needs a few alterations. The in-house tailor takes Bill’s measurements, and puts pins in here and there.*

(*Bill enjoys keeps an eye on a football game, thanks to a big screen TV hoisted on the far wall, during this time.)

A week later, Bill sports the slimmest suit he’s ever worn. And he feels fantastic.

To his surprise, he is incredibly comfortable. In fact, he feels more comfortable than before. He hadn’t realized how much all the extra fabric on his other suits had been weighing him down, and the clean, sharp silhouette puts a pep in his step.

Bill’s wife looks at him differently, too–in a way she hasn’t since their first few months of dating. Meanwhile at work, he senses his sharper, more professional appearance is eliciting more respect from his boss. Oh, and Barbara from accounting even asks if he’s lost weight.

Moral of the story: Big guys, don’t dismiss slim clothing. It can definitely look good on you.

Bow or No? Proper Neckwear For a Tuxedo

Should I wear a bow tie or neck tie with my tuxedo?

“Should I wear a bow tie or necktie with a tuxedo?”

We get this question often here at Christopher James in Fort Wayne.

Our answer is always the same: Bow tie.

(Sorry if that was anti-climatic.)

The explanation is more fun, promise.

A matter of etiquette

Black tie is all about rules, and dressing accordingly shows respect for the event, person, place, etc. for which you’re dressing up. Your wedding, for example. Or an elegant dinner party, reception, or formal dance.

Your date didn’t spend hours primping like royalty to spend the evening with a dude who looks like he couldn’t be bothered to gussy all the way up. (And you don’t want to spend a long evening by the punch bowl.)

Not to mention: a long tie with a tux just looks odd.

It’s not quite a tuxedo, but it’s certainly not a suit. It’s a conundrum, that’s what it is.

Don’t be fooled by celebrities on the red carpet, either. Subtract the glitz and glam of Hollywood (not to mention all the heavy photo editing), and a guy even like, say, Chris Hemsworth, will look goofy in a tie tux combo.

Also keep in mind that a stylist, looking to make a name for him or herself, is often behind the red carpet looks of many celebrity men. To stand out, a stylist must sometimes push boundaries, which is especially true for men’s formal wear because hasn’t changed all that much in the past century.

But, wait.

We don’t mean to sound like a sartorial hall monitor, and we certainly don’t want to squash personal expression. Although you can’t break the rules here, we never said you couldn’t bend them.

Therefore, here are a few ways you can have a little more fun with your bow tie.

  • Nobody said your bow tie must be black. Experiment with a darker color, like burgundy or navy. Patterns are all the rage these days too.
  • Bored with silk satin? Try a lightly textured fabric, or if you’re feeling bold, go black velvet.
  • Butterfly schmutterfly. There are many other knots you can create, including the batwing, the diamond point, the club round, and the jumbo butterfly. Mix it up.

If you’re in the market for fun bow ties, or you want to just see how a patterned bow tie will look with your tux, come see us. We have a superb selection of bow ties here at Christopher James Menswear and we’d love to help you experiment.

Today’s the last day to vote!

last day to vote for christopher james readers choice


This is it—the last day to cast your vote for your favorite menswear store in Fort Wayne. If you haven’t done so yet, do it now!

Go here to vote

CJM is nominated for three (!) awards: best menswear store, best shoe store, and best formalwear rental, so if you could select us for all three categories, we’d be forever grateful.

Voting ends tonight at midnight!

Winners will be announced in September on and in The News-Sentinel and The Journal Gazette.

Many, many thanks, friends!

There’s one week left to vote!


Time’s almost up for voting for the Fort Wayne 2016 Reader’s Choice Best Of, so if you haven’t cast your vote for your favorite menswear store (cough Christopher James cough), you’d better hurry!

Christopher James Menswear has been nominated for three awards: best menswear store, best shoe store, and best formalwear rental, and it’d mean the world to us if you took a quick minute and voted for us in each of these three categories. It only takes a second.

Go here to vote

*CJM is listed under “Shopping,” and then “Clothing-Men’s Store,” “Clothing-Formal Wear,” and “Clothing-Shoe Store.”

Christopher James truly appreciates your vote. No opinion matters more than that of our customers and community members.

Voting ends July 28, so hurry and vote today!

If you like us, you should vote for us!

cute well-dressed kid behind desk asking to vote for Christopher James

Hi friends,

Christopher James Menswear has been nominated for three Fort Wayne 2016 Reader’s Choice awards: best menswear store, best shoe store, and best formalwear rental, and we need your help to win.

It’d mean the world to us if you took a quick minute and voted for us in each of the three categories we just mentioned. It only takes a second and we’ll love you forever! (We already do, but we’d love you, like, forever times a million).

Go here to vote

*CJM is listed under “Shopping,” and then “Clothing-Men’s Store,” “Clothing-Formal Wear,” and “Clothing-Shoe Store.”

Christopher James truly appreciates your vote. No opinion matters more than that of our customers and community members.

Deadline to vote is July 28, so hurry and vote today!

Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette Article Featuring Christopher James Menswear

Young men seek pop, local retailers say

Accessories have become an important sales item for Christopher James Menswear, says Chris Lambert, owner of the clothing retailer in Covington Plaza along West Jefferson Boulevard.

Lambert says customers, especially younger men, are looking for just a little more pop to their wardrobe and accessories have met that need.

“Millennials are definitely looking for something different,” says David Rabideau, owner of the David Talbott Collection, which is in the City Exchange, 127 W. Wayne St. He says trends show that younger people are looking for more colors.

Now, there’s not only more colors “that you never saw before,” Rabideau says, but more styles and mixing and matching of patterns.

Some of the accessories getting top billing include the pocket square, which “adds some nice color,” Lambert says, and belts. Lambert says the belt business is strong and that men are seeking custom belts in which they can pick out the leather and stitching.

Of course, there also are socks – especially colorful socks, he says.

Rabideau says when he replaced his conservative selection of black, brown and gray socks with more colorful selections, they sold quickly.

Some of the newer accessories that are catching on are flower lapels for suits that add accent color and a new take on the pocket square – a pocket round.

Cufflinks are also popular. Lambert says cuff links work well with shirts that have convertible cuffs, which means a shirt can either use cuff links or button like normal. And for an added flair, Lambert sells political cuff links. They include images of current candidates, or men can go retro with Kennedy, Reagan and Truman links.

When it comes to ties, Lambert says men tend to wear them less, but when they do, the ties are better made, with unique silks and higher-quality fabrics. Men are seeking ties that offer individuality, he says.

And for those men who don’t want to wear a tie, Rabideau offers the trendy look of wearing high-end T-shirts under a sport coat or dressy suit. These T-shirts come in black – which is the most popular color – steel gray, graphite or burgundy.

“Women have the little black dress; we have the little black T,” Rabideau says. “It gives (a sport coat or suit) an entirely different look.”

Moving even further from the traditional suit or sport coat look, Lambert is seeing more guys wear tennis shoes, which he carries at the store, with their suit. “That whole thing has changed,” Lambert says about what to wear with a suit or sport coat. “The whole dynamic has changed.”

That proves the same for watches, which Rabideau says “are coming back as more of a fashion piece than something to tell time.”

Lambert and Rabideau agree the men’s clothing business has changed.

“It’s actually fun to dress people now because there are so many more options,” Rabideau says.

However, those options could have a downside. Rabideau says guys don’t usually like a lot of options because they don’t like to shop.

But he says men can always come in and he will be more than happy to give style advice.–local-retailers-say-13475720

Wurkin Stiffs Collar Stays Are Nothing Short of Genius

Wurkin Stiffs Collar Stays Are Nothing Short of Genius

Limp shirt collars are a drag. Perk them up with Wurkin Stiffs collar stays, must-haves for men who wear a lot of collared shirts.

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Wurkin Stiff collar stays are tiny magnets that go inside your shirt’s collar stay insert. They allow you to not only stiffen your collar, but also adjust its height and spread.


They’re brilliant, really. Unlike cheap plastic collar stays, Wurkin Stiffs are sturdy and offer real stand-up support. Meanwhile the magnet allows you to vary the shape of your collar, which you can’t do with a plain metal (non-magnetic) collar stay.


Christopher James Menswear carries Wurkin Stiffs collar stays. We also have their RFID wallets, which are great for traveling safely and fashionably.


If you don’t already know, radio frequency identification, or RFID, is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, such as a credit card number or passport information. RFID technology makes it makes it easy to pay for things, but it also makes it risky to travel, since anyone with an RFID scanner can pick up your information. RFID wallets prevent third parties from scanning your sensitive information by blocking unwanted scanners.


But enough scary talk. Check out these great looking wallets:

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When it comes to collar stays, we promise you won’t find anything better than Wurkin Stiffs. Come into Christopher James Menswear today and pick up a set. You’ll love them so much, you’ll wish you bought them sooner.

The Coolest Gift to Give Dad This Father’s Day

Sovaro cooler on deck with meat and cheese tray

Image courtesy of

Does your dad like nice things? Does he put a little extra consideration into an item’s aesthetic before he buys it? Will he happily pay a little extra for high-quality design?

If so, we have the perfect Father’s Day gift for him.

Let us present the Cadillac of coolers: Sovaro.

A Sovaro cooler is sleek, luxurious and features high-tech specs designed to impress and keep contents cool. Dad can use it to pack a case of craft beer for a weekend getaway, or to keep his favorite bourbon chilled while relaxing in the backyard.

Sovaro Cooler

Image courtesy of


Inside of Sovaro cooler white

Image courtesy of

A Sovaro cooler is easy on the eyes too, so it makes for a great display piece. And while friends are admiring it, dad can (humbly) boast about its high-tech design.


Image courtesy of

The Sovaro cooler is available in several sizes (30qt, 45qt, 70qt) and colors (white or black, with chrome or brushed silver accents).

Prices vary depending on size and customization.

Christopher James Menswear is Fort Wayne’s only source for Sovaro coolers, so come into the store today and order one.

Save 25% On Spring and Summer Sport Coats!

Save 25% On Spring and Summer Sport Coats!

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Warm weather in Fort Wayne means sport coats, so from now until June 30, take 25% off any seasonal sport coat in our store.


We carry the best brands in town, including Coppley, Hickey Freeman, Paul Betenly, and Samuelsohn.


Have a jacket custom-made or choose from our many great off-the-rack options.


Now’s the time to build the perfect spring wardrobe, so come into Christopher James Menswear today for lightweight sport coats that you can wear all season long.


We’re located here. Drop in and shop or call to make an appointment. (260) 436-4788.