I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about a stylish man. There’s a confidence like no other. I think that’s why I love Chubstr.com so much. It’s the only site I know of that offers big guys the option of fashion and style . Bruce Sturgell is the man behind it and another one to add to the list of “Men We Love.”
Name: Bruce Sturgell
City: Springfield, MO
Web Site: www.Chubstr.com
Occupation: Chubstr’s Founder
(and sometime marketing consultant)
Tell us a little about Chubstr.com and how it was created.
Chubstr started out on Tumblr as an outfit of the day blog back in 2010. I felt like there was a lack of options for big men out there, and thought I’d post photos of looks I put together and just see how it went. At the time, I didn’t really have a specific focus – it was mainly about posting photos when I had time. After a few weeks of doing this, I noticed that the photos were getting a lot of traction with visitors and that guys were writing in with questions about where I bought my clothing, or looking for tips on putting together looks of their own. As this happened more and more, it just made sense to create a brand that was separate from Tumblr, and Chubstr was born from that.
Who is your fashion or style icon?
I really used to look to some celebrities for inspiration, but now I get most of my inspiration from the guys who send in photo submissions. We get pictures from some big guys who really have it together – they know their style and how they want to look, and they make it work. It’s inspiring to see someone my size pulling off looks that you generally only see on someone of a more mainstream size.
Right now, I’m really addicted to Idris Elba’s personal style. That guy could make a chicken suit and sandwich board look good. He’s probably the only celeb I’ve been following lately.
What would you say are one of the biggest misconceptions about men (big or small) and fashion?
In general there’s a misconception that most men don’t care about their appearance. This is doubly true about bigger guys. When you look at TV and film, most big men you see are portrayed as slobbish – basically the comic relief. Starting Chubstr has shown me that this absolutely isn’t true. In many cases, these guys just aren’t catered to in any way that matters. When they do come across articles about dressing themselves, the focus usually goes to losing weight or wearing something slimming.
Style is about wearing things that help you show who you are as an individual, and putting together a look that you feel good about. What we’re trying to do with Chubstr is show the world that big guys are as interested in this (and have as much of a right to do this) as anybody else.
Do you have any advice for the big guys out there when it comes to style?
Don’t be afraid to try things. I spent a long, long time wearing what was basically a variation on one specific look. You miss out on so much when you do that. You can wear colors, try different fabrics, even wear something other than a button down or a polo. What I do when I need inspiration is head to tumblr and look at some of the menswear blogs or style blogs I follow there. Just because the models aren’t my size doesn’t mean I can’t replicate the look they’re wearing.
Don’t think that just because you’re not a size 28, you can’t pull off a unique and interesting look. You can wear anything you want and make it your own with a little work.
Where do you love to shop?
Since I write about places for big gents to shop, and I’m a big guy myself, I end up shopping at a ton of different places, almost exclusively online. There are a lot of great options for men above size 38 or XL, so one of our goals at Chubstr is to find the available options and bring them to our readers. This results in me buying clothes from a lot of different places to test for fit. Nordstrom, Carhartt, PLNDR, and Orvis get a lot of my business. One of my new favorite places for denim is House of Halls – a brand that focuses specifically on sizes 36 to 46. The denim is high quality and the cuts are contemporary. You just don’t find places that cater specifically to this demographic. I think this will change in the near future, though. I’ve been talking to quite a few brands over the last few months that are interested in expanding their size offerings.
We know you love fashion, who is your favorite designer and what trend are you loving right now?
I have a love/hate relationship with most designers and trends. Since I can’t fit into most of the collections designers are putting together out there, I tend to pay less attention to them. Luckily, I work with some amazing people at Chubstr who pay a lot more attention to the “fashion” side of what we’re doing, and they do a good job of sharing those things with our readers when relevant.
As far as trends go, I like in general that there seems to be more of a focus on creating clothing that looks like it would have been in style 50 or so years ago, but with a modern twist. Draught Dry Goods creates clothing and accessories that interest me, and I’d wear just about everything that Hickoree’s has to offer: http://www.hickorees.com/category/shirts. I really identify with this kind of trend, probably because it’ll probably still be relevant years from now.
Any future plans or projects in Chubstr’s future?
We’ve learned a lot from the last couple of years since launching Chubstr, and 2013 is going to be huge for us. We’ll be kicking off a brand new website early in the year that will do an even better job of helping guys find, create, and share their style with the world. We’ll also be integrating an actual store into the site that allows visitors to shop for clothes in the styles they like and the sizes they need.
The site will still be focused on content, first and foremost, but we want to get a little further away from being a blog, and more toward being a lifestyle brand. When people see what we’re doing, I think they’ll really be into it. A lot of these changes are based on what readers have been asking us for.
In addition to this, we’re actively working on launching our own clothing line. There are certain types of clothing that are nearly impossible to find in larger sizes, and we have a really specific vision for a line that gives guys what they’ve been missing. All in all, I’m really excited about what we’re doing with Chubstr, and where it’s headed long term. The last two years have been pretty amazing, and 2013 is shaping up to be the best yet.
Leave us with your favorite quote or saying.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay