1. What are some of your biggest fashion obstacles?
It can be very difficult to find clothes in my size in stores and when I do, they’re often the most unappealing and ill-fitting garments I’ve ever seen. It’s easy to get discouraged especially when I leave the “big and tall” section and notice the nice wide variety of stylish clothing for smaller guys. I don’t think most retailers realize that larger men want to look great also. I believe they just want us to settle for whatever they have and we should be grateful that they even carry our size. And…well…I don’t settle.
2. Where are you from and how you describe your style?
While growing up in Memphis, TN I went through many phases of learning how to dress for my body type. I would try to emulate the popular fads and styles I saw from my friends (who were smaller than me) but they never seemed to look as good. I began to develop my current sense style while I was in college. I’d like to call it a style epiphany! I attended an HBCU (Tennessee State University) where every day seemed like a fashion show and if you weren’t dressing your best, you’d definitely hear about it. I realized that I didn’t have to follow a fleeting trend to look nice, I just had to ensure that everything I wore fit well and matched the season. Today, my aims are to make sure I feel confident in everything I wear. I believe my style matches my personality and I’m, at heart, an upstanding southern gentleman. So, quite literally, what you see is what you get!
3. Tell us about your biggest fashion nightmare and if it came true do explain. (Attach a picture if you can)
My biggest fashion nightmare is having a garment rip or tear while I’m wearing it. It’s like the “most obvious” misfortune that can happen to a big guy in terms of style. Luckily, this has never happened to me (knock on wood) but I would be absolutely mortified if it did.
4. What are your 2019 goals?
Beyond my goals to become physically and mentally healthier, I’m planning to land myself in a greater leadership role in my career. I currently work as an Electrical Engineer with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and I’ve been discovering more ways to make myself more marketable within the Department of Defense. This includes me finding senior level mentorship, becoming competent in subject matters outside of engineering, and developing a more broad skillset that will allow for greater upward mobility. Another big goal of mine is to intensify my efforts within the city commissions on which I serve in the Bloomington, IN community.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years and how do you see yourself accomplishing it?
When thinking of the future, I think mostly about my career, personal life and health. As far as my career is concerned, I’d like to continue doing the work I enjoy while supporting our US Military. Personally, I’d love to be building a nice life and family with the woman of my destiny. Health wise, I see myself being in better shape by consistently working out and developing better food habits. I feel confident I can accomplish these things if I strengthen my faith, patience and discipline, which is much easier said than done!
6. How long have you been on the journey of being a Big & Tall man? What’s the biggest misconception you hear about Big & Tall Guys?
I feel like I’ve been on this journey ever since I started shopping for myself in middle school. Since that time, I’ve learned how to match my substance with form and carry myself with a high level of confidence. One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve personally heard as a Big Man is how I should think less of myself and settle for substandard relationships, career opportunities, and friendships. I, humbly, think the world of myself and am not interested in settling or being settled for. In the words of Scarface, “I want what’s coming to me…the world, chico, and everything in it!”
7. If you could swap styles with one celebrity who would it be and why?
If I could swap styles with one celebrity, I think it would be Sean Combs, because I know he’s intentional and thoughtful when it comes to his style. Of course, I don’t know him personally but his style always seems to mirror his personality and confidence. I admire that a great deal.
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Hola Mi Tribesmen I guess I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m Kirklan Hawes the Founder and creator of XLTribe.com. This site was birthed from an old idea I had to create a community of like-minded guys that was tired of being miss represented and wanted to be displayed in the truest form. Changing the way Big & Tall Men are perceived is the goal for XLTribe.com.