Press Releases



18th March 2016




One in nine men’s wear purchases are larger than 2XL

Big and Tall range increased to accommodate 5XL


Sales of larger sized clothing are soaring as men are getting bigger and taller, latest figures reveal.


Stores are reflecting the changing frame of customers and expanding plus size fashions to accommodate demand from more well-built figures.


Debenhams is the latest to increase the choice in its 200 UK stores by launching up to a 5XL size as part of the Big and Tall range – that’s a 62-64 inch chest and a 20 inch collar – which includes the latest styles by top designers.


The fashion retailer said one in nine of all menswear purchases were now larger than size 2XL  – 50-52 inch chest and 18 inch collar - and demand for larger sizes of shirts, suits, tops, casual jackets and trousers had soared by 170% in the last two years. Already sales in the past six months of Big and Tall at Debenhams are set to exceed the whole of last year. Previously their stock stopped at 3XL.


The biggest rise in demand for more generous outfits has come in East Anglia followed by the East and West Midlands and the South East.


Industry statistics from researchers Mintel back up the High Street observations and says the market for plus sized menswear is growing at three times the rate of sales of men’s clothing overall and is 50% more than the growth in larger women’s clothing.


Another retail analyst Columino said last year the UK spent £2.1 billion on XL garments, a rise of £200 million from four years ago, and predicts an increase by another £200 million in just the next 24 months.


The further evidence of the rapidly growing size of the population follows university studies which show that the average British man is four inches taller than 100 years ago.


The typical male today is 5ft 10 in, compared with 5ft 6 in a century ago  while the average weight for a man is 13.16 stones (83.6kg) which means larger measurements all round, from inside leg lengths, to chests, waist and collar size. Feet have also got two sizes bigger.


Famous faces such as Freddie Flintoff, 6’4”, Vince Vaughn, 6’5, Steven Seagal , 6’4” and David Hasselhoff, 6’5” have shown it is possible to be far from average sized, yet still dress well.


Debenhams Menswear Trading Director Paul Baldwin comments: “We want to ensure that we offer our customers fashionable, well –fitting clothing, at accessible prices, whatever their shape height and size. We recognise that men are in general taller and stronger than previous generations and there is growing demand for mainstream men’s fashion in larger sizes. Our expanded range with more items in longer lengths, bigger chests and waist sizes is keeping pace with those changes.  We believe that offering diverse and quality products means we can satisfy a greater number of our customers.


“We are delighted to be able to offer fashion to fit all and our personal shoppers are on hand to help and advise.”


Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of 243 stores across 28 countries.  Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

In the UK, Debenhams has a top three market position in womenswear and menswear and a top ten share in children’s-wear.  It holds the number two market position in premium health and beauty.

Debenhams has been investing in British design for 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands.  Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Ted Baker, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, FrostFrench, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Pearce Fionda, Stephen Jones, Preen, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Jonathan Saunders, Ashley Thomas, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.



For more information and high-res imagery please contact:
Caroline Cooper
020 3549 6422 /
Debenhams Press Office
020 35496420 /

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