A New Year – A New You

Well brethren, we’ve made it through the Holidays. The last of the Christmas cookies have been gobbled up. No more left over turkey and dressing. The New Year’s Eve hangover has subsided. How’d you do? Did you over indulge? Take it easier this year? Maybe somewhere in between a little cheating on your diet and gorging out?

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Most of us fall somewhere in between. I know, I know – who wants to be reminded of those oh-so-typical New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to save more money. I’m going to spend more time with family. I’m going to get back to the gym. Sigh. Well, if you had to start with just one, getting yourself into your favorite health club or beginning an exercise regimen is probably the most realistic resolution you can achieve.

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We all know the benefits of exercising. It’s good for our health. It improves our mood and lifts our self esteem. It also can be great for social interaction. Who knows, you might just find that dreamy muscle-bear soul-mate in the locker room. We all know exercise good for us, but sometimes it’s so damned hard to get motivated.

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Maybe what you need is a fresh workout wardrobe. Sometimes something as simple as a new pair of shoes or a great looking warm up outfit can help you get those feet out the door and into the gym. There are many great new styles of workout clothing available at this time of year. Let’s take a look at some options.

Most major labels have larger sizes for bearish physiques. Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and Puma are some of the more popular brands. Check your favorite websites for selections as they are more likely to stock the larger sizes we like. Let’s review some of the new gym wear trends for 2015.

Under Armour has a great selection of shirts and tanks for working out. If you’re more likely to get your heart rate up in the great outdoors, their Cold Gear line is great, especially if you reside in the chillier climates. They feature a wide selection of fleece hoodies and warm up pants that will keep your buns warm on the snowy running trail. Plus, their website has a nice outlet selection. Check it out at UnderArmour.com. Sizes run up to 3XL.

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Image courtesy of UnderArmour.com

Want to workout inside? You might just like Nike’s new like of training gear at Nike.com. If you sweat a lot while training like I do, you’ll appreciate their Nike Dri-FIT line of clothing. The fabric used in this line is designed to wick away moisture from your body, making the workout experience more pleasurable. And their designs are really colorful and eye-popping. From long sleeve, short sleeve or sleeveless designs, you’re sure to find a style that fits you.

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Image courtesy of Nike.com

When it comes to shoes, I really like what Puma is offering this year. They have such an eye for style without sacrificing comfort or performance. Take a look at their new Nightcat line of footwear at Puma.com. The reflective material make these shoes perfect whether your exercising indoors or out. They’re made for running but are perfectly suitable for weightlifting as well.

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Image courtesy of Puma.com

Whatever it takes to get you off of the couch or out of bed to get back in shape, remember these famous three words from Nike:

Just do it.

Writer and Style Bear John R. White contributes regular columns on men’s fashion, grooming and lifestyle for the Bear community.
Writer and Style Bear John R. White contributes regular columns on men’s fashion, grooming and lifestyle for the Bear community.

Modern Bear Wear ~ Holiday!

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Photo courtesy of DestinationXL

One could argue that Santa was the original Style Bear. What with that red velvet jacket and pants, the white fur trim (faux of course), and those black leather boots! WOOF! The man has a signature style all his own and has stuck to his fearless fashion pedigree since – well since he first began delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys of the world.

If Santa can style for the holidays, so can you! Have a couple of parties, special events or festive gatherings on your upcoming calendar? If so, it’s time to think about what to wear.

First things first. Get into your closet and dig out your best green and red attire. Uh oh, have none? Never fear. There are plenty of colors that are perfectly acceptable for the season’s soirees. Purple, grey, black (yes black) and burnt orange all show up as dressy. Think jewel tones. Although red and green are the de riguer hues of this, the most wonderful time of the year, the simple fact is that most guys don’t have a lot of clothing in these colors. If you’re like me, you are overstocked with blue, white, brown and tan. Not all that festive.

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Photo courtesy of DestinationXL

While deciding what to put wear for your event, try to keep in mind the venue and location. Parties that are crowded can be on the warm side. No one likes sweaty guests, right? Think lightweight. Macys.com has a great selection of festive holiday sweaters for XL men. Although sweaters look dressy, they can make you too warm and uncomfortable. If you do decide to don one, consider a merino or cashmere wool v-neck, perhaps in a vest. Just don’t wear a thick, long-sleeve crew neck. You’ll be sorry.

Parties with a more casual tone call for fun shirts and corduroys. Dressy shirt designs by English Laundry are fun and have a lot of style. They come in larger sizes at Beso.com. Cords look really sharp too, and lately they are coming in a wider variety of colors. Couple them with some nice lace up boots from Cole Haan or Johnston & Murphy and you’re set.

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If the event is on the formal side, consider a nice jacket. Velvet is a good choice and you can find them in abundance at this time of year. Black, burgundy and even purple velvet jackets with a whimsically designed undershirt can make a great statement at any holiday party. It’s even acceptable these days to wear a nice pair of jeans with a fancy coat and shirt. If it’s a tuxedo you need, check out MensWarehouse.com. They have reasonably priced tuxes in larger sizes.

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Let’s talk about shoes. I prefer loafers over lace ups as loafers often are designed with a lot of flair. Shiny buckles atop these slip ons add sparkle and shine to any man’s outfit. If money is no object, take a look at the fun styles from Alexander McQueen or Salvatore Ferragamo. Their footwear can be found at their signature boutiques or Saks Fifth Avenue. If you’re a little more frugal with your footwear, check out the outlet stores like Nordstrom Rack or Neiman Marcus’ Last Call.

Finally, once the party is over and you’re ready to snuggle up to your teddy bear, you can still be fashionable with your furry friend. Go comfy with some fun plaid flannel pajamas from Ralph Lauren or Joe Boxer. They offer plus sizes and sexy styles for lounging in your bear den while you wind down from all the festivities.

No matter what you decide to wear, make sure you feel comfortable in your clothing. Nothing is worse than trying to enjoy a holiday party in an outfit that is ill fitting or not your style. But be brave and take a chance this year. Be colorful and unique. If you can’t be bold and brassy at holiday time, when can you?

Happy Holidays everybody!

Writer and Style Bear John White contributes regular columns on men’s fashion and where to find it for the Bear community.
Writer and Style Bear J.R. White contributes regular columns on men’s fashion, grooming and lifestyle for the Bear community.