Brandon Coates is used to being stopped on the street. On the subway, too. And at coffee shops, and parties, and on the job. He’s lost count of the number times men have tapped him on the shoulder, asking a variation on the same question: Where did you get your outfit? “My clothing has always been a conversation piece,” the thirty-year-old Coates told me. When we met in Union Square one chilly March evening, I could immediately see why: Coates arrived in a dark denim jumpsuit, black felt fedora, and a pair of diamond stud earrings big enough to sparkle noticeably under Panera’s fluorescent lights. It would be a striking look on anyone, but Coates is a member of a group most fashion brands dismiss as uninterested in or unworthy of style: plus-size men. So when people asked for his fashion secrets, his responses were never as simple as a brand name. That blazer someone loved? He’d likely tailored and embellished it on his own. The tee shirt? Maybe he’d cut it up, reworked it, and put it back together. His pants? An unassuming pair from a big-box retailer, which anyone else would’ve breezed past, upgraded with a flashier zipper or new trim. Coates knew what those other men knew: High-fashion brands didn’t make clothes for men their size. He just also knew how to get around that. Read more at Esquire.