Today, we are representing Michael aka @bigdudeindenim. Michael has always loved denim and boots, but soon after entering the scene because he wanted to help bigger dudes (hence his IG handle) to be well represented in the community. He enjoys the community feel on Instagram also takes pleasure in assisting other big dudes out when they need help finding new denim jeans. Now onto his story!
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Michael Bandy and I live in Whittier, Ca. I work as a dispatcher and customer service rep for a construction materials company. I also do landsacape and nature photography, though less than I would like. I have an amazing 4 year old son named Dean.
How did you start your Instagram?
I have always worn denim jeans and boots. However one day I was talking to my GF about finding some nice denim and I kind of fell into the scene. I quickly realized us bigger people were not represented very well in regards to sizing and exposure. So I set out to do what I could to change that, as well as just to share my own personal style.
What does social media mean to you?
Social media is a double edged sword. But I find the positives greatly outweight the negatives. I have had the pleasure of making some great friends through the gram and our mutual interests in denim and boots, etc. And it is an amazing feeling when other bigger guys message me asking questions or just generall offering support and positivity in regards to what I am doing.
Any interesting encounters/stories through social media?
I have had a ton of interesting stories and encounters due to IG, but I will just say that meeting actual people in real life that I have only previously spoken to via DM is the coolest. LA Denim Hangs is awesome and soon I will be in New York for Denim Days where I get to meet so many great denimheads that I have been following and spoken to only online.
What accounts/hashtags do you like to check out?
Definitely check out us LA Denim Hangs people. @ladenimhangs As far as great accounts there are way too many to list. But I would say my buddy Jake @almostvintagestyle for a combination of pure unflitered opinion and a real breadth of knowldge about so many things related to boots, jackets, etc. My buddy Isaac @pigeontreecrafting of course because he makes cool stuff and has incredibly great style.
Shane and Mandy Smith of @smithsleatherbalm because aside from the fact that they make what is arguably the best leather balm out there, they are such great people with great hearts and the photography on that page is exceptionally good. My buddy Joel @jcleatherworks because he makes amazing leather goods including the "BigDude" wallet that I helped design with him.
My buddy Markus @fort_box_ for great style and hilariously dry captions. Also solid photo chops there. My friend Bryce @okaydenimco who is making totally awesome clothes all by herself. @bothrops1 for awesome photos of food, cigars, old fashioneds, and great style. As well as hilarious video clips! I could go on, but I will just stop it there for now.
What feelings do you have for "Made in Japan" jeans/fashion products?
I love the denim that is coming out of Japan. In fact I love most of the clothing from there. My buddy Jake's Freewheelers jacket is insane. My buddy Isaac has a ton of great Studio D'Artisan shirts that I love! The Flathead makes or maybe I should say Made a ton of awesome stuff. My Pure Blue Japan jeans have some of the coolest texture ever.
Japanese brands seem to do details and fabrics better than most. What they rarely do is sizing for people like me. The sizes usually run way too small for me to be able to even think about wearing. Perhaps one day they will change their production to include us bigger people.
Until then I pick up what I can (Like my one pair of PBJ's) and envy the rest. :)