Q&A with Michael Bandy aka @bigdudeindenim
Michael is part of the LADenimHangs crew. He describes himself as a spokesman for larger blue blooded guys and girls. And he uses his Instagram feed to inspire both consumers and brands about how “big dudes” can wear denim. Here’s his story.
What’s your story
Name: Michael Bandy
Birth year: 1981
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Profession: Dispatcher and Customer Service Rep
How Michael Runs His Instagram Feed
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Mike: When I decided I wanted to get some better denim and started doing research on various brands out there, Instagram was a valuable resource.
Through this, I discovered so many cool Instagram feeds and noticed how well heritage style lined up with my own personal aesthetic.
T: Why Instagram? What are your goals?
M: In browsing through profiles on Instagram, I realized that there was almost no one my size in the community.
My buddy Jesus (@vedgesus) being one of the only bigger dudes out here. With a gentle push from my girlfriend to start posting, I decided my focus would be two-fold.
I would work to inspire other bigger people to make their presence known and be proud of who they are and keep them informed of options and styles for us.
I would also work on showing brands and clothing manufacturers that there is a market for us bigger people. Thusly, @bigdudeindenim was born, so to speak.
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
M: Far. Too. Much. And yet also not enough.
I’m on Instagram probably around 1 full hour a day of scattered usage. Possibly more.
That being said, success on Instagram means vastly more communication and so much more content creation than I often find time for.
With a more than a full-time job and a 4-year-old son, my time is limited. But I am working on developing some sort of routine to better stay on top of my posting.
T: How do you take your photos?
M: The majority of my photos are taken either by me or my very supportive and helpful girlfriend, @funkyfreshjesss.
T: Which tools do you use?
M: I use both my iPhone camera and my fancy professional Nikon D800e to take the photos.
Occasionally, I use my tripod with some of the flat lays I have done. But generally, I either prop my camera somewhere or have someone hold it. Many of my photos I was holding it myself.
For my iPhone shots, I do basic edits in Snapseed and finishing edits using VSCO.
For my Nikon shots, I use Lightroom and Photoshop, export for web to my Google Drive and then save to my phone from there. I will occasionally use VSCO from there to dial in a certain look or feel.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos? And why?
M: Not sure I have a favorite place. Cliché though it may be, parking garages are always a good place to take photos.
Generally, I try to look for anything pleasing to the eye. Occasionally, that’s not possible, but I do my best. I would love to do more location-based photos of my gear in various outdoor locations and environments.
Michael’s Denim Style and Preferences
T: How did you get into denim?
M: I was never happy with my jeans from Levi’s or Arizona or American Eagle. I started researching better jeans and found the world of raw and selvedge denim, and it was like a match made in indigo heaven.
T: What’s your favourite feature of jeans?
M: Jeans are a universal language. They wear denim jeans almost everywhere in the world in almost all cultures, save for a few.
They are a classic style of clothing that’s timeless. You can dress them down, and even dress them up (to a point).
T: How do you wash your denim?
M: I try not to wash too often. As soon as they are dirty or start smelling weird, they get a wash.
My method is simple. Turn the jeans inside out. No-spin wash with Railcar denim detergent in cold water. When done, roll into a dry towel to squeeze some of the water out, then unroll and hang to dry.
If you’re curious (like I was) about Railcar’s denim detergent, you can check it out here.
T: What’s your favourite fit?
M: I prefer a slim tapered fit, which generally is still too baggy for my liking due to the leg grading needed to make my waist size. I get most of my jeans hemmed and tapered in an attempt to dial in my ideal fit.
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
T: Which sneakers do you wear?
M: Converse. All my sneakers are Converse high tops with the exception of one pair of Nike running shoes.
T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?
T: Where do you buy your gear?
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
M: Style is personal. We all may share a general style, but pulling it off is up to the wearer.
Wear what you like and what makes you feel confident. Always. If you do that, you will have style.
Ready for More Stories …?
If you’d like to read more stories like this one, check out all the previous posts published here on Denimhunters. Maybe start with the most recent ones below.
And if you’d like to get a heads up when we post new ones, you can sign up for the free email newsletter. This way, you’ll get the next Blue Blooded interview delivered straight to your inbox.