William Brooks, also known as “Beave,” is a brilliant menswear stylist based in the Maryland-Washington D.C. metro area. While styling mostly smaller-bodied men, he became increasingly aware of the dearth of big-bodied masculine representation. He took matters into his own hands and decided to create his own style blog to chronicle the incredible looks that he comes up with. He simultaneously shows folks how it is done while spotlighting the lack of plus-size representation for men and masculine-leaning folks.
With an eye for texture and “visual intrigue,” he combines his love of dapper with his love of whimsy, redefining menswear one killer outfit at a time. Like what he does? Brooks is a stylist and happy to work with new clients.
Wear Your Voice: How do you describe your style?
William Brooks: I always say my style profile is dapper dope! I tend to do the Dapper look but I try always add an element of surprise, something that would make you say “I would have never thought to do that!” It’s all about visual interest for me.
WYV: What inspired Big Guy Fly and BeBow Fashions?
WB: Well, I always had the intuition or yearning to dress differently than what I dressed from day to day. Being a stylist for other men (mostly smaller-framed), I felt that people expected more from me, also. Every now and again I would do some things that were fashion-forward, but overall I dressed really basic for a couple of reasons.
One was that many things just were not available for plus-size men. And secondly I found myself fearful about what people would think and say if I stepped out of the box of normalcy. One day I decided that I wasn’t going to let anything hold me back from dressing in a way that made me happy! I was on the internet looking for fashion inspiration and I googled “Big Boy fashion!” A Tumblr page came up with that name (which is now Chubstr). They really inspired me! But as I looked deeper I realize they were the only resource for plus-size men. So after developing my wardrobe I decided to also lend some of my expertise to the plus size male fashion community. From there I started Big Guy Fly!
WYV: Who are your three top StyleCrushes?
WB: O-M-G, that would have to be Nick Wooster — this guy can do no wrong to me. Next is Eli Wasserman. He is an awesome stylist and definitely represents for us plus-size men! And last but definitely not least is Jay Manuel — I’ve never seen him not kill.
WYV: Where do you shop? What are your favorite brands or designers?
WB: This is always a hard question for me! Because there is no one-stop shop where I can find the things I need, I don’t have particular places that I shop. My motto is leave no rock unturned! And because I try to budget my fashion purchases, I thrift a lot!
WYV: What do you feel like is missing from the fashion industry?
WB: OPTIONS for plus-sized men! Like really! We have very few options! And fewer that are trendy and age-appropriate for the young adult! Missing from the body-positive movement? I think the body-positive movement could use more visual men. If you Google “body positive” you will see mostly women. But I can tell you from a personal view point that men need encouragement to love themselves also!
WYV: What’s something that you want people to know about you?
WB: I’m dope as fuck! But no, seriously, I’ve had people call me adjectives that are nowhere close to my character. That being said, these are also people who don’t know me beyond a few photos they may scroll by on their social media timeline. I’m kind-hearted to a fault and find an abnormal amount of joy when people around me are winning and satisfied with their life!
WYV: How can we teach kids to be body positive?
WB: I feel like it’s mostly in the development process where we sometimes mess up! Little comments we make about that person who may be overweight or the joke we make about the guy with the not-so-perfect smile. We never have to tell children to hate their body or someone else’s. Their disdain is developed from little things they are exposed to early on.
WYV: Who would you like to work with in the future?
WB: Alllllllll of my style crushes! Also Chubstr — I would love to have a permanent role in the movement that they have begun!
WYV: How do you wear your voice?
WB: I wear my voice by letting every unique item I put on express how unique I am as a person and using that expression to be a visible example of what loving yourself can look like if only you try!