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T-Shirts for Tall and Slender
April 19, 2004 10:39 PM   Subscribe

I would like to inquire about some t-shirts; more specifically, I'm interested in plain t-shirts that will fit someone (myself) who is tall and slender. More often than not, I find that plain t-shirts are built for the more... portly of my fellow North Americans: often the size difference between a medium and a large is not length but the width of the waist. Is there anywhere you have discovered--online or otherwise--that has well-made t-shirts that will fit someone of my build?
posted by The God Complex to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
American Apparel. Fantastic T-shirts, made in the United States by a progressive business. As you'll see, their shirts are cut for slim people. I recommend their most basic style, the fine jersey T-shirt (#2001).
posted by Hegemonic at 10:54 PM on April 19, 2004


Perfect! Thank you kindly.

I forgot to mention that I'd prefer something that wasn't made in sweatshops, but you took it into account anyway. Again, my thanks.
posted by The God Complex at 11:01 PM on April 19, 2004


Ah ha! I've been trying to find more shirts like the american apparel one I have. They're slim fitting, so when I can usually wear a L or a XL (as a slightly portly man), the XL's by them fit snuggly and perfectly (but are tighter than most L shirts I have). Actually now that I think about it, I think I like wearing the AA shirt I have because it reminds me I need to lose some weight.

If I ever do MeFi shirts, they'll be AA shirts.
posted by mathowie at 11:07 PM on April 19, 2004


Have you ever heard of Big and Tall sizes? Usually a "T" in the size indicates a Tall size. Makes a difference. I happen to be both big and tall, occasionally more tall than big. Helps with the tails on button shirts, too. You might wish to check the Stafford label at Penny's. I dunno about their use of sweat shops.
posted by Goofyy at 11:08 PM on April 19, 2004


the american apparel stuff looks great, but seems a little pricey, from what i remember.

if you want a cheaper option, hit the thrift stores. clothing in the seventies was cut a lot slimmer than it is now, and I know about a million people who'd be jealous of someone who's slim enough to rock those classic classic t-shirts.

(yeah, i know, it's getting harder and harder to find good vintage in thrift stores now, but i suppose that depends where you are and how hard you look.)
posted by fishfucker at 11:29 PM on April 19, 2004


If I ever do MeFi shirts, they'll be AA shirts.

OMG I am fat + I want a shirt.

??? WTF
posted by Hildago at 12:01 AM on April 20, 2004


I'm tall and thin myself, and I've noticed that clothes at pricier stores tend to fit my build better, while clothes at cheaper places (Walmart) tend to be either too wide or have sleaves too short, I suspect there's some demographic reason for this.

On the plus side I find pricier clothes tend to be made of better fabric and last longer. And try different sizes, what was medium ten years ago is called small now.
posted by bobo123 at 12:17 AM on April 20, 2004


Another vote for American Apparel. From a morality and quality standpoint, they're worth the price. I have a side company that sells designed shirts using AA. They're MUCH better than the Hanes Beefy-T's we used on our first run.

They run slim, and generally a bit on the small side. I'm 5'6", and fairly broad-shouldered, and their large barely fits me.
posted by mkultra at 8:46 AM on April 20, 2004


A tall, slender male friend of mine swears by Nordstrom's men's t-shirts for those very reasons.
posted by boomchicka at 8:48 AM on April 20, 2004


t-shirts float on me too. Try:
H&M -- cut much narrower for t-shirts (and dirt cheap)
Calvin Klein (pricey), and D&G (ditto).
posted by amberglow at 9:50 AM on April 20, 2004


I've noticed that clothes at pricier stores tend to fit my build better, while clothes at cheaper places (Walmart) tend to be either too wide or have sleeves too short, I suspect there's some demographic reason for this.

Leaving aside the superb American Apparel for a moment ... the reason for the difference in fit between 'pricier' stores and the discounters has little to do with demographics and everything to do with price. I worked for a mail order apparel company for fourteen years, and over that time I learned quite a bit about the cut and fit of clothing. The fact is, good fit costs money, and with the discounters you get exactly what you pay for.

Typically, discount retailers of all sorts (not just Walmart but also places like Old Navy) cut costs in a number of ways, one of which is to either fail to fit test their clothing at all, or to only fit test a single size (generally an 8 or a 12 for women and a 38 chest for men). Then, when the pattern is 'scaled' (made larger or smaller to be cut in different sizes) there is a greater change (sometimes very weird changes) in the way the garment fits -- for example, the neck of the shirt might get substantially larger, although the head of a man who wears a size 38 chest isn't substantially larger than the head of a man who wears a size 46. Inappropriate scaling can often account for strangely sized necks, sleeves and shirt collars, or badly sized or placed pockets.

Also, discount retailers tend to cut their garments in greater quantities than high-end retailers do, and the end result of this is that there is a much larger variation in size between the shirt cut at the top of the fabric pile and the shirt at the bottom. Often, a fabric stack for cutting will be dozens or even hundreds of layers thick, and the higher the stack the greater the difference in size between the first and the last shirt cut. Also, discount retailers pay for fewer inspectors to make sure their clothing meets spec -- high-end retailers will often check one in every hundred garments to make sure that it is 'on size', discounters might check one in every thousand or even one in every ten thousand.

often the size difference between a medium and a large is not length but the width of the waist.

Goofyy's comment about men's tall sizes is dead on -- men's clothing is generally built for a man between 5'7" and 5'11", and sizes do not and should not get longer as they get bigger -- men seeking more length in either the body or the sleeve of a garment tend to try to go up to the next size, but while the extra fabric (bagginess) of the shirt might give the illusion of more length, side by side comparison will reveal that the larger shirt is really probably only 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch longer. This is completely intentional. Retailers intend their shirts in Medium and Large to fit two men of approximately the same height who simply have different chest and waist diameter measurements.

Men who have a longer torso will do well to stick with their actual size, and move into a 'tall' which is specifically designed to provide extra length in body and sleeves without being baggy in the belly or the shoulders.

I hope this is helpful and isn't too much information!
posted by anastasiav at 10:10 AM on April 20, 2004


Very interesting anastaiv. I've noticed Old Navy definitely sizes things shorter than most retailers. I'm 6' male and some of their stuff will barely reach my waist. And short arms too.
posted by smackfu at 11:35 AM on April 20, 2004


The problem I have is that my shoulders are skinny as heck, and I have a bit of a barrel chest. So if I buy anything that acutally *fits* (i.e. size small) from a retailer like J. Crew or Gap, the shirt bunches up under the armpits because shoulders are expected.

If I buy a medium, I've got a ton of extra fabric and it hangs on me like a bag.

Any suggestions on retailers besides nordies (whose clothes fit me perfectly -- they drape nicely without being baggy ... but they're hideously expensive sometimes) whose clothes might fit? I'm set for dress shirts -- Brooks Brothers has slim fit dress shirts that fit correctly (although their sleves are cut long, so order a test shirt first...)
posted by SpecialK at 12:49 PM on April 20, 2004


Thanks everyone. If all turns out well, I'll have a wealth of new t-shirts for the summer months and my friends at metafilter to thank ;)

If I ever do MeFi shirts, they'll be AA shirts.

That'd be a cool idea. I'd consider buying one if the design was simple enough (I'm not real big on the loud shirt designs).

if you want a cheaper option, hit the thrift stores. clothing in the seventies was cut a lot slimmer than it is now, and I know about a million people who'd be jealous of someone who's slim enough to rock those classic classic t-shirts.

I try sometimes with my girlfriend but it's really more her look than it is mine. I just never feel comfortable trying to pull off the vintage look.
posted by The God Complex at 3:17 PM on April 20, 2004


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