Help me find extra tall, well-fitting shirts, jackets, and sweaters for a thin man, because I can't seem to find these anywhere myself.
March 14, 2010 6:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm 6'9" and 210 lbs. "Tall" sizes of clothes are designed to fit guys up to 6'3". "Big and Tall" stores stock clothes for fat men, some of whom happen to also be tall. Help me find extra tall, well-fitting shirts, jackets, and sweaters for a thin man, because I can't seem to find these anywhere myself.

16.5 neck, 37/38 sleeve, 39 chest, 34 waist, 36 inseam. Slightly long in the torso, slightly short in the legs, with thin arms and wrists. Friends joke that I have the same build as the blue people in Avatar. Again, tall sizes are generally sized for someone who is 6'3", and run about 3-4" short in the torso for me.

I hate logos like the plague. Unless I can remove the logo myself with a stitch puller, I have pretty much no interest in buying the garment.

What's I'm looking for in particular are:
- close-cut polos: most of the current polo shirts are cut with an enormous amount of extra room that I don't fill out, but close-cut polos are usually three or four inches too short, which looks bad as well. Large Extra-Tall would be the size, in a trim/slim fit. Medium extra-tall may be what I'm looking for in current American sizes.

- undershirts. Medium Extra-Tall would probably be the size. Crew neck.

- a good online tailor for dress shirts, where the price/quality fits my budget. A dress shirt I bought from JC Penney's in extra-tall was the most laughably bad garment I've tried; the shirt was the right fit, but the pocket on it was six inches too low, halfway between my chest and stomach; no other place besides Penney's seems to sell extra tall shirts. This part of the question has been covered before on MeFi;

- t-shirts, if I could find medium extra-tall. Eddie Bauer's large-tall was okay, but this year's cut is substantially shorter than last years, which puts me out of luck.

- less dressy sweatshirts and sweaters.

If anyone else is in the same boat, I'd give the hat tip to khakhis from Nordstrom's and Eddie Bauer, and jeans from JC Penney's, Lucky, Eddie Bauer, and The Gap online.
posted by talldean to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
For tee shirts, have you ever tried just American Apparel? Their shirts, especially the "baby rib" are quite awesome as far as proportions go, being very very skinny and long. I'm at 6'2 and 140lbs, and actually get to look for small/medium stuff that fits me from them. Assuming they don't skew their larger sizes to fit heavier folks and keep the same ratio, those might work for giants such as your self.
posted by floam at 6:34 AM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: floam; I'll give it a try!
posted by talldean at 6:36 AM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: I'm 6"5" 195 -- what's the deal with these Big and Tall places, anyways, if we're tall are we all supposed to be tall tubs of lard and glop and goo? WTF? They should be called Fat and Tall, were there any truth in advertising...

I came in here to make sure you knew about Eddie Bauer; I'm sure they're a good place for pants for you, though their quality has damn sure sank these recent years, clothing falls apart, shoddy materials, etc and etc. Might also try Lands End tall sizes; not sure they have an X tall or not but I've had some luck with their Tall sizes over the years. American Apparel shirts tends to run long, also.

And Jhane Barnes shirts, which are not cheap but tend to be worth it -- nice fabrics and styles -- can be had less expensively on eBay if you're open to that; I've had some good luck there. Otherwise open up your wallet.

Well made shirts are high-end stores in malls (which is where I found out about Jhane Barnes shirts) tend toward being really long (I mean, these shorter guys just have to have wads of extra cloth festooned about them) or at least that's the case here in Texas.

Good luck.
posted by dancestoblue at 6:37 AM on March 14, 2010

I'm 6'3 180 lbs and I agree that American Apparel is worth a try.
posted by laptolain at 7:06 AM on March 14, 2010

The Big and Tall places cater to obese tall men because most tall men are also...big.

Just a data point: I am 5'10" and 200 pounds; this is about average for an American male.

Clothing stores generally sell to the "average" customer, whoever that may be.

I don't know where the OP lives, but I'd try shopping in major cities, like NYC, Chicago, or LA. Or, if the OP is friends with any NBA players, ask them where they get their clothes.
posted by dfriedman at 7:08 AM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: I'd never heard of Jhane Barnes, will give it a look.

Eddie Bauer is pretty much my standby, although this year, the polo shirts have a logo (ugh!) and the t-shirt length is maybe two inches shorter (argh!)

When I was looking for sleep pants, I tried Land's End, and their "tall" inseam was a 32". That kind of put me off of digging deeper in that direction for a bit; I'll give them another shot. Their online dress shirts seem really promising!
posted by talldean at 7:09 AM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: OP lives in Pittsburgh, where there isn't a professional basketball team. :-) My strong bet would be custom tailors; the only pictures I've ever seen of NBA stars have either been in uniform or in dress clothes. Casual clothes never seem to show up in those pictures, although that might be different in cities that actually have a team.

I lived in Washington, DC for awhile, but shopping in major cities often just nets more "boutique" clothes; I never found a boutique specializing in tall, so those didn't help. We live in a monoculture; shopping is the same everywhere, especially when one-off boutiques don't sell your size.

I understand why clothing stores don't have what I wear; my build is less than 1-in-10,000 here. I've debated trips to the Netherlands to see if that helps, but I don't have that kinda loot.

The Big and Tall stores don't upset me; the legions of folks who have recommended I try them have me a bit soured.
posted by talldean at 7:17 AM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: I was going to say: you should take a trip to the Netherlands and go shopping there. I see this has already occurred to you. Seriously though, I'm a woman that's 5'9, so I never feel particularly short in America. In the Netherlands I felt like a midget.
posted by sickinthehead at 8:15 AM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: Do you know that Land's End does custom clothing? Including dress shirts, and possibly polos. Definitely worth a try.

Some Lucky jeans have a 36.5" inseam and they are fairly slim-fitting.

LankyLife seems to be a portal for other retailers, whereby the fit is reviewed by other tall & lanky folks. Maybe some other suggestions in there to try out.

Brooks Brothers has various kinds of custom fitting too. I think you can enter your own measurements for in-stock items, or go to one of their fittings for more personalized options.
posted by barnone at 8:20 AM on March 14, 2010

Colossal Clothing seems to be some kind of side deal from American Apparel. I don't have time to look at the actual sizes, but they have sections for Tall, Bodybuilder, and Big, so maybe you'll find something in the tall section!
posted by barnone at 8:32 AM on March 14, 2010

Last one - Cabela's apparently has decent Tall options. It says that Tall accommodates up to 6'4" but according to the measurements, you'd be fine for the polos at least.
posted by barnone at 8:41 AM on March 14, 2010

Also, I know you hated the Tall JCPenny shirts, but they have extra-tall undershirts. No pockets, crewneck. If they are slightly too wide on you, it's really easy for a tailer to bring in the sides a bit. Good luck!
posted by barnone at 9:02 AM on March 14, 2010

My husband is nowhere near as tall as you, but does have some fit issues (like very broad shoulders but shorter arms that result in sleeves being way too long). We have ordered several dress shirts from Lands Ends for him and been very happy with them. It took a few tweaks to get the fit exactly right, so having someone with you to measure would be very helpful. The shirts are good quality, and they don't have any logos!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:37 AM on March 14, 2010

L.L. Bean stuff fits me a lot of the time, I'm 6'9'' and 255ish, so I wear larger sizes, but maybe the tall transfers down well?
posted by papayaninja at 9:40 AM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: sickinthehead, barnone, thank you!

The only problem with JCPenney's extra tall undershirts is they start in a large, and I'm afraid they'll be baggy. Still, since they take returns, I'm ordering them to find out. :-)
posted by talldean at 9:54 AM on March 14, 2010

My standard recommendation for all tall men is Rochester Big & Tall, where my husband, who is 6'4" and a bit hefty (XLT) buys his clothes. They don't have a Pittsburgh store, but they do have one in King of Prussia, and I've bought clothes for my husband there. They have excellent quality, service and tailoring, but you get what you pay for and they're not cheap. For suits and jackets, though, the quality and fit may be worth it to you.

If you can make a trip and get fitted, I recommend them very highly. Good luck.
posted by immlass at 11:43 AM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: I'm 6'2" with very long arms. My brother is 6'6" with a 36" inseam and a 30" waist. The only place either of us have been able to consistently find suits, and good dress clothes that fit well is Men's Wearhouse. When I bought my last suit there, they were able to take a suit off the rack, and have their tailor alter it to fit. It looks like they do have a store in the Pittsburgh area.
posted by GeekDad at 12:04 PM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: GeekDad; I forgot to mention, yeah, my suits are from Men's Wearhouse, off the rack. They're amazing. They also have dress shirts in stock to fit, but I've had mixed luck with the shirts lasting very well; a blue Pronto Uomo shirt I bought there had the collar look very worn after a few wearings, which made me sad.

In any case, if you're tall or oddly sized, the Men's Wearhouse is amazing.
posted by talldean at 1:32 PM on March 14, 2010

Well fitting makes me think Topman instantly but I don't know if they have many branches stateside, they have a great range of sizes though. It's pretty much the only place I can get jeans that fit me well (5'0, 26" waist, 28" leg). Anyway, considering the styles you're wanting as well (logo-free, close cut polos... etc). Hope I could be of some assistance :)
posted by ACair at 3:38 PM on March 14, 2010

Response by poster: ACair; topman only sells narrow sizes, not tall ones. A+++ for listing it; I have a buddy who's always stuck looking for exactly your size, actually.
posted by talldean at 7:54 PM on March 14, 2010

Best answer: While I'm far from the sizes previously mentioned, may I suggest making friends with your local tailor? They'll not only know their clothes (if they're worth their salt, of course), but they may be able to make clothes to order for less time and hassle than you think. Just a thought :)
posted by chrisinseoul at 11:32 AM on March 15, 2010

Response by poster: chrisinseoul, I'll try, but all the tailors I've seen in person were three times more than a mail order tailor seemed to be. I can't afford $200USD shirts, but you're right; it's definitely worth a try.
posted by talldean at 6:25 PM on March 18, 2010

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