T-shirts everywhere and not a thread to wear
September 9, 2012 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I just want to be able to buy plain t-shirts that fit. However, this special snowflake is a guy with a 52" chest and a 38" waist...

So, I've always been a "big guy" - when I got my first sport coat as a high school freshmen, I was 6'0" and only weighed 180 pounds and still ended up with a size 48 jacket (and 36" dress pants). For t-shirts back then I generally wore something that was technically too tight in the chest, but it looked alright since I was a skinny everywhere else. Then I got chubby in college, my waistline was more proportional to my chest, so I could wear XL t-shirts and not look like I was wearing drapes. Fat, but reasonably decently dressed.

But then last year I gotten into a fitness and weighlifting kick, and my 50" chest/40" waist have moved to a 52" chest and 38" waist (I'm 6'2"). On a skinny day I can even squeeze back into my jeans and dress pants from high school (only now I have an ass. If only I had known about deadlifts in high school...). And this is without really watching my diet - I haven't actually lost any weight yet, and I'm guesstimating that when I finally meet my strength goals and start a "cut" I could drop about 25 pounds.

I feel pretty great about all this, however...

My trusty lineup of XL band t-shirts and cheapo Fruit of the Loom black t-shirts are now tight in the chest, hanging off my back and stomach, and are perilously close to leaving stomach exposed when I start moving my arms around. They're obviously ill-fitting and increasingly uncomfortable. I don't have this problem with dress shirts (I have them altered) or polos (those seem to shrink to fit fairly well if I buy XLT sizes - a little tight in the chest, but they look okay), but, by God, I'm a 20-something red-blooded American male and I want to wear t-shirts, damnit.

So, my question: any suggestions for specific brands or stores with the types of t-shirts you'd expect a MeFi user to wear in sizes that fit me? I'm okay with plain t's, but band or geek-fashion t's would be great to. Online is okay if not preferable.

For reference: on the American Apparel T-Shirt Chart, I'd be a 2X or 3X chest and an XL waist. In the real world, their 3X shirts hang off of my stomach like I'm crossdressing in maternity clothes.
posted by Benjy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh. Hey. You pretty much are my body double. I know of your T-shirt finding pain. Here is your solution. Go to Casual Male (I think they recently rebranded to DXL or something) and buy yourself some Harbor Bay T-Shirts. These are the ones.

I'm a 2XLT, so you probably are too.
posted by sanka at 8:01 AM on September 9, 2012

Yes, go to Casual Male or any other big and tall stores and buy yourself tshirts in Tall sizes. This will cover your stomach. THEN also get them taken in at the sides. You already alter your dress shirts and altering tshirts is even easier for a tailor/seamstress/alterations expert.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:50 AM on September 9, 2012

Nthing that tall T-shirts and taking them in are the way to go. Sadly IME you're probably out of luck with band Ts and the like. (I say this as the wife of a 6'4" husband who shops tall and has very few band shirts despite a lot of concertgoing.)
posted by immlass at 10:18 AM on September 9, 2012

Duluth Trading is where I preferentially buy almost everything new, now. They have a product they call the "Longtail T" that "fixes plumber's butt". Basically, they're 3" longer than a standard T in any given size, and they go up to 4XL.

They also have "No-Polo" shirts that come in tall sizes, as well as a lot of other stuff exemplifying their philosophy of the generous "tradesman's fit".
posted by dhartung at 1:27 PM on September 9, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!
posted by Benjy at 5:20 PM on September 9, 2012

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