Tall women of Metafilter: where do you buy your athletic T-shirts?
October 17, 2013 3:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for T-shirts or tank tops to wear while exercising. I'm 5'10" but wear regular length pants; my above-average height is all in my torso. I haven't found any tall-sized workout clothes. Please advise.

The ideal shirt will be made out of some kind of wicking material. It will not have a built-in bra. It will be a woman's shirt, not "unisex." It will not expose my midriff when I do jumping jacks.

Websites and stores I've looked at and not been able to find anything:

Title 9
Eddie Bauer
Lands End
LL Bean
Long Tall Sally
The Gap
Old Navy

Who sells exercise tops -- not pants! tops! -- for tall women? I'm in the US, have all sorts of stores near me.
posted by The corpse in the library to Shopping (23 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I apparently have a long torso in addition to an ample chest that requires a lot of extra fabric to keep from revealing my belly, and the tops from Lululemon more than cover my midsection. I'm actually wearing one right now that goes down to the tops of my thighs. Yes, many do technically have a built in shelf "bra" but it's anything but a real bra - I always wear a sports bra under and it doesn't feel like I'm wearing two bras or anything, if that is your concern.
posted by joan_holloway at 3:27 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Are those labeled tall tops, or do their regular sizes run tall?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:39 PM on October 17, 2013

Best answer: Most of their regular sizes run crazy tall. I'm 5'4, which I believe is basically average, and I've found the length of their tops so excessive that I often get them hemmed.
posted by telegraph at 3:46 PM on October 17, 2013

Best answer: Lululemon is what jumped to my mind first. I'm 5'11" and mostly leg, but the Lulu tops are really long on me. Much longer than any other running top I have.

They will be their regular size tops. They run pretty long to co-ordinate with Lulu's low cut shorts.

I've also found Nike stuff runs long, too, so if you have a store near by it might be worth a visit.
posted by TORunner at 3:48 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try the longtail tees from Duluth Trading. I know they do a woman's cut--not sure if it's wicking.
posted by mollymayhem at 3:48 PM on October 17, 2013

Zella has form-fitting tanks and tees that are below hip-length, without that jive-ass built-in bra thing. Nordstrom's carries them; you might find some on sale online.
posted by nacho fries at 3:51 PM on October 17, 2013

Several of those sites definitely sell tall sizes in exercise tops. Do you not like their styles or price or what's not acceptable about them?
posted by fshgrl at 3:57 PM on October 17, 2013

Best answer: Lululemon tops are long; many have a shelf bra, but there are some without.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:59 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Many Athleta tops come in size 'tall' -
Run On Tee
Royal Pigeon Tank
Fuse Tank
Turbocharge Tank
Northern Lights Tee

And yes, I agree that Lululemon tops tend to run large. Many exercise tops are now called 'tunic' length which is kind of like low-hip height on my 5'9" frame.

Impact fitness also has a line of tall exercise tops.
posted by barnone at 4:14 PM on October 17, 2013

Seconding Zella. I am only 5'8" but I'm mostly torso too, and their regular tops run really long on me. One of them covers my butt entirely. Nordstrom Rack usually has a bunch of their stuff if you want to try it out on the cheap.
posted by bedhead at 4:19 PM on October 17, 2013

I bought two more of these when I realized how awesome the first one was. I think you'd be happy with the length too.
posted by okay-quiet-time at 4:19 PM on October 17, 2013

I've found many under armour women's tops to be quite long as well.
I'm sort of surprised, because the very long tank is quite trendy right now.
posted by atomicstone at 4:26 PM on October 17, 2013

Seconding Under Armour. I'm 5'11" and most of my workout tops are from them.

I just bought a couple of ribbed tanks from their outlet that are almost ridiculously long, and I love them so much that I want to go back and get a few more as soon as I can.
posted by Salieri at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: > Several of those sites definitely sell tall sizes in exercise tops. Do you not like their styles or price or what's not acceptable about them

In general: they have built-in bras or they're sold out of my size.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:01 PM on October 17, 2013

I just got a New Balance Impact tank that is ridiculously long (long on me and I am 5'11")-- the style is sold out on New Balance here but if you search for 'new balance impact tunic tank' it seems to be available on some other sites.

I have long tanks from Target and Oiselle but they both have built-in bras.

I definitely feel your pain-- in summer I can wear singlets/tanks and they are generally cut pretty generously in terms of length, but in the winter I almost always end up with more midriff exposed than I would like.
posted by matcha action at 6:05 PM on October 17, 2013

I am also tall-ish and all torso. I really like this t-shirt (available in tall). The fabric is "Wick-Itâ„¢ Jersey (Polyester/Spandex)" - "Supremely wicking, breathable fabric dries in a flash and lends UPF 50+ protection."
posted by charmcityblues at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2013

You can easily cut those bs shelf bras out. I don't let it stop me from buying workout shirts I find adorable. I'd say there's two general methods: 1) cutting real close to the seams, being careful (!) and using super sharp scissors; and 2) cutting the bottom elastic band off of the shelf bra part and, if necessary, slitting up some of the side seam of the shelf bra part. I admit to being quite crafty, but it's really easy. Most of my favorite workout tops that I wear and wash most frequently are ones I've modified in this way. And the more quality/expensive ones are going on 4-5 years of weekly washing.
posted by atomicstone at 6:16 PM on October 17, 2013

Moving Comfort shirts are also pretty tall.
posted by fshgrl at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2013

Seconding Nike, this is what my wife occasionally wears thanks to the fact that they usually run a lot longer, and are really light on the "shelf" which she also hates.

Is something like this what you're looking for? Or right now, in today's style, volleyball gear is typically stuff that runs pretty long (while having really short sleeves). My sister loves to wear stuff like this when working out.

Nike stuff admittedly isn't the most ethical stuff to buy, but the trade-off is that it's usually high quality and holds up forever (so you don't need to buy as many things, which helps balance things out in some small sense). It's also some of the more expensive stuff out there, but again, it holds up in my experience. I bought a few of Nike's cheesy "Pro Combat" shirts for working out about 3 years ago. I wear these shirts every time I go to the gym or go to run, and I've probably worn them about 100 times each now. They're still going strong with no sign of wearing out.

Anyway, just a few ideas! Best of luck. As a guy who has the opposite problem (all legs, meaning some shorts make me look like an 80s basketball player), I feel your pain when it comes to finding good stuff to wear.
posted by Old Man McKay at 9:02 PM on October 17, 2013

Not all tank tops at Target are the same; I've found that the Mossimo tanks are long enough to function as maternity tank tops at nearly 30 weeks pregnant (and I'm 5'11"). More generally, you can actually buy non-ruched maternity tanks at Target and Gap that I am positive would be long enough for you--for tanks, my experience has been that "maternity" means they add another 4 to 5 inches to the length without increasing the size of the belly area, since the material is already so stretchy.
posted by iminurmefi at 6:08 AM on October 18, 2013

Best answer: Yes, Lululemon. A lot of posters give their dimensions in their product reviews, which helps if you can't get to a store. A good place to start is here - their most popular products. Or head right to tops - short sleeves or tanks - no support. Downside: expensive. But I'll admit, I love me some lulu and splurge on their stuff every now and then...well worth the indulgence.
posted by xiaolongbao at 6:59 AM on October 18, 2013

Best answer: Hey! We are the same! 5'10" and long torso. I work out in cotton tank tops from Old Navy. Not even the tall ones are necessary, just the regular ones are plenty long enough. I know, cotton isn't ideal, but I like them, and I just ran a half marathon in the heat in one, and wasn't uncomfortable.

I don't like any other stores' tanks. Gotta be Old Navy.
posted by pyjammy at 7:46 AM on October 18, 2013

Response by poster: I have braved Lululemon, a store I've been avoiding despite being a white middle-class suburban woman, and found a T-shirt I think will work. Then I went to Old Navy and bought a tank, for 1/42 the price of the Lulumon shirt.

Thanks for all the other suggestions; I'll try them as these ones wear out.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:59 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

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