At least he'll always have fresh air in a crowd
December 14, 2014 3:16 PM   Subscribe

My husband is a giant (6'7")and I'd like to get him some Christmas presents that will make his life better.

He is 6'7", 230lbs and fit, with broad shoulders, current best jeans are W36, L34 but they're not great. I'm 5'2", so I have a whole different set of problems. I'm looking for any ideas that mitigate some of the annoyances of the world not being sized for you. Here are a few of the things I've noticed:

- I'm planning on getting a thing to make the shower head higher.
- He literally cannot get his hands into oven mitts, which amazes me. I have tried searching for XL oven mitts.
- Shirts are a problem. XL seems to be sized for overweight people, not tall people. He has never had a long-sleeved shirt with long enough sleeves.
- His head is too tall for airplane seats so he has to cram himself into the window seat so he can lean against the wall. I doubt he would carry around a neck pillow though.
- Any recommendations for custom clothing?

If you can think of anything else that didn't even occur to me, I'd love even more ideas. Thanks!
posted by carolr to Shopping (29 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Instead of oven mitts, go with welding gloves. Some welders are pretty huge dudes--I'd be surprised if you couldn't find ones that fit.
posted by mollymayhem at 3:38 PM on December 14, 2014 [7 favorites]

Do you have a friend who quilts? You can get thermal batting, fabric and bias tape at a fabric store and a quilter could make giant oven mitts really easily.
posted by artychoke at 3:39 PM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Have you tried Big and Tall shops for men? I'm from a family of extremely tall people (like, an uncle of 6'10" and a grandfather of 6'9") and any shirts purchased for either of them came from the local Big & Tall shop. The tall stuff generally caters to a large variety of girths.

As for the oven mitts, you may have more luck with double oven gloves -- because they're of one piece, with slots for each hand on opposite ends, you at least get palm and inner wrist coverage, even if the glove bit doesn't completely cover the whole of the hand.
posted by skybluepink at 3:53 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

I am sure someone on Etsy can make some custom oven mitts, it's one of the first Home Ec projects you do, seriously, dead-simple.

Macy's and Marshalls carry sizes for Big and Tall. That's where the appropriate shirts come in. Good shirts come in neck sizes (15-18 1/2" which is normal, up to 22") and sleeve length, so have him measured. Macy's has sleeve sizes to 37". Somewhere there's a shirt out there for him. You can always do Made to Measure online.

As you can see from the pages, Macy's has really good deals and they may ship to Canada, although you might have to call to speak to an actual person for that.

Also, have you got the bed thing covered? California King, custom?

Spring for an upgrade to Business or First Class. They discount it the night before a flight, check it out, it might be worth it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:05 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

DXL/Rochesters Big and Tall do have sizes for tall people rather just big people. Like a XLT is an extra larger for taller slimmer people even bigger 2XLT, etc... The reality, is though, most of those shirts do balloon on tall fit people, however, I've found the people pretty helpful at those places, you might not have a lot of selection but I'm sure you can find something.

Also, as a hobby welder with pretty huge hands, I find that the largest gloves you can buy off the shelf don't fit me at all, and I just tend to just suffer through it - maybe bigger ones are available online. As for in the kitchen if I am grabbing something hot I end up using a towel, though I have used these sort of things with better luck.

Don't get me started on trying to find big snowboarding gear.
posted by ill3 at 4:13 PM on December 14, 2014

Best answer: ...not to make the thread ENTIRELY about oven mitts, but why not a nice potholder instead?

Also, would he carry an inflatable neck pillow, which is less inconvenient? This one kind of made me want to buy it for myself for upcoming holiday travels.

Does he have a big head too? An extra large bike helmet and a gift certificate to something active that would require it - an adventure bike tour or the like.
posted by theweasel at 4:22 PM on December 14, 2014

My family is made up of super-tall people and we've always used welding gloves as oven mitts -- they're actually a lot better and safer than most normal ones.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:23 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

You want "tall" shirts, not "XL". They are longer both in the sleeves and in the length of the shirt body itself. Another hard thing to find for tall men is ties. Most of us just skate by with ordinary ties but it's not really correct. Extra long ties do exist.
posted by Nelson at 4:25 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

- His head is too tall for airplane seats so he has to cram himself into the window seat so he can lean against the wall. I doubt he would carry around a neck pillow though.

Does he fly often? I have an ex-bf that couldn't stand to fly in any seat less than coach bulkhead, so maybe an upgrade voucher to bulkhead (or business class if it's in your budget) or an IOU for an upgrade for his next flight?
posted by Room 641-A at 4:57 PM on December 14, 2014

Best answer: - Shirts are a problem. XL seems to be sized for overweight people, not tall people. He has never had a long-sleeved shirt with long enough sleeves.

I buy my tall, thin husband button-down shirts in 16x37 from Lands End's tailored fit line. They are long, not big around. We've also had good luck with their tall long-sleeve tee shirts.
posted by jshort at 5:00 PM on December 14, 2014

Also, they have 34in length dress pants.
posted by jshort at 5:02 PM on December 14, 2014

Best answer: Okay, my husband is 6'9" so I feel ya. XL tall is your go to. Dillard's has a great big and tall section and their dress shirts are a standard in our house. T-shirts and shoes are great from Oddball, for more everyday or weekend gear Duluth does a good job with the workshirts and tees. Lucky goes to a 36 inseam and they last for a good while.
As to flying, roll with business class if you can get it or the exit row.
One of the biggest challenges in being this size is you have to ask for special treatment and that may make your sweetie uncomfortable. But as I've learned from life with a tall guy, a few minutes of awkwardness due to asking for a seat that has more leg room is more than worth it in the long run.
posted by teleri025 at 5:17 PM on December 14, 2014

My husband is 6'4", I feel your pain. Eddie Bauer, Express, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Banana Republic, LL Bean, and Lands End all offer various "tall and slim" men's sizes, especially in shirts. Old Navy and Gap offer extended sizes in pants (so that you can get to long enough inseams) on their websites, but usually not in store.

This video explains how to easily adjust regular (neck/arm) dress shirts to fit a slimmer guy. With expensive shirts I buy my husband the tall/slim sizes, but he sometimes picks up cheap $30 dress shirts and has me alter them this way, it's super-easy.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:28 PM on December 14, 2014

My experience as a mere 6'2" man is that Big & Tall shops are ill suited for the tall-but-not-also-big, but YMMV.

If you have Nordstrom in your area they'll make shirts to order (although I can't find evidence of a policy I remember them having – possibly apocryphal – that if you ordered three they'd be the same price as regular stock). Otherwise you should be able to order custom shirts at any tailor, but the advantage of Nordstrom is that many of the decisions will have been made for you already. Also if you shop at a locally owned menswear shop instead of a chain you may find they have basics in extended sizes (I pick up my 17/37" shirts when I visit my family in Tulsa). Brooks Brothers, on the other hand, has been completely useless for me.

As for jeans, I'm amazed that he can get away with a 34" inseam. I used to hunt JCPenney for 36" Levis (since they did a better job keeping them in stock than Dillard's did) but I've now found that jeans from the Gap run much longer than their stated 34 inches and actually meet my shoes. Thus it might be worth shopping there, just in case. And in the non-jeans world, Eddie Bauer and Lands End both stock their basic style trousers up to 36" inseam at least, and the unfinished trousers can often be ordered beyond 36".

But the number one thing would be the shower. I've usually installed hand-held showers when renting, but if it were my own home I'd pay a plumber to come raise the outlet instead of just installing an S pipe.
posted by fedward at 7:25 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - Shirts are a problem. XL seems to be sized for overweight people, not tall people. He has never had a long-sleeved shirt with long enough sleeves.

I HIGHLY recommend getting J Hilburn shirts. Someone comes to your house, fits you once, and you can order them online. My sleeves are 37" (i'm 6'6") and i can't buy off the rack shirts... it was life changing. As far as gifts go, J Hilburn would be a great experience. It's Nordstrom quality but much cheaper.

And if those are too expensive, Cottonworks also has great shirts that fit, though you have to measure yourself.
posted by carlodio at 7:41 PM on December 14, 2014

Response by poster: Land's End and Lucky are having 40% off sales today, so I'll start with those. J Hilburn looks like a really good option; maybe I'll save that for his birthday. 34" inseam really isn't long enough but we have gone into Big and Tall stores before, tried on every plausible pair of jeans and nothing was even wearable.

That bike helmet list looks really useful. He already has a custom road bike and is a pretty serious endurance cyclist but his current helmet could fit better.

He definitely hesitates to ask for special treatment. He at least has status on Delta so can get the economy plus seats for free.

Thanks! This is really helpful to have such a long list of possible clothing options.
posted by carolr at 8:38 PM on December 14, 2014

Best answer: My husbands family are all 6'5" to 6'8" tall. *Every* shirt your husband owns needs to be a "Tall" size like LT (large tall or XLT (extra large tall). There is also no way at his height a 34" inseam is long enough (I'm a 6'1" woman and wear a 34"!). He needs at least a 36" inseam or even an "unfinished" hem that you have tailored to fit. For his size range if your are shopping in a store you are doing it wrong. You are in the land of online only ordering for a tall slim/athletic fit. Old navy, gap, banana republic, j crew, lands end all do tall sizes with excellent sales. Macys et all sell tall sizes like Ralph Lauren etc but we have found that they have the same fit as clothing from a big and tall mens store, wide and boxy.

The brass ring of clothing is custom though. Especially when it comes to dress shirts. We have a HK tailor we use.

Other tall people things: for the love of god, no ceiling fans. Aisle seat on airplanes with neck pillow and then sorta "spill" your legs out the sides of the seat. Drive a car with a lot of head room. Cali King or King bed with extra long blankets and NO FOOTBOARD. We often turn our king bedding size ways so it's crazy long. Tall shower nozzle (as you planed).

If he's got a big head to go with his big frame "big head" will get you covered.
posted by saradarlin at 9:13 PM on December 14, 2014

34" inside leg means he's very long in the body... I'm similarly proportioned and I feel for him. I bet most t-shirts leave a gap. I've had luck searching for size codes, eg 2XLT, and I'm super-careful never to risk shrinking t-shirts once I've got them. Think 3/4 length coats, rather than jackets - his waist isn't in the same place as other people's.

Hats, glasses, shoes, ties is where I have problems. Vans seem wider than other shoes, Clarks have wide models. You can at least source ties from big-and-tall shops without problems. Other things that fit the body - umbrellas, overalls, bike frames, archery bows, gloves (esp. disposable), bike helmets, these can all be problematic.

Bit extreme, but I dream of custom-height kitchen units...
posted by Leon at 11:50 PM on December 14, 2014

There is also no way at his height a 34" inseam is long enough
You can't know that without knowing his body shape. I'm 6' 4" and wear a 32" inseam. My brother is 4" shorter and wears the same inseam -- we have different torso to leg ratios.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:58 AM on December 15, 2014

Re: neck pillows
I also would never actually carry a fluffy pillow around with me, but I do have an inflatable neck pillow that I can leave in the bottom of my bag until I need it, and I do use it sometimes. While it does not magically transform an airplane seat into a comfortable experience, it is distinctly better than nothing.
posted by aimedwander at 7:10 AM on December 15, 2014

Best answer: I'm 6'6" and can relate. Tops of my list would be shower modifications, but looks like you've got that covered.

There are a slew of ideas here, at a variety of price ranges.
posted by Twicketface at 7:54 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Make sure that the tops of your bathroom mirrors are high enough, and either re-hang the ones you have or buy taller ones that will accommodate both of you.

And LLBean's Tall shirts are all the rage in my family of tall folks.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:15 AM on December 15, 2014

Best answer: You can get extension cords for headphone cables; I am only a little over 6' tall and even I have been ear-ganked by the wire for my earbuds in the past. If he listens to music and keeps his music player in a pocket or on his belt, this might be nice.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:39 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

6'5" 225 here. Nearly all of my shirts are JCPenney Stafford (my fav) or LLBean. All of my office khakis (34" inseam) are Nautica.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2014

Whenever you're in the market for a new couch, get one that's got deep seats that fit his longer legs. It's one of those small things that make life so much more comfortable.
posted by culfinglin at 2:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Do you camp? Would he like a sleeping bag? That one claims to fit people up to 7' tall.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:38 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

For present, getting shirts custom made should make him feel like a prince.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:02 PM on December 15, 2014

If he wears neckties, you might consider trying the extra-long ties at The Tie Bar, which has a lot of really excellent designs for cheap (generally $15 for regular size, $20 for long).
posted by duffell at 7:41 AM on December 16, 2014

Also, as someone with pretty big hands myself, I find that too-small "outdoorsman" gloves, gardening gloves, and kitchen/bathroom cleaning gloves are a far bigger annoyance. I can always use a potholder or towel for the oven.
posted by duffell at 7:44 AM on December 16, 2014

« Older Why would moving a car stereo break the aircon?   |   How to escape the spiral of loneliness Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.