Style

Basic clothing guide for the Tall or Big Guy.

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Sometimes, clothing shopping is almost like being in a candy store. You see so much that you want but when you are ready to get it, you realize it’s not in your size. Once you have reached the 6 foot mark and taller, you realize that not a lot of clothing is readily available for us. Below are a few helpful pointers tall men (and men in general) to know when it comes to shopping for clothes in our sizes.

Know your sizes.

Yes. Sizes. I don’t mean 2XL or XL. The only time you need to know a letter size is if you are buying a casual t-shirt. Men, how many times have you seen a long sleeved shirt, you pick it up to try on only to realize that while the rest of the shirt fits, the sleeves are too short or that the collar was too tight? If you haven’t done so, take the time to go see a tailor and get yourself measured. It doesn’t cost a thing. The average man should know his shirt size, the proper measurement for a blazer, pants, shoes and so on. Never guess and never settle. Don’t let your clothes look too baggy or too tight if that isn’t your style. Just because a shirt looks cool but doesn’t fit, doesn’t mean to get it. You will look foolish in an ill-fitting shirt when sometimes it’s just best to let it go.

ALWAYS try it on!

Once you know what your size is, also know that it’s not guaranteed to always fit, especially pants and shoes. If you see something you want, don’t just judge by looking at it. Try it on and make sure it fits perfectly. When it comes to pants, you want to make sure that the inseam isn’t too skinny or too baggy for your tastes. Shoes should always be comfortable. If your toes are balled up in the front of the shoe, they are too small. Don’t be ashamed of buying shoes that fit perfectly. Not trying them on, you may miss if they are cut too narrow or too wide for the foot especially if you’re wearing a size 15 like me. Remember, those shoes will be on your feet a MINIMUM of 4 hours and you don’t want to have foot problems because you were scared of being teased for having clown feet.

Find a reliable store and don’t order online…if you don’t have to.

If you manage to find a store that regularly sells items in your size stick with it, especially when it comes to shoes. With shoes, anything over a 13 becomes nearly impossible to find in most stores. What I hate most is that most shoes sales clerks will say ‘you can order them online.’ Sure, you can if you want but who wants to go through the aggravation of ordering something, waiting a few days for it to come only to find out it doesn’t fit and have to send back and wait for a refund. If you find a store that carries your size, work it until the well runs dry.  Also, if you happen to find a shoe in store, that’s in your size, fits perfectly,  but a different color, get as much information on the shoe as possible and then order it.  At least you know once the shoe arrives it should still fit.

As far as ordering items online, if it’s a last resort, use it but know what the return policy is and if you do find something that works, keep at it.

I was informed that one reliable source for shoes is ShoesXL

Go a size up and get it altered.

One trick that seems to help is sometimes getting an article of clothing one size up and having a tailor or seamstress alter it to fit. This rule can work especially with pants because you can always get the hems redone to fit. Shirts can be retouched as well. With shoes, it can be a bit tricky. If you see a shoe you like but it’s not in your size, if available, go one size UP. If the shoe is still too big you can always try buying insoles to see if it will fit after that. I did that with two pairs of shoes and it worked quite nicely. Conversely, if you find pair of shoes in your size but they still feel a bit snug, stretching the shoes is always an option.

Be prepared to pay more.

Sadly this is a constant truth for men who have a hard time finding clothes. Unlike our fellow gentlemen 5’11 and under, many stores don’t carry a lot in our sizes. So don’t be surprised that when you do find something, it cost more than you expected. If you get lucky and you find something in your size and love it, get it. I guarantee you if you sleep on it, when you come back it will be gone. It’s the price you pay that will garner you an article of clothing that will fit well and lasts. It will be the article of clothing that will not shrink in the first wash. It’s the pair of shoes that will last you for  years. Even if you find it for a reasonable price, as I said earlier, you may want it altered and that may cost a bit as well. The idea is simply, as a tall guy, you stand out. So when getting clothes, paying that extra for the perfect fit will make a difference between being eye-catching or an eyesore. So, don’t skimp if you can help it.

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For us tall men, it may be hard to find something in our size, but the reward is worth it. If we are going to stand out in a crowd, we should at least make an effort to make sure to make sure we are not drawing any unwanted attention to us. By paying attention to our sizes and trying it on and altering as needed will ensure that we won’t have any awkward moments whether at work our out and about.

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