Mens Fashion: Shopping For Big And Tall Sizes

This article discusses how to buy clothing for men who wear big and/or tall sizes.

Shopping for big and tall men: it isn't quite what it sounds like. Men are just physically different from women. Most women who are "plus-size" are larger all over. In other words, they wear plus-size pants, shirts, dresses, etc. Men, however, are different. A big and/or tall man may be big, tall, both, or just have one "big" part. Many men who are larger may have large torsos, but legs and arms that are close to a "normal" size. This can make buying their clothes a challenge.

The first thing a man must do is determine where he falls in the above spectrum. Some men, like basketball players, tend to be very tall, but lean. They might only take a 32 or 34-inch waist, but have a 36 or 38-inch inseam (or longer). Some men might need a 44-inch waist but have a 30-inch inseam. Once a man knows where he resides in the big/tall world, he will know better what sizes and styles to look for when buying clothes.

This writer's husband falls more in the "big" category. He takes a 3XL shirt, but it has to be sized for "tall" since he has a long back. He isn't quite 6 feet tall, but his inseam is about a 30. In other words, he is short-legged and long-backed. His shirts have to be extra long so they will not slip out of the waist of his pants. Men's clothing, which is very sensibly, and usually consistently sized, takes all this into consideration, thus, he can usually find clothing that fits him well. This is a point to remember in men's clothing. The man in question may not need "big" jeans that are correspondingly large in the leg, to compensate. Most average sized men's jeans, therefore, go up to about a 44 or 46 waist, and have the shorter inseams available. So do dress pants and khakis or chinos. "Big" pants, in contrast, have larger legs and waist sizes, and "tall" of course, goes with longer inseams.

T-shirts and pants are usually sized with ease, but what about other clothing like suits and dress shirts? For that, a man needs to go to a department store that has a sales associate who knows how to use a tape measure. Most stores that fit and sell men's suits will have someone who is trained in this area. Men must be measured for dress shirts to fit well. They must be bought by neck size, arm length and in "big" or "tall" proportions. A sales associate can measure a man to find out his exact sizes. "Big" shirts are larger in girth, "tall" shirts have the longer shirttails.

Even neckties are proportioned for the big and tall man. They are longer and sometimes a bit wider at the ends than average ties, and are generally available in as many styles and colors as any other ties.

There are also catalogs and Internet sites that specialize in big/tall sizes for men, and these usually have a full line of clothing available, from T-shirts and jeans, to suits, to socks and underwear. Most discount stores have at least a limited choice of big/tall sizes and most department stores have a fairly wide variety of these sizes. They also usually have a tailor, which can be a real godsend when fitting suits and sportcoats.

So, a man, or the one shopping for him, needs to remember where he resides in the big/tall universe. When this question is decided, he can usually get good clothing that fits well.

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