Day 233: Needed: Shirts for Tall Dudes

At 6 feet 6 inches, I’m tall enough that normal people clothes don’t fit me. The Big and Tall stores seem to be extremely focused on the “big” part of their commitment, so I’d have to gain a hundred pounds to get anything there.  Even then, the fashion at those stores is either “Pavarotti plays badminton” or “It’s EATIN’ TIME!” They don’t really stock anything that fits me physically, socially or emotionally. There’s also the Land’s End type catalogues which offer “tall” sizes and while the medium-tall fits me pretty well, the fashion just screams “DAD COMIN!” Yes, I know I’m a father, but I would prefer people discover that when they see my children, not my “Sportsman Sweater Fleece Half-Zip.” Yes, that’s a real product, and I’m sure it’s a hit on casual Fridays at the Allstate Insurance Corporate offices. American Apparel also offers a tall size in their t-shirts. Unfortunately, I think it’s some kind of cruel joke- I got one and it came half way down my thigh. You would have to be 7’6″ for this shirt to fit at all. Oh, you want a TALL shirt? Here you go, Manute (click it. I was once called that in high school.)

There’s some conspiracy by short powerful people to prevent tall people from being cool. Like we’ve already been blessed with height, and therefore have no claim on comfort or style. Generally the length of an XL shirt is fine, but the girth allows room for at least two more dudes wearing football pads. Then, when you wash a shirt, it shrinks in length but not in width, so after a month, I’m wearing a cloth box that barely covers my navel. Unless you want to see a grown man doing laundry and listening to NPR in a “Vixen World Tour 1989” belly shirt, don’t come to my house tomorrow morning around 10:30am.

“But Jason, I’ve seen plenty of very tall NBA stars who look very fashionable.” They have their clothes custom made. Plus, I disagree with you, they all look ridiculous in their double breasted blazers and parachute pants. If you see those guys in their houses when they’re relaxing, they’re always wearing sweat pants and tank tops. That’s my other option for clothing: “The off duty athlete.” At 39 years old, I’m not going to walk around my town wearing knee length nylon shorts and a practice jersey of a dude 20 years my junior. I don’t play basketball, so I’m not wearing those clothes, just like I’m not prancing around in a headband and spandex (I don’t care for cardio salsa classes at the YMCA).

So I do the only thing I can. I wear clothes that are too short. I try to wear cool belts, keep my pants at waist level and my pubic line neatly trimmed. I’m not TRYING to wear my shirts like Robert Plant or that dude from the Black  Crowes, it just so happens that’s the only choice I’ve been given. If you want to see me in a shirt that fits that I also like, sign my petition asking Motley Crue to make their next concert t-shirt in a medium-tall.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

37 comments On Day 233: Needed: Shirts for Tall Dudes

  • My husband, who is also 6' 6" buys almost all of his clothes from the KingSize catalog. They aren't super stylish, but they have decent basics –

  • I get some stuff at Duluth Trading that fits real well. Six foot eight inches here. Carhart tall sizes require wishful thinking to fit. often fits and they offer tailor services. King Size is a bit bland, don't know about the fits.

  • My Dad always bought from Eddie Bauer…he was 6ft 5

  • Banana Republic works for my husband, but he's 29 not 39.


    I guess I am here to save you! Look at casual male XL, they make all the "cool" shirts for tall and big guys! My husband has several old concerts T's from here, along with a Batman shirt so that he and my 4 yr old son can match. We haven't bought jeans there, but we have bought quite a few pairs of pj shorts to wear to bed because they are hard to find in his size. They do also carry a lot of Nautica, athletic shirts, movie screen prints and throw back T's. Being in your 30's is so confusing when it comes to dressing because you are someone's parent, but you still feel like your 22 inside.

    • Casual male!!!!!! You're kidding. Ok, I'll look

      • No offense, but please don't go to Casual Male! My fiance is 6'5 at 215. He has a long torso wears a LT. It is near impossible to shop for him at a regular store. I am a clothing designer, so fit & design is very important to me. We have discovered that ,,, (american eagle),, & are the only places that carry tall sizes & not fit like a garbage bag. Sometimes you will have luck with American Apparel if the cut is off spec. But most times it is fitted & short.

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