Ask LH: Where Can A Large Dude Find Decent Clothes?

Dear Lifehacker, I am fairly tall (6’8”) and I have trouble finding clothes that fit me well. Any tips for coming up with a “daily uniform” for the tall guys out there? I could really use some good places to shop and suggestions for what I should look out for. Thanks, Big Fella

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Dear BF,

6’8” is "fairly tall"? What are you, a Maasai warrior?

But anyway. As a vertically challenged short-arse, I'm not remotely qualified to answer this question. You need advice from a professional stylist instead. Evan Wolkenstein runs the self-explanatory website Style for Dorks and knows what looks good on every conceivable body shape. Here's what he had to say about big fellas finding clothes that fit:

There is no easy-fix, I’m afraid -- it all depends on the offerings of the shops where you’d like to find your gear. Plenty of fashion labels and retail outlets offer clothing specifically for tall dudes. But it’s still gotta fit right. That requires you, as I do, to get familiar with which shops’ ideas of “fit” match your own.

As a tall man, you can play to your strengths by finding an awesome tailor; some of the clothing for tall men may also be too big. This is why my tailor is on my “Top-10 most important people in my life” list. (I’m sure the other nine wouldn’t be thrilled to know that). It will typically cost you under $100 bucks to turn a “meh” fitting shirt into a made-for-you garment.

As for a uniform, there is no “tall dude” uniform -- but I will say this: patterns that give you structure (gingham is the holy grail of structure-building pattenrns) will help fill out your proportions.

Pair some dressy pants or dark denim with some wingtips or a pair of desert boots; get a few oxford shirts, a few gingham shirts, a chambray or two and pair with a knit tie, and you’ll have the beginning of a uniform.

If you're large in girth as well as height, this video contains some useful style tips for big men:

Hope this helps! We'd also like to hear from our rangy readers: if you have any style tips for taller men, let BF know in the comments section below.

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    As a 6'7" guy I might as well chip in.

    If you want your clothing to fit well, you're going to have to spend more on it than most people. There's no easy way around it. We're a smaller market and they charge accordingly.

    Your main options are:
    -'Big and tall' stores. I buy a lot of office clothes from kingsize menswear. The 'tall' part of the store is usually much smaller than the 'big' part but you'll always have a few options. Visit the shop at first rather than hitting up the online store, they're pretty helpful and will do alterations if required. I pay about $70 for business shirts and $80-ish for pants, but they fit better than anywhere else.

    -Suits: I was surprised to find that at my height I can still buy suits with only minor alterations, starting at about the $450 mark. Go to somebody who knows what they're doing and they can probably get you something almost off the rack and just let some seams out.

    -Buying 'big' man clothes and getting them cut to size. If arms and shoulders are the problem, you can buy dress shirts meant for a wider guy and then get it tailored. It ends up more expensive than buying from a 'big and tall' shop but you get more variety.

    -South East Asia: I know a few guys who just take regular holidays overseas and get business clothes tailored while they're over there. If you're likely to go to Indonesia/Vietnam/Thailand for a holiday anyway, take the chance to get a bunch of business clothes tailor made for you. If you find someone you like they're sometimes willing to keep your measurements and take orders by mail.

    The tall-man tax will get you no matter what, but if you buy clothes that fit you'll get more wear out of them. I've spent a lot of money on cheap clothes that 'almost fit' over the years that didn't get worn.

      Only place I know off the top of my head is Big and Tall menswear too. Sometimes see their ad on tv. Not sure if they're in all states, but definitely worth a look I'd say. I'm only 6'2" myself, but my legs are pretty long and have big thighs from doing too many years of skating in my younger days. Sometimes I have to go there to find pants with a decent fit.

      As I'm sure you're aware, the one thing you can't do is shop at Myer or David Jones. They cope with wide, but are confused by people over about 6' 2".

      I'm 6' 5" and broad across the shoulders and I get pretty good traction at RM Williams, as their shirts are cut longer, sit comfortably and stay tucked in, and the L in their pants is L enough. Other quality retailers tend, in my experience, to be the same, but not always - Country Road tends towards either too baggy or too tightly fitted.

      Suit jackets are alright, but the pants tend to need to be adjusted, as long enough tends towards baggy around the bum. My dad put me onto a tailor in Hong Kong who'll send me a new suit or pair of trousers when I need them too.

      King Size (or Big and Tall, or whatever they're called near you) is always worth a look, but the range is limited. As stove mentioned, their Big range is wider :) than their Tall range, and tall and thin sometimes baffles them.

      I concur with this, and add the following, there are some brands out there that offer taller fits than others, it's worthwhile getting to know how they fit you and if you like them. Some of these are more expensive (think RM Williams), but you can import stuff from the states for very cheap, Wranger and Levi's jeans are very cheap over there and come in very, very long lengths, unlike here in Australia that have a "one size fits most/some/a few" approach.

      ASOS also has a "tall" section on their website, with some more trendy styles if you want to go that way, instead of boring old polo shirts and slacks, like you find in most big and tall shops. Being online, you will need a bit of trial an error to find the right fit, at least ASOS has a decent returns policy.

      While I did write this comment, it wasn't in the last few days. I haven't commented on any lifehacker article for 6 months so it was a bit of a surprise to get some notifications.

      I'm fine with you guys recycling articles occasionally, but do you mind leaving the original date the comment was posted? This time it worked out, but in general I'd rather the advice I gave a few years ago not be confused with advice I'd give today.

    I can recommend Institchu for online tailored suits and shirts. You can get measured up by them for free in certain capital cities, or follow their directions on a DIY measure. Prices are a little more expensive than retail, but the proper fit is worth it.

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