Okay, so I get that you guys will all tell me that you HATE shopping. My (6’8”) fiancé has even resorted to nonverbal assertions of this every time I pop into a Banana Republic for more than 90 seconds—mostly by pacing furiously outside the entrance—stopping only to intently stare at my movements as though scouting for an adult kickball league. And while I always chalked this up to him really just hating shopping (and potentially a nudist proclivity), I started smelling a fish when I spent FOUR HOURS trailing him through an L.L. Bean a couple of weeks ago—weighed down by armfuls of his try-ons.
Spurred by a sneaking hunch that I wasn’t getting the full story, I asked him why he hated clothing shopping post-‘The Bean Affair’. And this time, my answer was markedly different:
“Actually, I don’t hate shopping or clothes. I just hate going into stores when there will only be one ugly shirt that fits me. It’s not only frustrating—it’s embarrassing.”
And suddenly, I got it. While we tall ladies may complain that shopping off-the-rack is painful (it often is), we can usually squeeze in to size-ends; “put a boot on it” to camouflage short pants; choose fabrics with two-way stretch; or just wear tights for extra coverage when donning that knee-length (ahem, mid-thigh!) dress. But exceptionally tall dudes don’t have it so easy—they inherently have fewer options to choose from, and that one shirt or trouser they can pull off the rack in their size? Ugly. Dowdy. And usually wide enough to accommodate a sumo wrestler, but barely long enough to tuck or cover their ankles.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled my favorite online and in-store options beyond Gap’s ‘Big and Tall’ selection for you tall fellows looking for clothing to make you feel as good as you look. Shopping may never be a process you love—but I’d love to get you towering handsomes to a place of less frustration and more freedom…to express yourselves through clothing and accessories that actually fit and look cool too.
1) L.L. Bean Signature: The Signature line is the hip offshoot of Bean’s, helmed by Rogues Gallery’s Alex Carleton. Think modern, urban-rugged takes on Bean’s classic chinos, Chamois shirts and boots. In up to an XXL Tall, and 42” (waist) x 36” (inseam) pant—great for casual/weekend basics.
2) Lands End: Chock full of high quality work staples and a great selection of tall outerwear at reasonable price points, LE offers the bang for your tall buck—and one of the most flattering dress pants I’ve seen for tall men—the Plain Front Tailored Fit trouser. The guy particularly loves the three-season Sportsman Field Coat—now on sale for $54.99. In up to a 4X Tall; 54” (waist) x 38” (inseam) pants.
3) Nordstrom: For the best selection of stylish shoes in up to a size 16 extra wide, hit Nordstrom—or better yet, Nordstrom Rack for racks and racks (literally) of cool, big-guy shoes at clearance prices.
1) Longshot Apparel: Simply the best option for USA-made, high-quality shirting engineered specifically to fit the proportions of tall men. Purveyors of the ‘Tailored Taller Fit’, these Egyptian cotton oxfords are perfect for looking good at work or at play. In 8 brand-specific sizes and length iterations—1-4L.
2) Paul Fredrick: This retailer has been offering house-designed business and business casual separates in quality fabrications for going on 30 years. What it means for you? Snazzy designer looks without the designer-tag markup. Be sure to check out the tall 3-piece seersucker suits for summer! Up to a 54” (waist) x 38” (inseam) pant; up to a 4X/Extra Long jacket or vest; shirts can be custom-sized.
3) Hats in the Belfry: This punny e-tailer offers a wide selection of larger-size hats ranging from newsboys to fedoras to pork-pies. Great option for picking up some signature toppers to polish off your look.
Have a question? Need some help? Drop me a line or comment below!