In my opinion, every guy deserves to look and feel great in his clothes. But for taller men, it’s often tough to find clothing that fits properly. Consequently you can buy the same outfit you saw in a magazine or on a mannequin at the store, but it just doesn’t look the same on you. Unless you’re a fashion guru or a tailor, it’s often difficult to put your finger on what’s wrong – the clothes just don’t ‘feel’ right. That’s why I’ve put together this post that details specific things you can look out for next time you’re trying on clothes. Keep it nearby when you clear out your closet of all the poorly-fitting items, so you can re-stock with the right ones.
1. The shoulder seam doesn’t reach your shoulder
The seam where the sleeve and the top of the shirt meets should sit right at the edge of your shoulder, but for tall men, it’s often the case that on regular shirts, it sits somewhere further up. This will make your shirt hang incorrectly as your sleeves won’t sit right.
2. Your collar wants to strangle you
Or, it hates you and wants nothing to do with your neck. See how many fingers you can fit into your buttoned collar – make sure that your hand is at a right angle to your neck rather than having the fingers parallel with your neck. If you can fit two, then your collar fits perfectly. More, and it is too loose; fewer, and it is too tight. Of course, if you feel your face turning a shocking shade of vermillion and struggle to breathe when you try the shirt on, or you simply can’t fasten the top button, that’s also a pretty good sign that it’s too tight! Your collar should lightly graze your neck, rather than constrict it.
3. You can’t pinch any fabric at the side of your shirt
If your shirt is the correct fit, you’ll be able to pinch between 2-4 inches of fabric when you lift one arm up. If you can pinch more than that, then the shirt is too loose, but if you can’t pinch any fabric, or only very little, then it is too tight. Another tell-tale sign that your shirt may be too slim a fit, is when there are gaps in the fabric between the buttons at the front – this means that the fabric is straining.
4. You can’t move your arms easily
A well-fitted shirt should offer movement in the sleeves. If you struggle to raise your arms above your head, then your shirt definitely needs to be adjusted. Your sleeves may also feel tight, which will affect your movement and also the overall look of the shirt. Now, I’m not suggesting that you should go for billowing pirate sleeves a la Captain Jack Sparrow, but a slightly loose look is best both for comfort and style.
5. Your sleeves don’t reach your palms
For tall guys, it’s often the case that sleeves end somewhere between the elbow and the wrist, rather than just above the palm, which is where they should sit. You shouldn’t be able to read your watch without moving your sleeve, if the sleeve fits correctly.
6. Your shirt doesn’t stay tucked in
Of course, after a vigorous evening on the dancefloor, your shirt may well make an escape bid from your pants. But if all you’re doing is reaching over a desk to pick up a file, then your shirt should be able to stay locked down and tucked in. When trying on a shirt, raise your hands above your head, and also bend over as if you were tying your shoelaces, to see how much the shirt comes untucked. If you generally wear your shirts untucked anyway, do these tests to see if any of your stomach or back becomes exposed.
7. Your tie doesn’t reach your belt
For tall guys, even accessories can come up short. The end of your tie should reach the centre of your belt, so if yours only manages to get to somewhere in the middle of your midriff even when you’ve tried every knot there is to try, it may be time to find a tie that has been tailored specifically for tall men. Justin over at The Fine Young Gentleman blog offers some great advice on tie length. “When a tie is worn at the proper length it helps balance out your legs and torso, wearing a tie at an incorrect length can throw the balance of the ensemble off,” says Justin. “When worn too long it can make the whole look frumpy and sloppy. When worn too short it can look clownish.”
8. Your pants end above or at your ankles
The bottom of the legs of your pants should sit on top of your shoes, rather than swinging somewhere above them. This helps to create a ‘break’, which is the fold that you see just above the foot on a well-fitting pair of pants. The depth of the break is a matter of personal style, and some men choose pants that don’t feature a break at all, but even in this case it’s important that the cuffs of the pants at least graze your shoes. Not only does this look more stylish, but it’ll also make the pants feel more comfortable.
9. You need to wear a belt to keep your pants up
I’m a big fan of belts, but they should only be used as a stylish addition to your outfit that pulls everything together, rather than as a practical gadget. If your pants won’t stay put without one, then it means that the waist size is too big. That said, pants shouldn’t feel as though they are cutting into your waist, either – the pants should feel comfortable, but secure.
10. Pulling and stretching around the seat and thighs
This is often a problem for tall men, as the sizes that are found in regular stores are often not adjusted to fit the proportions of a taller man’s body. Pulling and stretching indicates that the pants are too tight, and it may be due to the rise being too short rather than the waist size being off. The answer is not to buy a bigger waist size, but rather to find pants in YOUR waist size, that also feature a longer rise. As I mentioned with regards to shirts, you should be able to pinch a little fabric at the side of each leg. If you struggle to pinch any fabric at all in certain areas, your pants are too tight.
11. Pocket flare
When the pockets of the pants that you’re wearing don’t lay flat, but remain open, it’s a clear sign that the pants are too tight. Dan Trepanier over at Articles of Style explains more in this helpful post. “A common issue with men’s trousers is pocket flare, which is often accompanied by wrinkles across the front hips,” says Dan. “This can be caused by a number of different factors. Typically, it means the pants are tight across the hips/seat, causing the pockets to pull open. “In other cases, the pocket flare (and front wrinkles/crunching) are caused by an athletic seat (high, prominent glutes) and/or a tilted pelvis.”
Some of these problems can be helped by taking a trip to the tailor, but next time you’re shopping, try to make sure that the clothes that you decide to buy feature as few of these issues as possible. That will make any trips to the tailor much less expensive! In regular stores, it can be difficult to find clothes for tall men, so it’s likely that you will find at least a couple of problems with the clothes that you choose. However, there is an alternative – and that’s choosing a supplier that offers a tailored fit for tall men, such as ForTheFit.com! Here at ForTheFit.com, we offer a range of shirts, accessories, pants, dress trousers, loungewear and more, all specifically designed with tall men and shorter guys in mind – men who don’t fit into the ‘average size’ bracket. Each item has been completely adjusted to properly fit the proportions of tall and shorter men, down to the smallest detail. We also carry a range of waist sizes, inseam lengths, sleeve lengths and more, so that you can find garments that fit properly, and look great! Image credit: image 1, image 2