Tall men and clothing sizes

Living on the edge of clothing sizes

You are a man and taller than 1.90 meters or a woman and taller than 1.75 meters, then you are on the edge of modern clothing sizes. Shopping for suitable clothes then often becomes exhausting…

Of course, you can always opt for made-to-measure – but this is correspondingly expensive, and not every place has tailors who still practice this art of tailoring and stock the appropriate fabrics. Therefore, there is often no choice but to look for off-the-rack clothing that fits your size. For this, however, you need knowledge of which clothing size to look for in order to find your way through the sometimes confusing world of clothing sizes.

A guide through the jungle of different clothing sizes

Unfortunately, despite increasing globalization, there is no uniform system of clothing sizes worldwide. Rather, a colorful mixture of different standards exists. The three most important systems are

  • the European measurements,
  • the international measurements, and
  • the American measures.

But even here there are no binding standards, but each manufacturer may have its own measurements. The standards are rather an orientation, so it is recommended to look for the manufacturers’ own size tables.

The European measures

European measurements are given in centimeters. The figures of the European sizes are mostly based on the chest circumference. An exception is shirt size, which is based on neck circumference in centimeters. Another exception is jeans, they are measured in inches according to the US standard. Within the European standard there are regional differences e.g. a German size 38 is not identical to a French or Italian size 38. Why this is so – we have not found a really convincing explanation…

The International Dimensions

The international measurements uses the letters “S” for “small”, “M” for “medium”, “L” for “large”, “XL” for “extra large”. The X extends the table down or up: XXS or XXL, 3XL, 4XL, etc.

Die amerikanischen Maßen

The American measurements use the numbers from 0 to 20 for women and the number 30 to 52 for men. For very tall or very obese people, the US uses the designation “Tall” and “Big”. These abbreviations are as follows: TL, T2L, T3L, T4L and so on, or B1X, B2X, B3X and so on.

Standards not binding

The different sizing systems do not represent a binding standard, but each manufacturer may have its own measurements. The standards are rather an orientation, therefore it is recommended to look for the respective manufacturer’s own size tables before buying something. In addition, you should know your own body measurements or measure.

The problem with the standard using the example of buying a shirt

When buying a shirt is important to know the following parameters:

  • Chest circumference
  • Waist circumference
  • Collar size
  • Sleeve length,

as well as your own body size. For example, I personally am 1.98 m tall, have a chest circumference of 106 cm, a waist of 95cm and a collar size of 42cm; my sleeve length is 72 cm.

With these sizes in mind, I can look at the various “standard sizes” to assess which size would probably fit me best:

Table of standard sizes for men’s clothing

American SizeEuropean SizeChest circumferenceWaist circumferenceBody size

Looking at the chart, I should buy an “XL” size due to my chest and waist circumference. This is usually much too short for me at the sleeves and body, as “XL” is for men with a height of 177- 182 cm. Would take the “6XL” according to my height, the shirt would be much too wide at the chest and waist.

For this reason, the so-called “long sizes” have been available for quite some time:

Table of long sizes for men’s clothing:

American SizeEuropean SizeChest circumferenceWaist circumferenceBody size

If I were to buy a number “106” according to this standard, it should fit at the chest and waist, but possibly the garment is too short at the body and sleeves.

As mentioned, for shirts you also need to take into account the collar circumference and the length of the sleeves. When measuring the collar, you should leave 1 cm of air. The standard length of the sleeves is 66cm. However, manufacturers also offer extra-long sleeves – but this again varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Partly “extra-long” means 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75cm sleeve length. So here you have to once again pay attention to the size table of the manufacturer.

More info…

If you want to learn more about the different clothing sizes, we recommend the article on this topic at Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konfektionsgröße#Umrechnung_internationaler_Größen  

For the conversion of different systems the following website can help: http://konfektionsrechner.de

Our dimensions

We at RIESENHEMD Hamburg produce shirts for men from 1.90 meters with collar sizes from 41 to 46 cm. The sleeves are longer than the standard, they have a length of 72 cm. We have our own measurements for each collar size in terms of chest circumference and waist circumference. All shirts are cut longer on the body than standard shirts, that is, with extra-long torso. We offer our shirts in two fits. First, the entire collection is available in Modern Fit Long for “normal-slim” tall men. These shirts are slightly fitted, but not too tight. For very slim tall men, we also offer the vast majority of models in Slim Fit Long – these shirts are more fitted. For an overview of the sizes see here

Retail stores often with a small selection of plus and long sizes

Only normal sizes are accessible in most stores. Small and larger sizes are rather the exception. But do not panic! Nowadays there are several niche companies, like us, that produce only for tall people (or only for tall women, or only for tall and fatter people), besides there are some traditional companies that have expanded their offers for tall people etc. in recent years.

In order to provide an overview in this area and give tall people the opportunity to share, we have opened a group in Facebook – “Tall people go shopping  (Große Leute gehen Shopping)“. Here stores are presented, manufacturers are mentioned that focus on tall people, and of course testimonials are shared. Here is the link

Shirts for tall men

Exquisite fabrics & with extra long sleeves (72 cm)