I Pit Giant Americans (weak)

God, I hate shopping for clothes. Depending on the brand, my pants size is 28x32 to 30x32. 30x32 is usually pushing it as far as bagginess goes. Dress shirts, 14 to 14 1/2. T-shirts are all over the f’ing place, small to x-large. But…

I’ve noticed that the difficulty I have with finding clothes in my size isn’t necessarily that men are bigger (yes, they may be bigger, but smaller clothes tend to be available); it’s that men tend to wear ill-fitting, baggy clothes. Rail-thin guys wear giant, baggy t-shirts that could double as a dress if cinched with a belt; elephantine, billowing pants; dress shirts so baggy that the shoulders start at the guy’s biceps, making him look perpetualy hunched over. So, manufacturers and stores cater to this. I find a small shirt, or a 30x32 pair of dress pants, try 'em on… and I look like I’ve draped myself with a pinstriped toga.

I can’t just stop in at JC Penney/Macy’s/Kohls (forget Target or Wal-Mart) if I need a shirt in an emergency; every once in a while, I’ll find something there, but I generally have to hit Express for Men or other specialty clothiers, or pay for alterations. (When I do find something that fits, though, I look up the label online and pick up some additional patterns/colors.)

So, I feel similar to the OP, but I pit, instead, the weird preference men seem to have for baggy clothing.

My lifetime experience is that when there are a limited number of pants left in a style that I like, they will only fit men who are 6’4 and weigh 150 pounds.

And no, I don’t shop at Bob’s Tall and Anorexic, it just seems that way.

I also pit the preference for pants that include eight inches of extraneous length flopping around the ankles.

You like those do you? I do all my own mending of clothes but hemming is way out of my league. There never quite right when you get them back from seamstress either.

I don’t know what those guys do. I’m 6’ and 155 pounds (and it’s only in the last two years that I’ve been able to stay above 145) and it’s already hard enough to find long enough pants that aren’t designed for a 34 or even 36 waist.

For some reason 32-waist stuff always seems to be 30-leg, and if there’s a pair of 32x32 left it’s because they’re purple. Or have fairies on the back pockets. Or seem to have been pooped in while being tried on.

My bigger concern is suits. I need a 34 long at least, or I end up with six inches of shirt sleeve sticking out the end. That’s fine - 34 longs are easy to find - but they don’t actually fit unless I borrow a set of football shoulder pads. :mad:


That’s bizarre. I take a 36 or 38; I could stand to lose a little weight, but I’m not obese by any stretch of the imagination (I’m 6’2" and weigh 200 lbs). I’ve also never had any problem finding pants, even in discount stores. Who shops at your stores, Tiny Tim?

This is the story of my life. I look okay and people don’t scream and run away when they see me, but when I shop for clothes I realize I’m freakishly deformed.

Sometimes I can find things that fit me in the Juniors section, but apparently all that age group needs is clubwear or beach cover-ups. I’m 37 and need clothes to wear to the office. And I will die before I accept the ubiquitous cap sleeve!

Sometimes I can find things that fit me in the kids section, but I don’t want my ass to glitter and read “Princess”. And I’ve never even seen Dora the Explorer.

I like to shop in thrift stores, because if I don’t find anything that fits I can just chalk it up to chance, rather than, “We don’t stock that size because nobody wants it but you, stick-girl.”

No. Everything is sized for the “average” person. Think bell curve. Everything is for those in the middle, those at either end of the spectrum get progressivly fewer options.

I found a pair of socks that fit. For 10 minutes. In 1994.

Sure, once I abandoned the fantasy of clothing with buttons on it that would fit my entire torso.

Seriously, my shoulders are a small, my waist is a small, and if I buy to fit my boobs, things don’t fit correctly anywhere *but * my boobs. So I wear my jacket with at least the top couple of buttons unbuttoned, and in the extraordinarily rare event that I wear a button-down shirt, I wear a cami under it.

Seconded! Or is that thirded? 6’3", 200#, all leg - that’s me. I just bought jeans last night. Found a nice pair of 36x36 that weren’t too big around the waist (fit like a 34x36). Happy happy, joy joy.

Yes, but the “average” American is a lot larger than the “average” Korean and is a lot larger than the “average” American of 30 years ago.

Check out Kenneth Cole - from what I could tell when I tried to shop there, they only sell to small waisted folks. The “Heroin Chic” look is also popular at the Tilly’s and Active stores (my son is very slight framed).

Don’t forget that it is easy to get pants hemmed, and you can even get them altered at the waist and butt if you can get close. You might find it is better over time to get to know a good tailor.

I feel your pain and have shared a similar experience as you. Everything here too big as I am just a stick.

Shopping for clothes grew so frustrating I would just walk in and ask what the smallest size they carried was, if the answer was “8”, I’d turn on my heals and walk out without looking at a thing. Much less frustrating than finding something you adore only to hear, for the third time in an hour, it doesn’t come in a smaller size.

Then, starting in 1983 I was making pretty regular trips to SE Asia. The whole world changed! Suddenly everything was just for me. Even bracelets were a perfect fit. It got so I never took any clothes with me that weren’t on my back as I would buy so many when I was there.

Then, round about the 90’s, a change began to occur at the beach resorts where I was often staying and shopping. Once again, everything got bigger and bigger. What the hell? It was because of the increase of tourism from Australia and America and Europe. Everything in the tourist shops was way, way too big!

Fortunately, the shops for the locals were still a go, so I was a happy camper on that front at least.

On the flip side those giant amerikans can never find flip flops to fit at the beach in Asia, better bring some from home!

I happen to be one of those giant sized Americans the OP is talking about (6’5" 295 and shrinking, thanks to a LOT of gym time I’m down 25 currently) and I’m here to tell you it’s damn near impossible to find clothing that fits, let alone properly, when you’re large. Fat guys are relegated to camp shirts, the dreaded polo :rolleyes: banded bottom shirts, jeans, sweats and pleated-front dockers that make you look like you’re smuggling miniature footballs in your pants. Not, I should mention, in the good way. And now that my body is getting that -V- shape, I’m stuck with stuff that’s too big to be good looking or too small not to be all ‘international-maley’

And shoes? Forget it. I’m a 15 wide. You know how many pairs of shoes come in that size that are readiliy available and worth buying? About 1. If I lost every ounce of fat on my body, I STILL couldn’t wear anything close to what society or the OP would consider “regular”.
All that said; even with the kinds of troubles Omegaman is talking about, which don’t happen to me as much anymore, I like being a big guy. I’m head and shoulders over damn near everybody, being this size has worked to my advantage kicking in doors, fighting fires, catching bad guys and what not. I’m a kilt-wearin’ man to boot (fully regimented when necessary) so when I’m out and about with that on, I get attention. Plus, I look smashing in fire gear, and I can reach the highest shelf without even the mere mention of the words step ladder.

5’7, 155 lbs. I can’t find much that fits me either. I’ve seen the sizing go the opposite way though, and everything cool is for TINY people. I’m deep chested and broad-shouldered and a large in men’s tops. In hot topic, I am now an XL. That is ridiculous. I can’t find any 34/29 pants either.

For the record, average height for males worldwide, is 5’6-5’11. Average weight for the same range is roughly 145-180 lbs.

Interestingly, most aren’t making clothing for those sizes. if you are short enough for the clothes, they are made for skinny, skinny men. Tall guys are SOL, as are fat guys, and men who are simply muscular naturally like me.

I currently own 0 pairs of work-appropriate socks in good repair. I have been looking for over two months.

All socks on the market have a baggy heel half-way up the back of my calf, with the top of the socks reaching well past my knees, like pantaloons.

Menswear stores’ smallest waist-size is typically four inches too big for me.

What I don’t understand is that I live on the pacific rim. There are lots of (asian) guys my size. (5’4".) Where the hell do they shop?

When I ask about smaller sizes, I am invariably told “They sell out as soon as we put them on the shelves.”

From working at a clothing distributer, I know that it’s typical for stores to order two of the smallest sizes for each item. Sometimes one. If not none. (And the smallest that we ever produced was a 30" waist.)



:confused: Hemming pants is dirt easy. My roommate (who is petite but refuses to shop in the petite section) has made me hem every pair of pants she has ever bought. Just mark where you want 'em on one seam, trim off the extra about 1.5 inches from the mark (for a 1-inch hem), turn inside out, fold over the last 0.5 inches and again 1 inch deep, check to make sure the folds are straight and even on both legs (this is the only anywhere-near-hard part), pin, and hem or slip stitch by hand (for pants this much easier than by machine). It takes like 15 minutes, tops, unless you are dealing with wide flares or something else with a curved hem.


OK? I’m at the other end of the spectrum: I can’t find clothes in my bloated size IRL, unless to go way out of the way to some B&T specialty shop, where the buyer obviously thought that men’s fashion began and ended in the Eisenhower era. I have to buy all my clothes online, which means I can’t try them on first, and which means I have to pay double shipping if I don’t want them after I do try them on.

And I can’t shop vintage at all: you know how rare it is to find anything worth wearing in Hella Big? I’ve never, ever found anything vintage worth buying that was big enough for me, while my skinny friends can wear whatever the fuck they want.

Talk about not knowing when you have very little reason to complain.

At least there are B&T specialty shops.

The “Mr. Big & Tall” franchise is all over the damned place, but I’ll be buggered sideways if I can find a “Mr. Skinny Little Freak.” :smiley: