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12 Jan 2010

San Francisco - great for a short winter break, not so great for long trousers.

It was a pleasure recently to escape the frozen weather blanketing Europe for San Francisco, where the temperature was a relatively balmy 54'F/12'C. Having a little time to spare, I managed to fit in some sightseeing and some window shopping. A couple of hours' stroll in the verdant Golden Gate Park was the perfect antidote to the grey, bare scenary of home right now, and I visited the de Young Museum, which I can highly recommend for its collection of artworks from American, African and Pacific cultures. Until April 2010, it's also the temporary resting place of the treasure of the globe-trotting pharaoh, Tutankhamen.

I started my shopping looking for some casual long trousers, and the experience reinforced my feeling that for a tall man expecting to get a decent selection in "normal" shops is a waste of time. The staff in Banana Republic were straightforward: "we don't stock anything longer than a 34" leg in store, you have to go to our web site". At Docker's, the message was the same, but with the charming explanation that when it comes to tall men "the demographic doesn't support" keeping a stock in the store. At Macy's, they had some Levis in various sizes, including 36" and 38" inside leg and waist sizes from 32" upwards. The helpful assistant said that Levi's were the only brand of jeans in the entire store that stocked 'tall jeans' and even these were only available in the most popular styles, such as 501 and 505. I found nothing in Bloomingdales or Barney's.

Dispirited, I made my way to the store I thought would offer the best chance of success: Rochester Big & Tall Men. The shop is at the intersection of Mission and 3rd streets, just five minutes walk from Union Square (five minutes for tall men who know the way, that is). The assistant was very helpful, and after establishing that I was 6'5" / 195cm but with a chest and neck of around 42" and 16-17" respectively, she led me through the large store to a very small cupboard, containing 5-10 shirts and two T-shirts. "Here's what we've got!", she said proudly. This particular store did not stock trousers with a waist less than 36", although the assistant did think they would have had some suits in my size (you can also check out their web site). That was the final straw. Defeated, I headed across the road to the conveniently located Peet's coffee shop and plotted my next steps.

The conclusion was pretty clear: as a tall man with an inside leg of more than 34", vsiting stores is fine to work out which style you need, but after that, you're best off going straight to the internet when you want to buy something. There is a (small) range of suppliers that have a range of long trousers for tall men, and I'll be summarising some of these in a new post very soon - sign up for updates via email or RSS, or visit again soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I'm 6'7" and am currently roaming San Francisco looking for shops. This (and your most recent post) are pretty useful. I was similarly disappointed by Rochester. They were so proud of the 5 items they showed me. Saying that, I did get a long tall polo shirt there, but they seem to be more into the big than the tall.


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