Quality extra long jeans and clothing for tall men; offering advice on the best brands and where to find them since 2009.

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8 Jan 2010

January Sales: getting shirty

Every year as the effects of the Christmas turkey wore off and the sales started, I used to travel to Jermyn Street near Picadilly in London, the UK's best source of high quality shirts and ties. I would spend a happy few hours scouring the many shops for shirts suitable for a tall man, and on a good day, I would get enough high quality shirts to see me through the year for about the same price as non-reduced high street shirts. This success would then be celebrated, perhaps by a well deserved afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason (one of London's last traditional department stores) or visiting an exhibition at the nearby Royal Academy.

These days, happily, many of the same excellent shirts are sold over the Internet, including a variety of body and sleeve lengths for those with long arms, as well as other stuff such as long trousers and ties. As the sale offers start to fill the mailbox, I wanted to share some of my experiences and some links.

Charles Tyrwhitt

One of my top picks right now is the Black Label range from Charles Tyrwhitt. According to the company, the range "introduces a more modern edge to Charles Tyrwhitt formalwear. As well as contemporary square cuffs, the formal shirts have a new collar shape, to be worn with or without a tie", and the shirts also come in a slim fit. Fashion 'experts' point out that vertical stripes and a slim fit will accentuate your height - to which I say that there is nothing wrong with looking tall as long as you look good! And of course, it doesn't matter whether the shirt is striped, chequered or plain, the key is that the fit is good, the collars and cuffs are firm and the fabric is excellent (and even irons well - I know from bitter personal experience that this isn't always the case with pure cotton shirts). More to the point, in the sale until the end of January, you can get a rather nice blue striped shirt for half the price I paid last year! The company also do classic fit shirts, all with a variety of sleeve lengths, and some good trousers in a long 38" unfinished leg, which you can have finished to your choice of length.

Charles Tyrwhitt

But back to basics for a moment. If you go to a 'typical' high street shop and a buy a shirt with a 16" collar, it will generally have a 34" sleeve, and if you are lucky there may be an 'extra long' version with a 36" sleeve. But if you are tall and slim, you may find the normal sleeve slightly too short and the extra long rather too long (to check your perfect fit, read our measuring guide). Slim fit shirts, which have become more popular in recent years, give another option for tall and slim men who don't want to look bulky in a wide shirt. The beauty of a specialist shirt shop is that they will have a variety of sleeve lengths for each collar size, and these are ideal for someone who is tall and slim. For me a 16" collar and a 35" sleeve is perfect, and means the shirt is normally not too baggy either. Trust me: find exactly the right sleeve length for your height and you'll never look back!

There are a number of shops that have a good range of shirts with different sleeve lengths both in store and sold over the internet. Each one tends to have a slightly different combination of collar and sleeve sizes (e.g. their 'standard' sleeve length might be 34", 34.5" or 35"), so it's worth checking a few once you have worked out your ideal sleeve length. There's also a range of prices from roughly high street to distinctly high end!

TM Lewin

For a wide range of styles and sizes, TM Lewin is well worth visiting. They offer good value for everyday business and casual shirts as well as accessories.

Other stores with shirts for tall men

At the pricier end of the spectrum you have the likes of Thomas Pink, which now boasts around 75 stores worldwide, including a number of cities in the US and UK. Smaller stores may not have the same range of sleeve lengths, but everything is available via their web site.

Also at the upper end of the market is Hilditch and Key, which remain more traditional. Slightly less pricey, but still with a wide range of high quality shirts for tall men, you can try Hervie and Hudson, Hawes and Curtis or TM Lewin. Below are the links, along with delivery regions.

In future posts, there is surely more to explore in the numerous options for shirt cuffs, collars, patterns, and styles not to mention the choice of tie. I am also aware that this post has been a little UK-centric. There are plenty of good US and European shirtmakers that cater for tall men which I'd like to explore in future posts. Please feel free to suggest any topics below, but for now . . . Happy Shopping!


  1. Have to say that I love Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts.

    As a traveller I guess I am fondest of their non iron shirts, but when I am being luxurious I love the superfine 180s. Personally I maintain that they are the best shirts that I have ever worn and for me I would rather have a Tyrwhitt shirt than one from anywhere else and that includes the so called Rolls Royce of Jermyn Street, Turnbull and Asser.

  2. James - thanks for your comment and your tips!


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