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11 Feb 2010

Size matters - so don't hide the height!

It could be a motto for tall people everywhere, but I'm referring to inept online stores that make life difficult for themselves and tall customers.

It was the difficulty of finding basic sizing information on some clothing sites prompted this short rant.

Rochester Big & Tall was the least serious offender. A good selection of dress socks included XL sizes - but didn't explain what extra large meant. The size charts didn't mention socks at all. All credit to their customer service department, who replied within hours to my email. Apparently, their XL socks fit shoe sizes 12-18, which leaves me wondering whether they are made of cotton or elastic!

Thinking the manufacturer might have more information, I headed over to the Polo range at Ralph Lauren. Their tall range is pretty good, but its mainly for big and tall men so if you're tall and slim you might struggle a bit (see size chart). In any case, if it's large socks you're after you can save yourself the trouble (unless you're into pink cashmere, in which case act quickly as they're down from $200 to $60!).

Once I found them (socks are Accessories, not Underwear, as I learnt after seeing more tightly packed undergarments than in a week at the gym) it turned out seven pairs were available, most of which are "One size". I coldn't find out which size that was, but I'm pretty sure it's not large enough.

At least both of these sites mention sock size. Today's prize for poor communication goes to Cole Haan, whose impressive collection of elegant dress socks gives no size information at all.

Should my enquiries throw any light on these mysteries (or if any reader visits the sites and realises I've missed something really obvious), you will be the first to hear!

For more on socks, see the previous article Christmas S(t)ockings: in search of large socks for tall men.

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