TIP #1: TALL T-SHIRTS SHOULD BE ETHICALLY MADE
We had to mention ethics as our number 1 tip before writing about fit. Because what's the point of buying decent fitting tall t-shirts if you don't have a clue if they were made ethically?
Ethical manufacturing should be a no-brainer so you can sleep well at night. Be extra suspicious if the t-shirts are super cheap. There's a high chance the workers at the factory suppling the brand are paid next to nothing, which just isn't fair.
Check to see if the brand's factory is certified by a recognized body such as GOTS (the Global Organic Textile Standard). They check if fabrics are organic, AND check social criteria such as fair wages and workplace safety. If the factory is certified, you can relax knowing its workers are looked after.
Our garment manufacturers are GOTS certified. Scan the QR code below to see our main supplier (Sree Balaji International) registered on the official GOTS database.
In a nutshell, ethics is key and awesome brands are transparent. They don't just chat hot air, they back up their claims of being ethical with bona-fide certifications.
TIP #2: THEY SHOULD REACH YOUR MID-FLY
Many style gurus advise that a t-shirt should fall just below the belt line. But this is just advice from a short guru to short guys. If you're a tall skinny guy with long lanky legs like us, your tall t-shirts should drop lower. As low as mid-fly or a little lower.
By having a little more of your legs covered with a longer length t-shirt, it'll make you look a little shorter overall and even things out between your torso and lower body. Wouldn't you just love just a few less people gaping at your long legs when you're out and about?
Check that the t-shirts you're interested in are 2"-3" longer than regular sizes. If you're above 6'2", this extra length pretty much guarantees they'll fall to your mid-fly. It'll also guarantee your tall torso stays covered when you decide to stretch out. Nobody wants to see your bare belly after all (whether it's hairy or not).
Finally, run a mile if they're advertised at 5"-7" longer than regular sizes. Unless you're well over 7" tall, they'll fall to your mid/lower thighs and wear like a dress. You already stick out like a sore thumb, so you don't want to attract any more attention than you're already getting by wearing super long line tees.
TIP #3: THEY SHOULD BE SLIM FITTING ON YOUR CHEST
We hope you're not into loud streetwear, oversized tees or those huge tall tees that hip hoppers started wearing in the eighties. You're the guy next door who likes to fit in, not stand out. And fitting in means wearing a fitted t-shirt that accentuates your slim upper body.
Whether you're super skinny or have some upper body muscle, nothing beats that sleek refined look that a fitted t-shirt gives. It's just timeless and you'll be honoring your height. Stay away from baggy t-shirts that make you look weak and even skinnier.
Google 'tall slim t-shirts' or 'tall fitted t-shirts' to narrow things down to the fit we're recommending. Check all the product photos - be careful if you can't see the t-shirts on tall models. The t-shirt should look comfy on the chest, not baggy but also not tight as if the model's pecs will jump out at you from the screen. If you have man boobs, you definitely don't want them showing from a really tight t-shirt. Everything in moderation.
Hopefully the store will have a height and weight guide to help you choose the correct size. These guides are very accurate as they're based on thousands of customer purchases.
Also, whatever you used to buy in regular sizing should be the same in tall sizing. So if you're a regular medium on the chest, you're probably a medium tall, because tall slim t-shirts from tall specialist brands are just longer, not wider.
TIP #4: THEY SHOULD BE SLIGHTLY TAPERED THROUGH YOUR WAIST
The best t-shirts for tall skinny guys like you are cut nearly straight through your waist and hips. This will make you look a bit more filled out in your upper body and bulkier than you actually are.
That doesn't mean they'll be boxy around your abdomen. That's because the t-shirt should already be slim fitted on your chest and shoulders as we wrote in tip #3, so what's slim fitting up top will drape nicely further down. Like nice fitting house curtains that don't bunch up or flair out. Hopefully you get the gist.
And if you're 'skinny fat' (skinny but carrying a lot of fat on your belly like us), an almost straight cut through the waist will hide your belly nicely. But the t-shirt shouldn't be tapered more than 0.5" either side. If it's tapered more than that, it'll catch on your belly and you'll be forever tucking it in when you're out on the town socializing. We're sure you'd rather be chilling and preoccupied with other things :)
TIP #5: THEY SHOULD HAVE FITTED SHOULDER SEAMS AND SLEEVES
Fitted shoulder seams are super important. It all starts from the shoulders, like the foundation of a house - if it's solid, the walls and roof have no chance of toppling over. The seams should sit on or just after the bony edge of your scapula. That will make sure both the chest and sleeves drape correctly on your slim frame.
If the seams are too tight, the sleeves will ride up, making your arms look even longer. And if the seams are drooping well past the scapula edge, it'll look horribly baggy on your chest and the sleeves will fall to your elbows.
Slim sleeves are a no-brainer. Slim fitting sleeves flatter your arms, whether they're slim or you have guns to show off. They should lightly hug your biceps,or have no more than 1cm / 0.5" of extra fabric when pinched. They should reach at least half-way to 2/3rds down your upper arm.
Check the product photos again. You obviously have to see the t-shirt on a model to judge the sleeves. Stay away from baggy sleeves. They make all arms look smaller, skinny and muscular arms alike. You can't control your height, but you can control your arm aesthetics by choosing a t-shirt specifically for tall slim men.
TIP #6: THEY SHOULD HAVE MEDIUM COLLARS
Medium width collars act like horizontal stripes. They add a little more width to your frame, make your shoulders look a little broader, and detract from your long neck if you have one. They should reveal 1-2cm of skin either side of your neck. If the collar is too narrow and tight, it'll attract more attention to your neck, and make you look skinnier.
Unless you like wearing lots of bling around your neck, avoid plunging necklines and leave that for the movie stars. The best collar drops to your collar bone and not lower. You're already bony by nature so showing your collar bone just adds to the problem.
Stay away from high rise collars, they elongate your face and won't do your giraffe neck any favours. We'll say it again - everything in moderation. Medium width, medium drop.
TIP #7: THEY SHOULD BE 100% COTTON
You can't go wrong with 100% cotton tall tees. It's a breathable, versatile fabric and perfect for people with skin conditions.
Check the detailed product descriptions. Stick to pre-shrunk tall t-shirts. You want to chill knowing that they won't lose 4cm in the wash. How annoyed would you be losing what was a great fit before the washing machine? Don't buy cheap gear that is destined for the garbage in a few months (or less). You'll pay more for pre-shrunk t-shirts but you'll be happier in the long run.
Tall cotton t-shirts don't suffer from pilling and bobbling either. Pilling and bobbling are tiny balls that form on the surface of mixed fabrics such as polycotton (cotton & polyester). These balls usually rear their ugly head after a few washes. This happens because the cotton and polyester fibres are different lengths, so they clash under stress. They ruin the overall look and they're itchy if you have sensitive skin. Just not worth it.
TIP #8: THEY SHOULD BE A MEDIUM WEIGHT FABRIC
Look for t-shirts weighing 180-200gsm (grams per square meter). Medium weight fabrics are versatile and suitable for all seasons. And you might not have the money (nor the time) to swap your t-shirts out twice a year.
T-shirts below 120gsm are promotional tees only to be worn once or twice and then thrown away. They're almost see-through and not durable at all.
130-170gsm are light weight tees just for summer. They drape the best but are flimsy. Lighter colours are flimsier than darker colours.
180-200gsm are medium weight tees. They drape well on tall lean guys and are great for all year-round wear. We think they're the perfect balance between versatility, drape and durability.
210+gsm are heavy weight tees and winter wear. They're highly durable but don't drape as well as mediumweight tees.
You should find the t-shirt's gsm in the store's product descriptions. If it's not listed, ask them. If they don't know what it is, that should sound alarm bells.
TIP #9: YOU SHOULD BUY THEM FROM TALL SPECIALIST BRANDS
Tall specialist brands have lived all the tall men's clothing problems you have. Because the specialist brands we know have all been founded by tall guys. They eat, drink and sleep tall so they have a lot higher chance of giving you that fit you've been looking for. When they say tall sizes, they mean tall sizes. And won't you feel better supporting small independent businesses?
The big behemoths do have tall sections too. But be careful with their sizing, especially if you're 6'6"+. Are they actually for truly tall guys or do they stop at 6-5"? The last thing you want is to order a tall tee that ends up too short. We've heard that story again and again. You'll rarely experience this problem at tall specialist brands.
The best tall specialist brands we just have to mention are:
www.americantall.com (USA & Canada based)
www.2tall.com (UK based)
www.tallslimtees.com (USA based)
www.navaslab.com (Canada based)
www.redwoodtall.com (USA based)
Hopefully you now know exactly what to look for in fabric and fit! A 100% organic cotton and ethically made tall slim t-shirt is exactly the thing you should be looking for.
And that's the end of our first ever blog post, 100% human written and without AI! Drop us a comment below and let us know what you thought, and what other tips we can add!