Updated on July 7th, 2023 at 08:11 pm

The biggest pain of clothes shopping is finding the right size that fits you. After all, you need to start thinking about big or tall size clothing. It’s confusing enough trying to find out the difference between men’s and women’s sizes.

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So in this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the difference between big and tall sizes. In many cases, tall sizes are for those who are over 6 feet in height. Big sizes are for anyone who can’t fit into a 2XL shirt size or if you’re above a size 42 in pants (for men) or size 20 (for women).

After all, the whole process of buying clothes is confusing enough as it is. So why don’t we make it a little less complicated? We’ll take a better look at how big and tall clothing differs from each other and how it’s also different for plus-sized clothing for women.

So What’s The Difference?

Everyone gets confused between big and tall, and they’re never quite sure whether there’s a difference. But, not all tall people are big, and not all big people are tall.

Say you are over six feet in height; if you grabbed a big size, it might be long enough to cover his body, but not his arms.

Plus-size clothing is always challenging to find, so hopefully, this will make shopping easier for you. But first, we need to understand how clothing companies define regular-sized clothes.

What Are Regular Clothes?

As defined by clothing companies, most regular-sized clothing is when you’re both under 6 feet tall and weigh under 200 pounds. When this happens, your chest measurement is often around the same length as your waist, so you won’t need big or tall size clothing.

While exceptions exist to this rule, it is the main one we’ve found. It’s why finding plus-size clothing can be the challenge that it is. You need the right size and getting big and tall confused can make the whole shopping experience more challenging than it has to be.

When looking at regular-sized clothing in this article, remember that the first section is about men’s wear. Both men and women have different methods of sizing, as there are other factors to keep in mind, such as the bust.

If anything, women’s clothing is easier to tell the difference between tall and regular clothes, as I’ll go into more detail about later.

Tall T-Shirts VS Regular T-Shirts

You’ll probably find that the size varies depending on each brand, but a general rule still needs to be followed. So, let’s begin by identifying the difference between tall and regular T-shirts to show you how you can measure them.

So, let’s take a closer look at the tall measurements. Tall t-shirts often add 2 inches, or 5 centimeters, to the length. You will also find that the sleeves, regardless of T-shirt or long-sleeved, will add around 1 inch, or 25 centimeters, to the length of the sleeves.

A regular XL T-shirt will typically measure at 32 inches, or 81 centimeters, in length. The tall version of this same T-shirt would measure at 34 inches or 91 centimeters in length.

You may notice that you need a tall shirt if your sleeves feel too short on your arms. But there’s another way you’ll know if you need a tall size.

For example, if you’re over 6 feet tall with a chest measurement longer than your waist or roughly the same size, you could benefit from these shirts. But that doesn’t mean you will need a big size.

Men tall enough for these sizes won’t necessarily have the girth to fill out a big size. The same can also be said for someone who needs big clothes. Hence, it’s essential that big sizes need to be separated from tall sizes.

Big T-Shirts VS Regular T-Shirts

Big sizes are much more complicated than regular-sized clothing, for example, there is a clothing size called 3XB. Bigger sizes aren’t just about adding more length to the shirt. In fact, everything becomes larger. After all, the pockets need to be larger, as do the buttons and the collar, so everything needs to be in proportion.

But, let’s just expand on what you need to know about bit T-shirts. By all accounts, T-shirts are easier to understand as there’s less you need to consider as they don’t have pockets (most of the time). So, let’s get a better idea of how you would measure a 2XL T-shirt and a 2XL Big T-shirt.

A regular 2XL T-shirt often gives a measurement between two sizes, so you would find it measuring the chest girth at between 47 and 49 inches, or between 119 and 124 centimeters.

Typically, the chest of a big 2XL will be roughly an inch bigger than its regular counterpart. You will find the chest girth is between 50 and 52 inches, or 127 and 132 centimeters.

However, they don’t only measure the chest girth but also the circumference of your waist. So the waist of a regular 2XL T-shirt is between 41 and 43 inches, or between 104 and 109 centimeters. The big 2XL waist will typically be 2 inches wider and will measure between 45 and 48 inches or between 114 and 119 centimeters.

As you can see from this example, the size of the T-shirt shows how different it is from how it measures a tall T-shirt. Most of these T-shirts allow more freedom around your midsection, so they don’t constrict too tightly.

If you do feel like your clothing is too tight around your body, then you should probably take a closer at big-sized clothing. If your waist measurement is bigger than your chest, you could probably benefit from a relaxed fit around your midsection to feel more comfortable.

Big And Tall T-Shirts

From the example you can see above, you will know by now that there isn’t an exact correlation between height and weight when looking for plus-size clothing.

However, what if there is? Some people will benefit from big and tall size T-shirts, and in this section, we’ll take a closer look at how you would measure them.

A regular 2XL T-shirt will usually measure the chest girth, the waist, and the length of the shirt. The chest measures between 47 and 49 inches, or 119 and 124 centimeters. The waist measures between 41 and 43 inches, or 104 and 109 centimeters. Finally, the regular length is 32 1/4 inches or roughly 82 centimeters.

Meanwhile, the big and tall 2XL T-shirts have a chest girth measuring between 50 and 52 inches, or between 127 and 132 centimeters. The waist measures the same as the big and tall chest sizing. Then, the length is 34 1/4 inches or nearly 87 centimeters. So hopefully now you are a bit more informed on whether or not you need a 2XL or XXL.

However, as with all the other sizing options, the official sizes lie with the brands. Clothing companies tend to have different sizing options, so it’s hard to guarantee the exact length. Instead, you’ll have to check the sizing chart for the brand you want to buy for.

In many cases, you’ll need big and tall clothing if you’re taller than 6 feet tall and if your waist is bigger than your chest. Of course, there are also other circumstances where you may need clothes because of the size of your chest.

Tall Size Pants

Admittedly, it’s more difficult to measure pants. The pants are more focused on measuring the inseam and your waist. Therefore, finding pants for tall people can be a lot more of a chore, depending on how long your legs are.

After all, you don’t want the legs of your pants to be too short. It can feel embarrassing when you look for a new pair, and all you can see is your ankles uncovered as though you’re wearing a pair of capris.

Big and tall stores specializing in these sizes tend to include more fabric to help make the pants more proportional. You may find the pants have a slightly more expandable waistband to make them easier to wear.

However, tall pants tend to include more fabric as they are more concerned about the length than the width.

Big Size Pants

The same issue with big pants can also be found in regular stores. They don’t always match up as you measure the waist and inseam. Sometimes, you might feel like you can’t have decent clothes due to how regular companies make them.

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They don’t always use the right fabric, while clothing companies that specialize in plus-sized clothing tend to put less strain on your waist.

Typically, you’ll find that bigger pants will have more of a relaxed fit with more extendable fabric. The fabric used allows for more breathing room and makes it easier for you to move around. Along with adding more fabric to the clothing, it is made with stretchy fabric with expandable waistbands.

You’ll find that many big pants will have wider leg openings to make it easier for anyone with larger thighs to fit through. The inseam will most likely be the same as it would for a regular fit, so it’s easier to find wider pants, including jeans and shorts.

Thankfully, there are a lot of businesses that will design jeans that have an expandable waist and shorts that aren’t too tight. After all, when they’re too tight, you can easily feel more self-conscious about them.

The Challenges of Finding Big and Tall Clothing

Finding big and tall clothing is more of a challenge than you would expect. You’ve probably looked through the stores and found them, but they’re not the most flattering clothes in the world. But big and tall clothes tend to be left in the dust for men, with women having more advantages in this category.

Clothes that fall under big and tall aren’t marketed as much by businesses. Most men have no idea where they would find stylish clothes, with most tall clothes being catered to slimmer men. It’s a challenge for larger men in general to find stylish clothes that fit well, and companies don’t make it any easier.

There are a lot of assumptions that women care more about fashion than men, so there are more stylish options for women, as I’ll discuss later, as the measurements are done differently.

Plus-Size Clothing For Women

Measurements for women tend to be done differently, and it’s the same for plus-sized clothing. On the whole, you’ll find that most women’s clothes are called plus-sized, while for men, that isn’t always the case.

Click here to find out if you need an XL or 1X.

The system for pants is similar; with different fabrics and a more expandable waistband, you’ll find that women’s clothing is generally designed to be tighter than men’s.

So it’s designed on the basis that there will be more fabric used. However, the way the sizing is arranged is different from men’s.

Clothing companies tend to confuse it by not having a set sizing chart. Women tend to have to focus more on the chest measurement, as this will vary depending on their cup size. It makes buying clothes more difficult because cup sizes aren’t all-encompassing, and everyone is different.

When buying women’s clothing, they tend to be considered plus-sized. You’ll find that they’re measured between 14W and 24W and will typically find tall and petite variations to cater to different heights.

Most tall clothing will suit any women who are taller than 5 feet and 8 inches, and petite will suit anyone below 5 feet and 4 inches.

However, you’ll find that there are also X sizes, which is for more relaxed fits. They won’t have the exact dimensions you would have for tailored clothing, so if you’re looking for a knitted sweater or a pair of pajama pants, you would find these in the X range.

It’s interesting to notice that both men and women have different issues for finding clothes that will cater to both bigger and taller customers.

Women have more plus-sized fashion available to them, but tall women alone can’t find as many clothes that fit as companies assume they’ll be more petite. There’s a general vibe that tall men are expected to be thin, and the opposite is expected of women.

Tall Clothing For Women

The good news about tall clothing for women is that how the measurements work is similar to men. While the tall clothes for women are made for those over 5 feet and 8 inches, as I mentioned earlier, some women may think they need bigger clothes if they’re just tall. However, you will only need tall clothing if your sleeves don’t reach your wrists or if your pants don’t reach your ankles.

Tall clothing generally falls under the plus-sized category, so it’s easier to find clothes for taller and larger ladies. In this case, it’s the opposite issue that men struggle with, and another case where it’s assumed that height and weight correlate with one another.

Final Thoughts

Most people tend to confuse big and tall sizes, even though there’s not always a correlation between height and width. It doesn’t help that all clothing companies make it more complicated with a lack of a set sizing chart that’s followed across all of them.

So, you’ll need to make sure you look at the sizing charts regardless of what you’re looking for, which is more difficult when you’re looking for plus-size clothing.

Companies that make plus-size clothing are always different from the stores for regular-sized clothing, so you’ll need to go into these stores. However, the market has grown more accessible over the years.

Nowadays, there are more options for larger folk to look trendy too.

While fashion has been improving, clothing companies still haven’t understood that all bodies come in different shapes and sizes. No mold fits everyone, and it’s frustrating when brands don’t understand that.