One day, Man woke up and realized that the times, they were a-changing, took off his goatskin vest, stood upright, and began articulating, leaving the grunting and animal wear behind. The first historical evidence of a men’s shirt dates back to the First Dynasty of Egypt, roughly 30,000bc. It was discovered in a tomb in which a man was buried in a very ‘sophisticated’ linen shirt. Since then this garment has evolved with the human race in fabric, cut, function, and style. A housewife from Troy, New York introduced the first dress shirt, as we know it today, in 1827. By the turn of the century, such retailers as Brooks Brothers were circulating millions of the collared button-down dress shirts throughout the world.
The rules of wear have managed to remain relatively the same throughout history:
As a general obstacle, finding a shirt where the collar, sleeve and torso length, and blousiness correspond to your body shape is difficult. Retailers produce a ‘standard’ sized dress shirt, which ironically enough, varies from designer to designer. The return of vintage cuts, slim fit, or fitted shirts, has made it a slightly easier endeavor for a tall and limby gentleman to find formal wear that fits appropriately, but generally we giants hate shopping because of the rules mentioned above. Frustration runs rampant throughout each dressing room and heartbreak ensues when the shirt off the rack we love the most falls a little short.
Please consider ‘There Are Giants’ to be the new Xanex to your well-dressed-man anxiety. Here are some reasons to be pretty:
- Theory carries a dress shirt that not only surpasses the average length sleeve, but also comes in a 17 long: starting at $125.
- Though officially ‘tall’ or ‘long’ sizes aren’t available on their online store or in-store, Marc by Marc Jacobs runs a little bit longer than average in the torso, but watch out for those cuff lines, they tend to cut off just above the wrist.
- There is an entire Big & Tall store dedicated to we Giants online at Banana Republic. Though make sure you dry-clean all of your Banana shirts (as one should do with all button downs anyway to maintain) as after a wash the sleeves do tend to shorten a bit.
- A reciprocal of the sleeve problem is Diesel who tends to have a longer cut in the arm, though their torso lengths are still pretty average, so depending on your neck to waist, this may not be a good fit for you.