The Quest For The Best Tall Guy T-shirt [UPDATE]
The journey continues to create the best tall guy t-shirt. The better part of the past year has been dedicated to developing the pattern for the ideal t-shirt designed for tall guys.
Throughout this process I have constantly asked myself,
"What makes a great tall guy t-shirt?"
For many years I complained about brands not making their shirts long enough, or slim enough, or this and that. As I have traveled on my own apparel journey, I have come to find out it is much more difficult. I could even argue, it is especially difficult when designing apparel for tall guys.
Height Is Not Created Equal
Throughout the designing process, I essentially have been thinking of myself and what problems I have finding clothes that fit well for my frame. The same is true for the majority of tall guys out there. I know this because I did rounds of market surveys asking tall guys what their pain points were.
However following my first t-shirt prototype, I realized that I needed to think about a much larger customer base. I began to realize that the characteristics that make a person tall, come in a range of variances.
For example, I am 6'7''. While I do have long arms and a higher than average torso length, what gives me my height are my legs.
This poses challenges when designing apparel for tall guys because while I may be 6'7'' because of the length of my legs, another guy could easily be the same height. Not because of the length of his lengths, but rather because of the length of his torso.
When working with a specific niche such as this, I have taken great care to craft the patterns to be able to accommodate these variances in the Heights t-shirts.
Sourcing The Right Fabric Is Tough
If you were to ask me two years ago, if I thought I would spend my free time thumbing through swatch samples of fabric, I would have easily told you
But yet here I am. It's amazing how perspective can change when you discover something you become passionate about. That's my life now. And I find it stressful but in a good way.
The sourcing of the fabric for this new t-shirt has been a challenge. Who would have though finding a simple cotton jersey knit fabric could have so my different options to consider!
But they do.
The first set of fabric was an epic failure. It goes to show the importance of doing a sample prototype of any new fabric you plan to work with. What I had thought was THE one, turned out to be a disaster.
I didn't even get to the wash test of the prototype. Once the sample maker was done constructing it, she sent it over to get pressed, and the fabric shrank an inch all around just from ironing it!
So I had to move on from it. Thankfully after some time at F.A.B.R.I.C. in Tempe and utilizing their free sourcing library, I found a new fabric that I liked and loved the color options available.
Following the construction of the second prototype with the new fabric, I could instantly tell this was the one to go with. It is soft, extremely comfortable to wear. It is a blend of Tencel (a natural fiber), organic cotton, and a touch of spandex for flexibility, and while I was a little unsure about it at first, once I put the sample on and wore it for a few hours, I just knew I found a quality and comfortable source.
Because that's what guys want, we want a shirt that is comfortable. No one wants to wear a shirt that is constricting, or annoying.
Behind Schedule But That Doesn't Matter
One thing that I try to be very real about, is that there have been many challenges and set backs throughout the past year. I personally wish this line could be launched already, as it was planned to be back in August.
But you know what?
For those that follow Heights and this journey, it may not even happen in time for the holidays. This setback burns me a little bit more, but you know what?
Let me be real, deep down inside I'm enraged that there is a possibility these t-shirts will not be ready for the holiday season. But what good will that do for me and the progress of the brand at this point?
My motto when starting this was all about getting it right. The delays I have experienced have been in part due to the desire to get this right, and I remain committed to that.
This journey has been exciting but it also has been tough, no journey worth taking is ever easy the whole way. I truly believe for any guy that is out there searching for great tall guy clothing, you will be happy with what Heights puts out.
Redefining how tall guys dress. Heights Apparel is gearing up with some simple items to get started. Follow Heights on Instagram: @heights_apparel to see what we're up to.
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