The average Japanese male is 172cm tall and fairly slender. Foreigners living in Japan who fit this profile will find a plethora of high quality clothing options available.

For heavier men who are up to the average Japanese height or slightly taller there are many “big size” shops that offer larger sizes. One such specialty shop is Big M One but even shops like UNIQLO have fairly large sizes available these days. There are many online options too including Amazon.co.jp. Just buy a tape measure and you can get just about anything delivered to your door that will fit well and look great!

The real difficulties start if your height exceeds 180cm, especially if you are 185cm or taller. Most shops will not have sizes that fit, no matter how thin you may be. If you’re tall & heavy the standard “big size” shops will have clothes that fit your waist/shoulders/chest but the arms or legs will often be comically short. It’s very frustrating!

Thankfully there is an option for taller men, Grand-Back Big & Tall. Grand-Back is quite expensive compared to shopping somewhere like UNIQLO but the prices are not unreasonable for the brands they sell. The selection is pretty good and you will find sizes not only for heavy short people but for taller people too! They don’t have as many locations as they used to but the locations they do have tend to be well stocked and the staff are friendly & helpful. You probably won’t find staff who speak much English but with some help from Google Translate even customers who don’t speak much Japanese will be fine.

If you are looking specifically for suits or dress shirts I suggest getting them tailored at one of the pattern tailor places. Personally I have shopped at DANKAN for many years and it’s no problem to get suits & dress shirts made for taller and/or heavier men. They will take all your measurements and you can customize the design of the suit in many different ways. The price is based on the quality of material you choose and it typically takes about a month to get your suit after you order. Once you’ve had a suit made this way you will never go back to buying off the rack!

Shopping for big & tall clothing continues to be challenging in Japan but it’s not impossible, there are options out there!

-a