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Shopping for clothes when you need larger garments can be a frustrating challenge. Even if you can find extended sizes, the tag on the garment may cause confusion.

When figuring out the difference between 3XB and 3XT, there are 2 main considerations.

Do you need a longer garment, or do you need more give around the waist?

XB = Extra big

XT= Extra tall


large man and tall basketball player

3XB: Ratios to Consider

When reviewing the Fruit of the Loom men’s size chart, it’s important to look at the difference between the circumference of the chest and the circumference of the waist.

In the extended men’s tee shirt sizes, a 3XB chest size should work for a chest of to 56 inches around. The waist circumference for this size goes up to 52 inches.

If you are barrel-chested but have a small waist, the 3XB size will probably leave you with too much fabric around the tummy.

If your waist is close to the same circumference of your chest, a garment on the XB scale will probably fit well.

fat business man use scale to measure his waistline

3XT: Length Considerations

A 3XT garment is designed to fit an extra tall person. The sleeves and torso will both be longer.

Be aware that a 3XT garment is different from a 3XLT; you won’t have access to more space around the tummy in a 3XT, while a 3XLT should give you more room.

Check out: Men’s vs Women’s shirt sizes

It’s important to pay attention to the fit around your shoulders when comparing 3XT to 3XLT.

If you need a larger shirt to fit around your waist but the 3XT fits your shoulders, you probably won’t enjoy the fit of a 4XT. The shoulders will be a bit wider, which may lead to drooping past your shoulders.

The armpit fit will be looser and extra fabric may lead to bunching and discomfort. Instead, look for a 3XLT to get more give across the tummy.

Finally, don’t buy tall tee shirts just because you like a longer style. The shoulders will fit funny and the sleeves will be too long.

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The pocket will not be anywhere near your chest and you’ll have too much fabric bunched up under your arms.

man wearing oversized dress shirt

On-Line Shopping Concerns

One of the most frustrating things about buying garments on-line is that, if you buy a package of 3 tee shirts, you may not be able to return them once you open that 3 pack.

Additionally, returning garments can be a sizable hassle.

While it’s certainly not a panacea for ill-fitting garments, do take the time to shop in-person when you get the chance.

If you want to try a different brand of tee shirts in 3XB, visit a sporting goods store or a department store and go try on a shirt to make sure that

  • it isn’t binding under your arms
  • your tummy is fully covered and comfortable
  • the sleeves are not too tight or too long

If you need to shop for underwear, try on a few bathing suits by the same manufacturer.

Again, not every size stays consistent across a clothing line, but you can save yourself a lot of hassle by trying things on in-person.

Check out: 5 vs 5T sizes: What are the differences?

Factors to Consider When Buying Pants

Finding pants to fit a long inseam is generally more challenging than finding pants to fit a bigger waist.

While 3XB generally refers to shirts, 3XL is a common fit when searching for sweatpants or casual slacks.

As you search, keep an eye out for factors that will give you some flexibility. If you need both a larger waist and a longer inseam, look for options such as an unhemmed finish.

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While most 3XL pants will probably not be available in lengths past 36 inches, you may be able to find longer pants in unhemmed. If you don’t sew, connecting with a tailor for simple hems is a good start.

People who need special sizes would do well to know someone who can alter garments.

Another feature that can simplify your shopping process is a drawstring waist. Obviously, most sweatpants will feature a drawstring waist.

Many casual cotton pants and even shorts are also available with a drawstring to give you options besides a belt.

Pay considerable attention to the rise of men’s pants when you need a longer inseam.

Very long pants often come with a very long rise, and if you tend to be short-waisted, you will either end up with pants that feel baggy and bulky or a waistband that feels like it should fasten under your armpits.

surprised man holding very large pants

Don’t Forget Shrinkage

Knit garments generally don’t shrink, while cotton garments nearly always do. If you like the wicking power of cotton undershirts, be ready to buy a larger size.

Many men’s tee shirts have a cotton banding at the neck. If that gets too tight, you may be quite uncomfortable in your newly washed tee shirts.

If all you can find is cotton and the tummy and shoulders fit right, consider getting V-necks instead of the traditional round neck. Your skin can breathe.

If the shirt does shrink in the wash, it won’t choke you the next time you wear it.

Check out: 4X vs 4XL Size differences

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