drop tail split

Drop that $#&@

Drop tail shirts are my favorite style of tees. Since I’m a taller (6’1” to be exact) and slimmer (180 pounds to slightly embellish) individual than average, I’ve had issues since high school with the fits of my shirts. Tees were always the worst though. If I purchased an extra-large, chances are the length would be slightly too short and the body too wide, but the sleeves would likely be an appropriate length, albeit occasionally too wide as well. If I attempted to don a large though, I noticed that the difference in length was almost negligible, the sleeves would be off, but the body would be more fitting. I was stuck in no man’s land, forever doomed to have to decide between two unflattering styles, save for the few brands I noticed that provided more form fitting tees (these tended to be higher quality streetwear brands for the most part).

Then I got my first tall tees, courtesy of Finish Line (you might remember the 4 tall tees for $20 deal, great for my young high school funds), and I instantly fell in love. Finally, I had shirts which weren’t too wide, and would drape down past the tops of my pants, slightly longer than the regular fit. It was a comfortable, cool, and casual style that was a cut above regular fitting tee shirts. They looked great by themselves in white or plain colors, and even better layered under a jacket, sweatshirt, or button-up.

Tall tees have died down in popularity since then but there has been a resurgence of long tees in the last couple years in the form of drop tail tees, curved hems, split cuts, and A-cuts. This is due in a large part to the reasons I mention above for loving tall tees; they fit better and look better. A long tee in a single color will look better than the most amazing design on an ill-fitting tee.

Since there are a few different styles of long tees I’ll explain them each a bit.

A split cut tee tends to have a longer length and a slit at each side starting from the bottom and going a few inches up the length of the shirt. This is to prevent it from bunching and wrinkling when sitting or moving around, and they also make it easier to reach in your pant pockets since you don’t have to lift your shirt.

Curved hem tees have a similar length but as the name suggests, the hem is curved. That means that on each side, instead of a slit, it’s cut higher and it curves down towards front and back, as pictured below. Similar appeal in regards to the pockets and preventing bunching.

Curved Hem

An A-cut tee is a little different. The shirt length is higher at either the right or left side and angles down to the lowest point at the other side. So one pants pocket is covered but the other isn’t. They usually have slits on each side as well.

A cut

Drop tail tees can either be split-cut or curved hem, but the difference is that the front is cut to be shorter than the back. So while other tall tees can look just like oversized shirts in certain ensembles, drop tails will look more tailored to your body and give you a much more memorable and unique look. And when putting hands in your pockets, the material won’t bunch up and wrinkle like it will on a shirt with an equivalent length on the front and back.

Drop tails also tend to be more form fitting for your upper body than a classic tee, which can give the wearer the benefit of showing off their (hopefully) ready for swimsuit season body underneath when worn by themselves. And since they look great layered as well, you can wear a baggy or puffy outer layer and still give your ensemble a fitted look.

Drop Tail

Normal length tees tend to wrinkle or bunch up more easily than long tees. This is because the extra length of the tail and front add a bit more weight to the shirt which pulls it down and keeps the material more taut, keeping it close to your upper body while allowing you to move more freely. Long tees feel smooth to wear and move around in, the most succinct term I could think of is honestly “graceful.” I get a sensation of flowing or gliding and I find a very noticeable difference in the way that the shirt feels on my body compared to a normal length tee.

I could go on and on about drop tail tees, I’ve bought three since the new year, along with two other long tees, but I feel as if I have represented their case more than adequately in the preceding text. Comment below your thoughts on drop tails or long tees in general and different outfits you’ve worn them with, it’s always nice to know what the readers are up to.

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