The shirt off my back

Randomly gifted with a fairly nice, black, Nike dri-fit golf shirt from Dell at work the other day, I decided to wear it this morning.

It’s an XL, which, admittedly, I’m not. However, the contrast between the fit of an XL and my more habitual Ls (with a couple of Ms) has got me thinking about the concept of vanity sizing for guys.

Yes, part of my goal when I started lifting was to outgrow my Medium polo shirts, at least through the arms, shoulders, and upper back (there’s nothing to be done about length; no lift I’ve found will actually make me any taller, dagnabbit). That’s on the forseeable horizon, and not just because of my penchant for washing my laundry in warm or hot water (cotton shrinks; this dry-weave/dri-fit/wicking stuff is fucking amazingly resilient to that sort of stupidity). So, it’s not surprising that I’m most comfortable in shirts with an L on the tag.

However, that doesn’t stop it from fucking with my head a little, because I’m still the same not-precisely-large person in there that I feel like I’ve always been. People meeting me in person for the first time seem to be surprised that I’m as slightly-smaller-than-average as I really am.

(reference: – use the “white boy” tables)

Height: A tad under 25th percentile (5′ 7.5″)
Weight: Right at 50th percentile (~180#)

I dunno about you, but “bottom quartile and absolutely fucking average” do not really combine to equal “large” by any calculus I can readily invent.

Has the average men’s shirt size been shrinking, so that guys can feel bigger than they actually are while women’s sizes have done the opposite? I have no fucking idea.

I just know that the only thing about me that I usually think is big is my mouth.


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