We often get inquiries from women who want to be a tallit for their husband (or soon-to-be husband) and write to me saying they have no clue what size to get him. No need to apologize. He probably doesn't know his tallit size either.
Here's an exchange many of our readers might find helpful:
there. My husband lost his tallit bag last year at our wedding, and
also complains that his tallit is too hot and too small (he got it at
13) for his 6'4" frame. I would like to get our wedding date
embroidered on a tallit bag for him, as well as a new tallit that is
lighter and bigger. What is the production time on that? Thanks! Abigail
Thank you for your inquiry and happy anniversary!
There are two ways to wear a tallit. One way
is resting on the neck with all four tzitzit hanging in front. When
worn this way it covers the upper back and shoulders (size 24) or about
half of the back and the shoulders and wraps around the top part of the
arms, again with all four tzitzit in front (size 36).
The other way is traditional style, draping all the way down the back, with two tzitzit in front and two in back.
I'm guessing he wears it traditional style. If I'm right, he needs a size 70 or a size 80. Size 70 would be fairly short and manageable on him, probably draping down to mid-thigh in back.
To be sure, take his tallit and measure the height (i.e. not from one fringed side to the other, but from the side that rests on the neck down to the opposite side parallel to the floor).
If it's around...
47 inches, then it's a size 50
51 inches, then it's a size 55
55 inches, then it's a size 60
59 inches, then it's a size 7
Once you've ascertained the tallit size, figure out how much length he'd want to add. As you can see, when you go up a size you get another four inches in length. The width across the shoulders also increases proportionally.