Dressing stylishly can be a tricky thing. Most brands churn out clothes that fit the average person, but none (or very few) cater to the needs of those who may not fit into predefined sizes. So if you’re on the extreme side of tall, short, slim or plump, you may have a real tough time finding the right clothes for you.
Being tall is considered a blessing in several cultures. In fact, most women would use the words “tall, dark, and handsome” to describe their ideal man. Now if only you could get the fashion aspect of being tall right!
As challenging as it is for a tall guy to put a dapper look together, it isn’t impossible. And even though the clothing industry might not have caught up with you yet, there are things you can do to make a style statement.
In this post, we look at how the vertically-blessed can up their style quotient and dress to impress.
Balance is Key
All tall men must remember to wear clothes that help them balance the top half of their body with the bottom half. This can be done by playing up your best features, while downplaying the rest.
Tall men need to try and break the vertical and linear effect in order to keep the upper and lower halves in proportion.
You need to wear clothes with horizontal lines that are made of heavier fabrics to appear shorter or more balanced. I’m sure you have no problem in making a powerful impact when you meet people, so you need to focus on wearing clothes that even out your frame, rather than making it look.
Focus on the Fit
Wear clothes that fit you well. If they’re too small or too large for your frame, shun them as they will only make you look out of shape. If you already have clothing items that don’t fit you well, get them altered or just put them away.
For example, just like you wouldn’t add to your length by wearing high-heeled shoes, you should avoid wearing tall hats as well. The idea is to cut out the extra vertical inches. However, if you’re comfortable wearing a classic homburg or a flat cap, go right ahead!
Get the Right Jackets, Coats and Blazers
Wearing cropped jackets/coats/blazers is a big no-no as they’ll only make your legs look longer. It is advised that you pick them in heavy fabrics that sit right below your hips to create the illusion of having shorter legs. Additionally, pick those with two buttons in the front instead of three as the latter can have an elongating effect on your overall appearance.
When choosing a trench coat, go for one that falls just below your knee. Do wear a belt over it as it can help break the length of the coat.
Try and incorporate double-breasted jackets into your wardrobe as they add to the breadth of your torso and balance it with your length. Go for wide lapels to add girth to your chest and shoulders. If you’re tall but not lean, single-breasted jackets with normal lapels are your best bet.
To Layer or Not?
Layering is fashionable and is recommended for tall and slim men as it adds bulk and works as a quick fix for them. However, if you’re already bulky, avoid layering as it will make you look huger.
Wear your sweater, vests and turtlenecks with élan as they add mass to a lean torso. Turtlenecks are particularly effective as they hide your neck, making you seem shorter.
When it comes to suits, it is important to opt for one which makes you look sharp in both professional as well as social scenarios. Wearing big and tall suits can do the trick. If you don’t find readymade suits according to your fit, invest in custom-tailored suits. It is better to have a couple of well-fitted suits than have several frumpy ones.
Do get your suits in solid colors such as black, navy, charcoal, gray, and so on. Avoid vertical pinstripes as they will bring more attention to your height by drawing the eyes upwards.
Don the Dress Shirts
Finding the right fit is of the essence here as well. Go for shirts that embrace your torso, instead of suffocating them. Avoid loose fitting shirts as well. For the lean/lanky lads, form-fitting shirts should work well. But if regular shirts are too loose, go for slim-fit shirts.
Make sure your dress shirt is long enough to be tucked in and remain in place.
As far as the length of the sleeves is concerned, avoid ones whose cuffs keep pulling up around the wrist and the forearm. Not only do they feel uncomfortable, they also look bad.
Having trouble finding big and tall dress shirts that fit well? Go to a good tailor and have them custom-made or alter readymade shirts.
Tie the Loose Ends
Tall men need to be extra careful when wearing a tie. You need to take into consideration the size and the spread of the collar. Make sure you wear ties that are neither too wide nor too thin. If you can, avoid wearing ties altogether.
The Bottom Line
As far as pants are concerned, both pleated as well as flat-front ones look fine. Pick either one depending on your preferences, but make sure the additional fabric does not make them look too big.
Avoid pants with cuffs as they only draw more attention to your height. Further, pick straight-fit pants and jeans over those with flared or tapered styles.
You will do well in wearing low-rise jeans as they give the illusion of shorter legs. Mid-rise jeans are also a safe option.
Refrain from wearing tops and bottoms in the same color. It is important to provide a visual break between the two halves of your body and break the vertical line. It is best that you wear your tops and bottoms in contrasting colors.
Belting It Out
If you like tucking your shirt in, do make it a point to wear a wide belt as well for a horizontal break between the upper and lower sections of your body. This should make you appear shorter.
Needless to say, your shoes need to be thin-soled and with minimal heel. Avoid footwear with pointed fronts as that elongates your legs. Opt for round or square-toed shoes instead.
It’s time for the tall guys take center stage and make heads turn. While your personal style should always dominate your dressing, you also need to know how to take advantage of your height in order to look good. Irrespective of your body type, you should always try and showcase the best parts of you. I hope the above pointers help you develop a wardrobe as well as a personal style that suits not only your body type, but also your personality.