For every short guy who wishes he were less challenged in the feet-and-inches department, there’s a big and tall guy lamenting his equally hard-to-dress height. The grass is always greener.
For all of you who regularly get asked whether you spent time on the basketball court, you’re also probably accustomed to an uphill battle when it comes to shopping for clothes. And we’re guessing lankiness is a four-letter word in your vocabulary. It can be difficult to outfit a towering frame, especially if you’re both tall and thin.
But there’s no need to let your height cramp your style, even if you feel like the Jolly Green Giant. Ensure a sartorial slam-dunk every time with this don’t-wear list that will put you on the right fashion path.
1. Monochromatic colors
Whereas a monochromatic ensemble can be advantageous for shorter guys to lengthen their look, it’s not advisable for taller gents. One head-to-toe hue can potentially translate to one great big color block. So break up the monotony and segment your large frame with different, but complementary, colors. Try rich, jewel-toned emeralds with camel browns for a luxe twist. Even changing the variation of shades in the same color family, such as pairing a sky-blue shirt with a midnight-navy suit can work wonders.
In general, take care when choosing colors. A classically elegant palette of black, navy, gray, denim, brown, and other subtle, neutral shades, supplemented by a few brighter shirts and accent pieces, will be best suited for your stature.
2. Small patterns
Make sure your pattern-play fits your build by selecting bigger, more exploded prints because smaller designs may look too diminutive on you. Go for bold checks and punchy, geometric designs, especially when it comes to dress shirts under suits. As for the suit itself, a windowpane pattern or even a textural, embossed effect is appropriate for your stature if you’re looking for something other than a solid. But it’s all in moderation, so don’t go overboard.
3. Vertical lines
When it comes to prints, just steer clear of vertical. All those up-and-down lines will create the illusion of more height, which you don’t need. This means stay away from pinstripe suits. Instead, if you must wear stripes, choose horizontal lines in a button-down shirt. The subtle cross-body lines will help fill you out.
4. Short, skinny ties
A long tie is essential if you’re a tall man — unless you’re planning to join the circus. All jokes aside, the tie should brush your belt to avoid an awkward gap of exposed shirtfront. In addition, a narrow tie is generally not recommended. A broader width will be more proportional and even help bulk up your chest if you’re on the slender side. One more trick of the trade? A properly tied Windsor knot will add a dose of distinguished power and definition to the neck and chin.
5. Non-cuffed pants
To cuff or not to cuff; that is the question. While this is a slightly more debatable area of sartorial focus in general, taller guys should opt for the cuff when in doubt. Pants and trousers without a cuff create more height whereas the fold of fabric at the bottom helps to break up the long lines of your silhouette.
While we’re on the topic of the bottom half of your ensemble, it’s important to note that you should be careful to never wear pants or jeans that are too short, either. This will only draw attention to your height. You may love your wild and crazy socks but they should never really show until you take a seat.
6. Baggy clothing
Baggy is code word for “bad” no matter how you measure up in feet and inches. The downside of a too-big fit for tall guys is you’ll stand out from the crowd in all the wrong ways. Every extra crease and fold in your clothes is exaggerated in direct proportion to how tall you are. Turn that sloppiness into handsome, statement-making appeal by paying extra attention to the tailoring and fit of your garments.
Shopping the big and tall section and other brands that are specifically designed for handsome giants is a step in the right direction. You won’t have much luck with apparel for the average man as the shirts and pants will all be cut too short in your size. You’ll likely need customization, though, so it’s best to find a tailor to appropriately nip and tuck a few pieces for you. A tapered jacket, properly hemmed pants that aren’t too long (or too short), and fitted shirts are all key.