Fashion Tips for Tall Men

Men of different height
The Cut of a Man – Pants
It’s commonly thought that tall men must not have much reason to complain. Certainly, if you ask around, few people are going to list the tall man as someone for whom they feel a lot of sympathy. Shorter men and many men of average height often actively envy tall men for their stature. The trouble is that tall men may in many cases have a tougher time finding fashions that fit than any of their less-vertical counterparts.
Tall men (whether or not they are also heavier in build) can rarely see a fashionable look and find that it fits them. Common complaints for tall men in the clothes they find are pants that are too short, shirts that are short-waisted and whose sleeves are too short, and even many cases where the clothing is too tight in key areas of fit. All this is because “off-the-rack” garments, even in big and tall shops are constructed using rules that don’t necessarily apply to the individual person’s needs.
When a tall man has similar proportions to an athletic individual who is of average height, his waist and chest dimensions may indicate that he needs a multi-“X” size in garments. Yet most garments when they are cut for “XL” sizes are given more generous dimensions in some areas because the assumption is that a person who is 3XL is overweight. Since many tall men are not overweight the result is a look that resembles a tent in upper-body apparel and a cinched bag in pants – and that assumes that the problem is compounded by the garments being too short as well.
Getting the Fit
Unless you are a multi-million-dollar player in the NBA, the odds are good that having your entire wardrobe tailor-made is not a feasible proposition. However, you can make the most of your off-the-rack purchases by shopping carefully and making good use of your local dry cleaning/alterations establishment. Remember to buy clothing that can be more-easily altered to fit properly, which means making sure to get the right length in pants and sleeves since even an exceptional tailor can’t add fabric without it being noticeable.
No, it’s easier to purchase clothing that needs to be taken in size-wise, since that can be done more readily, and your alterations specialist can even make allowances for the possibility of letting a garment out in the future should there be a need. This is a great idea for longer-life items like overcoats, sweaters and dressy suits and tuxedoes.
You will also want to make a special effort to make a conscious plan for your look. As a hard-to-fit individual, you simply cannot get by grabbing sale items here and there haphazardly. If you don’t plan what you want your look to be, you’ll end up looking thrown together, and that’s not flattering for anyone. Remember, you should wear your clothes, your clothes should never wear you. This means that your look should reflect your personal taste and present you in the best possible way.
Hard and Fast Rules for Tall Men
Unlike other builds and body types, there really are NO hard and fast rules when it comes to dressing a tall frame. There were times when it was said that tall men should avoid bold colors and vertical stripes at all costs, but frankly, today’s textiles and fashion trends allow such a variety of colors and striping that with a little judicious decision making, you can wear whatever you like.
With color, stay seasonal – earthy shades and darker jewel tones during fall and winter – with softer pastels and paler tones in camel and khaki for spring and summer. Patterns – whether stripes or other graphic elements – should be kept in balance with the desired look: a graphic tee worn with jeans, or a paisley print tie, or pinstriped shirt under a jacket. Simply avoid color or patterns worn to make a statement. As a tall man you already have a commanding presence. Any attempt to accentuate your presence can easily become overpowering.
Parting Words
As with any body type, the key for a good look on a tall man is fit. Particularly with suits and dressier clothing, don’t be afraid to make sure your clothes fit properly. It’s important that you make yourself fully aware of your body type and embrace what looks best on you. All too often, tall men feel that they are “too thin” or look “too lanky”, and they’ll wear clothing that is too baggy in an attempt to make themselves look “thicker”. What they don’t realize is that clothes are generally designed to be worn by models with long, lean bodies, so that the clothing is the primary focus. Your long, lanky build will make well-fitted clothing look superb and make you look superb in the process.
And finally, shoes are an accessory that cannot be overlooked. The good news is that there is no real hindrance in shoe choices for the tall man. The only area of concern is in avoiding shoes that are designed to artificially create the impressing on a longer or narrower foot. With a larger foot on a tall body, this will result in a clownish look. You only need to select footwear based on what fits with your current look. Again, your primary concern should be a proper fit rather than any attempt at altering the appearance of the foot/feet.
Photo: Blaj Gabriel/Shutterstock
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Fashion tips for short men