Dressing to Look Shorter

Looking shorter may seem like a ridiculous thought to shorter folks, but if you’re tall and thin, you’re probably looking for a way to decrease your gangliness.

One of the best tips I can give you is one that I’ve learned myself: have your blazer quite like a glove. Women wear blazers too, and while most of us aren’t looking to appear shorter, I have gotten a good handful of emails from people who are. The style of your jacket can exagerrate your tallness easier than other things if you’re in the corporate world, and you’re probably don’t want to be called a giant behind your back, do you?

Review these tips to make you look a tad shorter:

• Check Your Pantline

Nobody likes their trousers too short, but a peek of socks on a tall man is a recipe for disaster. Avoid any gap between your shoes and socks—and stay away from white ones at all time.

Note: Be sure to have your trousers “break” right at your shoes. They should hit the top of your shoes and crease a little.

• A Word About Fitted Styles

Keep away from tighter trousers and jackets. While you may be tempted to wear form-fitting styles, it’s not necessarily the most flattering! If you’re tall and thin, avoid looking like a scarecrow with super-skinny limbs. Don’t be stingy with the fabric allowance, and go for a little give.

• Just Say No. . . to Big and Baggy Fabrics

Yup. . . lots of extra fabric isn’t nice at all on taller men. If you want to look shorter, try slightly larger clothes but certainly not anything with too much flappiness. Just like on short men, big clothes just make you look bizarre.

• Use Your Stripe Appeal

As much as you might like them, pinstripes probably shouldn’t be your pattern of choice. They add length to your frame, and if you’re already tall, you’ll be visually stretching yourself out even more. Instead, look for a shirt with horizontal stripes, which will make you look a touch closer to the ground.

Note: If you must do pinstripes, wear a suit with very subtle stripes. The brighter or more bold they appear, the taller you’ll look.

• Put Your Shoulders Up
Don’t use larger shoulder pads in your jackets. When you wear a jacket that add height around the head, you’ll make your head look smaller and your body look bigger. Try a jacket with a waistcoat in a darker color, and aim for a longer jacket length to make your legs look shorter. The shorter your jacket is, the longer your legs will look.

• Pay Attention to Your Trouser Length
Hunt for trousers with a lower rise. The higher your pants look, the lower your legs will seem. If you want to look shorter, have your pants hit at a natural inseam instead of a forced one. If you pair these trousers with a darker colored shoes like deep brown or black, you’ll be looking shorter in no time.

• Lastly, Confide in Your Tailor
Even if you are tall, you may have different proportions than the next tall man. If your torso is shorter and your legs or longer, you’ll need to wear different proportions than a man with a long torso and short legs. Trust a professional tailor or fit professional to recommend the right suit shape for you.