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Dressing to look taller?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Just wondering, is there any methods of dressing which makes you look taller? I'm 5'6, and thats 8cm shorter than average here in Australia. So far, I've only known to wear the same colour from head to toe (or similiar colours). Not too sure what else I can do.
post #2 of 36
Aside from elevator shoes.... I've found vertical stripes and slim fitting/slim cut pieces work well. Wear shirts tucked in or sweaters/t-shirts that hit at the waist/hip (i.e. not hanging past your butt). Pants that sit at the natural waist (no low riders) work for me. I find low rise pants accentuate the length of the torso, but don't really make the legs look longer.
post #3 of 36
Aside from elevator shoes....
On that note, when my fiance and I were in Zambia last December/January, I paid a courtesy visit to their former President, Frederick Chiluba. Now, he's a real dwarf at something like 5'2" or 5'3". I had to stifle a laugh, because he was wearing elevator shoes that looked like high heels, but he STILL barely reached my breastbone. So my advice is to skip those things entirely. Other things to do to look taller are to simply avoid taller people whilst standing on the same plane. Note that when Jon Stewart of the Daily Show meets a guest, he always goes behind the couch, where there is presumably an elevated platform. From a distance, monochromicity and such things can work. But up close, being strategic about it is the best way to go. Peace, JG
post #4 of 36
Most magazines suggest sticking to matching jackets and trousers in dark colors, and using subtle pinstripes and no bold patterns. I'm about your height, and found that all of these tricks only work to a point, and leave little room for individuality. Following all of these rules to the letter, you may just end up looking short and dull. Like Joe has suggested, it's all about context. Standing next to someone who is 6'4", you're still going to look short. The key is to look well-proportioned, and avoid looking like you're wearing a bigger man's clothes. it's best to stick to slim-cut clothing, and buy your suit jackets in short length, or have them shortened - at 5'6", a jacket that's a couple of inches too long can make a big difference, and make your legs appear kinda stumpy. Make sure your jacket shoulders are not much wider than your natural shoulder. Some suggest that your trousers should not have cuffs, but I don't really think it makes that much of a difference, assuming they're not 2 1/2" tall. If you wear a tie, you should knot it so that the wider end only just reaches your belt buckle, and no longer. Cheers, Nick.
post #5 of 36
Other things to do to look taller are to simply avoid taller people whilst standing on the same plane.
That reminds me of the story Ingrid Bergman once told on a TV chat show. The (very tall) Ms Bergman was doing a stage play with a leading man who was somewhat shorter than her. The director took great effort, not to have his two protagonists standing next to each other. When both were standing, they were at different ends of the stage; when they met centre-stage, one was always seated while the other one stood. Some years later, Bergman was in another play with Yul Brynner. The director offered a similar arrangement to spare Brynner the embarrassment of being seen as shorter than his leading lady. He rejected the idea and, turning to Bergman, said: "I'll show you up as that big horse that you are."
post #6 of 36
Apart from growth hormone, nothing.
post #7 of 36
As another short guy, avoid low rises- they shorten your legs, and never sag your pants. Closer cuts, even if you have some fat on you. Excess fabric shrinks you. Making sure your shirts are tucked in is important- I even do it with tee shirts. Lengthens your legs visually. Making sure knits and jackets are the right length is helpful.

As for some of the other advice, it's needlessly limiting and will make you look boring. You're never gonna look tall, you just want to avoid calling extra attention to your shortness. Wear patterns, though I would stay away from giant ones- those shirts with one check taking up the entire thing that are trendy right now are a bad idea. Just pay attention to line and balance and you'll be alright.

The important thing is to not worry about your height. If you're comfortable in your own body, it'll show.
post #8 of 36
I actually do the opposite when dressing casually - I wear longer flow-y tees and shirts, sometimes oversized, and wear skinnier mid-rise jeans (Dior Homme, APC) slightly sagged, slightly stacked, and low top sneakers usually. The effect I'm going for goes between a pretty long looking torso, and then a slight visual trick with the pants where the long butt and stacked ankles break up the visual height a bit. I think it works if the stuff is cut the right way.

Low-rise jeans are a no-no on all men, though, regardless of height.

FWIW I'm about 5'8, and there are days when I look 5'8, and days when I look 5'10 and people do comment on that.

If for suits, I go for a longer jacket, a medium rise on the trousers so that I can show more shirt vertically if the jacket is unbuttoned, and then as long of a sleeve for both shirt and jacket that I can go to while still showing a bit of cuff. For the trousers I get them slim not too slim, a short cuff and a half break. I wear normal Crockett and Jones and other single soled dress shoes now but would like to get some double soled Vass or something, which would improve my visual height as well.
I'm also very skinny and not very athletically inclined, so I get my suits made slightly larger than most would, because if I got them to 'fit' I'd have a huge head and a skinny body in a tight suit, not a good look. Would look like Foo.
post #9 of 36
^I've always heard that our minds process torsos pretty similarly no matter how long, but we do notice differences in leg length. And I hate baggy tees and sagged and stacked jeans on a variety of levels.

Oh- another thought- bucks. With the thick old red rubber sole. On my pair, the sole is half an inch thick and the heel is a full inch. Perfectly normal and accepted style that flat out adds an inch. nod[1].gif
Down under you could probably get some variety of heeled boot that would have the same effect without drawing much attention.
post #10 of 36
In reference to using vertical stripes, there was a professor on QI who had been researching this and showed that they make you look neither slimmer nor taller, in fact probably the opposite. He concluded that it is actually horizontal stripes that work this way.

Now I don't think anyone is going to be rushing out to get a suit with horizonal stripes (if they could even find one), but it's worth keeping in mind that the common advice is not necessarily the truth,

It may be best to try out several outfits and combinations, take photos of yourself, and try and work out which works best at making the most of your height.
post #11 of 36

My suggestion is to avoid big patterns on your clothing. Don't wear anything too loose or baggy around the waist and legs. I also think good posture helps in making you appear taller.

post #12 of 36
Narrow shirt collars, thinner ties, micro patternning or no patterning at all on shirts. Perhaps focus on textures rather than patterns. Twill on pants will work better than cords for example. Try a nice fedora. A hat immediately gives you a height boost. Check out Tibor's posts on the WAYWRN thread for a perfect example with the hats. Also check out Holdfast's posts for overall proportioning. For shoes, avoid round toes and pointy toes but incline towards a nice oval toe. After all this, if it means anything to you, I, at 6ft, would gladly change places with you in a heartbeat. Welcome to StyleForum.
post #13 of 36
post #14 of 36
Rubinacci has worked miracles for some...
post #15 of 36
Roller skates.
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