Dressing to look taller?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imperialism, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. imperialism

    imperialism Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    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.
     


  2. davei

    davei Senior member

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Aside from elevator shoes.... [​IMG] 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.
     


  3. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Location:
    Brussels
    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
     


  4. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

    Messages:
    1,491
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    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.
     


  5. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,454
    Likes Received:
    873
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    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."
     


  6. ColonialBoy

    ColonialBoy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    Apart from growth hormone, nothing.
     


  7. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

    Messages:
    4,642
    Likes Received:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    DCish
    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.
     


  8. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

    Messages:
    14,457
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Location:
    The Temple of Jawnz
    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.
     


  9. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

    Messages:
    4,642
    Likes Received:
    310
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    DCish
    ^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. :nodding:
    Down under you could probably get some variety of heeled boot that would have the same effect without drawing much attention.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011


  10. Agatha Crusty

    Agatha Crusty Senior member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Around
    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011


  11. jamesny

    jamesny Senior member

    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    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.
     


  12. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011


  13. facet

    facet Senior member

    Messages:
    704
    Likes Received:
    54
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009


  14. romafan

    romafan Senior member

    Messages:
    8,971
    Likes Received:
    508
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Rubinacci has worked miracles for some...
     


  15. Master Squirrel

    Master Squirrel Senior member

    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by