So I’ve used this blog as a canvas to whip out my ideas on the essentials of men’s formalwear fashion – suits, shirts, pants, the fit, even dressing like Chuck Norris. But let’s face it, even fit doesn’t have a one size fits all (no pun intended) blue print. How clothes should taper around Charles Barkley (ugly thought) differ vastly from Matthew McConaughey (that of Dallas Buyers Club physique), Matt Damon and Joe Pesci. We all have different body types, and having a sense as to what fit would work based on that can be of tremendous value. Today, I want to hash out what constitutes good fit and practice for taller men.
We, as people, are generally better off playing to our strengths. Well, sometimes (reference Paris Hilton). But this generally works with clothing as well. As taller men, and especially so if we are slim, what we want is to reduce perceived elongation i.e reduction in excessive use of vertical stripes, along with several other factors:
Vertically Striped Shirts – While vertical stripes can work standalone (a vertical striped shirt without a jacket), combining a vertical striped shirt with a suit that is pinstriped is a cardinal sin for a taller man, slimmer man. A pinstripe suit with a lightly-checkered or solid shirt works well underneath. Pair in a thick, chalk stripe shirt with a pinstriped shirt will make you look more lanky than you already are.
Solid suits – While solid suits can be pulled off well with the right combination of shirt and tie patterns, a solid suit on a taller man appears as excessive fabric without any detraction. A patterned suit, albeit faint, such as faint pinstripes or a subtle herringbone, tends to work far more effectively for taller men and adds a level of character to your suit.
Textured clothing – As is the case with a pattern, a textured weave reduces what can appear as excessive fabric and add extra detail to your ensemble. A visible weave, such as herringbone, on a tweed jacket during the Fall can add an extra level of sophistication to your outfit!
Double-breasted jackets – While the double breasted jacket just recently seemed like a trend of yesteryear, its gradual comeback has been embraced by some. Taller men have a long enough torso to pull off a double breasted jacket. A double breasted jacket helps add extra bulk for taller, skinnier men!
Regarding Tailoring, some adjustments taller men can consider are:
Shirt Waist – Having a shirt fitted well for your torso will prevent excess fabric bunching up around the sides every time you tuck your shirt in.
Trouser Adjustments – Having your trousers adjusted at the hem to have an adequate amount of break (where your pants meet your shoes) can reduce your vertical lines and add some perceived width to your look!
A caveat to some of the above are suggestions for taller, heavier men. While a mix of patterns can still help reduce perceived length in your body, vertical stripes for your suits and shirts can be pulled off. However, simple, dark suits made from light weight cloths will help to tone down your bulk. Similarly, staying away for extra layering such as vests will help.
On the other hand, skinny, taller men should wear textured weaves and heavier clothing where possible.
And that’s a wrap for this one! As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!
Check out some of our Favorite Ties available in extra long length at The Dark Knot!: