When dressing for height, a proper fit is the key to success. Your clothes should fit as flawlessly as possible.
Looser, baggy clothes can you make you look disheveled and stumpy. Your clothes should never be ill-fitting or baggy because you want to create the “up-and-down” line with as little interruption as possible. This effect goes a long way to creating a lengthy form.
One other problem that baggy clothes presents for someone that wants to learn how to look taller is that it gives the illusion that you are swimming in your clothes or as if the clothes were borrowed from an older brother or an uncle. This perpetuates an unconscious image of a “little boy” – an image that is so often firmly set in the heads of people (particularly women) when they think of shorter men.
On the other hand, you also want to avoid clothes that are too tight as well. When in doubt, the best fit is the proper fit. Always go for a well-tailored look. Monochromatic colors and/or virtual stripes and detailing always serve to accentuate your height. Thin stripes, interesting buttons, contrasting ties, and visible seams all help as well. Avoid any graphics or prints that are overwhelmingly bold and intense. These ring especially true for T-shirts and emblazoned pants and jeans. It’s true that these types of detailing may draw more attention to you, but it’s very likely that the overall effect of that attention will not be what you are looking for. An impeccable and dashing style will get you noticed as well – but instead of an overpowering, overbearing, loud statement, you will be making a statement of refinement and class.
Always look for shirts that are tailored well for your form and that won’t leave excess fabric when you tuck them in. Opt for collars that are pointed instead of ones that are spread. Shirts that are hemmed to rest only an inch or two below the waistline of your pants work particularly well. If they are any longer, tuck them in to avoid giving the appearance of short legs. Button-front dress shirts should almost always be tucked in for this exact reason, but not always. Many modern-styles of button-front “dress” shirts are specifically made to be left untucked the majority of the time. These can serve to your advantage as well, since sometimes a tucked shirt can place an exaggerated emphasis on your legs and torso, which can also make you appear shorter than you are. If you’re not familiar with the differences of these types of button-front shirt, then it never hurts to ask a knowledgeable store clerk.
Always keep in mind that a tailor can alter the hem length of shirts in addition to the length of the sleeves for a better fit, but shortening the length of the shirt is generally an easier task than reducing the length of the sleeves. To make the process of tailoring as easy as possible, make sure the shirt fits properly around your shoulders and body first and foremost. If it does, then you can concentrate on altering the sleeves and the length.
No shirts should be baggy. It was the trend in the 1990’s to wear baggy shirts and/or sweaters but that style is now long gone. The most preferred fit for form-elongation is a more European-inspired trim fit that feature higher arm holes and a slimmer body. As said before, it’s more important to find a shirt that fits your body so that the length and sleeves can be altered than to find a shirt off-the-rack that fits perfectly.
One perfect look is an open, pointed-collar shirt that will accentuate and elongate your neck and face.
V-neck t-shirts and sweaters also accomplish this as well so if you’ve never considered them, you may want to give them a try. They help make your torso appear longer and your body look more svelte overall. On the other hand, turtlenecks and even mock turtlenecks can make you appear more more “stumpy”, as they conceal your neck. Frigid winters aside, you may want to forego those kinds of sweaters and shirts whenever it’s possible to do so.
While you already know to avoid horizontal stripes, you need to also stay away from checkered-pattern shirts and plaid shirts. Let the lumberjacks enjoy their fashion statement. Dark, monochromatic colors will make you taller. Always avoid “breaking” your frame from top to bottom with contrasting colors. Think “dark colors, light fabrics” as a general rule and you’re three steps ahead of the game.
You will likely be quite surprised at what looks you can achieve from otherwise ill-fitting or unflattering shirts when you get them tailored. Tailoring isn’t as expensive as you may think and the improved appearance that you can reap from it is enormous.