While there isn’t much you can do – short of gruesomely lengthening your bones – to physically increase your height, there are ways that shorter men can appear taller than they are. Key in this is the way you dress and present yourself, and today we’ll share six easy tips on how you can use style to enhance your stature, and hopefully more importantly, your confidence.
Looking taller is all about getting viewers’ eyes to travel smoothly up your body. It’s pure illusion: the more their eyes have to sweep upward, the taller their brains will register whatever they’re looking at as being.
Accordingly, a shorter man wants to ease and encourage the viewer’s eyes upward towards his face. Visual clutter–such as eye-grabbing stuff on the body–breaks up the impression of height. That means staying away from obvious accessories like big, chunky belts & watches, but it also means keeping an eye out for things as simple as the pockets on your suits and shirts. Something as simple as a pocket flap instead of an unadorned slit pocket can clutter up your appearance and lessen the impression of height.
1. Wear Monochromatic Colours
Wearing a monochrome colour scheme, where you contrast shades rather than colours, will streamline your look and help create an illusion of height. And the darker the better, although steer clear of all black, as it will actually make you look shorter. If you do mix colours, or even shades, keep the darker ones on the lower half of your body and the lighter ones up top. It will create a lengthening effect by drawing the eye upward.
2. Tailor Your Shirts Paying Close Attention To These 4 Areas:
An inch of extra fabric doesn’t sound like much of a problem on pants or a shirt, but a tiny inch can look very different on a guy who is six feet tall versus one who’s five foot seven. A perfect fit will keep your proportions in balance and your silhouette streamlined.
The length of your arms is directly related to to the perceived height of a person. So you want to create the illusion of length. As a short guy, your arms are going to be shorter so the cuff of the shirt should be amended as well.
- 1. High armholes – higher arm holes allow for a slimmer fit with more movement. Again the slimmer fit leans the body out to our eyes.
- 2. Slim or fitted through the chest – this helps to narrow the torso. Even if you are an athletic built gentleman, you want to make sure that the shirt that you are wearing narrows your chest for the cleanest fit.
- 3. Shirt Cuff Length – Generally, it is recommended that 1/2 to 3/4 inch of shirt cuff should show under your blazer. Because you are a shorter man, as little as a 1/4 inch is ideal. If more than that shows it will make your arms look shorter.
- 4. Shirt Length – If you’re short and wearing a button down shirt, you should be tucking it in 90 percent of the time. It will give you a slimmer line and make your legs look longer. But, if you absolutely have to un-tuck, or are wearing a shirt designed to be un-tucked (like a T-shirt), then a shorter shirt will add more balance to your body and keep your proportions in check. A shirt that is too long will make you look as if you’re wearing the wrong size or someone else’s clothes
3. Customise Your Suits Paying Close Attention To These 5 Areas:
A good tailor is a necessity no matter your height, but it’s especially essential if you’re short. Fit is everything when it comes to looking taller, and you’ll need an expert to help you accentuate the right lines and hide the bad ones. Most off-the-rack men’s clothing (at least with American brands) is designed a little boxier in order to fit as many body types as possible. So, if you don’t have a good tailor, your clothes will likely be loose and loose clothes make you look shorter. Even worse, subconsciously people will think you’re too small to buy clothes that fit. So get a good tailor and tell him you want to look slim and tall.
As a shorter gentleman, proportions should always be your goal. The easiest place to explain proportions is in a suit
- Shorter Jackets – take note that shorter jackets for men 5’8” should not suffer in the fit across the shoulders and arm. Jackets usually cover the buttocks but a shorter jacket will expose the leg more giving the illusion of height.
- Narrower Lapels – lapels that are narrow keep the shoulders from looking wide. A wider looking shoulder does nothing for adding “height” to a not so tall guy. Also, notch lapels instead of peak lapels will slim the chest and shoulders too which gives the appearance of length.
- Slimmer Sleeve Widths – Arms hug the body and act as sight lines up and down a man’s physique. Slimmer sleeves add length to the arms making them appear lean as opposed to short a portly. The leaner and longer the arms appear, the leaner and longer you body will appear.
- Higher Buttons – The positioning of the waist button (button stance) is critical because it will draw the eye upward along the body. Secondarily, a high waist button gives the appearance of a high waist and longer legs. This adds height as well.
- Medium Rise Trouser – The drop of the crotch plays a big part in how long the legs appear. If the drop is too low it will create the illusion of stumpy legs.
What’s also important about proportion is the fit. It should be slim. The garments should accentuate your silhouette and not be bulky. Baggy fitting clothes give a wide appearance and take away length and height.
4. Opt For No-Break Trousers
Where taller men might want to go with a quarter or a half break (no one should ever go for a full break) trouser, shorter guys should fashion a no break look. Creating a nice, continuous line, from the top of your trousers to the bottom will help elongate your legs. And if you pair your trousers with socks and shoes of a similar shade, you’ll do wonders for creating a longer line.
5. Don Vertically Oriented Patterns
This is good advice for every piece of a short man’s wardrobe, but it’s particularly easy to achieve with dress shirts. Candystripe and Bengal stripe patterns (equal-sized stripes of white and a single color alternating with one another) are simple, dressy, and acceptable at almost every level of formality. Not to mention, they are perfect for guiding a viewer’s gaze up toward your face. However, don’t wear anything with lots of stripes in varying colors and sizes — these can get too distracting, and will consequently keep an onlooker’s eye stuck on your chest. Thin, simple stripes make you look elegant, streamlined, and taller than you actually are!
6. Put Your Accessories Up High
You can keep attention moving up from your feet toward your head by weighting the brightest details at the top of your body. A pocket square or a brightly-colored tie help guide the eye’s motion upward. Just be careful of adding too much clutter all at once. A bright lapel pin on its own is helpful–worn at the same time as a patterned tie and a pocket square, it edges into the distracting category. More casual outfits can utilize details such as epaulets on a shirt’s shoulders or a contrast inner collar on a dress shirt.
Have you tried any of these style tricks? Do you have any others that aren’t listed here? Let us know in the comments!!