In part one of our guide to dressing as a tall man, we outlined some general guidelines that this body type should adhere to in order to balance their often long and lean frame.
Although personal taste will dictate the way you dress or your personal style, depending on your body type there are also certain techniques that can be adopted to highlight the parts of your body you feel most comfortable with, whilst shifting attention away from those parts you don’t.
Tall men should look to break up the vertical lines and ‘linear’ silhouette produced naturally by their body – this helps to keep the upper and lower halves in proportion.
We will now aim to completely break down the tall man’s ideal wardrobe; detailing the key pieces that should be considered and providing inspiration as to how these can be paired together to create stylish and interesting looks.
Jackets & Blazers
When considering jackets or blazers, be sure to focus on fit, then let fashion follow suit.
The length of a jacket often depends on many variables, such as personal style, type of outerwear and its function. Bearing in mind the principles we outlined in part one of this guide, it is important that you look to break up the vertical silhouette and balance your frame.
For example, those with long torsos and shorter legs would be advised to opt for cropped jackets or those that finish around waist level. These create a clear distinction between your top and bottom half and can be combined with other key pieces, such as statement belts/trousers, to ensure the vertical line is broken effectively. An on trend bomber complete with cuffed waist would be perfect for achieving this.
For those with longer legs, a mid-thigh length piece of outerwear, such as a classic lightweight mac or trench, would split your silhouette slightly further down; deceiving the eye into thinking your top and bottom half are completely in proportion.
Winter jackets and coats longer than this can make you appear taller as there is no room for the outfit to be broken up or balanced by a clear sight of trousers. However, if a longer length coat is required, stick to just below the knee and one that is belted – the belt both helping to break up the vertical eye line and allowing you to cinch your silhouette in at the waist to emphasise the shape of your top and bottom half.
The ideal cut for taller men is, without a doubt, double-breasted. It flattens instantly by making your upper body appear wider. Subtle checks and stripes are also appropriate and can be used to add width/length (horizontal/vertical stripes) or draw the eye up when paired with neutral trousers. With this in mind, why not consider a statement check or bold coloured wool blazer during autumn/winter and a lightweight seersucker or madras blazer in spring/summer?
- Uniqlo Men Trench Coat
- Topman Navy Poplin Single Breasted Mac
- Asos Mac
- Etro Corduroy Blazer
- Topman Vito Corfix Stripe Blazer
- Etro Slim-fit Plaid Wool Blazer
- Ami Prince Of Wales Check Linen-blend Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Carmen Linen Bomber Chalk
- Allsaints Hakonie Leather Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Anders Double-breasted Six Button Blazer Taupe
- Reiss Broadgate Double Breasted Blazer
- Allsaints Picket Blazer
As highlighted previously, the ideal cut for taller men is straight or slim. Skinny fits will not only draw unwanted attention to leg length but will shape them to appear even longer. Tapered fits also emphasise length; the narrowing shape creates an imbalance with the upper body.
Straight and slim fits don’t widen or narrow the leg too much, keep your top and bottom half in proportion and are classic cuts that will never go out of style.
When considering leg length, always try before you buy because there are no set guidelines that all brands adhere too. Many will adjust inside leg measurement depending on waist size (i.e. the higher the waist size the longer the inseam), whilst a 34L from one brand can be closer to a 34R in another.
It is imperative that you get the break right on your trousers as a taller gent. Little or no break can be perfect for those that want to introduce a statement sock or go sockless (breaking up the vertical line further) in spring/summer, whilst pooling material around your shoes is not only a sartorial faux pas but will draw the eye down – emphasising your leg length and even your shoe size, for those that are concerned.
Mid and low are the ideal jeans/trouser rise for tall men; a high rise will simply elongate the length of your legs.
If you are a shorts man, stick to knee length or just above – any shorter will only emphasise leg length. A couple of turns on the hems of your shorts will add subtle bulk/width to the leg and help break up the vertical line.
For those with longer torsos, why not try a pair of statement shorts/trousers – whether printed, patterned or coloured – in order to draw attention to your lower half?
Alternatively, white trousers and jeans are a timeless spring/summer option for those with long, skinny legs that will add bulk due to their colouring, keeping your top and bottom half in proportion.
- Topman Off White Slim Chinos
- Rag & Bone Rb7 Chino Trousers 148156
- Reiss Wickham Clean Cotton Pressed Chino Seafoam Blue
- Topman Mid Wash Coated Vintage Slim Jeans
- Acne Roc New Slim-fit Dry Denim Jeans
- Etro Plaid Wool And Silk-blend Trousers
- Topman Block Stripe Shorts
- Easy Swallow Print Shorts
- Allsaints Mitre Shorts
Tops & Shirts
Finding the correct fitting shirt can be a difficult task for the majority of men, but for a tall man it can seem much harder. Sleeves finishing short of the wrist, excess material around the chest and stomach and a struggle to find a shirt long enough are all problems regularly faced.
The key is not to go oversized. Buying the next size up may seem more comfortable and a wiser decision but it will just appear badly fitted. Many designer and high street brands now produce specialist ‘long’ sleeve/body ranges – such as MOSS, Next, Burton, M&S, Debenhams etc. – meaning there is no excuse for you not to look as sharp as possible. Find time to try a number of styles and avoid ‘boxy’ cuts.
A wide range of t-shirts and tops is crucial in any wardrobe. Short-sleeved and elbow length styles will help to break up the length and vertical lines created by your arms, whilst something as simple as giving your sleeves a couple of turns or pushing up long sleeves can add definition and bulk to skinny limbs.
In terms of cuts and necklines, wide crew and scoop neck styles will emphasise shoulder and chest shape, thus adding width to your top half. If you are concerned about the length of your neck, avoid lengthening v-neck styles and instead opt for polo shirts – they will naturally add width and bulk to this area.
Colour (both bold and neutral), prints and stripes (horizontal/vertical) can all be integrated nicely into this section of your wardrobe and used to draw attention to your upper half or add width/length as required.
- Signature White Shirt
- 2 Longer Slim Fit Cotton Rich Non-iron Striped Shirt
- Burton Blue Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt
- Topman White & Burgundy Patterned Printed T-shirt
- A.p.c. Striped Cotton-jersey T-shirt
- Allsaints Mirach 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt
- Asos 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt With Bound Scoop Neck
- Asos 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt With Grandad Neck And Contrast Sleeves
- Allsaints Steady 3/4 Sleeve Henley
- Topman Burgundy Geese Print High Roller Shirt
- Reiss Shooter Short Sleeve All-over Print Shirt Deer
- Asos Oxford Shirt
Layering is one of the top techniques for bulking out and breaking up a tall silhouette. Multiple layers will help broaden your appearance, so be experimental and utilise lightweight pieces to ensure you don’t become hot or uncomfortable.
Avoid v-necks and roll necks as these will instantly lengthen your neck. With regards to fabric and detailing, fine merino and lightweight linen/cotton blends will offer versatility and allow you to layer multiple pieces, whilst flecked wool and marl styles will add focus points that subtly draw the eye.
Vertical cable knits should be avoided if you have a long torso as they produce the same effect as vertical stripes – instead try Breton/horizontal stripes to give the appearance of width.
- Diesel Jumper Chunky Stripe K-crono
- Denim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Breton Jumper
- American Apparel Striped Sweater
- Allsaints Rudder Crew Jumper
- Neighborhood Striped Cotton Cardigan
- John Smedley Lewes Striped Merino Wool Sweater
- Shore Leave Blue Space Dye Knit Crew Sweatshirt
- Asos Scoop Neck Jumper
- Reiss Braun Flecky Crew Neck Jumper
A range of accessories are vital in the tall man’s wardrobe. Not only do they help add personality to your look but they can also be used to break up your linear structure and draw attention to specific parts of your body.
Belts will help to split your silhouette in two, much like using contrasting colours for your top and bottom half. By providing a point of interest at your centre point, it will stop the eye line moving in one fluid motion from head to toe. Coloured or interesting textured belts (think webbing, plaited etc.) are especially good at this.
Scarves are another great addition. They can add width to your torso and/or neck for those that require it, whilst a bold coloured, patterned or printed version will simply draw attention to your top half, rather than your bottom.
Likewise, bold coloured ties and pocket squares are the perfect finishing touch to your work wear and good for professionals who want to keep the focus on the top half of their silhouette.
Socks continued to be overlooked by the majority of men, but when revealed below a turned up trouser leg the result will actually appear to shorten your legs (again by simply breaking up the vertical line). Bold or patterned versions are playful and will inject a sense of flair into any outfit, although a glimpse of ankle will offer the same effect during spring/summer.
- Reiss Amalia Triangular Design Lime
- Polo Ralph Lauren Flat Cotton Socks
- Pantone Orange Boot Socks
- Levis Made And Crafted Long Orange Striped Scarf
- Essentiel Vixelles Yellow Scarf
- Austin Reed Viyella Rural Print Paisley Scarf
- Drakes Printed Silk Pocket Square
- Hackett Paisley-print Handkerchief 147412
- Topman Forest Green Twill Pocket Square
- Reiss Jewel Silk Diamond Print Tie Lime
- Asos Tie With Polka Dot
- Canali Zigzag-patterned Woven-silk Tie
The majority of tall men will naturally have big feet, which can become a personal hang-up. Thin-soled shoes and slim silhouettes are your best bets here, as they will help to reduce the appearance of size. Common sense dictates that a slimmer heel is also required, as anything else will simply elongate the leg whilst simultaneously increasing overall height.
Most footwear styles are now available in a slimmer profile, even formal styles such as brogues, Derbies and Oxfords. Classic spring/summer-appropriate silhouettes such as loafers, boat shoes or espadrilles work particularly well due to their low-profile cut.
When it comes to shape, opt for round-toed shoes as opposed to pointed, which will only attract unwanted attention and elongate foot length. Chunky boots and hi-top trainers can help add bulk/width to the bottom half of your leg and break up the vertical line of your legs, making them a great option for autumn/winter.
Finally, wherever possible, look to give your trouser hems a turn-up or two in order to create a clear distinction between your shoes and trousers. This ensures a clear break at the ankle and stops the trousers from flowing seamlessly into your footwear, which can make your feet seem out of proportion.
- Grenson Fred Commando Brogue Boots
- Allsaints Mass Boot
- Red Wing Shoes Beckman Leather Boots
- Reiss Deck Slip On Summer Shoes
- Topman Canvey Tassle Loafers
- H By Hudson Gould Leather Derby Shoes In Black
- Asos Brogues In Leather
- Allsaints Conduct Shoe
- Reiss Lisandro Suede Driving Shoes Mid Brown
- Sperry Top-sider Canvas Boat Shoes
- Alexander Mcqueen Suede Oxford Shoes
- Topman Hudson Brown Oxford Lace Up Shoes
Remember that when it comes to dressing, it is completely personal. What you choose to wear tells the rest of the world something about the type of person you are.
Whether you closely follow trends or prefer a more timeless approach, you should always be showcasing the best parts of you – no matter whether you are tall, short, big or small. This guide has been geared towards providing tall men with the tips, techniques and key pieces they need to help them develop a wardrobe and personal style that suits both their personality and body shape.
Next time we will be looking at shorter body types; specifically ways to visually elongate and extend their frame.