Suit Yourself by Body Type: Tips for the Tall Guy
Hey there, Stretch! Whether you're proud of your extra height and want to show it off or self-conscious and wish to appear more average-sized, there are some great suit options that can help you achieve your desired look.
The Effect of a Black Suit
First of all, everyone knows black makes you look slimmer, and thus they may assume that it also makes you look shorter, just makes you look "less." But research shows that in fact, a black suit is about the most attention-grabbing choice you can make, and it increases the impression of your personal power, even to the extent of making people think you are taller than you are. So on days you wish to be particularly intimidating, black is an excellent choice.
Otherwise, lighter colours will tend to make you look slightly heavier, which is good if you're a beanpole, and slightly shorter, which is good if you're trying not to be intimidating.
Suit Pinstripes and Patterns
Stripes will elongate your look, drawing the eye up and down; the narrower the stripe, the stronger the effect. Our black and bronze pinstripe in luxury Super 150 wool and cashmere blend is a great example of a stripe that will visually lengthen the wearer.
If that's not your intention or desire, look into a plaid or tweed to maximize horizontal visual bulk; we don't make suits with horizontal stripes, but a plaid can have the same effect. And a tweed occupies a lot of eye-space, being the equivalent of a busy pattern. Plaids, however, are not common nowadays; tweeds are a less remarkable choice, if you're being cautious.
Suit Vents for the Taller Man
Since horizontal lines are more shortening than vertical ones, you can probably guess what we're going to say here: stick to no vent or two vents, if you're a tall man who wants to downplay his height. A single vent will make you look taller by adding a strong vertical line, while a double draws the eye across instead of up and down. Even though a double vented suit has two verticals, the vents, the brain reads it as a strong horizontal, just as it does with a double-breasted suit. And a double vented suit also flashes a glimpse of your lining every time your showjumper takes a fence, or you leap muscularly out of your Uber.
Lapels of Luxury
How Large Men Wear Lapels Well
You probably already know that suit lapels have a huge impact on your appearance. Make the wrong choice, make it in a charcoal chalk stripe suiting, and you could end up looking like Al Capone.
To downplay your height, you want a wider lapel, without getting gangster about it.Our Wide Notch style is what we'd recommend here. Definitely avoid a narrow notch if you're trying to minimize the appearance of height. A wide peaked lapel can also work, although it can be tricky to pull off.
If you want to play it up, though, a shawl collar is wonderful on formal wear, very Sean Connery as James Bond, as is a narrow peaked lapel.
How Suit Pockets Effect Your Appearance
Again, horizontal lines draw the eye across and will work to counter an appearance of excess height, so you want to play up your pockets: patch and flap pockets have more visual impact. Definitely avoid slanted pockets unless you're trying to look taller.
Visual Presence of a Suit
We mentioned it earlier: fabrics with rough or interesting texture, like tweed, occupy visual space and make you look larger. People will think you weigh slightly more than you actually do. But they also make you look shorter, unless they are loud, in which case they increase your visual space in every direction. This is why short men often choose assertive plaids and the like, to increase their visual presence. Tall men should be careful when choosing suiting fabrics, taking care that they don’t choose something that will overwhelm visually.