When it comes to dressing your body shape, you must firstly recognize that it is a concept completely individual to you. Although we may all share similar attributes, such as the odd beer belly or pesky love handle, our bodies vary enormously – so comparing yours to somebody else’s really is rather pointless. Time is much better spent looking at how you can make the best of what you have, and how to display that with confidence and in a style that feels comfortable to you.
I will focus specifically on dressing the taller man, identifying the problems they face, possible ways to combat them and provide tips as to how best balance a tall silhouette – ultimately aiming to detail the ideal fits, styles and trends that will work best on this particular body type.
Before we start: based on personal experience as a stylist, the most common concern tall men have is probably appearing ‘lanky’ or feeling their limbs look out of proportion. With that in mind, the advice provided within this guide will focus on how to balance a taller frame. Nowadays, more tall men do not view their height as a negative and may actually want to emphasize their long legs or arms.
Remember there is no one set of guidelines for every single individuals, so it is up to you to apply it to specific areas of your body depending on the result you want to achieve.
The main aim when dressing this particular shape is to break up the long, ‘linear’ structure that is naturally created by your body – not looking too skinny!
A long neck and torso, along with long limbs, together form vertical lines that are visually more prominent than with other body shapes. It’s these lines, along with the overall silhouette, which needs deconstructing.
Colour-blocking is a tall man’s best friend. By wearing contrasting colours on your top and bottom half you can instantly cut your silhouette in two, creating a break in the vertical line. Of course, you still need to bear in mind your colour wheel, but it is a quick and easy technique that you can apply every time you get dressed.
The majority of men will stick within a palette of timeless neutrals such as black, navy, grey and brown. These hues will always form the foundation of any successful capsule wardrobe, providing infinite versatility, but you should be aware that wearing one colour head-to-toe will only draw the eye line down and make you appear even taller.
Of course, in a working environment there is no getting away from the fact that you will probably need to wear a suit, but for other occasions, try to utilise separates! Not only are separates stylish and reminiscent of that desirable Mediterranean-inspired aesthetic, the combination of grey trousers with a navy blazer, for example, will again help to break up your silhouette in a refined, modern way. Even subtle tonal pairings, such as charcoal trousers with a black blazer will help.
Colour & Fabric Block Detailing
With the concept of colour- and fabric-blocking remaining a strong form of detailing within the industry this season, it is possible to find pieces that make breaking up your vertical structure effortless.
Distinct colour sections, contrast sleeves and patches are some of the most popular techniques present on the market and these kind of pieces can be used to draw attention to specific parts of the body; adding width where required or shifting focus.
For example, a contrast sleeve jumper with a bold coloured main body and muted sleeves would help draw attention to your torso rather than your arms, for those that feel their limbs appear out of proportion:
Bold Colours to Draw The Eyes
For those that are looking to make more of a statement, bold colours can help draw the eye away from specific areas of the body you don’t want to emphasise.
Again, if you have long, skinny legs then why not try a bold red statement blazer paired with navy chinos or pants? By surrounding the statement piece with neutrals, you are going to focus all the attention on your top half, meaning the length of your legs will become a mere afterthought.
Prints & Patterns
Lastly, I would always like to draw people’s attend to prints, patterns and logos; As they naturally, or functionally, creating points of focus and highlighting key areas.
With prints being the key trend within the industry currently – and their popularity showing no sign of wavering – why not look to incorporate a bold statement print such as camouflage, leopard or floral into your look this season?
Floral printed shirt is something I beloved in my design for seasons. They just add sweet in leisure together brings elegance when printed in formal code. And at least, not feeling bored to the variegated florals. Horizontal and Breton stripes can be utilized several ways within an outfit. They can also help lengthen or widen, that makes one looks a bit bulky.
Lastly, just a little remind for layering. Layering is an art form that all style-conscious gents should master in order to create visually interesting outfits. However, layering can help bulk out a long, lean silhouette.
For example, a shirt, lightweight knit and blazer combination can add size to a long torso, whilst a simple t-shirt layered under a denim shirt will provide the same effect casually.
Much of the advice above works best when combined with layering. Multiple pieces can aid the breaking up of the vertical line whilst also keeping bold prints, statement colours and the like under control – think knitwear over printed shirts, jackets over bright tees and tucking in tops to display a statement belt!
Hopefully, the key techniques covered above could give a brief ideas for all you tall boys to dress in a more flattering way. I always hope the concept of dressing should start to appear a little simpler to every body shape!