Want to know how to look taller? Many guys want to increase their height.
I’m always contacted by guys who want to know how to look taller and asked “can I instantly look taller?”
The answer is yes!
But so many shorter guys make the same clothing mistakes over and over. If you’re of modest proportions or you’re vertically challenged, don’t join them!
Do you want to know how to look taller? Perhaps you want to know the style rules that’ll make any guy look taller and leaner?
Look no further than our ultimate clothing tips for short men. And before we get to the article – yes, you can get clothes for short guys.
Now let’s get into the tricks you need to look taller and leaner. If you’ve been around here for a while you might be able to guess #1 on my list of 10 style hacks that short men can use to look instantly taller. Let’s get into it!
1. Wear Fitted Clothes
I know you’ve heard this a million times, but it’s REALLY important for shorter men. If you want to look taller, you’ve got to make sure your clothes fit well.
A shorter guy in well-fitting clothes looks elegant and well-proportioned.
Don’t put up with clothes that are baggy or too long. Short men’s clothes should be fitted. If you don’t know the name of your tailor, you need to. A good tailor can hem your pants, shorten your shirts and sleeves and take clothes in where necessary.
With well-tailored clothes, you’ll look better than 90% of men out there – regardless of your height.
The most common alterations that short men need are:
- Having your trousers hemmed.
- Getting your sleeves shortened on button-up shirts and jackets.
- Tapering your trousers (narrowing the leg opening).
- Getting your shirt taken in (If you’re short and slim, rock it. Don’t hide it in boxy shirts that make you look shorter).
Dress Shirt Fit
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.
Dress Shirt Cuff Length – we 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. Any more will make your arms look shorter.
Dress Shirt Fit – go for a slim fit – this helps to narrow the torso. Even if you are an athletically built gentleman, you want to make sure that the shirt that you are wearing narrows your chest for the cleanest fit.
High Armholes / Armscye – higher armholes allow for a slimmer fit with more movement. Again the slimmer fit leans the body out to our eyes.
Men’s Trousers Fit
Taller men are ‘leggier’ – more of their body is leg. So if you want to know how to look taller – STOP wearing things that visually SHORTEN your legs. You want your waistline at your waistline – not your crotch.
That means no untucked shirts unless they end at your hip bones or are designed for short men. And no low-rise pants. If normal rise pants leave you with too much fabric at the crotch, look for short rise pants made specifically for shorter men.
Trousers are important in creating length because you wear them on your legs. I know it’s obvious but there are tricks to make your legs look longer thus creating the illusion of height.
When you tuck in your shirt to a pair of low-rise trousers or jeans, your torso looks longer. Your body is cut in half and your legs are shortened. Instead, stick to medium or high-rise pants.
Short men shouldn’t wear trousers with a dropped crotch – it shortens the legs!
There should be little to no break on trousers. When there is a lot of fabric bunched up at the ankle, the leg can look stumpy and short. Other common styles such as stacking, cuffing, and rolling will also shorten the legs.
2 & 3. Use Low Contrast or Monochrome Colors To Look Taller and Slimmer
Contrasting colors break your figure up – this makes you look shorter.
If you want to know how to look taller – use monochrome colors to streamline your figure – this is the desired effect.
Make your legs appear longer by making your shoes and socks a similar color to your trousers.
The eyes of onlookers should seamlessly travel up and down your outfit. To do this you have to:
- Stick with a low-contrast palette
- Avoiding items that cut the torso in two
- Manage accessories and patterns (no large and bright belts, stay away from horizontal patterns)
#1 Stay in the same color family – staying in the same color family streamlines the look and gives an elongating effect.
#2 Stick with light or dark colors – colors can be different but make sure that the contrasting color on top. It will draw the eyes up when being looked at.
You don’t have to go full monochrome – if you don’t want to wear the SAME color all over, similar colors work well too. For instance, try a darker shirt with your navy pants and a lighter one with your khaki pants.
4. Vertical Stripes Make You Look Taller
When it comes to clothes for short guys, one of the best-known rules is ‘no horizontal stripes’, but there’s a bit more to this rule.
You can in fact pull off horizontal stripes as long as they’re narrow enough to avoid breaking up your silhouette.
Bold horizontal lines ‘cut you in half’. Avoid them.
That means big cuffs on your jeans and pants are a no. So are wide belts with large buckles. Wear a slim belt of a similar color to your pants. Even better, go beltless and try braces or side adjusters instead.
This also means that boots are a better look for you than shoes – and not just because boots tend to have heels. Shoes create more horizontal lines (pant + sock + shoe as opposed to pant + boot). This goes double if you’re wearing colorful socks that create high contrast.
5. Style Hacks To Make You Look Instantly Taller – Accessories
Keep your accessories smaller too; that way, they’ll look more proportional to your build. For most men, the best tie width is about 3.25″ at the widest point.
If you’re shorter, you can go down to 2.75″ or even 2.5″ without looking like you’re wearing a skinny tie.
Wear subtle accessories up high because they will draw people’s eyes up. But keep them subtle so they don’t overpower your height.
Use smaller tie knots, like the Four-in-Hand Tie Knot, the Oriental Tie Knot or the Victoria Necktie Knot.
If you have small wrists, choose the right size watch. You want a thin case between 38 and 42mm in diameter with smaller hands and numbers. Opt for a narrower strap in leather instead of metal.
Here are some guidelines:
- Watch case: ideally 38mm, max 42mm.
- Lapel: ideally 2.75”, max 3.75”.
- Tie: ideally 2.75”, max 3.75” (and use a four-in-hand knot)
- Collar points: ideally 2.25”, max 3.75”.
Hats and scarves – These are excellent for adding color, drawing the eyes to your upward and to your face. As a shorter guy, hats and scarves are arguably the best way to add some pizzazz to your outfit during the fall and winter months.
Another good tip is to play them on your physical features. If you have green eyes then a rich, emerald green scarf is a great way to draw attention to them.
Belts – keep them slim. It’s best if they are no thicker than 1.5 inches and shouldn’t contrast too heavily with your outfit.
The preference is to go beltless. Belts divide you in two and can shorten you. Thin belts or no belt keeps you looking long. Also, suspenders is another option to add to the vertical visual effect and they are extremely classy.
6. How To Look Taller With Shoes
Remember that the goal is to elongate the leg. Avoid drawing attention to your footwear – it makes you shorter.
Keep the contrast with the pant leg low by not having stark opposites in your color palettes. When wearing black denim, try to avoid white sneakers.
- Wear a pointed toe shoe – rounded or squared off toes can shorten the foot. Men’s pointed toe shoes visually lengthen the foot and, subsequently, the leg.
- Keep the shoe below the ankle – this applies to wearing shorts. Low top shoes show more ankle as opposed to high tops or boots that shorten the leg because the rise is past the ankle.
7. Wear These Colors To Look Taller
Dark muted colors and matte fabrics are slimming – so if you’re short and thin, you might think pale, shiny, and bright colors are the way to go. The trouble is, whatever makes you look wider makes you look shorter – even if you weren’t at all wide to begin with.
Plus dark muted colors and matte fabrics make your silhouette less obvious and avoid eye-catching focal points – which means people are less likely to notice your exact height. They also help to hide bad fit.
Shorter guys can make themselves look taller by wearing dark muted colors.
Big patterns look oversized on shorter guys and highlight how small you are. Opt for smaller, more subtle patterns like mini checks, thin stripes, small florals, and polka dots.
8. How To Look Taller In A Suit
Buying a suit is a minefield for short men. There are a LOT of mistakes to avoid.
If you’re looking for ways to look taller in a suit, skip the double-breasted suits unless you really know what you’re doing – they can easily swamp you.
Buying a suit? Go for a single-breasted suit with 1 or 2 buttons and a low buttoning point.
Bulky shoulder pads are another mistake – remember anything that makes you look wider makes you look shorter.
- 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 butt, but a shorter jacket will expose the leg more giving the illusion of height.
- Narrow 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.
- Slim Sleeve Widths – Arms hug the body and act as sightlines 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 your body will appear.
- High 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 Trousers – 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.
9. Short Men Style Secrets – How To Look Taller In Shorts
It has been touted that short men should stay away from shorts. Some believe that they shorten the leg because the shorts break up the sight lines from skin to cloth.
However, there are ways to wear them to your style advantage.
- Slim through the thigh – narrow silhouettes make the legs look longer. You don’t want them too tight as it will negatively adjust the comfort level
- Wear them slightly above the knee – shorts that lie above the knee lengthen the legs as well.
- Medium or low rise cuts – As with pants, the waist to crotch length should be shorter as it opens up the length in the thigh as well as helps to slim the leg
- Wear low top sneakers – When wearing sneakers they should be low top tennis shoes because they don’t shorten the leg.
10. How To Look Taller – Avoid Bulky Coats
Many winter coats are very bulky and have oversized details (buttons, collars, and so on.) These will make you look like a child.
If you want to know how to look taller, use layering to stay warm instead – no puffy coats, bulky sweaters, or big chunky scarves. If you need a really warm winter coat, look into technical fabrics that keep out the cold with less bulk.
One thing to pay close attention is the surrounding pieces. If they are monochromatic or a similar shade it will create a streamlined look with the coat.
I recommend that you have neutral tones for versatility in both a heavyweight and lighter weight.
Men’s topcoats that fall to the mid-thigh area help lengthen the torso, making you look taller.
Wool topcoats are great elements to help achieve this length. The key is to make sure that it doesn’t contrast heavily with the rest of the outfit.
If you can find these patterns knit within the fabric, it is also a plus as they give a subtle vertical weave which subconsciously creates more length.
- Herringbone – zigzag design that runs vertically
- Cable knits – prominent knit that runs vertically
Being short doesn’t have to mean you look short. If you want to know how to look taller, just remember the main points we cover in this article: don’t wear big things, avoid things that make you look wider, don’t break up the line of your body, don’t wear your waistline below your waist and don’t draw people’s eyes down.