“I’m a Tall Guy (1.87m) – What Should I Wear to Look My Best?”

Style Advice for Tall Guys - The Male Report

Style tips for the friendly giant.

Where I’m from, there’s almost no chance you’ll turn heads as someone with a height of 185 to 190 cm tall. The average height for men in the small (but lovely) country of the Netherlands is no less than 183.8 cm, making them the tallest in the world. Whereas men from other parts of the world struggle to find clothes that aren’t so terribly long, for men from this region, it is often the opposite of what they have to worry about.

Around here, brands are more likely to cater to taller guys – it’s a given that their customers will fit in a pair of denim with a length of 34in. Still, from a certain height, one or more difficulties might come sneaking around the corner. For example, if you are really, very, very tall. Or when you’re next to kind of tall, also narrower built. Or broad. If you still want to look your best as a tall guy but have no idea where to start in a sea of menswear advice, tips, and tricks? Right: you ask The Male Report.

On sizing and finding your perfect fit

You’re here for my Stylist’ two cents, so let’s get to it.

Brands for tall guys

The first piece of advice will get you very far straight away. When sizing, and especially length, is the bottleneck for you: look out for brands that come from northern Europe (in particular those from Scandinavia) or labels with a broader size range that allow you to choose different inseam lengths for trousers and jeans and also, offer solutions in shirting with extra body- and sleeve length. 

A few of my favorites are:

  • NN07
  • The GoodPeople
  • Les Deux
  • ASKET
  • Stenströms
  • Profuomo

Join forces with a connoisseur (and enjoy all the perks)

My second piece of advice is one I can’t repeat often enough. Finding a good tailor. And no: teaming up with someone who can solve your ultra-personal fit problems will not cost you extra money; trust me, it’ll save you money in the long run. Especially when you invest in good-quality wardrobe staples and have these altered for your body. This doesn’t only go up for formal attire like suits. Shirts (in case the extra sleeve-length alternatives aren’t quite you) and jackets are items in which the alterations shop has quite some experience, too. My tip: opt for a larger size to achieve the right length for sleeves and body. This way, the body can be tailored to perfection (your silhouette).

Do you know what the best part about this is? Over time, building a good connection with your tailor comes with the great benefit of him anticipating what you’ll need and want. Bringing in a new pair of trousers? It’s likely he won’t need to take measurements again to know what inseam you need. Tailors are artists, and they should be celebrated. As no one knows better than these craftsmen how clothing should fit.

The right fit for tall guys? The ‘live a little.’

For some reason, guys with some extra length feel restricted when it comes to clothes. But let me tell you, as a man with a height advantage, the world of fits is here to explore. Where shorter men risk being swallowed by straight-fit, pleated trousers… You, long-legged man, are the role model they’re eyeing. Use this advantage and experiment with different cuts. Live a little.

Before I forget: the drape of your garments shouldn’t be overlooked, either, as the fabrics you wear have a lot of space to, well, drape. Studier or rougher fabrics will be a better fit than flimsy silk or even linen. Unless you’re layering, that is. Thin materials are likely to flutter, resulting in a gangly appearance.

Whatever you do: proportion is the magic word

No matter your specific body type, one thing should always be at the forefront when building your outfits. And that’s proportion. Let’s dive in.

Need some extra body up top?

For the lankier guys among us, proportion, in this case, means not adding any extra length to your figure. Avoid tops with deeper V-necks if you don’t want to emphasize your length too much. These are likely to add length to your neck and entire silhouette even more. Instead, try playing around with collared tops such as polo shirts (knit polos are a bonus), button-ups, different types of jackets, and in winter and fall time, why not try a turtleneck? Wider shirt collars, slightly chunkier knitwear, and (in most cases)horizontal stripes add width, drawing the eye from side to side instead of up and down.

A common misconception among tall and skinny men is to grab the first oversized top they see and assume it’s a done deal. I hate to break it to you, but this is not the way to go. An oversized fit isn’t always going to give you the volume you want. Actually, the opposite is true. Pay attention to the proper fit and balance this out in your entire outfit. If you’re a skinnier guy, then fitted or slim-fit is your best bet, as opposed to skinny. Extremely body-hugging clothes will make you appear even narrower.

Other factors to remember: wearing low-rise jeans can elongate your torso, whereas a jacket that sits above the hip can elongate your legs. On the other hand, slightly longer coats, such as a trenchcoat, can complement your taller figure. If the length of your body sits mainly in a taller torso, high-waist trousers will allow for balance. Choose your weapons smartly.

Master the art of layering

Just as teaming up with a skilled tailor is a style tip I provide men with the most diverse body types, the art of layering is another one that does good for every single body shape. Building outfits that consist of different layers doesn’t only belong in the colder seasons of the year. Even in spring and summer, you can get away with this technique, creating an array of breezy looks. A good example of layering in fall and winter would be:

  • T-shirt
  • Button-up shirt
  • A vest
  • An overcoat

Always layer your garments from thick to thin to avoid looking too bulky and massive on the top. In spring and summer, you might lose a layer or two and swap fabrics for lighter, breezier alternatives. Think seersucker, twill, jersey, and linen.

One word: jackets. Chances are, these are a part of your year-round wardrobe. Hence why they deserve some extra attention. Adding a jacket to your look is a great way to play around with different textures, colors, and patterns in your upper body. This does not only break up a longer silhouette in a beautiful way; there are many kinds of jackets to achieve the look you wish. Well-constructed jackets like double-breasted blazers, overshirts, field jackets, or a corduroy jacket, and – because of their length – trenchcoats and overcoats are excellent options when you’re tall.

Contrast

Although I strongly advocate for monochrome outfits, taller guys can easily pull off outfits with higher contrast. Wear a dark jacket with a lighter shirt or sweater and pair up with medium-wash jeans. Or, add a belt. Where shorter guys might stay away from belts in another tone than the rest of their outfits to not cut up their silhouette in half, taller men can spice up their outfits perfectly with belts. Especially more remarkable exemplars like braided or subtle structured leather. These are great in multi-color, but also plain hues work well. See, life isn’t too bad for a tall guy.

With wedding season in full swing (or when you’re a corporate guy), my best tip is to go and experiment more often with odd combinations for your suits. This adds dimension, looks visually more interesting, and (there it is again) breaks your silhouette. Try a checkered jacket with plain trousers or the other way around. You don’t have to go all out with patterns if that’s a bridge too far; a slightly different tone for the top and bottom or added structure does the trick, too. This also means that if you want to avoid looking even taller than you are – those printed co-ords are probably not for you.

Need some help building your perfect wardrobe?

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Start dressing better today.

Get my FREE E-guide: Define your Personal Style 101 to create a stable base for your ideal wardrobe.