Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog
Whether you are tall and sleek (or wide) or short and slender (or stocky), choose clothes that accentuate your body shape and you'll always look elegant. In fact, selecting the right fit and style can make you look taller and slimmer. What's not to like about that?
There’s nothing worse than a short man in a tall man’s suit or vice versa. Looking like you’ve borrowed your suit from a mate (or your dad) is a mistake all too often made in the world of suiting. So we felt it was time to address the elephant in the room and talk about suiting up the right way for your body shape.
If you're short and slim, your suit must be a fitted style that hugs the contours of the body, especially the shoulders. This presents you with a taller looking silhouette which is, of course, a good thing.
Showing a little cuff gives the impression of longer limbs. There's a fine line here, however, because if you show too much, it accentuates the shortness of your arms.
This is a fine example of how a master tailor can create just the right illusion of additional height by adjusting the jacket sleeve to the perfect length. Pair this with a jacket length that finishes at the bottom of your buttocks and you'll be rocking your sartorial style while flattering your body shape.
Vertical patterns, like pinstripes, draw the eye up, which makes you look taller. However, if pinstripes or patterns are not your style, you can achieve the same effect by going with a monochromatic colour scheme, which creates the illusion of a taller silhouette. Finish the look with a pocket square as this draws the eyes up and keeps the focus on your face.
If you're short and stocky, your goal is to look taller and slimmer. You can achieve this by choosing a simple look with plain block colours.
When choosing patterns, resist the urge to use too many vertical stripes. A patterned shirt is fine but when paired with a suit, the stripes may bend in the wrong places drawing attention to your girth. Some other tips are to:
When you're tall and skinny, doesn't it seem like others envy you or inundate you with comments like "I wish I was skinny like you?" If they only knew how difficult it is to get a good fit!
Here's some suggestions for ways to look "bulkier" and shorter by adding horizontal elements to your suit such as stripes on your tie, check patterns, or optical illusions.
For example, at first glance, you might think the buttons on the waistcoat in the image above would just add to your height, but the key here is balancing the look proportionally by pairing the jacket and waistcoat with odd trousers. The eye is automatically drawn to the V in the bottom of the waistcoat and the portion of the belt buckle peeking through. This creates a horizontal line bisecting the body at midpoint and making you look shorter and wider.
Here's some other tips:
Choosing the right styles and fabric patterns to flatter your body type when you're tall and wide can be challenging, because the same elements that make you look shorter (think horizontal patterns and accessorizing techniques) will make you look wider. So what's a gent to do?
While it may seem difficult, it's not impossible, and we're here to help with some expert advice based on our years of experience in helping clients dress for success:
Unfortunately, many off the racks suits are designed with the average build man in mind. The truth is if you are wider, shorter, or taller than the average bloke, you’re going to be best off working with a tailor who can provide you with both expert advice and a killer suit that fits your body type like the master tailors at Montagio Custom Tailoring.
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Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »
I have bought a total of 11 pieces custom made so far - quality and attention to detail is spectacular, material choice is broad and the input customers have in creating the exact look they want is a great experience... more »
I went back for another suit, a few shirts and some ties. Outstanding! I had so many complements on my new suit yesterday! more »