If there’s a singular truth to male fashion, it’s this: most clothes are not tailored for tall, skinny guys. But that doesn’t mean that tall and skinny men are out of luck when it comes to dressing sharply! In fact, there are ways to dress as a tall, skinny man while making the most of your height and natural build. If you’ve always looked lanky and a little too skinny for comfort, you’ve come to the right place.
Layers, Layers, Layers
For starters, be sure to dress in layers whenever possible. Wearing an undershirt, an overshirt, and a jacket is a great way to artificially bulk up and make yourself look a little larger or more substantial in public.
Combined with your height, you’ll emulate the masculine physical ideal. Note, of course, you don’t want to go overboard with this and wear so many clothes that it’s obvious you’re padding yourself out. But a good, thick jacket never hurts.
NO Vertical Stripes
Whatever you do, never wear a shirt, pants, or anything else with vertical stripes. Doing so only emphasizes your beanpole build and can actually make you look taller and skinnier than you already do. Instead, opt for different patterns or horizontal lines (though lines in general are a bit out of fashion at the moment).
Wear Tailored Pants
Pants make the man, and you can and should get tailored pants whenever possible. That’s because tailored pants will fit perfectly to your legs and emphasize your height without making you look over the skinny or feeling baggy around the waist.
Tailored pants are great in every capacity, especially business environments. Take Berle’s Super 100s Gabardine Pleated Pants, which work well for both semi-formal and formal occasions.
Bottom line: always get your pants tailored when possible to emphasize your height and deemphasize your skinniness
Consider Long Coats
Long coats, like trench coats, are also a great choice for tall, skinny men, especially in the winter. These coats do the same thing that tailored pants do by emphasizing your height and deemphasizing how skinny you are. Plus, many long coats are also reasonably thick and allow you to layer, killing two fashion birds with a single stone.
Pick the Right Jeans
While tailored pants in general are important, so are jeans. Denim is one of the best materials for tall, skinny guys since it’s reasonably bulky and can help you look a little larger or fill out your frame without seeming padded or puffy.
Naturally, you should try to pick out jeans that are well fitted to your legs by choosing ones from specialized men’s legwear companies. Berle’s Dress Denims, for example, are great for wearing to semi-formal occasions without having to wear dress slacks or khakis.
But jeans in general are great for tall, skinny guys. Just be sure to always pick slim-fit jeans and never baggy pairs; choosing the latter will only emphasize just how skinny you are and ruin your look.
Choose the Right Fabrics
Above, we mentioned that certain fabrics are better than others. The best fabrics for tall, skinny men are textured and can help you sell the illusion of having more mass. These fabrics include flannel, tweed, denim, corduroy, and glen check.
You can keep these fabrics in mind when choosing pants, coats, and even suits. The right fabric can emphasize the shape and style of your outfit and make you seem significantly bulkier than you may actually be.
What to Never Do as a Tall, Skinny Man
- Don’t wear loose or billowy clothing, whether it’s pants or shirts. This just makes you seem even skinnier and does nothing to emphasize the best aspect of your physique: your height
- Don’t wear shirts with really large prints, as the images can overwhelm your body and make you seem smaller rather than larger
- Don’t wear pants or shirts with excessive pleats. The extra material can just accentuate your skinniness
- Don’t wear pants that are low ride waisted, as this will again emphasize your skinniness rather than your height
- Avoid wearing baggy shorts or loose shirts
There you have it—some easy-to-follow tips to dress sharply as a tall, skinny man. We recommend trying a few different outfits or styles before settling on an overall aesthetic that fits your personality and body shape. No two men are alike, but we assure you that you’ll feel comfortable in your skin and look excellent at your next party, class, or work meeting with the right clothes!