Most men would like to look and feel a little taller, and whether it’s in business or in our relationships height is associated with power, confidence and all round good genes.
Suit wearers have an advantage in this arena, in that there are a variety of steps one can take to produce a narrower, more elongated silhouette.
Below are the King & Allen top 20 tips for looking taller.
1. Jacket: When choosing the width of your lapel err on the side of narrow (around 7cmW). A narrow lapel looks longer than a wide one. For the same reason request a high gorge. The gorge is the point where the collar meets the lapel.
King & Allen staff member Maeson getting it right: slim lapels, high gorge, fitted jacket, slightly long collar and a waistcoat.
2. If you’re ordering pinstripes keep them narrow (less than 10cmW). Narrow vertical stripes elongate the body.
3. Opt for a 2 or even a 1 button jacket (but never 3!). The longer skirt (the empty space between your button and the bottom of the jacket) will make the jacket look long without affecting the balance between jacket length and trouser length.
4. When considering jacket length err on the side of short. The back of the jacket should finish at the exact point where the bottom of your buttocks meet the top of your leg. This will ensure that your legs look as long as possible.
Getting it right: 1 button fitted jacket, well fitted sleeves, narrow pinstripes, waistcoat.
5. Trousers: Ask your tailor for the most narrow trouser that will compliment your body shape. A narrow trouser looks longer than a wide one. Also, a wide leg will swallow up a small shoe.
6. The waistband of the trousers should sit snuggly on your waist – not low on your hips. The longer the trousers the taller you will look. Of course you must take style into account as well. You mustn’t wear your trousers too high (Mr Cowell!).
7. The trousers should drop straight to the heel of the shoe without breaking when you stand upright. At the front here should be a single break and no more. Multiple breaks will create the illusion that your trousers are too long for you, and that you are therefore short.
Getting it wrong: the jacket is too long and baggy. The trousers crumple at his heels.
8. Never wear a belt. A belt will split the body into two halves, which is to be avoided. A suit that fits you doesn’t need a belt.
9. For the same reason, avoid contrasting colours. It doesn’t mean you can’t wear separates (different colour jacket and trousers), but you should keep the colours similar. This rule also applies to shoes and socks.
Getting it right: subtle complimentary colours, 1 button, high gorge and a perfect fit.
10. Sleeve length. It would be easy to think that tall people wear their sleeves shorter. This is not their choice – it’s just that they have long arms! We would recommend that you show approximately 1cm of shirt cuff when your arms are by your sides. Any shorter and you may look like you’re wearing a jacket that doesn’t fit you. Any longer and you will look like a short person in a tall person’s jacket.
11. Make sure the jacket fits you well – not just around the trunk and waist but also on the shoulders. The narrower you look the taller you will appear to be.
Getting it right: King & Allen staff member Sam - perfectly fitted jacket and trousers. 1cm of sleeve cuff showing at the break of the wrist.
12. Waistcoat – highly recommended. A waistcoat makes you look slimmer and anything that makes you look slimmer will make you look taller.
13. Shirt – once again, vertical stripes (if chosen correctly) can lengthen the torso. Also, a slightly longer collar will make your neck look more slender. As with the suit, it’s very important that the shirt fits you well. Any bagginess will make you look wider and smaller than you truly are.
14. Make sure that the shoulder seam meets your shoulder bone. If it is too low your arms will look short.
15. Sleeves – the end of the shirt sleeve should meet the break of your wrist. If it rests further down onto the hand you will look like you have short arms.
Getting it right and wrong! Perfect jacket - terrible shirt sleeves!
16. The tie should be relatively slender, with a small, neat knot. The end of the tie should rest just above the waistband of the trousers. It should definitely hang no lower or you will appear too short for it.
17. Shoes – it goes without saying that the height of the heel can have an effect on your overall height. Just don’t go overboard with those Cuban heels (Mr Sarkozy!).
18. Wear insoles in your shoes and you could gain a couple of centimetres as well as improve your gait. They are also more comfortable and hygienic. Top tip – once you have found a pair of insoles that you like, take them with you shoe shopping and add them when you try on shoes. You may feel that you need a half size larger.
19. Hair – make sure your hair is kept neat and short – especially at the sides and back.
20. Work on your posture. Avoid stooping, instead standing proud whenever possible, with both feet planted equally on the ground.