How to Look Taller Than You Really Are

A stylist shows us how to “dress taller,” from avoiding oversized T-shirts to ditching flashy accessories.

How to Look Taller Than You Really Are

Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re looking at how to dress if you’re unhappy with your stature (or just want to be the first pick for Sunday basketball).

Step #1: Avoid Opposing Colors (and Stripes)

“Wearing a white T-shirt with a dark pair of pants cuts you in half, which draws the eye horizontally across the body,” Parvis explains. “This just makes you look wider, not taller.” Instead, she recommends building a wardrobe of monochromatic colors—that is, different shades of the same hue. For instance, wearing a light grey T-shirt with dark grey pants draws the eyes up and down the body, streamlining your appearance and creating the illusion that you’re taller than you really are.

Along those same lines, Parvis recommends avoiding tees with horizontal stripes, as they also draw the eye across the body rather than up and down it. “That includes checkered button-downs,” she emphasizes. If you absolutely must wear stripes, just make sure they run vertical.

Step #2: Keep Things Fitted

“Never wear a shirt that sits past your hip bone because it will make your legs look short and stubby,” Parvis explains. “If you’re not sure whether or not your shirt is too long, simply tuck it in.” Another benefit of tucking is that it can be slimming, and who doesn’t want to be a little taller and thinner?

Step #3: Say No to Tank Tops (and Short Shorts)

“As a shorter guy, you always want to draw attention up to your face, rather than your relatively short limbs,” Parvis says. “Tank tops, short sleeves and short shorts do the exact opposite of that.” Which is why she recommends sticking with pants (or shorts that sit around the top of the knee), long sleeve T-shirts and button-downs with the sleeve rolled to the middle of your forearm—all of which keep the emphasis away from shorter parts of your body and towards your pretty face.

Step #4: Go Easy on the Accessories

“If you’re one of those guys who likes to wear watches or bracelets, keep them to a minimum,” Parvis recommends. “Anything too large or to flashy will just make you look smaller.” In other words, instead of wearing five bracelets, just wear one, or instead of a chunky watch, wear a subtle watch that doesn’t make your arm look small by comparison.

Step #5: If All Else Fails, Purchase a Pair of Elevator Shoes

“Just like a big and tall man would shop at a big and tall store, guys looking to add a few inches should shop a store specifically made for shorter men,” Parvis says. “I highly recommend Don’s Footwear,” she adds, in reference to the store whose shoes are designed to make people look taller without having noticeable heels. Or, you could save some cash by stuffing your shoes with tissue paper—not only will be the first pick for Sunday basketball, you’ll be the first one to dunk, too.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.